Every warmup features Roger Murray.
Around an hour before every game, Roger is always seated behind the hoop, watching as his son walks the court for his pregame yelling ritual. Then, when Jamal has finished warming up, some last-minute father-son counsel before what has been consistently the most significant game in the Nuggets point guard’s life for the last several weeks.
“Show your enthusiasm. Roger Murray told DNVR that his advise to Jamal is to “know the moment.” “Try to achieve your objectives and make all the necessary efforts to do so.”
Murray and the Nuggets are almost there with their ultimate objective. Denver is only one victory away from winning its first NBA title, which can be achieved at Ball Arena tonight with a victory against the Miami Heat. Murray has also achieved a lot on a personal level this postseason.
He is averaging 26.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and only 2.3 turnovers per game in the playoffs (47.6 FG%, 40.1 3P%). Murray had more impressive statistics as the Nuggets made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals in 2020.
Murray’s scoring is down in the Finals against the Heat, largely because of the heightened focus and defensive strategy Miami has used through four games, but his assists are up. Murray will average the ninth-most assists in NBA Finals history and the most since Michael Jordan in 1991 if his 10.5 assists per game average continues. He is the only player in NBA history to start off the Finals with four consecutive games with 10+ assists.
Michael Porter Jr. said of Murray in April, “I feel like he’s better now than he was before the injury.”
That no longer seems to be a contentious issue. Murray is a different player now than he was in the playoffs of 2020 and the following season of 2020–21. More than ever, he is reading the court effectively. His degree of consciousness has changed from earlier years. He has evolved into a skilled floor general with no remaining weaknesses.
Michael Malone stated, “I’ve maintained for a long time that Jamal is not simply a scorer, and that’s been my challenge to him. That people just see him as a scorer should be an insult to him.
Murray is still capable of doing it. In eight of Denver’s 19 playoff games this postseason, he scored 30 points or more. In Minnesota’s second game, he scored 40 points. Then 35 in Game 5’s decisive victory against the Timberwolves for the Nuggets. Murray scored 37 points in both Games 2 and 3 against the Lakers. Murray had one of his best performances of his career in the Nuggets’ 15-point victory against the Heat in Game 3 thanks to 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Nikola Jokic stated, “He’s a pretty excellent leader out there. And we are just keeping up with him.
This postseason series has also been marked by Murray’s tendency to come through in crunch time. It has run through Murray’s whole professional career. During the most anxious minutes of the game, you have a tremendous amount of faith in Murray. In such circumstances, he lends a sense of serenity to the room. You trust him to always choose the best course of action. When Murray is in the limelight, his performance consistently improves.
Roger claims that has always been the case.
“This represents years of effort. Since he was a little child, Jamal has been doing this, Roger told DNVR, describing Jamal’s ability to perform well under pressure. He has consistently done this. He has been performing on the largest stage for a very long time. For him and me, this is nothing new. He has just improved with time.
You are already aware of Roger’s training regime that Jamal through while polishing his basketball abilities in Kitchener, Ontario. Jamal would crouch deep and balance mugs of boiling tea on his thighs. In the snow, he’d do pushups. To improve his ball handling, he would run hills before school and dribble a basketball on sheets of ice.
Murray plans out his strategy for the court later that evening before games. In order to create an even better image of the kind of play he wants to make, Murray will often inquire about the jersey Denver will be wearing for the Nuggets’ next game.
All of this has given Murray an endless amount of calmness and mental tenacity, which have been crucial to his performance throughout the most important parts of these playoffs.
Roger informed DNVR, “My training works, OK. “Whatever they say, my training is effective,” I said.
There isn’t enough attention being given right now to the fact that this is Murray’s first season after his ACL injury. After that kind of injury, players aren’t supposed to look this well in their first season back. But Murray has become rich by pushing everyone’s perceptions of him to new heights. He consistently leaves you wanting more, and he generally does.
One more time, Murray must perform. Murray and the Nuggets have a chance to leave their mark in Game 5. There is a title waiting to be won.
He’ll be prepared when it happens.
“We train for the moment because that’s the moment that we have to perform in,” Roger said to DNVR. “Everything is as it always has been. Anyone can complete it. But the present moment is what matters, and for that you labour.