Jamal Murray has yet to make a single field goal attempt.
The Denver Nuggets first pick in the 2016 draft, who’s greatest strength as a player is his ability to make shots from the perimeter, has missed his first 16 field goal attempts. The advanced stats show that he would need to make every one of his next 16 field goal attempts in order to shooting 50 percent from the field.
Hot take: If Jamal Murray literally never makes a shot, he will have a hard time sticking in the NBA.— Steve McPherson (@steventurous) November 4, 2016
.@canishoopus I mean literally. Like if he ends the season 0-247.— Steve McPherson (@steventurous) November 4, 2016
Is this even possible?
According to Basketball Reference, the longest streak in the NBA since 2011 without a made field goal is 14 games, shared by current Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson (2013-14 season into the 2014-15 season), Tony Snell (2014-15 season), and Reggie Bullock (2015-16 season). None of these players were playing consistently, and Watson had his streak run through two seasons.
Murray is playing 16.5 minutes per game, and started against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. He’s averaging four attempts per game, and if we extrapolate that out to an entire season, assuming he plays 82 games, he’d finish 0-328 from the field.
Clearly, this would be the darkest timeline for Jamal Murray.
What would a darkest timeline season look like for Jamal Murray? Here’s my take on the state of a world where Jamal Murray attempts 328 field goals without making a single one.
Tuesday, November 8, Nuggets @ Grizzlies
Murray walks off the court, having missed all his field goal attempts to reach 28 missed shots in a row. After showering, taking a dip in a cold bath, and speaking to the media, he swipes open his phone to a breaking news alert.
“Russian hackers compromise results of election, U.S. Supreme Court orders candidates to campaign for an additional six months.”
Murray puts his phone to sleep, closes his eyes, and thanks the basketball gods for Justin Trudeau.
Friday, November 25, Thunder @ Nuggets
As millions of shoppers rush to get the best new merchandise at the lowest prices, Murray meditates on all the things he has in his life to be grateful for. He sits in a corner of the Nuggets “practice facility” and silently whispers his list to himself.
“Family, friends, education,” before the memory that he has missed 56 field goal attempts in a row slips into his calmed mind, snapping him back to reality as head coach Michael Malone walks onto the court.
“Hey, Jamal, Gary and Will are out tonight, and the coaching staff, we’ve decided it would be best for you to guard Westbrook tonight, that cool?”
“Yeah, coach, whatever I can do to help the team,” he responds,
“Who knows, maybe tonight you’ll get that first bucket too, we believe in you!” Malone says back, turning and exiting through the side doors.
Later that evening, Westbrook posterizes Murray so viciously, Brandon Knight’s soul is finally released from poster hell and set free to play basketball once again.
Thursday, December 15, Trail Blazers @ Nuggets
After Murray finished another game without a made field goal, extending his streak to 26 games and 104 field goal attempts, the Nuggets organize a team outing to go see the new Star Wars film.
“Rogue One” is so laughably terrible, it replaces “The Phantom Menace” as the worst film in the franchise. Murray, a huge Star Wars fan, slips further into a state of despair.
“If Jyn Erso can’t even save her father, how can I ever make a shot in the NBA?” his Uber driver hears him muttering to himself as he weeps in the backseat of the Lincoln Navigator.
Thursday, January 5, Spurs @ Nuggets
The Nuggets get a national broadcast game on TNT, and the studio crew takes some time to talk about how Murray has missed 140 straight field goals.
“That boy just flat out sucks at scoring the basketball, he’s terrible,” Sir Charles pipes in after Ernie brings up Murray.
The studio crew toss over to Area 21 for Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett, who gratuitously use the Cuss Button while making fun of the Nuggets rookie.
Wednesday, February 15, Timberwolves @ Nuggets
It’s the final game before the All-Star break, and Murray has missed 224 consecutive field goals. This is his final chance to break the streak before the break, where he’ll have to watch his fellow teammate Juancho Hernangomez compete in the Rookie/Sophomore Game in New Orleans.
Despite getting a season high 35 minutes, and having the coaching staff run play after play for him in the fourth quarter of a blowout win, Murray still finishes the game without a made field goal. He even gets a breakaway dunk attempt, but gets blocked by the rim after the sole of his shoe catches on the court and he stumbles on his shot attempt.
Saturday, March 4, Hornets @ Nuggets
The Nuggets host the Bucks, but they have been forced to play their home games at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield after the Pepsi Center was destroyed in a fire.
There was a pyrotechnics malfunction before the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on March 2, and the resulting fire grew so fast and was so large that crews were unable to save the building. Thankfully there were no injuries, as fans had yet to arrive for the concert when the initial explosion occurred.
