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."