FanPost

A defense of Stephon Marbury

Over on RealGM is something that was interesting to read--a defense of Stephon Marbury (and by extension, other maligned drive-and-kick point guards such as Baron Davis). The essential claim to the argument is that for most of his career, Marbury wasn't used properly--to structure a team around his talents requires teammates on the wings who are good spot-up-shooters--not other guys who need the ball.

The article also touches on certain cultural "prejudices" in basketball, including a whole lot of received knowledge on the proper role of the point guard.  There are certainly a lot of knowledgeable basketball folks out there who dislike point guards who drive-and-kick (using strong penetration skills to attack the basket looking to score, passing to open shooters when the defense collapses); preferring playmakers who pass earlier in the possession.

While I don't agree with much of the article--Marbury has many issues, on and off court, that have nothing to do with the team's style of play (and Jack Nicholson, despite any cooties he may have from attending Laker games, is NOT a one-role actor)--it is an interesting analysis nonetheless.

While the Blazers don't get mentioned at all in the article, some of the zingers launched at Larry Brown in particular (who is accused of trying to turn Marbury into Eric Snow) might be applied to Nate.  Nate doesn't have Brown's ego or his eagerness to throw players under the bus; but he does share with Brown a desire for more conservative play from the point position.  Marbury's cousin did poorly under Nate; though he hasn't really thrived anywhere.  Sergio has had issues with Nate (although he's not a drive-and-disher).  And Bayless might have issues in the future, given that he likes to use penetration to set up the pass.

The interesting thing, though, is the drive-and-kick game is in large part how Brandon plays when he's got the ball in his hands.  Given that the Blazers run a brilliantly efficient offense, I suppose nobody ought to complain--and Roy has got leadership skills that Marbury and BD can only dream about.  

But still, the article is a VERY interesting read.

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