Keegan Murray showing off ‘Tim Duncan behavior’ in promising start to NBA career

Keegan showing off ‘Duncan behavior’ in a promising start to a career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Keegan Murray’s first couple of NBA games shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

The 22-year-old forward from Iowa has carried himself with the same constant presence on and off the court since being selected No. 4 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.

A perfect example was the opening minutes of the Kings’ 130-125 loss to the Warriors on Sunday night at the Chase Center.

Murray, who isn’t a member of coach Mike Brown’s starting rotation (yet, anyway), watched from the bench as Sacramento fell behind Golden State 12-2 after three minutes of action. Brown called a timeout and ordered Murray to speak.

The Kings’ offensive attack immediately began to flow better. And it’s not like Murray came into the game demanding the ball.

Sacramento guard De’Aaron Fox drove to the rim for a bucket. Domantas Sabonis earned a trip to the free throw line and dunked.

A few minutes later, Murray hit a 27-foot 3-pointer on a Fox pass, then grabbed a rebound off a Klay Thompson miss and knocked down a jumper to tie the game at 15.

Better.

That’s the level of play the rookie has recorded, for 33 minutes in his NBA debut against the Los Angeles Clippers and more than 38 minutes on Sunday night.

“It’s crazy how good it is,” Fox said on the “Draymond Green Show” last week. “But he also has that ‘Tim Duncan’ demeanor. Every day I see him, ‘What’s up, tower?’ [He goes]’What’s up Fox?’

“I’m like, ‘Come on, you have to give me something‘” Fox said with a laugh.

Murray shot down 7 of 10 field goal attempts for 19 points in the Kings’ 111-109 loss to the Clippers on Saturday. He followed with 16 points, four rebounds and a steal against Golden State.

“He’s the most efficient guy I’ve ever been with,” Fox told Green. “You look up, he’s shooting, he doesn’t miss. We played a little bit before training camp. He doesn’t miss; he doesn’t have any wasted movement. Everything he does is efficient, defensively, offensively.” , grabbing rebounds, boxing.

“It really makes the game look easy.”

Murray has been thrown into the fire on the defensive side of the ball.

He was tasked with guarding seven-time All-Star Paul George in his debut. On Sunday night, Murray shadowed Steph Curry on occasion, though the reigning NBA Finals MVP gave the rookie his “welcome to the NBA” moment with a devastating backstep.

But Curry does that to the best defenders in the league.

Murray got into trouble for the first time in his career in the second half at the Chase Center. While the Kings rallied from 26 points down, Murray missed all but one of his seven field goal attempts in the final 24 minutes.

RELATED: Why Fox Says This Kings Team Is The “Most Talented” He’s Ever Been On

Still, though, no one could tell Murray was struggling from his body language; He was the same dependable Keegan Murray.

“If I had any facial hair, I would have thought the brother was in his 30s,” Fox joked with Green. “But I think he just turned 22. He walks and [his] behavior is always calm. He is going to be very good.

“He’s going to show the world what he can do.”

Two games into Murray’s career, the kid from Cedar Rapids, Iowa looks set to have a long and prosperous NBA career.

Just like “The Great Fundamental”.

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