Keegan Murray drops 26 points, shines in NBA summer league debut




 

In his NBA Summer League debut for the Sacramento Kings, Keegan Murray looked like, well, Keegan Murray.

Expectations were high for Murray heading into this Summer League. While the game does not matter in the grand scheme of things, the NBA has a narrative-driven media cycle.

Since Sacramento picked him, fans around the league immediately questioned the selection with Purdue guard Jaden Ivey still on the board. Unfair or not, the "meaningless" Summer League games actually play a massive role in how the narrative of Murray on the Kings spins. His debut against Golden State is a significant first step in proving just why Murray was a top-four pick.

Murray looked like a future star in his Summer League debut, completely dominating the game on offense for the Kings. In only 28 minutes, Murray scored 26 points and grabbed eight boards. He only missed four shots.

While the numbers are great, they don't do his fantastic performance any justice. Murray wasn't just scoring open buckets on bad defenses, he showed that he can score from a multitude of ways from the wing. Most impressive was his abilities from three, going 4-for-5 from downtown. He showed that he can catch and shoot quickly, even with a defender closing down on him. As the potential third option on the Kings, that catch-and-shoot ability is exactly why the Kings picked him.

It wasn't just the made 3-pointers that impressed, he played with a great amount of veteran savvy for his rookie year. His off-ball movement is what ultimately led to so many of his buckets, showcasing his understanding of where to be on the court. When he needed to put his head down and get a bucket, though, Murray was able to work around the rim and from the midrange. It was a truly complete offensive performance.

Keegan Murray's debut shows the potential that made Sacramento draft him. They desperately need a secondary scorer from the wing who can shoot. They need exactly the player Keegan Murray was in his debut, the player he was at Iowa. He might not be as featured with the Kings, at least not right away, but Saturday night's game showed just how Keegan Murray can fit in with the Kings.

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