With an inconsistent performance last season Dejounte Murray becoming a point guard dreamed by every San Antonio Spurs front office, coaching staff, teammates, and most of the fans. This is his second season after an ACL injury two years ago. The kid from Seattle having great chemistry with his teammates and Gregg Popovich giving him the freedom to play good basketball. Murray accepted the responsibility to help his team better after they missed the postseason for the first time in 23 years. The Spurs are now fifth in the Western Conference and beat 11 teams, six of it was from the top eight. The way Murray plays for the Spurs has been the reason. He almost doubled his double-double production as he made already 10 double-doubles compared to 12 last season. Dejounte Murray also made two triple-doubles this season.
When the Spurs front office extended him for the next four years for 64 million last year, most of the critics think it’s a bad idea. Without a developed jumper, an injury-prone, and questionable decision making it look likes the Spurs paying a kid without too much ceiling in his game. But the 2021 season is very different, Murray playing at his best so far. In the Spurs’ recent win, he poured 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and a career-high 8 steals. It was against the two time MVP Stephen Curry. When Murray made two errors in the closing minutes of the game the kid never bothered he composed his poised hits two clutch shots and a steal. Most of it, Dejounte Murray never let Stephen Curry put the ball in his hands to try to tie the game with a three that forced Draymond Green to forget himself as he thought he’s like Damian Lillard. That was how to handle himself against the face of the league. Murray isn’t like the point guards of the other teams who can score 50 or consistently 20 per game but he’s trying to fill his role to get his team a win every game. When they’re down in the second quarter with fourteen points, Murray lifted that offense to bring back the Spurs in the game. Disrupting the passing lane most of the game was perfect for him.
With the guidance of Gregg Popovich to give him more responsibility, the Spurs are showing what they’re capable of. Experts predicted the team that they will finish 29-43 but they already had 14 wins in the first 24 games. The work of Chip Englland with Dejounte Murray shot is one of the great stories. He’s been like a Tony Parker sometimes when he uses some screen to find a good jump shot. The point guard mentioned the clutch three that others will call it lucky but Murray said they perfected it on practice. With the right guidance of Spurs’ front office, Murray will likely make another all-defensive team which he’s the youngest member of it three years ago.
Dejounte Murray is a part of the team that the franchise was building for the future. At 24, he’s the leader of the young squad with Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Devin Vassell, and Jakob Poeltl. This is the youngest squad who had a great potential to be a contender in years to come. Imagine six guys who only one at age 26 that plays on both ends of the court? These guys could be a nightmare, maybe they aren’t getting enough credit because they’re a Spurs but if we look at the other younger team the Spurs had the better record. Look at the Dallas, New Orleans, or Minnesota although it’s far from the season.
Maybe this team needs another piece to complete the needs but this roster can make a great hell of a run either in the regular season or playoffs. Every game, the team had a different go-to guy either from veterans or the young squad. The steady rise of Dejounte Murray was among the Spurs’ best story.