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Dejounte Murray will have some bumps along the road

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, right, talks to guard Dejounte Murray during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

It is going to take time, patience, and room for growing pains for Dejounte Murray heading into the new season.

The second-year guard will be tasked with holding down the point guard spot until Tony Parker returns to the court after surgery and rehab to repair a torn quadriceps muscle.

And even when Parker does return, it won't necessarily mean Murray's job as the team's starting point guard will be over. Parker will need additional time to get back into the swing of things meaning Murray's trial by fire won't be over.

There will be bumps along the road this season for Dejounte but the Spurs coaching staff and his teammates know what lies ahead.

“His progression is a work-in-progress," said Assistant Coach Becky Hammon about Murray's growth. "He’s young and there are going to be some learning bumps along the way but I think we just have to let him roll with it because it’s essential to his growth.”

In just a handful of preseason games, Murray has hit some of those bumps.

In a preseason loss to the Kings, he racked up four fouls in 18 minutes, and five fouls and shot 2-6 from the field in a win versus the Kings.

But it hasn't been all pot-holes for Murray. He's shown that he is more than capable of handling the duties left vacant by Parker and his teammates have taken notice.

"He may have struggled the first game, but he did good," said Manu Ginobili. "He is a talented kid, and he is self-confident. He is going to do good, he just needs to adapt like everybody else."

"He is just going to get way better. Knowing that he is going to be there, and knowing that he is going to get those 25 or 30 minutes, it is going to be great. It will be an accelerated maturing process," Manu said.

This preseason, he's averaged 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 45 percent. That's not too terrible considering he is on the fast-track but more will be needed.

"More guys are looking at him to be more vocal and lead the team. He can get us organized when it feels a bit more chaotic," said Hammon.

Murray will definitely be in the thick of things once the regular-season tips off. He'll be pitted against some of the NBA's best - Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kyrie Irving - and they won't take it easy on him.

But his confidence, and team support will go a long way.

“He is a talented kid, and he is self-confident," said Manu Ginobili. "He is just going to get way better. Knowing that he is going to be there, and knowing that he is going to get those 25 or 30 minutes, it is going to be great. It will be an accelerated maturing process.”

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone

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