The Denver Nuggets are up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals thanks to Jamal Murray’s 23-point fourth quarter outburst in Game 2. It appeared as though the Los Angeles Lakers were going to be able to tie the series at one game each thanks in large part to shooting struggles from Murray, who shot just 5-for-12 from the field through three quarters before displaying some remarkable shotmaking in the fourth en route to a 37-point night.
The performance was akin to his Bubble playoff run that gave him the nickname “Bubble Murray,” and the fourth quarter shooting display was so effective that 2-time MVP Nikola Jokic did not even register a shot attempt in the game’s final 12 minutes.
Murray’s performance was a reminder of just how dominant the 1-seed Nuggets can be. It has been two seasons since Murray last played in the playoffs due to an ACL injury, and Denver’s guard thinks people have forgotten the level he can reach. He sat down with Andscape’s Marc Spears to make clear that he believes he’s not given the credit he deserves for what he can do on the court, but understands there is one very easy way to remedy things.
“I don’t think I get enough respect as I should be,” Murray said. “I’m better than a lot of players in the league. Every time I see rankings of guys I think, ‘Man, that is crazy.’ Maybe it’s because I have been out for so long. But if we win the chip, it changes everything.”
Denver employs Jokic, the two-time MVP who has a great case for best player in the world, and spent the majority of the season as the 1-seed in the Western Conference. Despite that, the belief as the postseason approached was that the Western Conference was more open than ever. Murray believing that he and the Nuggets have not garnered the respect they deserve very well might be justified, but if they can secure a Finals berth by taking down LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers, maybe the league will finally see them for the contender they’ve always shown themselves to be.