San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray is determined to have a breakout year after missing the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL suffered in preseason.
On October 7th, 2018, San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray suffered a season-ending ACL injury to his right knee in a preseason game against the Houston Rockets. This injury would come after Murray became the youngest player in NBA history to make the All-Defensive First Team during the 2017-18 season.
Murray’s absence left the Spurs with a huge hole to fill at the point guard spot and without their best defensive player. Now that Murray is back healthy and is preparing for the start of training camp, he will be looking to make a huge impact for the Spurs.
Perhaps the only positive from Murray’s absence last season was the emergence of Derrick White and Bryn Forbes. These guards were able to fill in at point guard for the Spurs despite being natural shooting guards. With Murray returning next season, it will allow Forbes to play off the ball and get more opportunities to shoot from the outside.
As for White, expect him and Murray to be one of the best defensive backcourts in the NBA. Murray’s length and White’s strength will allow them to be a perfect match for each other during the 2019-2020 season.
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The biggest weakness in Murray’s game is his outside shooting. Murray has shot only 31 percent from the three-point line and 70 percent from the free throw line during his two seasons in the NBA. He has worked hard on improving that aspect of his game while healing his knee. If Murray can elevate his shooting ability, he can become one of the best two-way point guards in today’s game.
Former Spurs point guard Tony Parker also struggled with shooting from the outside his first two seasons in the NBA. We saw his game go to the next level once he became more consistent shooting the mid-range pull-up when defenders would go under screens. Murray will be in a similar situation until he can show opposing defenses that he can consistently shoot the ball.
As the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Parker has passed us, and with the uncertainty of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge’s futures in San Antonio, Murray could be the piece that the Spurs build around. There is excitement around Lonnie Walker IV, Jakob Poeltl, White, Forbes and the three draft picks of Luka Samanic, Keldon Johnson and Quinndary Weatherspoon, but if Murray can have a breakout season this will be the start of a new era for the Spurs.
All of those players are 25 or younger with two of them being 19 years old. The NBA today is loaded with point guards and having a 22-year-old, 6-foot-5 defensive specialist at point guard is something to be excited for.