At each level that the Kitchener, Ontario native, Jamal Murray, has competed in – he’s dominated. Throughout the start of his professional career, there has undoubtedly been a significant adjustment period with a few hurdles in his path, but Murray, drafted by Denver with the seventh-overall pick out of Kentucky in the 2016 draft has persevered and is currently reaping the benefits.
The NBA has announced that Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets has been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November.
With Joel Embiid being honoured as the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, Murray is in great company; joining Carmelo Anthony, Dikembe Mutumbo & Kenneth Faried as the fourth Nugget to be named Rookie of the Month.
Despite his early struggles, Murray has settled into a groove, averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists throughout his first 18 games (two starts). Additionally, he is shooting 41.6% (32-77 3FG) from three-point range and 81.8% (27-33 FT) from the free throw line.
Murray finished his first month in the NBA ranked second in scoring amongst rookies (first in the Western Conference), third in free throw percentage, fourth in three-point percentage, ninth in field goal percentage, ninth in assists and 10th in rebounds. He also ranks first among rookies in made threes with 32, 10 more than the next closest rookie.
The Kentucky product and pride of Kitchener, Ontario has hit multiple threes in 10 games thus far through the season, along with a career-high five on two occasions.
Murray also achieved the feat of pulling off three straight 20-point games from Nov. 22 through Nov. 25. On Nov. 13 at Portland, he exploded for 12 points in just 27 seconds, becoming the first player in at least 20 years to score 12+ points in under 30 seconds according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Murray has established himself as a reliable piece in Mike Malone’s guard centric rotation and system, as he’s been the recipient of many sets on the offensive end being prepared for him to attack and create efficiently.
With the rhythm that Murray has catapulted himself into, there will be no surprise if he attracts double-teams in the near future, as he’s proven that he can be a streaky shooter throughout this first month of play. Murray has had an immediate impact with his role either starting or coming off the bench as a main reserve, as he’s provided efficiently on both ends of the court. Watch out for the Canadian being in the midst of conversation for Rookie of the Year by season’s end.