How Warriors gave Kings’ Keegan Murray his ‘welcome to the NBA’ moment

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Murray explains his 'welcome to the NBA' moment vs. Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Keegan Murray has been impressive to start his rookie campaign with the Kings, garnering Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors for December.

But there was a particular instance the 22-year-old recalled as his "welcome to the NBA" moment: Playing against the defending champion Golden State Warriors for the first time on Oct. 23.

"I think the first time we played them, they put like 91 on us in the first half or something, high 80s something like that," Murray said during the NBA's "Rising Stars Report" Twitter Spaces on Thursday. "But I was just like, the speed of the game, the way they play. It's just crazy to be there in person and play against them.

"So I think that was my third game of the year. And it was just kind of like, 'What the heck is going on?'"

During the contest, the 6-foot-8 Murray was tasked with guarding multiple Warriors as part of the Kings' defensive scheme.

"I was on Draymond [Green]. But yeah, I mean, we switch all the time," Murray recalled, "So I was on everyone. So yeah, I think that was kind of my 'welcome to the NBA' moment."

Sacramento gave up 89 points in the first half to the Warriors, giving up 50 points in just the second quarter alone. While the Kings whittled down the lead in the second half, they eventually fell 130-125 to the Warriors.

Furthermore, Murray noted what he took away from guarding Green and the Warriors' other stars.

"I feel like he's one of the great facilitators that are in the league right now," Murray added. "You see, every single game, he's pushing the pace, setting up Steph [Curry] or Klay [Thompson] or Jordan [Poole], shooting threes and things like that.

"He's kind of the anchor of that team. You just have to be alert for the whole 48 minutes when you're going up against them."

Murray's "welcome to the NBA" moment coming in his third game has to be a good sign for Kings fans as the rookie has played with a demeanor typically seen among league veterans.

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The rookie's steady presence on both sides of the ball is among the reasons why the Kings have been successful so far this season.

Even still, every rookie has their "welcome to the NBA" moment and for Murray, it's courtesy of the defending champions.