Dejounte Murray has proven to be a bright spot in an otherwise dim season for the San Antonio Spurs. While he has always shown a significant amount of potential, he is beginning to live up to it this season. Murray is averaging a spectacular 19.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2 steals per game, demonstrating that he can excel in multiple facets of the game.
Moreover, he's already had three-triple doubles through the team's first 20 games, making a rare feat look routine. In fact, over the last season-plus, he's racked up a total of seven triple-doubles (eight when factoring in the play-in game, which doesn't officially count). So why has he suddenly been able to fill up the stat sheet? Let's examine what makes Murray the ultimate triple-double threat.
For the first time in Murray's NBA career, he is the primary ball-handler, which has afforded him more opportunities than ever before. While it may have held down his production earlier in his career, it's also given him the chance to grow into his current role as the team's primary scorer and playmaker. For instance, he struggled to finish at the rim earlier in his career due to his slight frame but has since bulked up and shown improvement finishing through contact.
Additionally, he was a non-shooter but has emerged as one of the NBA's best mid-range shooters. Both of those developed skills have helped him this season considering that he's done most of his damage inside the arc and is averaging a career-high 19 points per game.
While scoring is the easiest and the quickest category to reach double-digits in, it was far from a given that Murray would become a consistent scoring threat, especially without a reliable 3-pointer. However, he's now leading the Spurs in scoring, which only illustrates just how far he's come in that aspect of his game.
Still, Dejounte has done much more to improve his all-around game than just scoring the ball.