Quisy, Quisy, Quisy.
What in the world has happened to your production?
You looked like you were starting to put it on cruise control. You scored 15 points against Denver, 14 against New York, and you were the one shining light in Boston’s petrifying loss to New Jersey with 16 points on 8-9 shooting. Those three games were all in a four-game stretch at the end of February that had Celtics fans thanking Red Auerbach you weren’t Tony Allen.
Now, the only positive thing we can say about you is that, well, you aren’t Tony Allen. Besides that, there isn’t much to smile about. Some people are even starting to, *gasp*, call for Tony to take some of your minutes. If that isn’t a blow to your ego, you mustn’t have had an ego to begin with.
Before, you were cruising. Now, you’re cruising for a bruising. From fans, from Doc Rivers, and from teammates, all confounded by your utter lack of production.
In 13 games this month, you’ve scored two points or less seven times. You’ve registered three doughnuts. You even had one game where the only stats you registered were a lone turnover and a single personal foul. Oh yeah, and two missed field goal attempts. My great great great great grandfather, who passed away long before Dr. James Naismith invented this glorious game, did just as much to help the Celtics as you did that night.
Doc Rivers said you haven’t brought consistent energy, and that your team needs more out of you. Ray Allen said of you, “With Marquis, I still haven’t seen him as comfortable as he was early in the season, and I look forward to that happening.” With only 12 games left to play this season, though, it begs the question: Will it happen?
We don’t want to replace you in the lineup. Well, some people do. I don’t, though. Not because you have been good. Mostly because, as I pointed out earlier, the alternative is Tony Allen. Right now, T.A.’s reputation is the only thing saving you from a backside full of splinters.
We see your worth, and what you CAN do. You can slash to the bucket, finish at odd angles, and capitalize on mismatches in the post. You’re a good passer, a phenomenal cutter, and an intelligent player by any standard. You aren’t going to make any costly mistakes, you play solid defense, and you’re as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife. Point guard, shooting guard, small forward: You’ve played them all. Hell, you were even a power forward in college. We know what you can bring to the table.
But recently you’ve been arriving at that table empty-handed. We don’t know the reason for it. Are you hurt? Disinterested? Just struggling to reestablish a role after your team’s new acquisitions and the foreign experience of good health that has overcome your squad?
Look, we understand that your best contributions don’t show up in the box score. It’s tough to measure the intangibles of a player like you. Your sharp cuts that don’t result in a bucket for you, but draw the defense and leave your teammate open. Your “Gretzky” assists. You know, swinging the ball to a player in perfect position to rack up an easy dime. Your ability to play three positions, on both offense and defense. We see all the “little things” that go unnoticed. We respect that about you.
They say it isn’t the mountain ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe. We understand you’re a pebble guy. You take care of all the small stuff. Do the dirty work. Help your team in any way possible. Could care less about the limelight.
But right now, we need you to put in a little more work climbing the mountain.