Denver Nuggets star guard Jamal Murray wants media and people across the NBA to start giving more respect and recognition to his team. The Nuggets recovered from a 3-1 deficit against the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers to progress into the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the first round, the Nuggets were also down 3-1 against the Utah Jazz before they won three games in a row to set up a series against the Clippers. The Clippers were the top favorite to win it all this season and the big favorites to make it past the Nuggets.
"You got [Shaquille O'Neal], you got Charles [Barkley], I think Zach Lowe ... Stephen A. [Smith], all y'all better start giving this team some damn respect," Murray said, per ESPN. "Because we put in the work.
We shouldn't have been down 3-1, but to come back down 3-1 against the Clippers is a big achievement, so it's fun just to change that narrative."
Murray says the Nuggets outworked the Clippers
The Clippers led by 12 before the Nuggets stormed back to win Game 7 104-89.
"We've got a lot of energy, and we brought it and they didn't match that," Murray said. "They got who they got. They've got a talented squad. They've got Doc [Rivers], too. They've got assistant coaches who are about to be head coaches.
We know what they have, we just outworked them a little bit with our young legs." Nuggets big men Nikola Jokic promised coach Mike Malone a nice present before Game 7. "Coach, I'm going to get you a great present," Jokic told Malone before the game.
"I'm either going to get you home or get you to the Western Conference finals." The Nuggets play next against the first-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. "We are just not accepting that somebody's better than us," Jokic said.
"Nobody wants us here. Nobody thinks we can do something. We prove ourselves and proved everybody we can do something." Nuggets coach Malone was proud of his team and acknowledged that their effort on the court says everything about their chemistry and relationship.
"I think this is our sixth straight elimination game. Seventy-one days in the bubble and just to stay together, that commitment, that toughness is -- you don't see that around very often," Malone said. "That speaks to the guys in the locker room and how much they love each other. Just an amazing feeling."