Bad night for Jamal Murray


Josue Ramirez, Contributing Writer

On Tuesday night, Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic scored 39 points and pulled down 16 rebounds with the MVP announcement around the corner. Nikola Jokic was the storyline in this victory, giving them a 2-0 lead over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals.  Devin Booker led the Phoenix Suns with 35 points and Kevin Durant, the biggest mystery box, was only able to contribute 24 points and combined a total of 32 missed shots including 14 from long range. This game was neck-to-neck up until the halfway point of the 4th quarter.

The Suns missed so many shots that they could have built a house with all the bricks they were shooting. Jokic shone bright like a diamond last night, before he knew if he’d edged Joel Embiid  from the 76ers and Giannis Antetokounmpo from Milwaukee Bucks for his third consecutive NBA MVP  award, recently renamed for Michael Jordan. The award was announced on Wednesday and it went to Joel Embiid from the 76ers. Micheal Malone, the head coach states “Nikola Jokic ain’t motivated by winning his third MVP title,” but is instead hungry as a hyena to win the Denver Nuggets their first ever title this NBA season. 

Nikola Jokic surely showed last night that he is indeed worth every penny of the contract. He could legitimately close the doors on the Phoenix Suns on Friday with a win to put them up 3-0, because no team in NBA history has ever come back from being down 3-0. Jokic has stepped up to the plate as of now in this series. 

The Phoenix Suns were able to lock down the Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray for most of the game with 10 points, but obviously they didn’t do their homework on Nikola Jokic. Phoenix Suns

Jokic’s big night performance was very important due to Jamal Murray’s poor shooting night going 3 for 15 and missing all of his nine 3 pointers attempted.  Jamal Murray is known for just slithering through his opponents with the basketball, almost like a snake in the jungle. His quick steps with his feet and the ability for him to shoot contested shots is so much fun to watch. It’s almost as if he’s calculating those shots in his mind.

Nikola Jokic is a giant height-wise and physically, which allows him to move with insane power, towering over the other players. But when Kevin Durant was mostly needed in the 4th quarter with the game right there for him to snag, he did not show up. It’s like he kept himself hiding in a cave and couldn’t find his way out, leading him to this never ending struggle. The basketball would dance around the rim every time KD shot it. 

The Suns were outscored 30 points from long range this series. Monty Williams, the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, claims his team will find their way out of this soon and that they will take care of business in Denver. 

 When looking for the keys to victory in game 3, the Nuggets must remain calm and very eager. The Suns starting lineup needs to contribute more for Devin Booker or else this could be the end for the Valley of the Suns.  We’ll probably begin seeing center Deandre Ayton from the Suns step up his game, with so much on the line in game 3. Every time Devin Booker is out there on the court he’s always shooting fireballs. And it’s amazing to see. It’s fair to say he has a good eye for the ball. The Phoenix Suns played a great game defensively for most of the game but couldn’t find any rhythm outside of Devin Booker; this needs to be fixed right now, because Jamal Murray won’t have another bad night for Denver. You would expect the Suns to play with desperation mode  every minute of  Friday’s game on May 5, 2023. 

I don’t think this series will go more than 5 games.  The Denver Nuggets will keep playing efficiently, and they will keep playing with a chip on their shoulder. Denver will need players like Porter Jr. on their bench to combine for good minutes from everyone. The Phoenix Suns wouldn’t even be in this position if Kawhi Leonard didn’t get hurt for the LA Clippers. The Clippers won game 1 in Phoenix and showed a lot of promise, but then he went down with an injury and didn’t play the rest of the series. The Denver Nuggets are not to be messed with right now.