Troy Murphy, bless his soul, has not made a single shot during his four games as a Boston Celtic. For those counting, his streak has now reached ten consecutive misses, and he has not made an in-game shot since January 7th.
On that date, the Celtics played the Toronto Raptors — Luke Harangody led the Celtics in rebounds and chipped in 17 points for his only professional double-double; Nate Robinson added 15 points; Marquis Daniels scored six points; Semih Erden recorded six minutes of playing time; and Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal both played. Only seven Celtics who played in that game remain with the team. In other NBA action on January 7th, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Golden St. Warriors. It was the ninth loss of their record 26-game skid.
Since Murphy last hit a shot, Paul Pierce has scored 619 points, Rajon Rondo has compiled 288 assists, Kevin Garnett has grabbed 206 rebounds, the nation’s average price of gas raised from $3.083 per gallon to $3.52 per gallon, and I lost 25 pounds, then put 10 back on.
Let’s just say it’s been awhile.
Before Wednesday night, Murphy had at least played in every half since he signed with Boston. But Doc Rivers opted not to sub Murphy into the game during the second half. (WEEI)
“He’s just not ready yet,” Rivers said. “It’s just going to take him some time. I’m not that concerned with it, but he isn’t. A couple of times in the first half you could just see him [not] knowing the schemes, he was in the wrong place. They took advantage of that. When we were making a run in the second half you didn’t want to take the risk of putting him back on the floor.”
I don’t know much in this world, but I do know that when a coach says, “You didn’t want to take the risk of putting him back on the floor,” that’s not good.
Murphy told Paul Flannery he’s “feeling better every day,” but, well, the early signs aren’t good. Optimists will point out that Murphy more or less took a month off of professional basketball, so the rust is natural. Pessimists will point out that Sasha Pavlovic did the same thing, yet looks infinitely more comfortable already — plus, wasn’t Murphy’s run of DNP-CDs mostly because he played himself out of the rotation?
You know what would really be a kick in the balls? If Murphy, who has not made the playoffs once in any of his nine years in the league, finally makes the postseason in Boston… only to have Doc Rivers leave him off the playoff roster.
There’s still plenty of time for Murphy to find his legs, show he can contribute and — hey, who knows? — maybe even make a shot. But he hasn’t shown his past double-double form, or anything close to it, during his brief run in Boston.
“Some guys will fit in, some guys will not,” Rivers said. “All the guys we don’t need to fit, honestly. When we go to the playoffs were going to go to nine guys anyway, for the most part. I have 20 games to figure out which ones have the value.”
In that time, Troy’s got a lot of proving to do.