Troy Murphy was a pretty genius addition for the Nets. They wormed their way into the Darren Collison-Trevor Ariza deal and wound up with a quality starting power forward to let Derrick Favors grow into his sneakers. Murphy can stretch the floor, rebound, and is productive minute by minute when he gets on the floor.
Problem is, he’s not getting on the floor. And it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon.
NBA.com reports that Murphy is out “indefinitely” with a back problem. The problem, head coach Avery Johnson said Saturday, is a “bad disk.” That’s frightening news, despite Johnson saying he doesn’t think Johnson will need surgery. That bold emphasis is from your esteemed weekend editor, and it is for effect. This has all the signs of something that could clear up in a week, or could drag on until surgery is unavoidable. There’s little way to predict how it will go, and in the meantime, you can be assured that Murphy is in a considerable amount of pain.
The impact of this is greater than you think. Favors is struggling, and I mean badly, in his preseason games. He needs time, and this injury does not afford him that. Meanwhile, it makes the Nets much more of a wing-oriented team and puts more pressure on Brook Lopez to carry the inside burden. Throw in the fact that there are two teams with playoff aspirations (Celtics, Knicks) who can get fat off their four games with the Nets, and this thing looks more significant than you’d think at first glance.
Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA
It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.
Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.
Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.
These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.
The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).