Well, that happened. Marbury will be in street clothes when the Knicks tip off shortly in Philadelphia - home of no-longer long suffering but still insufferable sports fans. During the pre-game broadcast Gus Johnson relayed the news in somber tones and Walt Frazier admitted that he was "disappointed."
D'Antoni told reporters that Steph has done everything right and that this move has to do with his respect for him. Um. Ok. Marbury told reporters that he isn't frustrated and can only worry about the things he can control. They both said the right things and they'll both be wearing suits tonight.
At first blush, I think the past few days have been D'Antoni's "welcome to the Big Apple" moment. The Marbury-benching took on a life of its own and I think he realized that he needed to deactivate Marbury so that every one wouldn't spend the entire game wondering if he was going to play. I also don't think this would have been his first choice since he didn't choose it before the first game.
Now, is when the rubbers will hit the road. It's one thing not to put Marbury into a game when points are being scored freely. But what happens when the Knicks play a better team (sort of like Philadelphia) with a non-rookie point guard (sort of like Philadelphia) and the sailing isn't so smooth? What then?
Keeping Marbury inactive after a few games when Duhon and Collins are overmatched at the point is going to be difficult as the season goes along. D'Antoni's best bet is hoping Nate Robinson is able to play larger minutes at the point or in tandem with Crawford, with them sharing PG duties.
This will be interesting.
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