Has Jamal Murray Become a Top 5 Point Guard in the NBA?
- Jamal Murray entered this season as a slightly above average point guard with a lot of potential.
- He’s had a historic playoff run that will force many people to reconsider his place among the elite.
- Although he’s never made an all-star team, Murray can make a claim as a top-five point guard in the league.
Jamal Murray can’t be stopped.
He’s been on an epic tear in these playoffs. After going down 1-3 to the Utah Jazz, doubters were sure the Nuggets were done. They were especially sure after the juggernaut Clippers put them in the same position.
After mounting furious comebacks against both teams, everyone was certain they didn’t stand a chance against LeBron James and the Lakers after going in an 0-2 hole:
But here we are. The Nuggets have a chance to tie the series tonight, and for Jamal Murray, that’s a disappointment.
“We feel like we should be up 2-1 right now,” he said in a postgame presser on Tuesday.
It raises the question, how far has Murray climbed in the rankings of NBA point guards during this epic postseason?
Jamal Murray Has a Run for the Ages
After two 50-point explosions against Utah, Murray has settled into a playoff average of 26.6 points-per-game. His three-point shooting has been unconscious. He’s trailing only Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and J.R. Smith for the most three-pointers in a playoff run ever. And he’s played one less series they did in their runs.
Check out one of his explosions here:
Oh, and he’s canning them at a ridiculous 47.7% pace.
Not only that, but he’s improved his assist average from 4.8 per-game in the regular season to 6.5 in the playoffs.
He’s making these leaps when it matters the most, and it’s time to rethink his status among the NBA’s elite.
Where Does He Rank Among the Top Point Guards?
There are a few names that he’s still not touching. Damian Lillard has cemented himself as a top-three point guard. And even though we didn’t see much of him this year, Steph Curry is still number one on the list.
Despite his age, Chris Paul is proving that his all-around game is still elite. After these three, if we omit point-forwards like Ben Simmons and LeBron James, things start to get interesting.
Amid his lackluster playoff run this year, it’s fair to assume that Murray has passed Kemba Walker. Walker is only shooting 30% from three, and he’s generally taken a backseat to the Celtics’ wing trio.
It leaves us with a close race between Murray, Kyrie Irving, and Kyle Lowry.
Can We Still Consider Kyrie Irving Elite?
Kyrie Irving has also pieced together one of the most impressive playoff runs in recent memory that ended epically when he and LeBron James took out the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
We all remember this shot:
As great as his performance was that year, it still wasn’t necessarily better than Murray’s current run. Jamal Murray’s PER is higher than Irving’s playoff run in 2016 (24.5 to 24.4), and he’s averaged more points and assists.
Irving has since been seen as a destroyer of team chemistry, as evidenced by his brief run in Boston and his shaky start in Brooklyn. Sure he won the title, but he had arguably the greatest player ever by his side.
Kyle Lowry deserves a spot on the list because he does everything well.
And Murray is a great teammate with the right attitude and all the talent in the world. He should enter next season as a top-five NBA point guard.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.