Every Spurs fan loves Dejounte Murray. He’s young, athletic, plays defense, is a positive leader, and in case anyone needs a reminder, he stayed with the team all of last season while he was recovering from a torn ACL. Now that he’s back on the court and proving that the hype train regarding his offensive improvement is in fact moving forward, he’s providing even more reasons to love him.
In last night’s preseason win over the Rockets — in which he scored 20 points (8-11 from the field, 2-2 from three) with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal — he had one extremely satisfying sequence in the second quarter against self-proclaimed MVP-of-every-season James Harden. Let’s set the stage.
Harden brings the ball up the court, tries to juke Murray into biting with some fancy dribbles (he’s not fooled and stays in front of his man), then attempts a lay-up that Murray at least alters (he was not rewarded with block in this game). Murray gets the rebound, exchanges trash talk with Harden, then proceeds to drive back up the court and right right by Harden and his classic version of “defense” for the lay-up.
The best part might be the announcers claiming Harden “schooled” Murray before realizing the shot didn’t go in and having to acknowledge that Murray “got him” on both ends. Hopefully we will continue to see this version of DJ has he gets in shape and gains more and more confidence. The better he his, the higher the Spurs’ ceiling, especially when he’s hitting shots not just at the rim, but at all levels on offense.