Troy Murphy arrived in Dallas and participated in the team’s morning shootaround as they prepared for their home opener against the Charlotte Bobcats. Murphy took the place of Eddy Curry on the 15-man roster. Curry was waived after playing in the first two regular season games for Dallas. Curry averaged 4.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 12.5 minutes.
After coming into town last week for workouts and participating in the team’s shootaround, coach Rick Carlisle has liked what he’s seen out of his former player. “He looks good. He’s got an idea of what we’re doing,” Carlisle said of Murphy. “It’ll take him a while to get in great shape, but he’s always in good shape. He’ll get ready to play really quick.” Murphy is a familiar player to Carlisle and assistant coach Jim O’Brien and that went a long way in bringing him on board with the Mavericks. “That’s the reason we got him,” Carlisle said. “He’s familiar with what we’re doing. He can rebound and he can shoot the ball. Those are things that are valuable things for us.”
Murphy explained that Carlisle and O’Brien were huge reasons for coming to Dallas. “I wanted to wait for the right situation and I feel like this is it with coach Carlisle,” Murphy said after the team’s shootaround.
While Dallas hasn’t exactly participated much in the lottery over the years, their acquisitions as of late involve players who were early selections in the past. Murphy (6-11, 245) was the 14th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. The Morristown, N.J., native played collegiately at Notre Dame where he was a consensus All-America selection as a sophomore and a junior and was an early-entry candidate in the 2001 NBA Draft. He has played in 715 games (481 starts) with Golden State, Indiana, New Jersey, Boston and Los Angeles Lakers. He holds career averages of 10.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 27.5 minutes per game.
Murphy has averaged a points-rebounds double-double four times in his career, most recently in 2009-10 when, as a member of the Indiana Pacers, he averaged 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. Murphy spent last year with the Lakers and played in 59 games during the lockout-shortened season. It’s a simple plan for Murphy on how he can try to get back into that rhythm he had three seasons ago. “I just need to continue to work hard, take shots and pursue rebounds,” Murphy said.
Dallas’ strong depth that was on display in the preseason has taken a hit with injuries to Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki. In today’s game, teams now have at least one stretch power forward, a big who can bring defenders out to the three-point line, on their roster. Despite the depth, Nowitzki was really the only big who could stretch the floor out that far. Murphy has shown the ability over his career to do that. It’s now just a matter of seeing if his shooting touch has disappeared. He’s hopeful his time in the past with the two coaches will help get acclimated quickly into a system that could suit him well. “I’m very comfortable in the system,” Murphy said. “I really enjoyed playing with [coach Carlisle and coach O'Brien]. I’m just trying to learn their calls and their plays. Hopefully it won’t take too long.”
If he’s still able to produce, the Mavericks would be hoping he can add to their bench scoring productivity. The Mavericks’ bench outscored the Lakers’ bench 37-17 in the win on 10/30. Dallas’ bench outscored Utah’s bench 40-35 in the loss on 10/31. The Mavericks are averaging 38.5 bench-points per game through the first two games of the season. The Mavericks averaged 41.0 points per game off the bench in 2011-12, which ranked third in the league.
For those curious, Murphy will wear No. 6 for the Mavericks. Avery Johnson, Chucky Brown, Danny Manning, Eddie Jones, Khalid Reeves, Marquis Daniels, Quinton Ross, Tyson Chandler and Windford Boynes are the other Mavericks who have worn No. 6 for the team. Boynes holds a special part of the team’s history. He joined Tom LaGarde, Jerome Whitehead, Abdul Jeelani and Geoff Huston in the starting lineup for the first regular season game for Dallas as they went up against San Antonio on 10/11/80. He was Dallas’ high scorer that historic evening with 21 points. In 44 games, Boynes averaged 6.5 points per game. The Mavericks waived Boynes on 2/19/81 which represented the end of Boynes’ NBA career.
While Murphy will suit up against the Bobcats, it still remains to be seen on whether or not he will play. Murphy noted that Carlisle had simple advice for him. “He just told me to be ready,” Murphy concluded. “Just always be ready.”
Briefly: Chris Kaman is expected to suit up tonight after missing time due to a strained right calf, according to coach Rick Carlisle. Roddy Beaubois is a game-time decision after turning his left ankle in the team’s practice on Friday afternoon.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.