Murray has been an Ironman.
Think about it, when’s the last time you can remember Jamal missing a game? It’s okay, there’s only one game he’s missed, it was in January of 2017 against the Clippers and he was in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
That’s it, Murray has played in 245 of 246 NBA games for his career.
Some would say that the Ironman streak is a testament to Murray’s core strength or his stamina or work ethic. Some would say he’s due.
The reality is somewhere in the middle, like all things are, Murray is in great shape but he’s also been incredibly lucky with his health. There’s an inevitability to the injury game, it gets everyone at some point.
Murray says he’s added 15 pounds of muscle to his 6’3″ frame in the offseason, presumably to be more rugged, able to fight over screens or through contact. If the added strength leads Jamal to play with more abandon, that’s a concern. He’s already willing to put his body at risk, a more aggressive stance will invite injury and that’s a scary proposition.
Let’s hope coach Malone and Jamal are on the same page, Malone has options in the above mentioned reserves to lessen the load on Jamal. Keeping Murray healthy and productive through all 82 games is absolutely a key to this team’s postseason aspirations and success.