The Post, along with other outlets, is reporting that Stephon Marbury is “a lock” to have surgery on a chronically fracutred bone spur in his ankle. Although MRI results were not available at the time of writing, prior X-Rays have revealed the fracture.
The surgery is quite likely to end Marbury’s season. If the condition is both chronic and repetitive stress-induced it is possible, maybe even probable, that Marbury walks away from the game altogether; not unlike Allan Houston.
In an odd sense, should Marbury undergo season-ending surgery, it may prove a face-saving blessing in disguise for him personally. With all hope of any sort of glorious return to his hometown team pretty well dashed, perhaps the best thing for Marbury (and the team) is for him to finish his Knick career quietly.
For the team, at present the Bizarro Knicks have played well. But, let’s not blister our palms patting them on the back just yet. As one reader points out, even Larry Brown’s Knicks managed to win six in a row. Nevertheless, the recent play of Nate Robinson has been heartening–particularly the appearance of the improved passing we saw in the summer league. (As a team the turnovers during this stretch have been low as KB pointed out in an earlier post.) Crawford has also managed to string together a couple very efficient shooting nights as well. Should Marbury leave the rotation for good, the immediate concern is PG depth. Crawford is already playing just under 41 mpg (tied for 2nd in the NBA). Without Marbury, either Robinson or Crawford will need to be on the floor at all times. (Otherwise Thomas will need to depend on Mardy Collins to contribute.)
Presumably, they’ll cross this bridge when they come it, but long term the Knicks will need to determine what to do with Marbury. Keep him on the bench next season? Attempt to move his contract? Attempt to buy him out and keep his contract in order to remove it from the cap next after season?