Hoping Murphy’s Stay Is Longer Than Expected

Murphy is not only the best power forward the Nets have had since Kenyon Martin, he might be the best boxscore stuffer they’ve had at the position since Derrick Coleman.Dave D’Alessandro/The Star-Ledger

When Troy Murphy opted to skip his senior year at Notre Dame, I was pretty disappointed. The news that he going to spend this upcoming NBA season with the New Jersey Nets almost makes up for it.

Almost.

As a big ND hoops fan, I had hoped that Murphy would have stayed for his last year of eligibility to help Ryan Humphrey, Matt Carroll, and David Graves give coach Mike Brey his first (and best) shot at the Final Four.

It didn’t happen. Murphy went on to play for nine seasons for the Warriors and Pacers and was dealt to the Nets as part of a four-team, five-player trade last month.

I was pleased to see the interview Dave D’Alessandro from the Star-Ledger did with Murphy a few weeks ago, as it illustrated the kind of player and person Murphy is.

But according to NetsAreScorching.com’s Mark Ginoccio, Murphy’s stay in New Jersey could be even more short-lived.

Carmelo Anthony would be a huge get for the soon-to-be Brooklyn To Be Named Laters, but color me biased, I’d like to see Murphy play in his home state for awhile.

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Point Of The Matter

Lost in all of drama of what the New York Knicks didn’t do this off season has when they have accomplished. The quiet acquisition of point guard Raymond Felton, for one, is a transaction that is going to pay immediate dividends.

To the casual basketball fan who watches ESPN, the Knicks whiffing on LeBron James may seem catastrophic. But speaking for myself, who has been a Knicks fan since 1975, I think the changes made to this team this offseason bode well.

Yes, having Amar’e Stoudemire as the focal point of Mike D’Antoni’s offense is huge. Bringing in the talented trio of Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf brings athleticism (Randolph), some shooting ability off the bench (Azubuike) and interior defense (Turiaf).

But at point guard, the most important role in D’Antoni’s uptempo offense, Felton could prove to be the most important pickup since the Knicks traded for Earl Monroe in 1971.

Looking at statistics will only tell part of Felton’s story. Yes, in his five seasons with Charlotte, Felton averaged a mediocre 13.3 points and 6.4 assists, while shooting 41 percent from the field. But in reality, he is the best point guard the team has had in the last five years. Plus, he has a winning pedigree.

He won back-to-back state championships in high school, an N.C.A.A. title at North Carolina and helped the expansion Bobcats to their first playoff berth last season. He also played in a very controlled and precise offense in Charlotte, and in D’Antoni’s system, that will change dramatically.

So will the Knick’s fortunes.