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#pounditMonday, May 10, 2021

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray fires back at analyst for dissing Nuggets

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray may be injured right now, but he is still out here breaking the ankles of disrespectful analysts.

FOX Sports 1’s Nick Wright said on the network this week that Nuggets star Nikola Jokic should not win MVP this year. Wright’s reasoning was that Jokic would supposedly be the worst NBA MVP of the last 35 years.

Murray appeared to respond to the comments Thursday by tweeting, “Nick Wrong lol.”

Wright then proceeded to double-down on his remarks, saying that Jokic and the Nuggets do not pull in ratings.

That led to another response from Murray, who tweeted, “Just quit bruh u sound more of a fool than u did the day before.”

Jokic is the frontrunner for MVP this season with his gaudy numbers of 26.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game. Denver’s incredible record of 10-2 since Murray went down only further strengthens his case. Jokic is also a rather unique player to watch with his unconventional style and his passing wizardry from the center position.

Plenty of smaller-market players have won MVP in the last 35 years such as Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, and Karl Malone. While no center has won the award since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000, Jokic has both the statistics and the team success to justify an MVP nod. If your only argument against him is based on narrative, fan appeal, or market size, you probably don’t have a very good one.

As for Murray, he is definitely no stranger to confronting media members.

Jamal Murray out for season with torn ACL

Jamal Murray

The Denver Nuggets’ chances of making a deep postseason run took a huge hit on Tuesday, as Jamal Murray will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Murray has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Murray limped off the court during Monday’s game against the Golden State Warriors late in the fourth quarter. There was initially some optimism that the injury might not be serious after he refused a wheelchair, but unfortunately an MRI has confirmed the bad news. You can see a video of the play here.

The Nuggets entered Tuesday with a record of 34-20 and in fourth place in the Western Conference. Murray has averaged 21.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He had been dealing with right knee soreness prior to Monday, which led him to miss the previous four games.

Jamal Murray limps off floor with knee injury

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray went down in pain with a knee injury late in Monday night’s Denver Nuggets-Golden State Warriors game.

Murray was slashing to the basket late in the fourth quarter when he tried to leap for a layup attempt. He hurt his knee as he went up and ended up falling.

Murray was offered a wheelchair but pushed it aside. He ended up limping to the locker room.

Murray has been dealing with right knee soreness, which led him to miss the last four games prior to Monday. Murray wasn’t having his best shooting game. He was 5/15 in the game for 17 points in 33 minutes.

Video: Jamal Murray had hilarious reaction to Richard Jefferson in postgame interview

Jamal Murray

Video of a hilarious reaction Jamal Murray had when speaking with Richard Jefferson in a recent postgame interview went viral on Monday.

Murray scored 25 points in his Denver Nuggets’ 122-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 14. After the game, he participated in a postgame interview. But Murray didn’t know who his interview was with. He was stunned to hear the interviewer sternly tell him not to “yessir” him.

And who was on the other end of the interview? Jefferson. Stay until the end for Murray’s smile.

Murray himself enjoyed the video and tweeted about it.

The catch is that Jefferson is now a broadcaster after retiring from the NBA three years ago. His final season in 2017-2018 was spent with the Nuggets during Murray’s second season with the team.

Obviously Murray did not realize it was his former teammate doing the interview and was stunned to hear someone talk to him like that.

As we’ve seen, Jefferson can be pretty witty at a moment’s notice.

Jamal Murray recognized Nuggets’ error on final play

Jamal Murray

The Denver Nuggets committed a major blunder at the end of their loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night, and Jamal Murray took responsibility for his role in the mental lapse.

The Nuggets were trailing 112-110 with about five seconds remaining and had a 3-on-1 fast break opportunity. Rather than cut to the basket for what probably would have been an easy game-tying lineup, Facundo Campazzo and Michael Porter Jr. stopped at the three-point line. Murray kicked the ball to Campazzo, who missed the shot. You can see the video here.

Murray wasn’t as at fault for the play as Campazzo and Porter, but he held himself accountable on Twitter after the game.

