While everyone is on the Serbian sensation Nikola Jokic train, Jamal Murray is quietly becoming the Denver Nuggets’ future point guard star. The league has seen glimpses of Jamal’s genius, especially during All-Star Weekend after winning the Rising Stars MVP. In the midst of the Nuggets point guard conundrum, have we finally seen the talented future Denver holds or is simply just a mirage. Post All-Star Break stats show Jamal Murray possessing much more talent than Denver could ever want.
In this day and age, the NBA point guard has evolved. Point guards were regarded as the playmakers and ball dominant teammates who controlled the pace and the floor. Today, players are starting to become positionless on how they play and everyone has the ability to do what the point guard used to do so now what? Point guards are now expected to be the team’s leader, sharpshooter, lane splitter, and solid defender. Players still utilize the position they play at but the point guards are like the singers of a band. They are the face of the team and always will be. Sure there are teams who revolve around their stars that are not point guards like Towns, Porzingis, Embiid, and now Jokic, but people still remember the guard who plays alongside of them. Think of it like Van Halen. Everyone goes to see Eddie Van Halen but everyone sings along with David Lee Roth. The Nuggets have found their star in Nikola Jokic and have added players who work well with him such as Gary Harris. Now it is time to find Jokic a point guard who can not only work with him, but lead Denver as well.
Since the beginning of the ’16-17 season Denver has had multiple changes at the point guard position. As of now, veteran Jameer Nelson has the start and previous starter Emmanuel Mudiay is lucky to see any minutes at all while Jamal Murray is still getting a nice amount of minutes coming off the bench. Honestly, Murray needs more. At the beginning of this season, he was having a hard time settling into the NBA but he has found his rhythm. Recently, due to Mudiay’s injury and lack of play, he’s been getting a gradual increase in minutes. With those minutes has come more wins, but I’m not directly correlating the wins with Jamal’s performance. I’m just saying it is definitely helping this Denver team finish these final games strong and come out with win.
Monday night’s primetime game against the Los Angeles Lakers, starter Jameer Nelson played for 28 minutes and went 2-5 on field goals scoring only 5 points. Back up Jamal Murray came off the bench to play for 29 minutes and went on to go 8-13 scoring 22 points. The Blue Arrow also went 5-8 from three that night while grabbing 2 rebounds and picking up 3 assists. The Nuggets then went on to beat the Lakers 129-101 making it their third win in a row. If Jamal Murray can keep this up for the final games at a consistent rate, he may become the starter and even come into contention for the Rookie of the Year award.