Utah Jazz notebook: Rookie Kevin Murphy sat and studied during Jazz's preseason opener
SALT LAKE CITY — Monday's preseason game was an invaluable experience for Utah Jazz rookie Kevin Murphy.
Seeing as how sitting on the bench didn't stop the 22-year-old from being a dutiful student, just imagine how much the shooting guard might value an NBA game in which he actually plays.
Murphy, who missed the first four practice sessions of camp to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, took his first DNP-CD in stride.
Better than that, he soaked in knowledge from what his teammates did against the Golden State Warriors.
"I understand fully. I've got to show them that I can play out here with these guys," Murphy said. "I really loved sitting on the sideline just watching and learning."
Specifically, the Tennessee Tech standout, drafted No. 47 overall by the Jazz in June, said it was helpful to observe how guards set screens on offense and how they dealt with screens and getting around bigger guys' picks on defense.
Murphy also listened to advice from teammates such as veteran Randy Foye on how to handle certain situations.
The Jazz mostly did station work (shooting and dribbling drills, etc.) at Tuesday's practice, but Murphy said he's eager to put into action some of the lessons learned.
That goes along with what the Jazz staff has been telling the prolific college scorer so far in his short NBA career.
"I can always work on being a great defender," he said, "because I can score the ball. Everybody knows that. But I've got to do the other things, too."
Coach Tyrone Corbin plans on giving Murphy — and other roster hopefuls who didn't play Monday — some time on the court in the Jazz's seven remaining preseason contests. Utah next plays Friday at home against Oklahoma City before a three-game SoCal stay.
"He's behind a little bit because of not being in training camp the whole time," Corbin said of Murphy. "But he's worked his tail off to get back into game shape. He deserves some time on the floor, and I'll find some time for him before the exhibition season is over."
NO CRYBABY: Murphy was able to be there for the first day of his newborn baby's life in Atlanta, but he's been a long-distance dad since rejoining the Jazz a week ago.
He's happy to report that mom and Kevin Murphy Jr. are doing well.
"The baby's just eating and sleeping. That's all," he said.
Fortunately for Murphy's wife, the week-old baby isn't too fussy.
"He wasn’t crying at first that much," Murphy said. "When he got his first shots, he didn't cry. He's a soldier like his dad."
ON SECOND THOUGHT: New Jazz small forward Marvin Williams scored 13 points in his preseason Jazz debut Monday, but he was critical of his defensive effort.
"I didn't feel like I was overthinking on offense," he said. "But I feel like I wasn’t thinking at times on defense, which is never good."
MORE TUBE TIME: Utah fans will get one more chance to watch their team in the preseason. NBA TV announced it will televise the Jazz's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, Oct. 20.
ROOT Sports will broadcast four preseason games: Friday vs. Oklahoma City; Tuesday vs. Lakers in Anaheim; Wednesday at Clippers; and Oct. 22 at Portland.
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