Monday, January 09, 2006

Shooting Starbury


So since the New Year the Knicks are 3-0, and Stephon Marbury has been brilliant. Recent stories in the NYC tabloids put much of the credit for Steph's recent success at the feet of Larry Brown—for criticizing him after a few poor games. Even Starbury himself has admitted that Brown's words motivated him.

But let's not have the Pope fasttrack LB for sainthood quite yet. After all, despite the current winning streak, the Knicks are still an abysmal 10-21. And Marbury's stellar play of late isn't exactly unprecedented. After all, he's in his 10th year in the League, with averages of 20.5 points and 8.2 assists per to show for it. This isn't exactly making a silk purse out of a sow's ear (to use an old expression I still don't quite understand). In fact, Steph's overall numbers this year are well below his career averages—18.3 and 6.6—and anyone who thinks all is rosy from here on out might want to take off the tinted glasses.

Things may be good now, but the Knicks are still a disasterpiece. Give Brown credit for moving David Lee into the starting lineup at small forward, by all means, but at the same time, please question why Lee was on the inactive list for seven games at the start of the season. Why was Trevor Ariza so upset at finding himself out of the rotation? Why was Jerome James suspended for "conduct detrimental"? (OK, we know that one, but still, shouldn't Brown have been able to to make him play/practice "the right way"?) Why did it take until January to find a starting lineup that made sense?

Meanwhile, Brown's old team, the Detroit Pistons, are on pace to win 70 games, and are the class of the Eastern Conference. Another team Brown used to coach, the San Antonio Spurs, are the class of the West. I'm just sayin'.

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