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‘Overthinking’ was cause of Jamal Murray’s early-season shooting slump

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray dealt with a rough start to the season after being named the starting point guard for the Denver Nuggets at the end of a preseason battle with former two-year starter Emmanuel Mudiay.

The Kentucky product put up single-digit scoring performances in four of his first five games of the season, shooting a ghastly 35 percent and under from the floor during that stint, which made some question if head coach Mike Malone had taken the right decision.

Like his counterpart Devin Booker, Murray had earned his coach’s vote of confidence only one year into his professional career after seeing enough flashes of brilliance during his first season to warrant competition during training camp.

The 6-foot-5 converted point guard rebounded impressively through his next three games, netting 26, 20, and 24 points — all over 50 percent from the floor as the Nuggets managed to get back to the .500 mark after Wednesday’s 129-111 win over Toronto.

So what sparked the sudden change? New teammate Paul Millsap had all the right answers.

“The more you press, the worse it gets,” the 11-year veteran told his second-year teammate, according to Gina Mizell of The Denver Post.

Murray noted he was “overthinking” things to start the season, which caused his struggles from the floor. His coach has also noted the vast difference in his play, after Murray knocked down 60 percent of his shots in the last three games, including a 41 percent mark from deep.

“He’s not backing down, and I see his confidence growing in the last four or five games,” Malone said. “He’s a different Jamal Murray than we saw earlier in the season.”