Keegan Murray struggling in first playoff appearance, but still getting support from team

Apr 21, 2023, 8:34 AM | Updated: 8:35 am

Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors ...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Keegan Murray in the playoffs has not looked like the rookie Kings fans were used to seeing and chanting for during the regular season.

Murray picked up nearly as many fouls (5) as points (6) in just over 22 minutes in the team’s Game 3 loss to the Warriors Thursday night. Through three games, the rookie has only scored 10 points and has only made one three-point shot in eight attempts. This a stark contrast to the man who set an NBA rookie record for made three-point field goals.

But, despite the struggles, coach Mike Brown said in his postgame press conference that this is “great” for Murray to experience.

“We want him to stay aggressive. We want him to keep shooting the ball. We feel like he’s getting some pretty good looks, they’re just not going in but I think they will go in and that’s why we want him to keep shooting it,” Brown said. “And then trying to play defense right away and see if he can get up and easy [shots] in transition. So this is just really new for him, it’s new for a lot of our guys, but this is really new for him. We love him and we’re going to have patience with him and we’re gonna give him a chance to succeed. But he’s got to go through growing pains in order to figure it out.”

In the regular season, along with setting the rookie three-point record, Murray averaged 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists. His point guard, De’Aaron Fox, echoed Brown’s comments about wanting the rookie to stay aggressive.

“I continue to encourage him, even throughout the game. It’s difficult, especially for a rookie playing big minutes for us all season. I mean, he broke the 3-point record for a reason. So we know he’s skilled. We know he can play. Obviously, the physicality and everything has risen, the intensity of the game has risen. He struggled a bit, but for us, we want him to get going. We’re not going to take that away from him.”

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