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Thread: The McMurphy Phenomena

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    Default The McMurphy Phenomena

    A few years ago when we acquired Troy Murphy, I recall reading a Golden State fan's description of him. Basically, the guy said he fills the box score but helps you lose games. I had not seen Troy play...so I pretty much ignored this poster. Well, I think either through logic or intuition this guy knew what he was talking about.

    After seeing Murphy play a few months, I started coming over to that view. I realize some people think he's a new man this year and that's fine. He probably is a little better. However, I would like some opinions on the following impact Murphy's absence and McRoberts' presence have to our .342 record. Why do you think this has happened? Why is McRoberts not getting more minutes with this record:

    McRoberts' .800 Record (10 minutes or more played)
    Dec 23 NJN L 107-108 25:05
    Dec 20 @ PHI W 95-94 28:23
    Dec 2 LAL W 118-117 10:38
    Nov 12 @NJN W 98-87 14:23
    Nov 10 OKC W 107-99 10:05

    Murphy's .666 Record (less than 25 minutes played)
    Jan 7 @PHO W 113-110 23:10
    Dec 23 NJN L 107-108 0
    Dec 20 @PHI W 95-94 0
    Dec 19 LAC L 109-117 0
    Dec 17 GSW W 127-120 0
    Dec 15 @WAS W 118-98 22:57
    Nov 14 PHI L 92-94 1 14:45
    Nov 12 @NJN W 98-87 0
    Nov 10 OKC W 107-99 13:24

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Murphy's .666 Record (less than 25 minutes played)

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    For one, I do agree McRoberts should get more playing time. But, not because of these stats. Incredibly small sample size, correlation does not imply causation here. How much of a factor was Murphy and McRobert's in those games? They did not get enough playing time to make a very effective outcome on the game. If Manning plays 3 quarters, and Sorgi plays the 4th and the team wins. Was it because of Sorgi?

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    I agree about Troy Murphy filling the box score and that is it. He can score 20 points when his guy is scoring 25 or 43 like yesterday and then the pacers end losing the game by 3 or 5 points.(I would say the same for Rasho or foster), I was watching Troy last night and most of his rebounds are easy rebound with nobody around, Don't get me wrong I like him but for him to be an starter? him, rasho and dunleavy in the starting line up? who is going to play D? Danny? Jack? like I said before the pacers need to make a trade were they can get a guy that plays D regarding on how many points he get, the pacer already have Danny, Ford and Dun to score they need one or two more starter that can play D, unless they do this the pacers would never get better.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Explain how Murphy helps us lose games. I know he has deficiencies, but I think the coach could be creative enough to mask some of them to an extent through a more effective team defensive scheme. Troy isn't a great defender, but to call him the team's biggest problem (as one poster did in another thread) is a little harsh. Troy does his part to help us win. The offensive rebound stats for Troy will always be lower, because he spends so much time on the perimeter for a big man. Is he the best PF? No, but the guy isn't 4th in the league in rebounding just because those are the 11-12 rebounds the other team forgot to get.
    Last edited by NapTonius Monk; 01-13-2009 at 08:07 PM.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickRelease View Post
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    Explain how Murphy helps us lose games. I know he has deficiencies, but I think the coach could be creative enough to mask some of them to an extent through a more effective team defensive scheme. Troy isn't a great defender, but to call him the team's biggest problem (as one poster did in another thread) is a little harsh. Troy does his part to help us win. The offensive rebound stats for Troy will always be lower, because he spends so much time on the perimeter for a big man. Is he the best PF? No, but the guy isn't 4th in the league in rebounding just because those are the 11-12 rebounds the other team forgot to get.
    Those were not my words or the way I would put it. I would just say that the Pacers need a different type of player at the PF position.

    On defense, compared to other starting PF's, Murphy is slow, weak and cannot jump...relatively speaking. McRoberts is none of those for the most part. That's why I think McRoberts would really help our defense...which is the main reason we are losing. So that's my answer to your question of how Murphy helps the Pacers lose. But there is more.

