Coming off a career season and a nasty ACL injury, the sky is still the limit for Jamal Murray. He and the Nuggets have no reason to calm the expectations entering the 2021-22 season. Read up on how Jamal finally broke through before his injury and where he goes from here.
Season averages (per game): 21.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.3 turnovers
Shooting splits: 47.7% FG, 86.9% FT, 40.8% 3p on 6.6 attempts per game
More (extra & interesting) stats:
- Career-highs in points, 3p%, FG% and steals
- Averaged 4.8 assists each of last three seasons
- First season scoring over 20 points a game
- Averaged 25 points in February (12 games)
This past season
The ACL monster came for Jamal Murray in 2021. In a season defined by injuries, Murray was one of many stars who saw their season cut short by one.
What may go unnoticed is the improvement Jamal made from his fourth to fifth year prior to the injury. Obviously, he was astounding in last fall’s Playoff Bubble, but Murray had never come close to putting up the numbers he did in Orlando during the regular season.
Heading into 2021, he had career regular-season averages of 15 points and just under four assists. He was also right at 35% from three and wasn’t a plus on the defensive end either. He was simply an average player from an efficiency standpoint, and 15 a game nowadays is nothing.
However, in 2021, he started off like the Jamal of old, but kicked his game into the next gear in February. I mentioned in the stats section he ripped the League open to the tune of 25 points per game on 46% shooting from three.
Prior to February, Murray was replicating his stats from 2019-20. 18 points, almost 5 assists, mid-30s from three. But in February, March and April, he went on an absolute tear right before going down for the year.
From February 12th until he was injured in early April, Murray averaged 23.8 points and 5.2 assists while shooting 50% from the field and 45% from three. He turned a corner as a regular-season player in the final few months of his season.
We knew he could do it in the Playoffs, but he had never shown enough consistency over the course of the whole season. In the back half of the 2021 campaign, he did.
Recovery is the focus right now for Murray. He can’t score 24 points a game on a bum knee. But when he gets back, he’ll have to replicate the consistency he showed in this spring.
This Denver team is headed by a reigning MVP and is flanked by Murray and Michel Porter Jr. — two players who could fill up the cup for 25 a game if they didn’t play with other offensive superpowers. Murray has a chance to be one peg on a future powerhouse of the NBA heading into the 2020s.
Very few franchises have ever been able to organically put three offensive players together of Jokic, Murray and Porter’s talent level. They could be the next Warriors, a homegrown group of offensive juggernauts that take the league by storm.
The time is now for Denver. They have the talent to win big and they sort of did in 2020 by getting to the West Finals.
If Murray returns healthy and can remain consistent while Michael Porter Jr. continues to grow more comfortable… Denver could have a contender in the saddle in 2021-22.