Monday, March 9, 2009

Stephon Marbury Turning the Celtics Green & the Spurs Burn the Suns

It's only five games into the Stephon Marbury experiment in Boston, but the early returns are hardly eye-bulging.

14-points, 12-assists, one-steal and 10-turnovers and 7-for-21 shooting from the field doesn't exactly light up the stat sheet.

There was always going to be an adjustment period as Marbury and the Celtics acclimatised themselves to each other, but the year-long layoff has made Marbury look like he is out of touch with game.

Boston has gone 2-3 which included a huge home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, however, they were crushed by the Orlando Magic, also at home, on Sunday.

even got the start against the Magic with Rajon Rondo injured. It was his best opportunity to show that he was still able to compete at this level, but his four point, zero assist, three turnover effort suggests that he is a long way from the "Starbury" days.

Boston was still without Kevin Garnett but what Sunday's game showed us was that Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis cannot hold down Dwight Howard. Between them, there is a lot of bark and noise, but Perkins isn't agile enough and Davis is just not good enough. No matter how much iron these guys lift, it can't compensate for skill.

Furthermore, it's worth remembering that the Magic were without their own all-star Jameer Nelson, so the ledger was almost even on quality of player missing for each team. While Nelson isn't in Garnett's class, the contribution he was making to the Magic this season was about equal to KG's at the C's.

It was also interesting to see how Paul Pierce doesn't strut around with the same obnoxious arrogance he has when KG isn't on the floor with him.

The Celtics will be a tough matchup for any team in the playoffs, but clearly if Garnett, Pierce or Allen go down, they become very vulnerable.


You have to feel for fans of the Phoenix Suns.

If it wasn't for the San Antonio Spurs, the Suns could quite possibly have one or two championship rings from the last five years or so.

Instead, they have nothing more than a couple of Western Conference finals berths filled with harsh memories of near misses.

Once again on Sunday, the Spurs toyed with the Suns before nosing past them once again. Talk about having the wood over a team, the Spurs had better hope that they're not called before an environmental committee for excessive logging.

It's not that the Suns never beat the Spurs, it's just that they never do it when it counts.

Steve Nash and Shaquille O'Neal made fans think that the Suns might just snatch a victory from their long-time rival yesterday, but then Tony Parker just took control and steered the Spurs home.

Not that it needed confirming, but Tony Parker is an absolute stud. In the middle period of the last quarter, Spurs coach Greg Poppovich kept Tim Duncan on the bench, totally confident that Parker would be able to handle the load by himself.

Duncan eventually came in, but Parker had the Spurs in control prior to that point.

The Suns are five-games over .500 but incredibly are four games behind Dallas for eighth place in the Western Conference. Hopefully the Suns won't make the playoffs this year, because if they do, they'll likely face either the Lakers or the Spurs and be crushed once again...and like "Paris Hilton's BFF" nobody wants to watch that again.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finding an Answer in the Boozer, Wading through All This Mess !

To the regular readers of The Daily Hurt, apologies for the tardiness in writing, hopefully today marks the return of some more regular content.
Anyway, enough of that...let's get to it.

First off, Allen Iverson is known as "The Answer" but perhaps it's meant more as a question rather than a statement.

It is abundantly clear that the Detroit Pistons are much better off without him. It's a bit sad but for a while, many have suspected that for all of Iverson's offensive talents, he is a terrible team player and he's always more concerned about his own scoring, rather than his team winning.

Iverson will kick around the league for a few more years, but this season has exposed him as a problem, not an answer.


Carlos Boozer has made his return to the Utah Jazz recently, but the strong play of Paul Millsap has made the Booze expandable. Boozer is a solid double-double guy, but he doesn't provide enough at the defensive end. In 18 games this season, Boozer has only four - FOUR - blocked shots, which is simply not good enough.

Millsap is an energy guy and look for the Jazz to let Boozer walk this summer. Boozer has a player option of a few bucks less than $13-million. He'll probably get a lengthy deal, but you can bet the market won't be as lucrative as it might have been at the end of last season.

Boozer is ok, but he isn't in the elite crop of power forwards in the league.


Glen "Big Baby" Davis has no class. Riding the coat tails of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, Davis acts like he's someone in the NBA.

He's not. All he really is, is lucky. His cheap shot on Friday night on Anderson Varejao deserves a suspension.

The Celtics tried to dump him prior to the trade deadline but found little interest in him. No doubt because he doesn't really have much of a game. He can fill in a few minutes here and there, but his lofty frame means that he is slow on defensive and he is very limited offensively.


Dwyane Wade is on a tear right now and has overtaken Kobe Bryant as the strongest challenger to LeBron James' MVP season. Wade is carrying the Miami Heat to the playoffs and, perhaps even home court advantage for the first round at least.

Chris Bosh should take notice because Wade's supporting cast in Miami is arguably worse than what CB4 has in Toronto, yet the Raptors season was effectively over around Christmas.


Speaking of Bosh, he often gets referred to in the same class as draft mates Wade and James. However, after this season, the question has to be asked as to whether or not he deserves it. The Raptors have been awful and Bosh has to accept a large portion of the responsibility for that.

His season started out well enough, but he has been a huge disappointment. He's had his injury problems, but that's always been another problem for Bosh, he always seems to miss anywhere between 6-12 games every season, further lowering his value. He has one season left on his contract in Toronto, but don't be surprised if Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo deals him away this off season.