2. Jamal Murray
The Denver Nuggets were the hottest team in the NBA last season and ultimately came away with the championship. No team they met in the playoffs seemed like a real challenge and they are once again one of the top teams in the West.
Nikola Jokic is universally recognized as one of the best players in today’s game. Jamal Murray, on the other hand, has never even made an All-Star team yet. He has had a lot of injury troubles over his career, but if he can stay healthy, this could be his season.
Right now, his numbers are not mind-blowing compared to what some of these other guards are putting up at 18 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 6 assists per game, but he is shooting incredibly efficiently and already had some big games.
Plus, we all know what Murray is capable of when healthy. His game is often overshadowed by Jokic’s greatness, but without him, they don’t win the championship, and he is still an integral part of what they are doing.
He is the starting point guard on one of the best teams in the West and the team’s second-leading scorer and playmaker. Just that gives voters a reason to consider him on their All-Star ballot, but standings alone are not enough. If Murray wants to beat out any of these other guards in the West, he still has work to do, and February is getting very close.