I don’t normally bash a player from another team. I like to limit my bashing to the normal hometown targets – Nate Robinson, Tony Allen, Mikki Moore and Paul Pierce’s facial hair. But today is different, because Sean Marks wasn’t just bad yesterday. He might have played the worst five-minute stretch I’ve ever witnessed.
I re-watched Marks’s 4:49 of first-half playing time this morning, and – I’ll be damned – it was just as bad as I originally thought.
Marks subbed in during two Kevin Garnett free throws. After Garnett made his second shot, the Blazers dribbled into an offensive set, where Marks would make his first “contribution.” He rolled to the hoop and caught a pass a foot away from the rim. Being damn near seven feet tall, all Marks had to do was dunk the ball through the hoop. Instead, he heard Paul Pierce’s footsteps. Marks airballed a wide open layup, and was called for traveling when he tried to rebound his own airball.
But Marks was only just beginning. He ran back on defense and almost immediately fouled Shaquille O’Neal. The foul didn’t turn out to be a horrible one, at least. Shaq missed both foul shots, and Marks even grabbed the rebound. Sadly, that single rebound was the only thing he would do right in his five-minute stint on the floor.
The very next possession, Brandon Roy found a cutting Marks for another open layup. The shot clanged off the backboard violently before bouncing off the rim. Kevin Pelton sent out a tweet, “Joel Przybilla cannot possibly get back soon enough for the Blazers. Sean Marks is not an NBA player.”
The Celtics’ following possession resulted in a Paul Pierce three-pointer. Oddly enough, it wasn’t even Marks’ fault. But he would make up for it. Left all alone for a 13-foot jumper, Marks drew nothing but rim. The brick made him 0-3 in the first half, but not all was bad — at least he was done shooting. The very next trip down the floor, Marks fouled Shaq, off the ball, and sent him to the line. This time, Shaq made both free throws.
A few plays passed by without Marks making his impact felt, and for the Blazers that was a blessing sent from above. When Marks next made his presence felt, it was again by making a mistake. He went to set a pick, but didn’t quite set himself. The moving screen gave the Celtics the ball. Ray Allen missed a reverse layup, and the rebound popped out. Even though Marks tried to grab the rebound, he wasn’t exactly boxing out. His man, Shaq, stole the board and slammed home a monster dunk. A. Sherrod Blakely tweeted, “When [Shaq] outhustles you for a rebound, just tap yourself on the shoulder and head to the bench. You need to sit down, Mr. Marks.”
Marks didn’t sit down, but his damage was almost done. With 6.5 seconds remaining in the half, Marks was late on a defensive rotation and fouled a driving Paul Pierce. Mercifully, Marks’ five minutes of shame were over. His line for that span: 0-3 shooting, 0 points, 0 assists, 1 rebounds, 0 blocks, 4 fouls.
And Kevin Pelton? Forgot about Joel Pryzbilla. If I were the Blazers, I might play Greg Oden. Even just a couple weeks removed from microfracture surgery, I imagine Oden could still offer more than Sean Marks. After all, Marks’ recent play inspired the headline:
“Sean Marks is worse than you thought.”