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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Loose balls: Troy's shot, managing minutes

By Chris Forsberg

WALTHAM, Mass. -- A handful of leftovers after the Boston Celtics practiced Tuesday afternoon at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint:

* Celtics coach Doc Rivers isn't among those panicked by the fact that Troy Murphy has yet to connect on a field goal in a Celtics uniform. He knows it's going to take some time for Murphy to shake the rust from a two-month NBA layoff and said that hesitation even shows up in practice (including in the video above, where Murphy passes up the opportunity to take a shot during the final 5-on-5 play of the day).

"That's just going to take time," said Rivers. "Even today, we ran the play for him and the fact that he didn't shoot, that shows you his timing is off. The Troy I know is the guy who always shot. He'll get it."

Murphy has missed his first nine shots (including four 3-point attempts) over his first three games (and 41 minutes overall) in a Boston uniform.

* Rivers acknowledged that it's going to be difficult to drive down minutes when the Celtics are currently missing five bodies, but thinks the addition of Carlos Arroyo (and the potential for Glen Davis and Delonte West to be back in the lineup soon) will aid that cause.

"I'm not that concerned," said Rivers. "I don't like the [amount of minutes the] last two games. Thirty-four minutes is the [target] number for[Boston's Big Four]. If you get under that, that's great. Right now, and hopefully Carlos helps, each night we have to choose between Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce], who's going to play the 38-minute night. And Rondo is playing the 40-minute night. We want to get those [three] guys down -- Kevin [Garnett's] minutes haven't changed and they won't change; We won't change his minutes ever. But I do want to get Ray and Paul down. They love minutes, honestly, but I think they should rest."

* Make room on the bandwagon: Arroyo said after his first practice with Boston that the Celtics fans can expect a surge of new fans from the northeastern Caribbean Sea.

"It's truly an honor to wear these colors," Arroyo said. "This is a team with a lot of history, a lot of respect around the world. I like to say, you guys got 4 million new followers in Puerto Rico. They’re truly excited about my situation."

* Davis stressed that, if the postseason were upon us, he'd be out on the floor gutting through the left patella tendon strain that's sidelined him for the past two games (and probably two more to come).

"Oh, no way -- if it's the playoffs; I'd play with that," said Davis. "It's only for a couple weeks, right? I've been playing with this for the whole season so far, half the year. A couple of weeks are not going to hurt, as long I don't get to the point where I can't walk, or perform, or play."

Davis joked that he'll let the Celtics know when he's healthy (maybe with some assistance from trainer Ed Lacerte). When asked if Rivers would have any say in that decision, he playfully looked around the gym for Rivers and not spotting him nearby joked, "No, no way."

* The No. 18 sign that typically decorates a utility pole on the way to the Celtics' practice facility was missing Tuesday. No word on whether it's under repair or simply got swiped.