Jamal Murray adds weight to Lakers 2020 bubble championship: ‘That was the highest level of basketball being played’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray believes that the basketball played in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble during the 2019-20 season, was the “highest level” of basketball there is.

“I think that was the highest level of basketball being played, because it was only basketball,” Murray told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks. “Guys were so locked in. You go to the gym. You have shootaround. You eat. You play. Win or lose, you’re in your room or you go back to the gym.”

Murray explained that basketball was basically all the players did during the bubble, other than occasionally play cards with their teammates, and it allowed everyone to stay locked in.

Murray was terrific during the league’s bubble, and he was a huge reason why the Denver Nuggets made the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Murray appeared in 19 playoff games for Denver that season, and he averaged 26.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from beyond the arc. He came up huge for Denver in the first round of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz, scoring 50 points in two games during the series.

The Nuggets put up a fight against the Lakers, who ended up winning the championship that season, but Murray and company were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals in five games.

There certainly were a lot of scary circumstances going on in the world during the league’s bubble, mainly the COVID-19 pandemic, but NBA players gave fans something to distract themselves from the world’s problems by putting on a show in Orlando, Fla.

The Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, rolled through the playoffs that season, eventually defeating the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals. James was named NBA Finals MVP for his efforts.

The Nuggets are hoping that they can make a deep playoff run when the 2022-23 regular season kicks off later this month. Denver played the entire 2021-22 season without Murray, as he was recovering from a torn ACL he suffered late in the 2020-21 campaign.

With Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr., Denver is certainly expecting to be a playoff team this season. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers and Nuggets find themselves in another playoff battle this season after playing such a great series in the 2019-20 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.