The rise of the Denver Nuggets is scary. Denver defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-103 in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 season at Denver Ball Arena, Colorado, USA on the 19th (Korean time) and won two consecutive victories. Since we went to the hostile territory with two games at home first, our steps toward away games became lighter.
Denver fans also voiced concerns about the second game. In the first game, after pouring an onslaught from the beginning, they were winning greatly until the first half, but they allowed chase in the second half and managed to win with sweat. However, contrary to concerns, Denver showed a more solid appearance in the second game. If his last-minute crisis management ability shone in the first game, his back-and-forth stood out in the second game.
With the game going tight, the Lakers took a slight advantage. However, from the middle of the fourth quarter, Denver began to focus more and defeated the Lakers in a firefight. Signboard star “Joker” Nicola Jokic (28‧211cm) showed off her presence by recording a triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists and 3 steals. This is the 7th triple-double in the playoffs alone.
In the case of the Lakers, ‘King’ LeBron James (38‧206cm) led the attack with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 steals, while Louis Hachimura (21 points) and Austin Reeves (22 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists), etc. Anthony Davis’ sluggishness was painful. Davis finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocked shots while missing 11 of 15 throws.
‘Blue Arrow’ Jamal Murray (26‧193cm) played a big role in Denver gaining the upper hand in the last minute firefight. Murray was the main scorer on the team with 37 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. In particular, it was decisive that he made 4 3-point shots only in the 4th quarter, including a come-from-behind 3-point shot. The Lakers were embarrassed by Murray’s out-of-field shots that exploded one after another in the match, and lost the power to pursue.
As can be seen from today’s game, Murray on a good day is not envious of any team’s ace in the league. He is good at both pull-up jumpers and catch-and-shoots, and he has good athleticism, flexibility, and the ability to catch the timing. When Murray’s scoring sense starts to heat up, it’s a disaster for the opposing defense.
Even if three or four defenders are holding out near the post, they don’t care, they take it off as if peeling it off, and they make a breakthrough, or they make a quick three-point shot and mid-range… , split the rim of the throwing foot. He drives the score at an insane pace and shuts out the opposing defense. He basically shows great destructive power in fast-paced attacks, but he is also good at controlling his speed in one-on-one and attacking match-up opponents.
When Marey hits the post-up, it becomes complicated for the defender. This is because not only does he gently steal the center and try to shoot under the goal, but also explodes his long-term turnaround jump shot if he falls a little. Murray’s play is classified as ‘with Yochiki’ or ‘separately’. No matter what anyone says, the axis of Denver’s offense is Yokichi. For this reason, many attacks are deployed inside the control tower where Yokichi operates, and Mare plays a key role at this time.
Compared to other top-tier centers, Jokic is inferior in terms of mobility and athleticism. Therefore, in order to save Yokichi’s passing sense, the rest of the players must run hard. Same goes for Murray. When Jokic has the ball, Murray runs really diligently looking for empty space. It is up to Murray to finish the many chances created in such a process.
The two are a well-matched combination. Therefore, just by looking at each other’s eyes, various plays unfold. Not only is Yokichi giving and Marai solving, but also attacking the opponent in the opposite situation, and it is not uncommon to see Guard Marai putting a screen for center Yokichi. The options derived between the two are very diverse.메이저놀이터
Stephen Curry and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors come to mind in that the big man actively participates in the reading and the point guard is the main scorer. However, while Golden State’s first option is No. 1 Curry, Denver’s No. 5 Jokic plays the role of a pillar. In the Lakers, Davis actively attacked the small size of the undersized big man green, but it is not easy to make such a play against Jokic. This is the difference between Golden State and Denver, which seem to resemble each other.
Murray’s downside is his ups and downs. When it explodes, it explodes terribly, but when it cools down, the tip of the arrow quickly becomes blunt to the point where you want to do that. Even within a game, the highs and lows come and go. Fortunately, it is less likely to enter the playoffs this time, and it continues its presence as a killer archer without losing its sharpness in the match. The more blue the lights on Murray’s arrow, the higher Denver’s chances of winning the series will be.