Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic isn't surprised that Jamal Murray has emerged as a superstar. With the Nuggets awaiting their opponent in the 2023 NBA Finals, Jokic told reporters that Murray has shown a desire to be a great player since his rookie season.
“He always had that fight inside him…always hungry for more,” Nikola Jokic said of Jamal Murray.
"He always had that fight inside him…always hungry for more."
Nikola Jokic on Jamal Murray's drive & work ethic 🔥pic.twitter.com/OqI71sILz7
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 27, 2023
Jokic was named the MVP of the 2023 Western Conference Finals, but Murray's impact can't be overstated. Murray averaged 32.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game in the Nuggets' sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers. Murray shot 52.7% from the field and only totaled seven turnovers over four games.
Murray was better than LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the Nuggets punched their first-ever ticket to the NBA Finals. The point guard led Denver's Game 2 comeback when Los Angeles seemed poised to steal home-court advantage. Murray's 23 first-quarter points lifted the Nuggets in Game 3.
It looked like Murray was on his way to being recognized as one of the NBA's greatest players three years ago. He had a pair of 50-point games during Denver's 2020 playoff run inside the NBA bubble. A torn ACL the following year, however, prevented Murray from playing in both the 2021 and 2022 playoffs.
Murray averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and a career-high 6.2 assists in the 2022-2023 regular season. He has yet to make an All-Star team.
Jokic and Murray might have the best chemistry of any duo in the entire league. They've been teammates with the Nuggets since the 2016-2017 season.
The Nuggets will face either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat in the NBA Finals Thursday night.