Jamal Murray’s stellar performance inside the Orlando Bubble is pouring over into the upcoming season.
After playing his way into superstardom during the isolated 2019-20 NBA Playoffs, the Denver Nuggets point guard and former Kentucky Wildcat is currently the odds-on favorite to win the league’s Most Improved Player award for the 2020-21 season, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Murray has +1100 odds to win.
The 23-year-old posted 26.5 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.8 rebounds on an insane shooting split of 50.5/45.3/89.7 in 19 postseason outings a year ago. Alongside All-Star Nikola Jokic, Murray helped lead the Nuggets to not one, but two, playoff comebacks that saw them trail 3-1 in both the Western Conference first-round and Western Conference semifinals before ultimately coming back to win both series. However, the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers knocked out Murray and the Nuggets in five games in the Western Conference Finals.
Murray is about to enter the first of his five-year deal with Denver worth over $158 million. He’s been in the league for four years now, and his production saw a serious increase from his rookie season to his sophomore campaign, but he didn’t take another leap until the Orlando Bubble. Now, the expectations for Murray are higher than they’ve ever been. Everyone knows just how good he can be and how far he will go to win basketball games, but he has to continue to develop his skill as he embarks into a somewhat-regular NBA environment once the season starts toward the end of December.
He’s not the only former Wildcat with his lofty expectations this season, either. DraftKings also has players such as Tyler Herro (+2000), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+2000), Devin Booker (+3300), De’Aaron Fox (+3300), and P.J. Washington (+4000) in the mix for MIP, as well.