Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray: Chemistry gives us the edge

Like many players around the NBA, Jamal Murray feeds off the energy of the crowd during games to get him into a rhythm on the court. So, the Nuggets’ lead guard admitted playing without spectators will be one of the biggest challenges in returning to action when the NBA is expected to return on July 31.

“That’s the one of biggest game changers for everybody, like me included. The fans get me going, I get them going” Murray explained in a Zoom call with the Denver media this past Friday. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a huge part of the game. It’s going to be a lot different without the fans.”

Despite those factors, Murray is excited to return to action after the season was suspended due to the Coronavirus Pandemic on March 11. He was excited by what the Nuggets had shown during the 2019-20 season and believes it bodes well for the team heading into the postseason.

“We don’t think there’s a team that can beat us in a seven-game series when we’re playing at our best,” Murray explained. “When me and Joker are on, I don’t think there’s anyone who can stop us.”

The Nuggets are third in the Western Conference with a record of 43-22. With a core that’s largely been built over the past four seasons, the team’s chemistry has been a central tenant of its success over the last two campaigns. Murray is confident that synergy will help Denver overcome any potential rustiness that might factor in after an almost four-month hiatus.

“We’ve probably got the best chemistry out of all of the teams in the league, just because we play so free, so open,” Murray said. “We look for each other [on the court] and we’re not selfish.”

He added, “I think just getting back to that camaraderie, being a team again, coming together, getting something to eat and having scrimmages, it’s going to help us get back to where we were faster than other teams.”

And that bond will help the Nuggets as they could be bunkered in Orlando for at least two months when the season resumes.