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Jamal Murray Once Again Has The Juice

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets in action against the Golden State Warriors during their NBA preseason game at Chase Center on December 12, 2020 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Perhaps this is a luddite’s take, but I am not interested whatsoever in measuring Jamal Murray by any numerical yardsticks. That stance is partially due to his eerie statistical consistency in four seasons as the Nuggets’ starting point guard, but mostly it’s because numbers don’t capture the aspect of Murray’s game that makes him so special: performing ridiculous and otherwise ill-advised feats of shotmaking at the ends of games.

After starting the season poorly, struggling to establish a coherent rotation, and playing awful defense, the Nuggets have reeled off three straight nice wins, including a pair of victories over a very feisty Phoenix squad. Nikola Jokic is playing like an MVP, yes, but those three wins also featured Murray doing playground shit. Denver won hearts and minds in the playoffs last season thanks to these two goobers and their fearless two-man game, and the best version of Denver will necessarily have to feature both Jokic and Murray at their boldest. Ripping one’s shooting sleeve off to more cleanly knife into the lane for a silly finish is a good start:

The next time out, Murray iced the game with a clean pull-up over Mr. Long Arms, Mikal Bridges:

By his own standards, that’s too normal a shot to be considered a true Murray banger. The next day, however, he outdid himself with a leaning, double-clutch fallaway right in the face of an even better and taller defender than Bridges (Deandre Ayton) to force overtime:

More of this, please!