Nuggets' Jamal Murray on NBA Restart: 'We Know We Can Go Win the Title'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 6, 2020

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 11: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on March 11, 2020 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The NBA is resuming the 2019-20 season July 31, and the Denver Nuggets are one of the squads that will take part in the 22-team format.

In a Zoom call with reporters Friday, point guard Jamal Murray expressed confidence that the Nuggets can win the franchise's first NBA Finals, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk:

"We know we can go win the title. Me and [center Nikola Jokic] have been in Denver this whole time, working out. ..Why not? We have proven to be one the best teams year in and year out since we have been building. We have beaten good teams consistently. We shouldn't have lost to Portland [last year in the conference semifinals]. That was more on us, our inexperience and they are a good team. But we don't think that there is a team that can beat us in a seven-game series when we are playing at our best."

Denver (43-22) is the third seed in the Western Conference, just 1.5 games back of the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. The sixth-seeded Houston Rockets are just four games back of the Nuggets.

Last year, the Nuggets lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in a thrilling seven-game series in the second round that featured a four-overtime thriller in Game 3 and a Game 7 that was back-and-forth until the final minute.

As Murray mentioned, last year's team was light on playoff experience, as Denver hadn't been to the playoffs since 2012-13. No one on Denver's 2018-19 roster was on that team, however.

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The question now is whether the Nuggets can compete with the star-studded rosters in the West, including the LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-guided L.A. Clippers.

Caesars Palace currently lists Denver with the seventh-best odds to win the Finals at 22-1. The Lakers top the league at 2-1, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at 11-4.

With the games being played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nuggets might miss home-court advantage, which they were in the driver's seat for in at least one round. But they can still hope to land a top-three seed, which would mean avoiding the presumptive No. 1-seeded Lakers until the conference finals.

If Denver can do that and get on a roll, then winning a title isn't out of the realm of possibility, especially with the nightly triple-double threat known as Jokic manning the post. Still, the West should be a gauntlet come playoff time, and there is no easy path for anyone en route to the Finals.

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