    On offense, we have Dunleavy, Granger and Jack who like to launch threes. That's enough players with the finger on the trigger beyond the arc IMO. Last night I witnessed for the first time in my life, 5 players standing beyond the arc. Foster was standing at the top of the key and we had 4 gunslingers on the perimeter. Well, I think we have enough of those guys. Maybe we don't have the horses to play any other way, but I doubt it. We have a pretty good record without Murphy suited up...and I am ready to take that bet.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    I'm really not a fan of Murphy's game, either. He's either on or off on offense, and almost always 'off' on defense. THAT SAID, the P's don't have a whole lot of bigs that deserve more PT than him right now. You could argue McRoberts, but it's not as if Foster or Rasho bring any more to the table than Murphy.

    Hibbert, of course, is another story entirely...sigh...

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Those were not my words or the way I would put it. I would just say that the Pacers need a different type of player at the PF position.

    On defense, compared to other starting PF's, Murphy is slow, weak and cannot jump...relatively speaking. McRoberts is none of those for the most part. That's why I think McRoberts would really help our defense...which is the main reason we are losing. So that's my answer to your question of how Murphy helps the Pacers lose. But there is more.

    On offense, we have Dunleavy, Granger and Jack who like to launch threes. That's enough players with the finger on the trigger beyond the arc IMO. Last night I witnessed for the first time in my life, 5 players standing beyond the arc. Foster was standing at the top of the key and we had 4 gunslingers on the perimeter. Well, I think we have enough of those guys. Maybe we don't have the horses to play any other way, but I doubt it. We have a pretty good record without Murphy suited up...and I am ready to take that bet.
    Fair enough. The 5 players above the arc comment was chuckle-rrific. I agree that we need more of an interior defensive presence. As this team is currently constructed, I'm ok with Troy on the floor. I wouldn't mind seeing McRoberts in there to see how he does, though. It's not like he'll mess up our winning chemistry. Refresh my memory, wasn't McRoberts something of a shooter at Duke? What happened to his shooting ability in the pros?

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    A few years ago when we acquired Troy Murphy, I recall reading a Golden State fan's description of him. Basically, the guy said he fills the box score but helps you lose games. I had not seen Troy play...so I pretty much ignored this poster. Well, I think either through logic or intuition this guy knew what he was talking about.
    I didn't say he helps you lose games, I just said he isn't as good of a player as his numbers may indicate. But here's the post anyways.

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-...71&postcount=1

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickRelease View Post
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    Fair enough. The 5 players above the arc comment was chuckle-rrific. I agree that we need more of an interior defensive presence. As this team is currently constructed, I'm ok with Troy on the floor. I wouldn't mind seeing McRoberts in there to see how he does, though. It's not like he'll mess up our winning chemistry. Refresh my memory, wasn't McRoberts something of a shooter at Duke? What happened to his shooting ability in the pros?
    If you didn't see it, the ball was passed around the perimeter too. Only one guy didn't touch it. It was quite special IMO.

    Yes, this team is lacking the Antonio and Dale Davis presence needed to compete in the playoffs. We don't have the pieces to be good, but I think we can be better with a different mix. A relatively small adjustment could push this team above .400 IMO.

    If we had a true C who had some athleticism, I would be fine with Murphy. For example, if we had Dwight Howard in the middle (I know I don't ask for much), Murphy would be a good match for him. He's just not a good match with our gazelle centers (i.e. Rasho and Roy). He also diminishes Foster's primary function (i.e. rebounding)...so he's not a great match for Foster either.

    The bottom line is, we need Dale Davis back.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    I didn't say he helps you lose games, I just said he isn't as good of a player as his numbers may indicate. But here's the post anyways.

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-...71&postcount=1
    I'm not sure if I was referring to this post...or even if the post was on this website, but will read or re-read it. I think Troy's strengths are obviously offense and rebounding...and those are prominent in the box...so yes, I have little doubt his value is overstated by stats. He does not do the little things needed to win...does not create...really is just a stat hog.

    Edit: d_c: That was a work of art. You have him pegged.
    Last edited by BlueNGold; 01-13-2009 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    I'm not sure if I was referring to this post...or even if the post was on this website, but will read or re-read it. I think Troy's strengths are obviously offense and rebounding...and those are prominent in the box...so yes, I have little doubt his value is overstated by stats. He does not do the little things needed to win...does not create...really is just a stat hog.

