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Denver’s Jamal Murray prepares for the playoff series against Nickeil Alexander-Walker

The second round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs kicks off tonight with the Western Conference semifinals between the Minnesota Timberwolves and defending champion Denver Nuggets.

Minnesota defeated the Phoenix Suns in the first round, while the Nuggets defeated LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. This should be a very entertaining series as it pits an exciting Timberwolves team against the defending champs.

Before Game 1, Denver guard Jamal Murray talked about the matchup and gave a former Virginia Tech first-round draft pick some love.

Murray spoke to the media and appears ready to take on Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who will likely be paired with him on occasion.

“He’s always competitive. That’s what I love the most. We can talk back and forth, but we know it’s all love.”

Jamal Murray

It’s likely the two will be teammates for Team Canada in the Summer Olympics this year, but first they have a second-round match where Alexander-Walker will be called upon to slow down Murray. Against the Lakers, Murray scored at least 20 points in all five games with a series-high 32 in Game 5.

Not to be outdone, Alexander-Walker had a very good series against the Suns on both ends of the floor. He scored 18 points in Game 1, 10 points in Game 2, 16 in Game 3 and five in the Game 4 win that completed a sweep of Kevin Durant and Phoenix.

This has the potential to be the best second-round matchup the NBA has this spring and there’s no doubt that Alxander-Walker and Murray will play a big role in that. Don’t be surprised if you see this close to the distance when all is said and done.