The Knicks head to Chicago this evening, to once again play those dastardly Bulls. As has been the case all season long, Marbury is in the spotlight, this time because of his benching in the last game. And, as has been the case, Marbury's general bitchiness and me-first attitude have been harped upon by various media.
Let me say two things. First of all, Steph seems to be doing his best to say the right things to the papers. Secondly, I have trouble believing that Marbury's status as a cancer and a coach-killer has anything to do with his play. Let's not forget that this guy has been considered a loser for most of his career, yet has been one of the more outstanding individual players of the decade. Even as a Knick, he used to be able to put up 20 and 8 at will, and very well may have been the best point guard in the NBA at some point. Things have changed. From watching him, I really think that being battered and knocked to the floor for the last 10 seasons has taken something off his game. The strength and agility that made him such a fine slasher two or three years ago seem to have dissolved, and have given him less scoring and passing options.(The same could be said for Steve Francis). From that article, I'd that both Isiah and Steph are starting to understand that Marbury's not playing as well as he once was. I'm all in favor of benching guys who aren't playing well.
With that in mind, it's time to start grooming Nate Robinson. The kid's already developing skills very quickly. His shot selection and passing have improved exponentially since last season. If somehow Marbury could be pushed into the role of backup/mentor willingly, he might further sharpen Nate's moves. It'd be a cool little Jedi master/apprentice scenario. Just might be crazy enough to work. Given Marbury's status and history, this is probably a bit of a pipe dream, but a welcome change in my eyes. In short, Marbury is not good at basketball anymore. Nate Robinson is. Ergo, Nate Robinson should be playing more basketball. This is my argument.
A second note...I rarely look at stats, but had a look at the Knicks' averages today. Some interesting discoveries:
- Jamal Crawford, a bench player, leads the team in scoring and minutes
- David Lee, a bench player until today, leads the team in rebounding while playing 25 minutes a game. He's averaging just about a double double with 9.9 and 9.2 a game.
- Stephon Marbury has attempted fewer field goals than Channing Frye
Bizarre. This definitely supports the visually apparent idea that the Knicks are an upside down team, with the bench leading the way. Anyway, I have to go to the fuckin dentist this evening, so I'll miss the first quarter or so...but I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with a recap. This should be an interesting game for two teams reeling from personnel problems. Later.
EDIT: Ben Wallace is questionable tonight because he "sprained his index finger" a.k.a "is in shit water with management".