Murray recently opened up about his recipe for success while inside the bubble, and as it turns out, it has a lot to do with sleep. A lot of sleep, that is.
“I go to bed around 12 or 1 (on the nights before games), wake up around nine or 10, and then I’ll sleep after shoot-around for like five hours,” Murray told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “That’s just me. That’s the way I prepare for games.”
“Oh yeah,” he continued. “It’s been that way in the bubble. I normally sleep like two (hours before games during normal times). I sleep good at night too. But if I’m here for basketball, then I’m going to be here for basketball.”
Needless to say, Jamal Murray loves his sleep.
Then again, it's not just all about Murray's incessant desire for shut-eye. In a way, this is also one of his outlets from both the physical and mental stress brought about by being inside the bubble.
“Paul George had said something about depression, about stress in the bubble, and it’s real,” Murray said. “It’s really real, and it’s hard to deal with — being away from the fam. … But for me, (basketball) is an addiction. I go by the pool, get my mind off basketball, come back, and get ready to go. When I put my addiction to basketball, it shows on the court. I go in for an extra lift. I lift twice (on game-days) — before shoot-around and before the game. I prepare myself mentally.
“(The mental health struggle) is a real thing, and I could see it. There’s time when you’re like, ‘Man, I feel like I’m in jail sometimes.’ But you go back, play basketball, have a good (practice), talk to your guys — and they’re like brothers to me — so it all helps and it all works out.”
Murray clearly had the right frame on mind on Tuesday, as he played a huge role in Denver's shocking 104-89 win over the Clippers. That's now back-to-back series that the Nuggets have come back from being 3-1 down, so at this point, there's no denying that this team possesses the mental fortitude to succeed in the league. Not to mention the talent they have on this squad.
The Nuggets will now face off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, with Game 1 scheduled for Friday. Murray will need to be at his very best throughout that series, for Denver to have a legitimate chance at another upset.