Kevin Murphy: MVP & Too Hard To Guard Breakdown
By John Krolik (@krolikjohn) October 11, 2022
What more is to say about Kevin Murphy? After winning the BIG3 Rookie of the Year Award in 2021, Murphy somehow took an exponential leap this season and won the 2022 BIG3 MVP award.
Did Murphy make an impact on every area of the game? Not exactly. What Kevin Murphy did was score, and he did it a lot better than anyone else in the BIG3. Since the team that scores more points wins 100% of the time, it’s okay to have your one superior skill be your ability to fill it up.
And oh my, did Kevin Murphy ever fill it up. In Week 1, he put up 28 points against the Ghost Ballers, and he never looked back. He ended the season with 181 points, one point shy of Joe Johnson’s single-season record. The next-highest scorer, Isaiah Briscoe, scored “just” 153 points, which means there was an 18-point gap between the #1 and #2 scorers in a league with an eight-game regular season. That’s absolutely bonkers.
It’s not like Murphy’s scoring came at the expense of his team’s success, either. The 3 Headed Monsters lost that Week 1 game to the Ghost Ballers by a heartbreaking final score of 53-50. After that they ran off six straight wins, and didn’t lose again until the last game of the regular season, when they had already clinched a playoff seed. There are a lot of great players on 3HM, but that crucial winning streak was driven by Murphy’s brilliance. Murphy became the first player who wasn’t a Captain or Co-Captain to win the BIG3 MVP award, but there was no denying he was 3HM’s on-court leader.
In what should perhaps be an unsurprising development, the league’s best scorer was also named the Too Hard To Guard player for the 2022 season. In basketball, we talk about “three-level scorers,” players who can score from the paint, the midrange, and the three-point line. Murphy is deadly from all of those spots, and for good measure he led the league in made four-point shots with five. (He also, with help from his son, won the inaugural four-point shootout.) Forget about a three-level scorer – Murphy is a four-level scorer. Good luck trying to stop that.
Ultimately, the 3 Headed Monsters’ season ended the way it started. Murphy put up 28 points, but 3HM lost a heartbreaker of a game to Power in the semifinals, losing on a game-winning three-pointer by Glen Rice Jr. to end the contest at 51-49 and send Power to the Finals. Even though 3HM came up short in that game, the back-and-forth battle down the stretch between Rice, the Rookie of the Year, and Murphy, the MVP, was certainly one of the highlights of the season.
Ultimately, 3HM’s 2022 campaign ended in familiar fashion. After looking like a top team in the league all throughout the regular season, they fell just short of coming through in the playoffs and grabbing that elusive BIG3 Championship. However, with the newly-crowned MVP Murphy at the helm, I’d expect the 3 Headed Monsters’ title drought to end sooner rather than later.