The Nets seemingly made a few splashes to upgrade their PF depth this off-season, drafting Derrick Favors and trading for Troy Murphy. But with the season starting in about a week, the Nets are thin at the position, with Favors struggling and Murphy still hurting. Al Iannazzone reports that the starting nod could possibly go to 35-year-old journeyman Joe Smith:
“It’s a big question mark for us right now,” Johnson said after Monday’s practice. “We’re trying to evaluate. We’ve given a few guys a chance to start. It’s going to be a revolving situation until Troy gets back.”
Fortunately, the Nets received some good news yesterday and said that Murphy was making progress with his back strain, though his status for next week’s opener is still in doubt:
New Jersey Nets forward Troy Murphy has made considerable progress following treatment for a low back strain/inflammation, but will not play in either of the Nets two preseason games this week against New York and Boston. Murphy is expected to resume practice with the team this weekend.
The PF position has been a place of weakness of the Nets for years now, and I was really counting on seeing that trend come to an end this season. While I still have confidence in Favors, the key is Murphy, who was going to bring a veteran stability (not to mention three-point shooting and rebounding) to the floor. I think the Nets will also look a lot less lost on offense once Murphy is back and playing his game.