There were reports that Jamal Murray had pulled into the parking lot to work on his shot, having missed 244 consecutive field goal attempts to start the season. Murray, upon seeing flames blow out the windows, joined with the firefighters to try to quell the fire, but once he grabbed the hose, he started spraying water away from the fire, causing a captain to remark, “He can’t even hit the broad side of an arena with a fire hose, that boy so bad at aiming.”
Monday, March 20, Nuggets @ Rockets
The Nuggets play a home-and-home with the Rockets, one of the greatest opportunities for Murray to finally put a one in that “field goal made” column on his career stat sheet. He has a 276 mark in the “field goal attempts” column, and a 69 game streak without a made field goal - not nice.
Micah Nori is leading the Denver Nuggets while Michael Malone takes a few days off for “personal reasons.” The shooting slump has been tough on Murray, but Malone has been taking it really hard, and St. Patrick’s Day was a tipping point. The Irish holiday brought out the heavy stuff, and Malone is home recovering from “flu-like symptoms.”
Malone turns on the game, watching his team play with an empty glass bottle in one hand and a scruffy beard on his face, only to see the guard he’s been praying for each day of the season finish the game without a made field goal, with his final attempt, a 3-pointer to win the game, takes a lap around the rim, peeks in, doesn’t like what it sees, and rolls out, falling with a thud to the court.
Malone weeps, and he’s joined a thousand miles away by a 20 year old kid from Canada who is beginning to crack.
Tuesday, April 4, Nuggets @ Pelicans
Murray takes the court feeling confident that tonight, this game, will be the night. What causes this whiff of hope? Murray took advantage of the team’s day off in the bayou to visit a voodoo queen in hopes of activating the forces of evil to help him with his curse.
The queen told him to sacrifice 304 roosters, one for each field goal attempt he’s missed, spilling their blood into the Mississippi River when the moon is high in the sky. After the ritual is complete, Murray gathered a feather from each bird, taping them together into a cape that he wore into the stadium. League rules prevent him from wearing it during the game, but a mystic energy emanates from his locker as he laces up his Adidas.
It doesn’t help. Murray speeds over to the queen’s shop after the game, but upon arriving, finds himself standing in front of a Starbucks.
“What happened last night?” he asks, as a rooster crows on top of a Chevy Volt down the street.
Wednesday, April 12, Nuggets @ Thunder
It’s the final game of the season, and the Nuggets and Thunder are in a must-win scenario, where the victor claims a division title. Murray is out to restore his honor after Westbrook immortalized him in the NBA Hall of Shame earlier in the season.
Chesapeake Energy Arena is packed, with thousands of Thunder fans there to cheer their team on to victory, and also to see history, if Murray finishes as the only player to play in 82 games and never make a field goal attempt.
The game goes back and forth, and Westbrook has a triple-double by the end of the first half. Murray missed his first two attempts, with Steven Adams blocking a layup with 3 minutes left in the first quarter and a floater in the lane cranking off the back iron before the first timeout of the second quarter.
During halftime, with the Nuggets down by six points, Malone breaks down their second half strategies on a whiteboard in the locker room. Outside the arena, storm clouds start to gather and the sky takes a slightly green hue as the wind picks up.
The third quarter is one of the greatest stretches of basketball of the season for the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic scores 18 points in 8 minutes, running through Domantas Sabonis like Duke Nukem with a chainsaw.
Westbrook helps the Thunder keep pace, playing every minute of the second half, attacking the Nuggets defense possession after possession. With two minutes left, the Nuggets are down by one point, and the crowd noise is deafening - so loud, in fact, that no one in the arena is able to hear the sirens wailing outside.
With 14.8 seconds remaining, the Nuggets inbound the ball, only to have a tornado touch down on Reno and Western, a block away. Emmanuel Mudiay gets a screen from Jusuf Nurkic, drives into the paint, kicks out to Jamal Murray in the corner, who elevates for his 328th field goal of the season.
As soon as the ball leaves Murray’s fingertips, a F5 tornado rips the roof off the arena, sucking the ball into the atmosphere before roaring past the arena and taking a left turn down Lincoln Boulevard towards the State Capitol and the zoo. The baseline official blows his whistle as the clock hits zero, waving off the shot attempt, and the Thunder have won the game.
Murray has done it - 328 field goal attempts, 82 games, zero made field goals.
In another timeline, the one we currently find ourselves in, here is the first field goal attempt for Juancho Hernangomez, courtesy of An Nyugen.