A few Nuggets fans have asked whether Jamal Murray can dethrone the presumptive Rookie of the Year, Joel Embiid. Today he took his first step to at least keep pace: Murray won the Western Conference Rookie of the Year for November.
Murray started off his rookie campaign 0-for-17 from the field, and was 0-for-8 from behind the arc before the light went off and he exploded. Few rookies get multiple signature games in their first month, but Murray has already poured in 16 points in the 4th quarter against the Utah Jazz and put up 24 points in 21 minutes against the Chicago Bulls when his hot shooting ignited a furious bench rally.
Murray, 19, the seventh pick in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm, led all West rookies in scoring (10.4 ppg) to go with 2.8 rebounds (fourth) and 2.1 assists (fifth). He scored at least 18 points in four of six games to close the month, including a 24-point, six-rebound effort on Nov. 22 in a 110-107 victory over the Chicago Bulls. On Nov. 25, he finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block in a 132-129 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Overall he shot 41.6% from behind the arc in November on more than 4 attempts per game, logging a healthy 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in just 22 minutes. Murray’s effort on defense has been consistent even if the results are a little bumpy, but once he found his NBA range he hasn’t looked back. Head coach Michael Malone has also been impressed.
Malone on Murray: "I couldn’t be happier for him. He deserves it. He’s played at a high level." #Nuggets— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) December 1, 2016
Malone on Murray: "I’m just so happy for the kid b/c he puts a lot of time in and he stands for everything that we’re trying to be about."— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) December 1, 2016
Looking forward to all the encores to come, Jamal! Congratulations.