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.
Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.
The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.
The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.
Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.
Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.
Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.
“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”
The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.
Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.
LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.
Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?
Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.
LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.
To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.
It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.