Murphy more comfortable in the Celts' system


Murphy more comfortable in the Celts' system

By A.Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON The Boston Celtics' 87-56 thumping of the Milwaukee Bucks afforded a number of players a chance to see more action than usual.

Nobody needed that extra time on the floor more than Troy Murphy.

Of all the new Celtics, Murphy has clearly been the one who has struggled the most adapting to his new teammates.

But he's also the one who has spent the most time prior to coming to Boston not playing.

On Sunday, Murphy reminded us that despite his struggles in Boston, he's still capable of making plays. He scored a season-high 11 points against the Bucks.

"Troy just needed to see the ball go in the hoop once or twice, so that was good," said coach Doc Rivers.

When Murphy signed with the Celtics, they added him because of his ability to spread the floor from the power forward or center position.

After missing his first 10 shots as a Celtic, Murphy has connected on six of his last eight.

The nine-year veteran will be the first to tell you that developing a rhythm in limited minutes is not easy.

That's why getting a chance to play more than 17 minutes -- he hadn't played that much in one game since logging 22 minutes with New Jersey against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 19 -- was so important to his play not only on Sunday, but moving forward.

"We haven't had that many practices and it felt good to go out there and get in a rhythm," Murphy said.

Kevin Garnett echoed similar sentiments about Murphy.

"It's good to see him play well," Garnett told reporters Sunday night. "He's trying to find a rhythm. He hasn't played for a while. He's trying to figure out ways to help this team. We're trying to help him. So just for him to have a good game was much needed and I'm happy for him."

Now the challenge for Murphy is to build off Sunday's performance.

With Glen Davis back in the lineup following a four-game absence due to a left knee injury, there are likely to be fewer opportunities for Murphy in the near future as far as extended minutes on the floor.

In addition to the C's having a different system than the ones he has been in before, Murphy acknowledged that the responsibilities of big men in the Celtics system are greater than what he's used to elsewhere.

"Every system you give something up," Murphy said. "This system, you're not giving anything up so it's a big difference."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 


“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”