    Edit: d_c: That was a work of art. You have him pegged.
    I know I said this before, but this is one of the reasons why I like Kirilenko he is not an stat hog but he does the small things, block shots, assist and steals. Is there any other player that can do the small things like AK47 that the pacers can get?

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    A few years ago when we acquired Troy Murphy, I recall reading a Golden State fan's description of him. Basically, the guy said he fills the box score but helps you lose games. I had not seen Troy play...so I pretty much ignored this poster. Well, I think either through logic or intuition this guy knew what he was talking about.

    After seeing Murphy play a few months, I started coming over to that view. I realize some people think he's a new man this year and that's fine. He probably is a little better. However, I would like some opinions on the following impact Murphy's absence and McRoberts' presence have to our .342 record. Why do you think this has happened? Why is McRoberts not getting more minutes with this record:

    McRoberts' .800 Record (10 minutes or more played)
    Dec 23 NJN L 107-108 25:05
    Dec 20 @ PHI W 95-94 28:23
    Dec 2 LAL W 118-117 10:38
    Nov 12 @NJN W 98-87 14:23
    Nov 10 OKC W 107-99 10:05

    Murphy's .666 Record (less than 25 minutes played)
    Jan 7 @PHO W 113-110 23:10
    Dec 23 NJN L 107-108 0
    Dec 20 @PHI W 95-94 0
    Dec 19 LAC L 109-117 0
    Dec 17 GSW W 127-120 0
    Dec 15 @WAS W 118-98 22:57
    Nov 14 PHI L 92-94 1 14:45
    Nov 12 @NJN W 98-87 0
    Nov 10 OKC W 107-99 13:24
    McBob also played 16:42 in the 12/19 loss to the Clips, bringing the Pacers' record in McBob 10+ games to 4-2.

    Of those six games, Murphy only played in one: the Lakers game. In that game, Murph played 37 minutes, had 16 points, 17 rebounds, and +/- of +12, and had the game winning tip. Since this is a discussion of how Murph helps us lose games, I'm assuming we can just remove this one from the analysis.

    That leaves 5 games with extended minutes for McBob and no Murph, and a 3-2 record, still well above the combined .342 the team has posted.

    The Strength of Schedule (based on today's records) of those teams is .365 (69-120), while the SoS for the remaining games is .571 (700-526). (The Pacers overall SoS is .543 (769-646).

    I can recall McBob having good games in the OKC and Philly wins, and I can remember thinking he played well in the OT of the Clips loss. I can't remember him in either Nets game. In checking the box scores, he posted +7 and +9 vs. OKC & Philly, -16 vs. the Clips. In the two Nets games, he was -8 (in the win) and -5 (the loss). (Note, Devin Harris did not play in the game we won.)

    Now, I realize that the Individual +/- is a flawed statistic. McBob helped us in two of the wins greatly, and didn't hurt us the way the -16 indicates in the Clips loss. However, his -8 in the NJ win is reasonably indicative that Devin Harris' absence coupled with the performance of other Pacers probably drove the victory more than any contribution from McBob.

    In looking at the 9 games where Murph played fewer than 23 minutes, that resulted in six wins and three losses against a combined SoS of .372. (The remaining 29 games (and corresponding 7-22 record) were posted against a SoS of .597.

    All in all, there were 10 games where either Murph played fewer than 23 minutes, McBob played more than 10, or both. One of those games is the Laker game, where Murph was clearly the factor, so that leaves the remaining 9 looked at in the last paragraph (as the 5 McBob games are a subset of that).

    So, the Pacers in games where Murph played 23+, and McBob played fewer than 10 minutes, the Pacers are 7-22. It is against a tougher schedule, and is only a little worse than our 7-18 record against winning teams. It is clear that Murph's production does not translate into wins, but I am unsure how much of that to lay at Murphy's feet.

