The Whiteboard: More crazy stats from Dejounte Murray's big night

Today on The Whiteboard, more crazy stats from Dejounte Murray's 44-shot night, preferred Play-In Tournament matchups and more.

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Today on The Whiteboard, more crazy stats from Dejounte Murray's 44-shot night, preferred Play-In Tournament matchups and more.

Dejounte Murray has been putting up some big numbers without Trae Young but he took things to a new level last night — scoring 44 points on 18-of-44 from the field in an overtime win over the Celtics. Murray is getting attention for the win, for hitting the game-winner, for dropping 44 and, mostly, for attempting 44 shots.

As Yahoo noted, that was "the seventh-most in an NBA game since 1984 and the most since Russell Westbrook attempted 44 shots in 2016."

After the game, Murray joked that Kobe Bryant would be proud of him and he's absolutely right, especially once he got a look at these other stats.

More crazy stats from Dejounte Murray's 44-shot night

Since Trae Young went down with injury, Dejounte Murray has had the ball in his hands, on average, about 9.1 minutes per game. Across the entire season, Young and Doncic are tied for the league lead at 8.4 minutes per game. Against the Celtics, Murray had the ball in his hands for 12.9 minutes, more than the rest of his teammates combined.

Across the entire season, Doncic leads the league in the average number of shots that come after seven or more dribbles, at 10.3 per game. Against the Celtics, Murray attempted 16 of these shots.

On average, Murray dribbles the ball about 351 times per game this season. Against the Celtics, he dribbled about 758 times.

On the season, Murray averages 7.8 pull-up jumpers per game. Doncic leads the league with an average of 14.0 pull-up attempts per game. Against the Celtics, Murray attempted 27 pull-up jumpers ... for a 38.9 effective field goal percentage.

He wasn't joking about channeling Kobe Bryant.

Subscribe to The Whiteboard, FanSided's daily email newsletter on everything basketball. If you like The Whiteboard, share it with someone you love! If you don't like The Whiteboard, share it with someone you loathe!

Dec 8, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) looks on
Dec 8, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) looks on / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Three: Lior Lampert on the Knicks health and Play-In Matchups

FanSided staff writer Lior Lampert joins us today to answer three big questions about the health of the Knicks and his favorite potential matchups for the NBA Play-In Tournament. You can follow Lior on Twitter and read more of his work here.

1. Of the three key players who have had extensive absences throughout the season – OG Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle – who is the most essential to have healthy for a deep Knicks playoff run?

While Mitchell Robinson is officially back in the lineup, he is still not at full strength and getting into game shape after missing the past 50 games. Regardless, the answer to this question is OG Anunoby. Despite Julius Randle being an All-NBA caliber big man, his defensive woes and track record playoff struggles are difficult to ignore. Anunoby’s two-way presence and impact have a colossal influence on team success, as evidenced by New York having a 15-2 record in the 17 contests he’s suited up for since being traded to the Big Apple. Since Jan. 1, when OG made his debut, the Knicks have had the second-best defensive rating in the NBA (110.4). That number shrinks to 103.9 when he plays and rises to 115.3 when he sits. Moreover, he’s shooting over 42 percent on corner threes, highlighting his prototypical 3-and-D prowess. A wing who can defend every position while providing a scoring punch like Anunoby is critical for postseason success.

2. Which two of the three bottom teams in the West – Lakers, Warriors, Rockets – do you think will make the Play-In Tournament? Who would you most like to see make the tournament?

If it were up to me, the Houston Rockets would be taking one of two spots up for grabs in the bottom half of the Western Conference Play-In Tournament along with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know what LeBron James and Anthony Davis are capable of in a best-of-seven series, and the Golden State Warriors feel like they lack firepower behind Stephen Curry to make a deep run this year. But Houston is an exciting up-and-coming young team who could benefit from an experience like the play-in.

The Rockets have impressively won ten straight games to bring themselves to within one game of Golden State for the No. 10 seed in the West, all while their star center, Alperen Sengun, has been out with an ankle injury. Young players like Jalen Green, Amen Thompson, and Jabari Smith Jr. have stepped up to help fill the void left by Sengun. Green has ascended during this stretch, averaging 37.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 45.9 percent from beyond the arc. His play has kept the ship afloat and made Houston one of the more exciting teams to watch. Seeing what this team can do in a win-or-go-home environment would be a pleasant and exciting surprise.

3. What’s one potential matchup you’re really looking forward to in the Play-In Tournament?

The Dallas Mavericks sit in sixth place in the West, narrowly avoiding the Play-In Tournament, but they aren’t too far away from falling back into that mix, leading the No. 7 seed Phoenix Suns by only half a game. However, these two teams would be my ideal choice for a potential matchup because of the star power they possess. Dallas and Phoenix have five Hall of Fame players between both teams in the form of Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal, which would make for an exciting game atmosphere.

Neither team is good on the defensive end of the floor, so it’d set up for an entertaining and high-scoring affair. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this prospective meeting is that both Dallas and Phoenix have expectations of going far in the playoffs and competing for an NBA Championship this year after investing a lot of financial resources and draft capital to construct their rosters around the superstar talents they each have on their team. Moreover, the fallout of one of these teams falling short would make for entertaining offseason storylines.

Recommended Reading:

1. No, the Lakers foul disparity is not the result of a deep conspiracy: "Beyond a pernicious plot, moreover, there is ample reason to believe this Lakers team should draw many more fouls than it commits. On offense, the Lakers rank 29th in 3-point attempt rate, per CtG, and are tied for second in the rate of shots they attempt at the rim. (The team with the highest at-rim frequency is Orlando, which leads the league in free throw rate.) In other words, L.A. takes a larger proportion of its shots in the area most likely to draw foul calls." Doc Rivers Regret, Lakers Conspiracies, and Playoff Possibilities

2. Grant Nelson hive assemble: "Scouts will naturally be drawn to players with Nelson's blend of size and skill. The success of NBA players is increasingly dependent on that intersection. Nelson can look unstoppable when he's hot from 3-point range, capable of pulling rim protectors out of the paint and skirting around them as a slasher." 2024 NBA Draft scouting report: Grant Nelson

3. Doncic and the defense: "Harrison added big men Daniel Gafford (from the Wizards) and P.J. Washington (from the Hornets), with the latter deal requiring the Mavericks to admit that the offseason addition of forward Grant Williams hadn’t worked out like they’d hoped. Williams, who was given a four-year, $54 million deal in the summer as part of a three-team sign-and-trade, was sent to Charlotte with Seth Curry and a 2027 first-round pick in the Washington deal. Add in the likes of rookie standout Dereck Lively II (taken 12th overall from Duke) and human pogo stick Derrick Jones Jr., and the Mavs suddenly have a supporting cast proving capable of making a Luka-Kyrie defense work." Why Mavericks’ defense changes everything in NBA’s wild West, and a look at chaos to come

Subscribe. The Whiteboard Subscribe CTA. The Whiteboard, FanSided's daily NBA email newsletter. dark