By A.Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON Troy Murphy hadn't played in a game since early January.
And boy, did it show.
The Boston Celtics are well aware there will be better days ahead for them and Murphy, who made his Celtics debut in Wednesday's 115-103 win over Phoenix.
Against the Suns, Murphy had a single point while grabbing a pair of rebounds.
Even more significant was that he played more than 14 minutes.
If coach Doc Rivers had his way, he would have seen Murphy play even more minutes.
"Murphy looked good, but he was dying out there," Rivers said.
Murphy wants to play as many minutes as possible, but he understands it's going to take some time.
"It felt good to be out there," Murphy said. "I'm looking forward to practice Thursday and getting a practice under my belt, and then coming back playing on Friday. I'm just excited to be here and get this first one out of the way."
Every moment will to some degree be like a first for Murphy, who comes to Boston having never been in the postseason.
"It's the reason I came here," said Murphy, who chose the Celtics over the Miami Heat. "They have had success in the playoff runs; they have some good playoff runs, and that was very appealing to me."
Adding a long-range shooter and rebounder like Murphy, without having to touch your core group to do so, is something the C's have every reason to be excited about.
But for now, those emotions have to be tempered with the reality that it's going to take some time before this team starts to come together and jell, Murphy included.