The NBA playoffs are now in full swing as the Heat lead the Celtics 3-1 and the Lakers tighten their stranglehold on their series with a 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets. Different players are stepping up in the post season as every team needs everything they can get from every player to advance to the next round, but no player has stepped up more than Jamal Murray. The seventh pick in 2016 has proven his value repeatedly on this Nuggets playoff run as they continue to fight for a trip to the NBA finals. The Nuggets have battled from a three-one twice already in the playoffs, but do they have enough fuel for one more win streak to beat the Lakers and head to the first finals in franchise history.
Murray has been on a historically good tear in the playoffs averaging 26.9 points per game 6.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds, The Canadian guard has scored over 40 in 5 outings including two games where he exploded for 50 points. Murray has only scored under 20 in 5 of his games proving his ability on the offensive side of the ball and showing continuous improvement year after year. Murray has flashed potential on defense producing big stops on some of the leagues most talented players. Jamal Murray’s continued improvement since his rookie year has put him in the best situation to succeed lighting up the Lakers, making shots at will, and his unbelievable poise has resulted in big time scoring burst and highlight plays. The Nuggets have become real threats for years to come especially if they get the chance to add another big piece. Playing with their backs against the wall Denver will need everything they can get if they have hopes of escaping this round.
No one could’ve expected this huge leap that was made by Jamal Murray entering the playoffs. He blew up in a game one win against the Utah Jazz impressing all NBA fans, losing two straight as he under performed. Murray had his mind set on scoring all game in game 4 – scoring a career high 50 points going back and forth with Donovan Mitchell and coming just short losing by 3 points but finishing with 50 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists on the scoreboard. This was just the start of his hot streak turning the series around scoring 42 and pulling past the Jazz with a game 5 win. With a chance to even the series at 3 games each Murray didn’t hold back scoring 50 points again leading the Nuggets to tie the series coming into a game 7. Scoring just 17 in a tightly contested 80-78 game 7 win, Murray was a pivotal piece, advancing the Nuggets to the second round against the heavily favored Los Angeles Clippers.
Playing this series with no one giving them a chance was hard enough but losing 3 of the first 4 games was a mountain ahead of them. They believed they could climb it, battling back to live to fight for a game 7. Jamal Murray continued to play at an exceedingly prominent level each game bursting for big scoring nights, in each of the Nuggets wins Murray scored 21, 26, 27 and even a 40-point performance in game 7 proving his un-guardable scoring ability once again. They beat out the Clippers by 15, not giving them any chances to come back and sneak out of the series. This was a major upset by Murray and the Nuggets with more fans warming to the idea of seeing a Nuggets upset over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Murray and the Nuggets face their toughest task, taking down LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. This team has improved over the regular season and the playoffs and an upset may not be out of the realm of possibility. The Nuggets have improved as a defensive team. Jokes about the Nuggets originated this season called the team the “Enver Nuggets” because they have no D, referring to the lack of defensive pressure from the Denver Nuggets. The defense has been improved making them a much more difficult team to beat down the stretch of games. Jamal Murray continues his scoring burst averaging 26.5 points per game against the Lakers on 54% shooting from the field, Murray was especially good in game 4 scoring 28 points while also dishing out 12 assists and pulling in 8 rebounds showing his versatility as a playmaker and as a defender. The Nuggets are down 3-1 playing game 5 on Saturday. A win could keep their hopes alive with their backs on the wall it is too late to give up now. Murray will go at LeBron to make one of the best matchups we have seen all playoffs a huge game awaits the Nuggets as they look to get back on track.
This article is original content published by sports writer Matthew White. Please feel free to link to and discuss this article but do not copy content.