You could be forgiven if Jamal Murray had maybe slipped under your radar prior to the NBA restart in Orlando. But over the past couple of seasons, he’s become one of the most lethal combo guards in the league and has helped propel the Nuggets to deep postseason runs.
His performances inside the Bubble were a big coming out party, especially in the opening round when he went toe-to-toe with Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz, exploding for multiple 50-point games and gutting out a grueling seven-game series to advance and meet the Clippers in the conference semifinals.
Murray was playing like he something to prove, but beyond the primary goal of adding legendary playoff performances to his resume, it appears he found his motivation from other areas, as well, from things that had little or nothing to do with what was happening on the court.
In a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast, Murray admitted that he was at least partially motivated by not wanting to have to pack up his room and leave the Bubble.
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) November 17, 2020
Murray, of course, went on to stage a huge upset in the second round against the Clippers, who many pundits had pegged as the favorites to win the title. Murray was electric in that series as well and continued his outstanding play all the way into the conference finals, where Denver fell to the eventual champion Lakers.
But there will be no more Bubble in the coming season, as teams are set to return to some semblance of a normal schedule when the new season tips off on Dec. 22, although it remains unclear what the fan situation will be inside arenas as the nation awaits the ongoing development a vaccine that will hopefully help stem the tide of the pandemic that has once again been on the rise. Even though the Nuggets will be able to play at home this year, they might want to threaten Murray with needing to do household tasks if he doesn’t perform, because it’s apparently a very successful motivational tool for him.