If Nikola Jokic is the best player in the NBA right now, then Jamal Murray is the Scottie Pippen to his version of Michael Jordan.
Jokic is undoubtedly the leader of this team, both on the court and in the locker room, but Murray is not getting the hype he deserves for backing the Joker up night after night.
“That 2-man game [in Nikola Jokic & Jamal Murray] is super lethal… Me & [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] find ourselves in the corner a lot but it’s for the spacing so that the 2-man game will work.”
—Michael Porter Jr.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 3, 2023
I wanted to look at Murray’s stats throughout the playoffs and predict his performance through the rest of The Finals, including NBA odds for Game 2 props.
Murray’s Regular Season vs Playoffs Stats
While Murray’s performance exploded during the playoffs, he wasn’t exactly struggling during the regular season. The Nuggets’ point guard finished the regular season with a 20-point average with 6.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He ranked second on the team in points and assists behind Jokic.
He may not boast All-Star stats, but he more than chipped in during the regular season and helped the Nuggets earn the top seed in the Western Conference.
Cut to the NBA Postseason, and Murray’s stats have shot through the roof.
He averaged 27.2 points per game in the Conference Quarterfinals against the Dallas Mavericks, 24.8 in the Semifinals against the Phoenix Suns, and a bonkers 32.5 PPG in the Nuggets’ sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The series against LA was his high point as Murray scored 37 points in back-to-back games and averaged over 41 minutes per game. He scored 14-15 from the charity stripe and shot over 40% behind the arc.
The Nuggets were also going to beat the Lakers, but Murray was a significant contributor to Denver’s four-game sweep of LA.
In Game 1 of The NBA Finals, Murray stayed hot with 26 points, six rebounds, and 10 assists in his debut. It was his sixth straight game of 25 points or more.
Jamal Murray has his 6th straight 25-point game, the longest streak of his career (reg. season or playoffs).
The only Nuggets with longer playoff streaks are Alex English (12) and Carmelo Anthony (7). pic.twitter.com/5HPtKRvtEJ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 2, 2023
Murray and Jokic became the first pair of teammates to record 10+ assists in their NBA Finals debut. Both eclipsed the NBA lines on their props regarding assists, while Murray also went over in points and rebounds.
According to the man himself, when interviewed by Rachel Nichols about how he’s staying hot in the playoffs, Murray stated, “I’m not playing shy.”
“I’m not playing shy.” Jamal Murray explains how he’s stayed so hot through the teeth of these playoffs – last night marked his sixth straight game scoring 25 or more. @shobasketball pic.twitter.com/oGx4I7nrIi
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 2, 2023
With an average of more than 22 shots per game, Murray is indeed not playing shy.
NBA Finals Game 2 Prop Odds
Murray is an attractive option regarding NBA bets on player props for Game 2 of the Finals. He consistently overachieves and is seeing fantastic results against his prop odds.
In Game 2, Murray’s odds are -110 to go Over 38 ½ Points + Rebounds + Assists. The total is a mark Murray has eclipsed in four of his last five games. It’s an impressive run, especially during the NBA Playoffs.
After making an average of 3.8 3-pointers per game over his previous five starts, I also like his +115 odds to go over 3½ made 3-point field goals.
The most exciting prop on Murray is his +650 odds of winning the NBA Finals MVP. It’s the same odds as Jimmy Butler and far more profitable than Jokic at -550. It’s a long shot, don’t get me wrong. But if any player on the Nuggets is talented enough to challenge for the MVP, it’s Murray.
Finally, Murray is +2000 to record a triple-double in any NBA Finals game. He was four rebounds short in Game 1, but I may be tempted to sprinkle a few bucks on this juicy prop.