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NBA Thoughts of the Day: The Truth Is Clutch, Starbury Is Scared

Ari HoringSenior Analyst IApril 29, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 28:  Stephon Marbury #8 and head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics talks during a time out in the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on April 28, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Paul Pierce has proven once again that he is the most clutch player in the game today. Sorry Laker’s fans, but Pierce was the player who rose to the occasion in the NBA finals last year, not Kobe.  Sorry Cavaliers fan’s, LeBron is the MVP of the league, but not the one player that I want to have the ball at the end of the game.

Paul Pierce hit so many clutch fadeways in the Celtics 106-104 victory over the Bulls, that I lost track of just how many he had.  Pierce totaled 26 points, with six coming in overtime, to give the Celtics the 3-2 lead in the series.

Speaking of being clutch, how un-clutch is Stephon Marbury, the man formerly known as “Starbury?” I’m not sure what his new nickname should be after his performance at the end of the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

I’ll admit that I was a supporter of his signing earlier this year because I thought he would be more of a team player on a veteran Celtics team. Well, I was right, because he has changed into an unselfish player. However, I didn’t realize that it would make him change for the worse.

With the game tied 91-91 and under a minute to go, Starbury had a chance to take a wide open three from the baseline, but instead the former ball hog passed it off. 

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Marbury has gone from having too much confidence, to being an unsure, hesitant player. 

If not for Peirce’s heroics, he might have cost the Celtics the game. Marbury has gone from being a team cancer because of his arrogance, to being a team cancer because of his lack of confidence. 

He has to find the a balance between the two, and become a confident, unselfish player if the Celtics want to have a chance of beating the Cavaliers.

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