Ever since the notion of Stephon Marbury to the Celtics was mentioned months ago, I’ve been wary. And despite Mr. BET’s life-long adulation of the player formerly known as Starbury, I still am.
After a respectable eight points in 13 minutes in his Celtic debut, Steph was underwhelming to say the least in yesterday’s loss to the Pistons. Zero points (0-for-3), four fouls and two turnovers in only 12 minutes. Those look like numbers I would have if I stepped onto an NBA court for the first time.
The difference between the Mikki Moores/Joe Smiths/Drew Goodens of the world and Marbury is this: they’ve been playing this season. It’s no wonder all 29 teams (30 if you include the Pacers) have passed on the services of Jamaal Tinsley this year, because how much help can you really be if you haven’t played Chris Paul or Derrick Rose or Devin Harris other than on NBA Live 09 or NBA2K9 this year? It doesn’t matter how many NBA games you’ve played or started, if you haven’t been getting in run against current NBA players for 94 feet, what can you really offer right away down the stretch?
But coming in, wearing Antoine Walker‘s number, it makes it hard to watch. Months ago, while he was still sitting in Memphis collecting dust, I said that the Celtics needed ‘Toine. Today, I stand by that. Whether it’s a jersey that reads Walker No. 8 or Marbury No. 8 in that illustrious white and green, the Celtics need a shimmy, a wiggle, anything to lift that second unit.
Perhaps it’s fitting that No. 8 has gone from one embattled star to the next. I just hope the outcome is a little different.