The Denver Nuggets and the Washington Wizards faced off for the second time this season, and this game ended in a very similar fashion as the previous one - a heartbreaker at the buzzer. Instead of the Wizards making a play to take the lead as time expired in the matchup, however, this time it was the Nuggets with the opportunity to send the Wizards home with a gut-wrenching loss. Alas, the Nuggets came up short again, and the ending to the game sparked a lot of conversation on social media afterwards.
After getting a stop on the defensive end while being down two points, Jamal Murray took off on a fast break with just under 7 seconds remaining in the game. However, instead of going all the way to the rim, he opted to stop at the three-point line, allowing defender Bradley Beal to recover in transition. Then, Murray made the decision to pass the ball to Facundo Campazzo for a make-or-break three pointer. Unfortunately, it broke the Nuggets.
My fault Nuggets nation.. on to the next one.. STICK WITH US!!— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) February 26, 2021
While it is extremely commendable for Murray to take responsibility for this game, I think it’s safe to say that there’s plenty of blame to go around in this scenario, and that sole responsibility should not be given to any one person. It’s true that Murray should have either driven to the basket or shot the ball himself rather than pass to Campazzo in that situation, but the most ideal scenario seems to have been Michael Porter Jr., Campazzo, or Monte Morris cutting to the basket for a wide open dunk or lay-up. Based on Murray’s follow-up tweet, it appears that he would be in agreement with that assessment.
This moment was definitely frustrating to watch as a Nuggets fan, and I’m sure it will be even more painful for the involved players to think about this moment in hindsight, but it hopefully will be a learning experience for a young team. If this exact situation is replicated in a future game, chances are much better that at least one player cuts to the basket for the easy game-tying opportunity.