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By Beecher Tuttle

Breaking News—Stephon Marbury is terrible. Whether this remains the case for the rest of the season or not, it is hard to ignore his early ineptitude. Lets be honest, even though he hasn’t donned a Boston jersey until 2 weeks ago, Marbury has been on the Celtics roster since late November. Yes, the buyout process with the Knicks was as contentious and rocky as—well as Stephon Marbury’s pro career. That being said, everybody knew that Marbury would end up with the Celts. His only job the last 5 months was to stay/get in shape for a playoff run. Not so much. Celtics fans should actually hope that Marbury is in bad shape, because if this is the best conditioned Steph that we are going to see, then Rondo will be averaging 48 minutes a game come playoff time.

The difficulty in examining and critiquing Marbury’s stats is deciding where to start. In the six games that Marbury has played, he is averaging as many points and assists per game as he is turnovers—2. And lets remember, this is coming from a perennial stat-stuffer—a guy that has been known to always get his whether or not the team is successful. Marbury’s passivity has been outright shocking. Yes, he is trying to be a team player. Yes, he is deferring to teammates who have a better understanding of the offensive scheme. But zero free throws made in over 100 minutes of game action? I had to cross-reference that stat to make sure that it wasn’t a misprint. It wasn’t.

Marbury is shooting 25% from the field and has yet to make a three point shot. You know that things are tough when Tommy Heinson referred to Steph as “a bit rusty.” That is literally the most criticism that Tommy has ever given to a current Celtic player. This is coming from a guy who considered Antoine Walker to be “one of the top three post players in the game” and confirmed Walter McCarty as a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Most of the skepticism regarding the acquisition of Stephon Marbury involved the possibility of him becoming a distraction or a clubhouse cancer. I really don’t see that being problem. One, there is no way the veteran presence on this team will allow that to happen. The Big 3 are pros and the younger guys are mature enough that they won’t be affected by outside distractions. Secondly, Stephon knows that he is auditioning for the opportunity to stay in the league and earn a decent contract come next season. Whether or not Stephon is humbled by his experience in New York, he is smart enough to realize that the way his character is perceived in Boston will directly lead to his ability to find a job next year. At 32 years old and not having played an important game in over 5 years, it’s very reasonable to begin to question Stephon Marbury’s ability to be a successful component on a winning team. I’m not looking for a positive attitude or gracious humility out of Stephon Marbury, I’m looking for some quality basketball. Something we have yet to see so far.

1 comment:

  1. Starbury is fine. While he is "a bit rusty," what do you expect hes been out of the NBA for 5 months. We don't need him to put up numbers now, just get him in shape and ready for the playoffs. Physically and chemistry wise.

    Also Steph has made a three, and Tommy gives guys much worse criticism than "a bit rusty" which isn't really much at all. Just listen to anything he's ever said about Scal. The free throw thing is a bit ridiculous however.