“My fault Nuggets nation.. on to the next one.. STICK WITH US!!” he wrote.

Murray even shared an angle of how bad the play was:

Porter Jr. admitted he could have cut to the basket, but he defended the mentality of wanting to hit the game-winning shot.

“I looked at the play afterwards. One of us could’ve easily cut. Honestly, I could’ve cut and got a dunk,” Porter said, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “But we were just thinking, one of us is going to get a three. If the shot goes in, no one’s talking about it.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone did a good job of summing up the blunder after the game. Porter is right that no one would have criticized the play if Campazzo hit the game-winner, but he didn’t. Taking a low-percentage shot was not the right decision in that situation.

Jamal Murray makes history with unique 50-point game

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray took the road less traveled to his 50-point game on Friday. In fact, he took a road completely untraveled.

Murray scored 50 points in the Denver Nuggets’ 120-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Amazingly, he did so without attempting a single free throw. He became the first ever player to score 50 points in a game without attempting a free throw.

Murray shot an impressive 21/25 from the field and went 8/10 on threes. It was his sharp outside shooting that did the trick.

Incredibly, the Elias Sports Bureau says that Murray’s 84 percent mark from the field is second only to Wilt Chamberlain for the highest percentage in a 50-point game in the shot-clock era.

While Murray was on fire, most of his teammates were content to feed him the ball. Nikola Jokic ended up with 10 assists and only attempted eight field goals. Michael Porter Jr., who had 22 points, was the only other Nuggets player with double-digit shot attempts.

Jokic had a great quote about Murray, comparing him to a flamethrower.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone was blown away as well by the performance.

“To do it as efficiently as he did it is really remarkable,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. “That’s an incredible stat line.”

It was incredible, and it’s also the first of its kind.

Nuggets reportedly unwilling to part with this player in James Harden trade

James Harden

The Denver Nuggets can put together a very competitive trade package for James Harden, but one particular player is off-limits for them.

Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported on Tuesday that the Nuggets will not trade Jamal Murray in any potential deal for Harden.

Murray, 23, was a breakout star of the Orlando bubble, helping lead Denver to a surprise Western Conference Finals berth with his sharp shooting and knack for taking over in the clutch. Murray also has tremendous chemistry with Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic, the other untouchable on their roster.

The Nuggets still have some intriguing young players to offer in a Harden deal. Michael Porter Jr., Bol Bol, RJ Hampton, and PJ Dozier are all 24 or younger with varying levels of upside. Gary Harris, Will Barton, and Monte Morris are also quality rotation pieces who are still in their 20s as well.

The Harden situation in Houston seems to be worsening daily, so it seems at least plausible that Denver could get him without having to give up Murray.

Video: Jamal Murray recreated the Michael Jordan layup

Jamal Murray layup

Jamal Murray continued to show his spectacular skills during a Game 4 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

Late in the second quarter of the Denver Nuggets’ 114-108 loss to the Lakers, Murray drove to the basket to try making a play. He saw LeBron James standing in his path and faked out James by switching from a dunk attempt to the layup. The hangtime he got on the play was incredible:

The layup was unreal and reminded many of Michael Jordan’s famous layup against the New Jersey Nets in 1991.

Both plays were awesome, and they sure resemble each other.

Murray probably doesn’t care about the plaudits for the layup since his team lost. The Nuggets trail the Lakers 3-1 in the series.

This is the second game in a row that Murray has showcased his talent.

Jamal Murray buries Lakers in Game 3 with clutch shooting

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray turned Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday into a personal highlight reel.

Murray led his team with 28 points and 12 assists in the 114-106 win. He came up with some huge clutch shots.

Murray made a 3-pointer to put Denver up by seven with just over two minutes left:

Unsatisfied, Murray had a heat check a minute and a half later. He buried another 3-pointer, this one from even deeper.

Few players have showcased their talent in the “NBA Bubble” better than Murray has.

He averaged 18.5 points per game during the regular season and is averaging 26.6 points per game this postseason. He and Donovan Mitchell were trading big baskets in the first round of the playoffs. Murray is continuing to put on a show.