    As to McBob having a positive impact on wins, the data wobbles between maybe and inconclusive. In six games, there were four wins. One where Murph was a major factor, two where McBob was a positive factor, and one where he was a non-factor. That's two in six (.333) where you could make an argument for McBob's presence actually being the difference maker, which is not really all that different from the overall .342.

    There's no question that this team could use a more physical, defensive power forward, preferably one with a post game. However, it's not like those guys are standing around on street corners waiting to be picked up. While there are places where Murph would be a great fit (Orlando springs to mind), neither here nor Golden State strike me as being the best fit.

    All in all, it's difficult to draw big conclusions from the splits you provided in your post because (a) the opponents in the split were considerably weaker than the average the Pacers have faced, (b) there are other outside factors, and (c) the sample for McBob extended minutes is too small and his actual impact is inconsistent.

    EDIT: I've said in numerous other posts that I'd like to see McBob get more minutes. I don't mind a few coming from Murph, but I don't see that a replacement is appropriate.

    Also, why is somebody trying to hang Okur's 43 on Murph? Memo was playing C, and I don't recall Murph guarding him a great deal. If someone could clarify that one way or the other.
    Last edited by count55; 01-13-2009 at 09:55 PM.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Also, why is somebody trying to hang Okur's 43 on Murph? Memo was playing C, and I don't recall Murph guarding him a great deal. If someone could clarify that one way or the other.

    Foster was "guarding" Okur.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Excellent post Count55.

    I do think that this correlation, if anything at all, should at least give some pause. That's really all.

    Sometimes it's impossible to capture the truth with all the stats and calculus a PHd can bring to the table. How do you measure energy?...against different competition? There are simply too many factors. Sometimes you just have to try it.

    I am convinced the Pacers should give 15mpg to McRoberts every game for 5 straight games as a test. There is very little to lose from a basketball standpoint...particularly this season. But more DNP's are on the way...

    Edit: 1 caveat. This thread is titled McMurphy phenomena for a reason. It's not as narrow as just about Murphy losing us games....so I don't think McBob should be penalized just because Murphy was in that game. McBob's record is still 4-2 in games where he played 10 or more minutes...and that extra victory came against LA....not a bad team.
    Last edited by BlueNGold; 01-13-2009 at 10:53 PM.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Yes, this team is lacking the Antonio and Dale Davis presence needed to compete in the playoffs.
    Bingo.

    We don't have the pieces to be good, but I think we can be better with a different mix. A relatively small adjustment could push this team above .400 IMO.
    I'm not sure about that. We aren't close that close to being bad. We're terrible.

    The bottom line is, we need Dale Davis back.
    Only if he learns to hit his FTs. We need somebody more physical next season, but we can't forget about fundamentals either.
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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    Bingo.
    I'm not sure about that. We aren't close that close to being bad. We're terrible.
    .
    One thing to be optimistic about: Pacers have played 22 road games to only 16 home games. Only the Bucks and Warriors have a bigger disparity in number of road games vs. home games played so far.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Edit: 1 caveat. This thread is titled McMurphy phenomena for a reason. It's not as narrow as just about Murphy losing us games....so I don't think McBob should be penalized just because Murphy was in that game. McBob's record is still 4-2 in games where he played 10 or more minutes...and that extra victory came against LA....not a bad team.
    I'm not (or, at least, not trying to) penalize McBob. I think he contributed to that game, but in the context of what I thought the discussion was, Murph contributed more...I was working the either/or I inferred from the OP.

    Again, McBob should play more, but I think Murph gets a little bit of a bad rap. He gives us what he can. I have little problem believing that he goes after the boards he gets and shoots the threes not to be a stat whore, but because he believes that's the best way he can contribute to the team. I'm sure he knows his limitations, so he works on what he does well.

    (Yes, he's still overpaid.)

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Murphy does not help lose games. I believe that there many positives to his game, and he shows it. He doesn't deserve a lot of the flack he gets here, because he's putting up good numbers. He isn't doing that bad of a job.

    I'm not going to chime in about his salary, because there are many players in many different leagues that make way too much money for what they do.

