The New York Daily News (Frank Isola) reports: Stephon Marbury will start tonight against the Celtics which tells you a little about Marbury and a lot about Jamal Crawford. I’ve heard for a few days that the coaching staff is not happy with Crawford’s defense nor is Crawford happy that he is averaging just seven shots per game in the preseason. Marbury has equipped himself well thus far and since trading him (he makes $21.9 million this season) is next to impossible, Mike D’Antoni may be reaching the conclusion that Marbury is the better option in the backcourt to play with Chris Duhon.
The New York post (Marc Berman) reports: Mike D’Antoni confirmed today that Stephon Marbury will start at shooting guard instead of Jamal Crawford when the Knicks play their second-to-last preseason game at the Garden against the Celtics tonight.
InsideHoops.com editor says: I’ve been saying for two months now that if there’s one season Stephon Marbury could redeem himself and rise up as a semi-star again, this one, under Mike D’Antoni, would be it. I know most (almost all) the local beat writers/columnists who cover the Knicks have said the team has to part ways with him, and I know the reasoning behind it, and understand it. Addition by subtraction and all that. Get rid of the bad attitude and the guy that pisses some teammates off. I’d totally buy into that, normally. But I still feel that Marbury could have his best season in years this year if he’s given the chance, and if that happens, the bad attitude and off-court issues would diminish — not totally, but to a bearable level. His contract is up after the season so what does it matter? I see no reason to buy him out. If the team wants to throw money away, buy out other players whose contracts don’t expire this summer. And it doesn’t make sense to bench him as long as he’s on the roster, unless it actually helps the team on the court to do so. I wanna see what he can do under D’Antoni’s offense and I bet it’ll be better than expected.