5. Dejounte Murray Showed Out Against a Star Power
Dejounte Murray is one of the best point guards in the West, and Ja Morant can make an identical claim. Murray had 41 points, which was a lot more than Murray’s 16, but Murray outrebounded, outpassed, and outhustled the rising star. Murray is also the best two-way player in the league, which is a claim Ja can never really make. Murray dropped his tenth triple-double of the season and came up huge down the stretch, knocking down three impossible mid-range shots to cut it very close.
Morant led the way and secured a win for his playoff team, and Murray is the best player on an incomplete team. Both deserve to be All-Stars, although Morant certainly has the stronger claim.
That being said, in a one-on-one game, I’m taking DJ every day of the week. Both are explosive and can score from anywhere, although Ja does have the better three-ball. However, Murray has the length and willingness to risk injury or foul on defense, and I’m not convinced Morant is there. Both seem to be great leaders for their young teams, but Murray wants to win. Morant wants to have fun more than anything, which is admirable.
My Boys & Girls Club basketball coach wanted everyone to have fun. He was a great guy, but he doesn’t have any NBA rings to his name, and when it’s all said and done, that’s what defines an NBA career.
Murray has proven time and time again he’s the man who should have the ball late in the game, and he’s also the guy opposing offenses should keep the ball away from. His slow start tonight kept the Spurs out of it, but his finish is what got the Spurs back in.