Stephon Marbury could put Celtics over the top

In himself, Stephon Marbury is not a player I’d want on my team. I would’ve hated it if the Magic would’ve made a play for the 32-year-old guard. But for the Celtics, I love the signing. The Magic were in trouble in a matchup with the Celtics to begin with… adding Marbury to that second-unit made things even tougher. Here’s why: 1. All of the distractions and drama with the Knicks have outshined how good Marbury was earlier in his career. Marbury is averaging 19.7 points and 7.8 assists for his career, and he had a strech of seven seasons where he averaged at least 20 points and 7.5 assists. Not bad for a guy you’re picking up in late February. A lot of people are dwelling on his 43 percent shooting percentage and 3+ turnovers a game… But he’s a backup. That brings me to the next point. 2. He’s never been a winner, but the Celtics don’t need him to be a winner. The Celtics are already winners. Marbury won’t be playing in crunch-time. The Celtics need Marbury to play 20 minutes and do what he does: score, and add some pop to the Celtics’ reserve unit. It’s going to be difficult for him to hurt the Celtics, because his role won’t be big enough to have a major negative impact. 3. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce won’t let Marbury mess with their team. The Celtics have two alpha-males in Garnett and Pierce that have complete ownership of that team – no free agent is going to come in and disrupt that. Not to mention that Marbury and Garnett are old comrades from playing together in the late 90s. The Magic, in comparison to the Celtics, are a laid-back team, and I’d think Marbury would affect the team’s moxie a little bit more. 4. Eddie House can shoot, and that’s it. Marbury is an unbelievable upgrade over House. And the scary thing is, the Celtics’ bench wasn’t that awful to begin with. In fact, Boston’s bench is in the top third of the league. 5. Orlando’s backup guard is Anthony Johnson. Now, I don’t mind Johnson as a backup, but Marbury will likely have his way with Johnson. At the beginning of the second and fourth quarters, the Magic’s and Celtics’ benches have been close in their previous meetings this season. Adding Marbury gives Boston a huge advantage when the backups are out there. UPDATE: This story by Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus predicts Marbury’s play will take a bigger drop than people think. Using the formula in the article, it projects Marbury to be comparable to players such as Derek Fisher, Antonio Daniels and our very own Anthony Johnson. Of course, the article uses last year’s stats for Marbury, who had mailed in the season and was bothered by a lingering ankle injury.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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