The Arrow needs to make an appearance.
You know what’s crazy about the criticism Jamal Murray was subjected to for missing a 15-foot jump shot to take the lead and for turning the ball over at half court to end Game 1? Jamal was the only Nugget that was positive in (+/-) with a plus-5. Jamal scored 17 points on an off-night.
He played with an incredible energy on the defensive end and had five big steals for the game versus just two turnovers. Jamal wasn’t a liability to the Nuggets effort regardless of the outcome of his final two plays. We give him a break for several reasons, he was playing in his first playoff game, he tightened up in a big moment as a 21-year old.
We let Jamal off-the-hook because we love him and we wouldn’t be here without him. We need him, however, to bring out the Blue Arrow a little more often.
A solid Jamal putting in an above-average effort is plenty. He’s a fantastic player and the Nuggets benefit from his performances night-in and night-out. Blue Arrow Jamal is one of the top guards in the Western Conference, capable of dropping 48 on Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics. Jamal has a level where scoring is effortless, his creativity flawless. He’s inventive around the basket, he’s deadly from three, his mid-range game is sublime and oh, by the way, he might posterize you with a monster dunk.
Murray can and will be the complete package, a player feared on both ends of the floor, hated in rival locker rooms for his brash style, loved in Denver for the identity he gives the Nuggets.
All of that is coming to the Denver Nuggets, perhaps sooner than anyone could expect but for now, today, Jamal Murray is a 21-year old that still is more potential than realized success.
We know we won’t get the Arrow every game but we need to get him sometimes and for the playoffs, that need increases as the competition improves. Denver’s ability to move the ball and share the wealth is well-known but equally well known is that in the playoffs you need go-to guys.
Jamal has to be one of those guys.