The Boston Celtics got Troy Murphy and the Miami Heat didn’t.
In the end, that may be the biggest part of the Murphy signing by the Celtics. Boston already had some depth, even though their front line is banged up now. Miami on the other hand really needs a guy who can stretch the floor and get some boards inside. They need another big man more desperately than the Celtics.
But Murphy will get a chance to prove he can be more than that for Boston — and he could get thrown into the mix quickly with Kendrick Perkins in the West, Shaquille O’Neal out at least another week and Jermaine O’Neal another month.
Jessica Camerato over at CSN New England lists a few other things Murphy brings to the table.
Murphy’s size (6-11, 245 pounds) and shooting abilities gives him the rebounding skills of a big man and the long-range game of a guard. Last season he averaged 10.2 rebounds per game while knocking down 128 3-pointers (38.4%) with the Indiana Pacers. Expect Murphy to spread the floor, one of the Celtics biggest weapons, while being a reliable contributor on the glass…
Murphy, 30, has been in the league for nine years. But after appearing in 639 games, he has yet to see the postseason. This could actually be an advantage to the Celtics. Even though Murphy has never battled through the playoffs, he comes to Boston hungry to win.
I’m not sure hunger to win it all again was really a concern in Boston. But fine.
Word of caution Celtics fans — don’t expect too much. Teams don’t buy out productive players. Murphy has battled injuries this season, been sent home from the team and his numbers are well down this season from previous.
The best-case scenario is a P.J. Brown boost — 10 quality veteran minutes a night that gives you some key playoff moments. Maybe that is all Boston needs.
But at least he’s not in Miami.
Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:
Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.
He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.
Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:
“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”
Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.
“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”
At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.