    In the meantime I'm going to be glad we have at least some *consistent* talent on this team besides Granger.
    Last edited by duke dynamite; 01-14-2009 at 12:31 AM.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Personally, I'd rather see Murphy than Foster on the court. At least teams have to guard Murphy.
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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    Murphy does not help lose games. I believe that there many positives to his game, and he shows it. He doesn't deserve a lot of the flack he gets here, because he's putting up good numbers. He isn't doing that bad of a job.

    I'm not going to chime in about his salary, because there are many players in many different leagues that make way too much money for what they do.

    In the meantime I'm going to be glad we have at least some *consistent* talent on this team besides Granger.
    I don't know if Murphy is the problem, but I know he's not part of any team's solution. Murphy is a good guy. He works hard, is a good teammate, won't get into trouble and all that nice stuff. Can't say anything bad about him in those terms.

    But you gotta calll it like you see it: The bottom line is he makes $10M a year, yet he's a well below average starter at his position. I don't know if having someone like that causes you to lose, but it sure as heck doesn't help you win much. Most good teams just don't have those kinds of player contracts on their cap.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Most good teams just don't have those kinds of player contracts on their cap.

    Amen to that d.c.

    I for one am getting tired of watrching us lose night in and night out. Without Tinsley, J.O, or Jax around we gotta start putting the blame somewhere. Why not the highest paid player on the team.
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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    McRoberts' .800 Record (10 minutes or more played)
    Dec 23 NJN L 107-108 25:05
    Dec 20 @ PHI W 95-94 28:23
    Dec 2 LAL W 118-117 10:38
    Nov 12 @NJN W 98-87 14:23
    Nov 10 OKC W 107-99 10:05
    Take the Lakers game out of that cos Murphy won us that game.
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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    I don't know if Murphy is the problem, but I know he's not part of any team's solution. Murphy is a good guy. He works hard, is a good teammate, won't get into trouble and all that nice stuff. Can't say anything bad about him in those terms.

    But you gotta calll it like you see it: The bottom line is he makes $10M a year, yet he's a well below average starter at his position. I don't know if having someone like that causes you to lose, but it sure as heck doesn't help you win much. Most good teams just don't have those kinds of player contracts on their cap.
    I don't disagree with much of this, or the broad sentiment, but I'd have to look at all the starting 4's before I called him "well below average". There are 30 starting PF's in the league, and I don't know that I could come up with 20 or more of them that I'd consider better than Troy. (I could be proven wrong, though.)

    It's a minor point, but all of us (me included) get caught up in our idea of "average", but forget that the league is pretty diluted. (Frame of reference...from 1981 to 1988, prior to the beginning of expansion, there was an average of just under 320 players who saw game action per year. Last year, there were 451, and this year so far, there have been 423.) We measure guys against what we expect or require, but forget that there are a lot of mediocre to bad players with starting jobs. Just as opinion, I consider Troy an average player in a league where the following players started last night:

    Dahntay Jones
    Antoine Wright
    Eric Dampier
    Vlad Rad
    Von Wafer
    Lorenzen Wright (AYFKM???? How is he still in the league?)
    Sebastian Telfair

    I consider Troy flawed, but a great many players in the league are, and, as you note, the contract is the big problem. The guy's a dream at $6 million, and a pig at $11. I'd love to get more from him, particularly at the defensive end, but I'm not going to turn up my nose at the rebounds and the threes because, as I said earlier, he's giving us what he's got, and I am confident that he's doing his level best to help the team win. BTW...as to his shortcomings, I don't think any of them are because of sloth. He plays defense as hard and as well as he can...occasionally, it's good enough. This is why I think there are teams where he not only could be a starter, but a very good one. There's just no one here to hide his deficiencies.

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    Default Re: The McMurphy Phenomena

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    I don't know if Murphy is the problem, but I know he's not part of any team's solution. Murphy is a good guy. He works hard, is a good teammate, won't get into trouble and all that nice stuff. Can't say anything bad about him in those terms.

    But you gotta calll it like you see it: The bottom line is he makes $10M a year, yet he's a well below average starter at his position. I don't know if having someone like that causes you to lose, but it sure as heck doesn't help you win much. Most good teams just don't have those kinds of player contracts on their cap.
    I'm going to disagree. He plays hard, well, every night and does a great job at it.

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