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.

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