Dejounte Murray has been one of this season’s biggest surprises, and not just for the Spurs, but also the entire NBA. Night-in, night-out, he has been stuffing the stat sheet, averaging 18.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 8.6 rebounds and 2 steals. Across 30 games, those totals add up to 544 points, 253 rebounds and 259 assists, which puts him in some rare company:
Only 7 players in NBA history with 500/250/250 in the first 30 games of a season:— Jordan Howenstine (@AirlessJordan) December 23, 2021
Oscar Robertson (three times)
Magic Johnson (1981-82)
Russell Westbrook (twice)
LeBron James (2017-18)
Nikola Jokic (2020-21)
Luka Doncic (2020-21)
DEJOUNTE MURRAY (this season)
You read that right: only seven other players in NBA history have put up 500/250/250 in their first 30 games, and it’s worth noting that six of those seven players are MVPs, with the only exception (Luka Doncic) just entering his fourth season but already a two-time All-Star. While it might be far-fetched to say Murray is MVP material at this point in his career, the consensus agreement here at PtR seems to be that he is deserving of praise and could eventually rise to an All-Star appearance, even if it’s not this season.
Murray has a chance to show out again tonight, this time against his mentor LeBron James. James missed the Lakers’ first two meetings against the Spurs with various ailments but will be back for the Staples Center’s final game (before it becomes Crypto.com Arena on Christmas). The Spurs have had a tendency to play better against stronger competition lately, so hopefully that continues tonight as they close out a tough four-game road trip. With a win, they would end the trip with an improbable 3-1 record, with the lone loss being a confounding one to a COVID-depleted Kings squad.