Murray has had an excellent second season, refusing to fall subject to the infamous "sophomore slump". Instead of hitting a wall, Murray has hit his stride. His game on Thursday night was the culmination of his season thus far. Murray scored 33 points, his second-highest mark this season, to go along with three rebounds and five assists (with only one turnover) as the Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder thanks to a Gary Harris game-winner. It was a huge win for Denver, who is teetering on the edge of the playoffs, and while Harris' shot will receive some well-deserved credit, Murray was the real reason Denver had a chance to win that game. This season, Murray is averaging 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three, and 93.1 percent from the free throw line. All impressive improvements from his rookie season, but the first month of 2018 brought out an even deadlier - and somehow more efficient - Jamal Murray. Since the new year began, Murray is averaging 18.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting (and this is where it gets exciting) 48.1 percent from the field, 44.2 (FORTY-FOUR POINT TWO) percent from three, and 95.1 (NINETY-FREAKING-FIVE POINT ONE) percent from the free throw line. Murray has been hotter than molten lava shooting out of a volcano directly into the sun. He's embarrassing defenders, scoring from anywhere he wants to on the court, and putting up 30-point games like he's, well, Devin Booker.
After tonight's game, Jamal Murray is slashing 45.5 FG% / 38.1 3P% / 93.1 FT%.Only one player in NBA history has done that in their 1st or 2nd season. pic.twitter.com/vtPpovtdrA — Ryan Blackburn (@NBABlackburn) February 2, 2018
? JAMAL MURRAY IS NOT JUST A SHOOTERAND-1 SLAM pic.twitter.com/iCEnwsDClJ — Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 20, 2018
It was Jamal Murray's night in DenverHe dropped a career-high 38 points in the #Nuggets win over over the #Blazers ??? pic.twitter.com/h8iXqyJTjf — Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 23, 2018
OHHH JAMAL MURRAY ? pic.twitter.com/tEAhMqBXSz— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 20, 2018
(All of the videos above happened in the last month) Murray is a top-tier shooter, we already know this. His seven games of at least 30 points this season (three of which have come since Jan. 1) and advanced stats tell us everything. He shoots in the 90.4 percentile on spot-up jumpers and his 68.1 effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot opportunities is better than Paul George and teammate Gary Harris. But what we're seeing more and more from Murray is his ability to make plays for others. Playing with a seven-foot elite playmaker such as Nikola Jokic has apparently rubbed off on him. Not only is he dishing out dimes, he's a high-level rebounder for someone his size.
Andre Iguodala had to sit and think about this move from Jamal Murray ? pic.twitter.com/J7ecFS4LKw— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 9, 2018
In the ever-transforming NBA, where positions are becoming more and more meaningless, Murray has found his spot. He's not a point guard. He's not a shooting guard. He's impossible to guard, and it doesn't matter where he's at on the court. If the ball is in his hands, he is set out to score. And score, and score, and score some more. Murray is one of the most exciting players in the NBA. Not only can he drop 10 points in a matter of minutes, but he has fun while doing it. His signature "Blue-Arrow" celebration has followed him to Denver and he's been raining down shots all season. He's the first player to pound his fists in the air after a big bucket, even if he wasn't the one who hit it. He shows incredible heart and simply wants to win more than anything.
Jamal Murray ? Mason Plumlee(via @clippittv) pic.twitter.com/DxyFQUMUex — Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 30, 2018
“I’ve been working for this. I come from a small city in Canada, trying to get my looks, trying to get my attention.All I can do is break more ankles and score more points to do that. I ain’t stopping, and I don’t see nobody stopping me either.” - Jamal Murray, 20 years old. pic.twitter.com/1YkYuLlJBj — Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 2, 2018