Just when you thought the San Antonio Spurs best years were coming to an end, yet another gem has been unearthed in the Alamo City. Second-year point guard Dejounte Murray has entered the fold in San Antonio, making an instant impact. Having played alongside some of the league’s best veterans, Murray spent a large amount of last season sitting and learning the Spurs way. We will analyze and discuss how Murray’s impact will take the Spurs a long way.
Dejounte Murray Becoming a Difference Maker with San Antonio Spurs
How Did We Get Here?
Drafted 29th overall last season, Murray has been in the Spurs system for an entire year. Considered a steal, he contributed last season but has seen a rise in minutes to begin the season. Keeping the experienced Patty Mills on the bench, head coach Gregg Popovich has put his trust in Murray, with the gamble paying off. Usual starter Tony Parker will likely be out until December, giving Murray an extended period in the lineup. This is a great opportunity for the youngster, as he continues to provide a spark on the court.
We may only be three games into the season, but Murray has already asserted himself. Through three games, Murray has averaged 13.3 points, 4.7 assists and a striking 9.7 rebounds. These are great numbers, especially when you consider Murray’s inexperience. Could Murray be the player to take the reigns from Parker? It is too early to tell, but the young guard is sure to leave his mark on the league while he has the chance.
— LastWordHoops (@LastWordHoops) October 24, 2017
Veteran Leadership & Coaching
When you watch Murray, you can see the physical gifts. His seven-foot wingspan makes him a unique type of guard, capable of grabbing almost 10 boards per game. Murray is quick, smart and a great fit in Popovich’s system.
When you look at Murray’s environment, it could not be better. The surrounding players provide an ideal learning situation. With the likes of Mills, Parker and Manu Ginobili, Murray has plenty of mentors, all bringing different skill sets to the table. Mills is a great team player, a valuable trait if you want to be successful in San Antonio; Parker brings a court general attitude, something Murray will look to become; And Ginobili is a superb passer, with elite vision on the court. If Murray can take a little bit of each player’s game, he will do just fine.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 24, 2017
Murray’s Impact is a Blessing in Disguise
The Spurs have been good for a long time now, which should not change anytime soon. With a balanced roster, Popovich and his team will find a way to win 50 plus games yet again this season. However, it’s time for a change, with Murray set to lead the way.
The Western Conference is as good as it has ever been, especially at the point guard position. One of the conference’s best over the past decade has been Parker, with the crafty Frenchman winning four NBA Championships. However, the league has changed in recent seasons. The point guard position is more athletic than ever, with an aging Parker relying primarily on his mind to compete. This is where Murray comes in, with the energetic guard ready to take over. Standing at 6’5”, he presents a better match-up against the likes of Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry and Damian Lillard. Murray’s speed and athleticism will add yet another dimension to this Spurs team.
The West is a tough environment play in, as Murray faces an uphill battle to keep his starting spot. San Antonio has a decision to make; let us see if they are brave enough to make it.