3 Reasons Timberwolves fans shouldn't worry despite 27-point loss

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Three
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Three / David Berding/GettyImages
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1. Jamal Murray's impressive performance is an outlier

Denver's Jamal Murray cooked Minnesota for 24 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Murray's 24 points were the most he's scored against the Timberwolves since Game 5 of last year's first-round matchup.

In Murray's last six games facing the Timberwolves, he's averaged 16.8 points and shot only 40.6 percent from the floor. The combination of Jaden McDaniels and Alexander-Walker have used their length to cause Murray all types of problems.

The Nuggets floor general's low point occurred in Game 2. Murray scored just eight points and connected on 3-of-18 field goal attempts. His emotions got the best of him as he threw a heating pad onto the floor while the action ensued. Murray was later fined $100,000 for his actions.

In Game 3, Murray did much of his damage off a pick-and-roll and when the defense was in disarray. The Nuggets guard is only 1-of-8 from the floor when defended by the 6-foot-9 McDaniels. And his one make was an extremely tough fadeaway in the mid-range.

Prioritizing a hedge on Murray will be key, rather than an upfront switch. The Denver guard frequently drove past bigs when switched onto him. Additionally, he'd quickly attack Reid, Towns, and even Rudy Gobert before pulling up for a mid-range jumper.

Of course, utilizing a hedge when Jokic is the screener isn't ideal. But Denver does employ one below-average 3-point shooter and that's Gordon—Gobert's primary matchup. Theoretically, Gobert would slide over to defend Jokic after a roll, allowing Towns or Reid time to get back in position and McDaniels or Alexander-Walker time to jump in front of Murray.

The Nuggets' star is a tough player to guard, but Minnesota has several players capable of doing so, making his impressive performance a potential outlier. The combination of length and physicality Minnesota possesses led to its top-ranked regular-season defense. Continuing to harass Murray on the defense will end up in more Game 2 efforts than Game 3 performances.