An NBA D-League champion with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, Toure Murry returned to the minor league hardwood on Friday night as part of an assignment by the Knicks.
In anticipation of their matchup with the Springfield Armor, the Erie BayHawks spent time in the Big Apple this past week while at the Knicks' training facility. Along with Murry, Cole Aldrich and Jeremy Tyler were "assigned" to the Erie squad for practice purposes on an off day for New York earlier this week.
Unlike his two taller teammates, Murry was actually sent back "down" to the BayHawks on Friday and ventured out to Springfield to lace up his sneakers and play in his first D-League game since winning a title.
A promising young gun with plenty of upside, Murry has made strides for the Knicks this season. Slowly but surely, the guard has done his part to begin proving he deserves worthwhile minutes. Winners of four in a row heading into Saturday's matchup with the Miami Heat, New York looks like they're potentially turning the corner. Murry's high-octane energy off the bench is certainly to thank, at least to a certain extent.
Though he's expected to be back in time to help the Knicks take on Miami on Super Bowl Eve, first up for Murry was his BayHawks' debut. In short, the guard tallied 10 points and 4 assists, but also committed four turnovers in 29 minutes in a Erie loss to Springfield.
Despite the high number of turnovers, Murry didn't look all too bad, though he by no means dominated the competition, either. Now an NBA player, perhaps one would expect the rookie to take control and lead the BayHawks to a much needed victory. He fell way short of that mark.
Lacking that extra pep in his step, Murry wasn't quite the energizer bunny the Knicks have enjoyed employing off their bench as of late. Perhaps it was due to the slower pace at which Erie plays. Perhaps it can be attributed to Murry not having as much time to work with new teammates. Still, Murry underachieved, to say the least.
Something positive to take away, however is this: this kid does has terrific instincts. Throughout different points of this season, Murry has looked a bit overzealous while trying to run the Knicks' offense. But if his time with the BayHawks proved anything, it was that Murry is undeniably a point guard. He's a floor general, whom with some extra time and necessary patience, certainly has the potential to control a team's offense and run the show in spurts.
Playing with Erie gave Murry the opportunity to do that a bit more. While it was certainly a good chance for him to receive valuable playing time, such minutes on the court also exposed existent flaws. Nevertheless, that's to be expected and should not be considered something to worry about.