Troy Murphy believes he can return to full form
Everything's "going 100 miles an hour right now" for Troy Murphy, including participating in his first Lakers practice, catching up after missing the first eight days of training camp and settling into Los Angeles.
But there's one thing the Lakers' recently signed forward insists won't hold him back in the 2011-12 season -- his health. Last year, Murphy suffered back and hamstring injuries two weeks before the season opener and would go on to average only 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds with New Jersey and Boston, part of the reason why the Lakers were able to sign him to a one-year, $1.4-million contract.
Both Lakers Coach Mike Brown and Murphy believe his previous seven seasons, in which he averaged a double-double four times, better reflect his current abilities.
"I never really got my rhythm" last season, Murphy, 31, said after practice Sunday at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo. "I never really got going last year. It was a difficult situation in New Jersey where the team is coming off a real bad season and there's a new coach, new owners, new GM. It was a transitional year for that franchise."
Murphy very well could lack double-double production again this season. This time, however, it likely won't be because of injuries. Murphy's presence provides an insurance policy behind Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Josh McRoberts. That led Brown to acknowledge his uncertainty about how many minutes Murphy will play each game. It's been only three seasons since Murphy shot 45% from three-point range, and Brown believes his presence will help space the floor, improve the Lakers' subpar outside shooting from last season and ensure better inside production.
"We don't necessarily need him to be a double-double guy unless he gets the minutes," Brown said. "He didn't get those minutes last year. But when he got the minutes, he's shown he can be a double-double guy."
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