The San Antonio Spurs of yesteryear are no more. Gone are the great teams that won five NBA championships and never missed the playoffs during Tim Duncan’s entire tenure. Currently mired in their third consecutive losing season at 18-31, one has to wonder if this is the final act for the great Gregg Popovich.
In the midst of the Spurs’ struggles, their has been one bright spot. A burgeoning star thats emerging from out of the chaos. His name is DeJounte Murray, and he’s one of the best two-way players in the league.
Dejounte Murray over his last 6 games:
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 15, 2022
Currently averaging 19.1 points, 8.3 assists and 8.1 rebound per game. Only Chris Paul, James Harden and Trae Young average more dimes. Murray, a 2016 first round draft pick out of the University of Washington, also leads the league with 2.0 steals per game. The former Washington Huskies star has become a stat sheet stuffer. Murray is finally balancing cerebral play and high IQ with the versatility that he’s always displayed.
His skill set was on full display on Wednesday, Jan. 26, against the Memphis Grizzlies. Murray had a triple double of 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
But will it be enough to be named an All-Star on a team with a losing record?
Dejounte Murray joins David Robinson as the only Spurs players to record a triple-double in consecutive games since the franchise joined the NBA in 1976-77.
Robinson had 2 different streaks of 2 straight games with a triple-double. pic.twitter.com/dAXhePHfMr
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 22, 2022
Will Murray Be An All-Star?: Individual Play Says Yes, But Team Record Says No
For starters, Coach Pop thinks so, but he knows its unlikley.
“As I’ve said before Dejounte’s had an All-Star season, but he’s not going to get a look at the All-Star Game probably because our record is so poor,” Pop said.
Following a loss to the Cavs earlier this month, Murray went for 30 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for his second consecutive 30 point and 10 rebound outing.
“It’s a shame it came in a loss,” Pop said.”Because he played great. He’s been a leader for us all season long.”
Former NBA guard Jamal Crawford doesn’t think the team’s overall record influences Murray’s All-Star status.
“This guy is an all star,” said Crawford, who preceeded Murray at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Washington.
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 20, 2022
Pop Calls Him A Leader
When the Spurs moved on from DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, the team lost some critical veteran leadership. As a team loaded with young players, Murray stands out as the longest-tenured Spur. Despite being just 25 years old, Murray is in his sixth season in the Alamo city.
He’s seen his numbers increase every season, except the 2018-19 season, when he was sidelined due to a knee injury.
Coach Pop isn’t used to losing this much, but he continues to give Murray major props.
“Dejounte’s taking more and more responsibility,” Pop said after an overtime win at OKC. “His leadership, his decision-making, setting the tone on both ends of the floor for the team … it’s important.”
— Bally Sports San Antonio (@BallySportsSA) January 27, 2022
This season, the 6-foot-4 guard has blossomed and the Spurs aren’t winning much, but they have the cornerstone of the next franchise rebuild in the fold for years to come.
"Trust The Process, Keep Learning And Get Better Every Single Day" pic.twitter.com/rnCnEAailq
— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) December 25, 2016
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