Troy Murphy hasn’t dressed since Nov. 15. And that won’t change Tuesday night when the Nets host the Atlanta Hawks at the Prudential Center.
The Nets’ 6-foot-11 power forward will be listed as inactive for the fourth consecutive game and will not accompany the team to Boston for Wednesday’s matchup against the Celtics, head coach Avery Johnson said Tuesday morning.
“We talked this morning, and [Troy] feels he's getting stronger,” Johnson. “He's not going to go with us to Boston. He's going to stay back and get some more extra work done in our strength and conditioning program. And in about a week or so, we'll see where we are with him.”
Murphy, still hampered by injuries to his back and foot, last played on Nov. 13 against the Orlando Magic. He scored just two points in eight minutes.
Kris Humphries has flourished since taking over Murphy’s starting role, averaging 11.0 points and 11.7 rebounds in the last six games. And with rookie Derrick Favors continuing to spell Humphries off the bench, minutes are going to be hard to get, even when Murphy does regain his health.
“Part of it is we just don’t have those 30 minutes that we thought we were going to have [for Troy],” Johnson said. “Right now, we’re going to keep riding Humphries in the starting lineup and backing him up with Derrick Favors, because right now, we don’t have enough playing time at the power forward position for three power forwards.”
Murphy, a Sparta, N.J. native, was originally acquired by the Nets in an offseason trade to start at power forward until Favors was ready to take over that role. But he missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season with a back injury. Then, after starting the next four, he hurt his right foot, causing him to miss the Nets game on Nov. 10 in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.
That allowed Humphries to take over at the four spot. And he hasn’t done anything since to relinquish it.
Murphy, 30, is averaging 4.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The nine-year veteran’s $11.9 million contract could make him a valuable trade asset for the Nets down the line.
Terrence Williams, who said Monday that he’s 100 percent recovered from the strained abdominal injury that caused him to miss five of the last six games, will be active again on Tuesday against the Hawks.
Williams played eight minutes in Denver on Nov. 20, scoring two points.
“He had a pretty good practice [Monday],” Johnson said. “He was one of our better players in practice. Hopefully he can carry that over to the game. Because we can use his skill level and his energy.”