MARBURY: CELTICS 'GREATEST EXPERIENCE I'VE EVER HAD'



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Tue Apr 14 16:39:21 UTC 2009


 
MARBURY: CELTICS 'GREATEST EXPERIENCE I'VE EVER  HAD'

 
 
By MARC BERMAN


 
_Stephon  Marbury_ 
(http://www.nypost.com/topics/topic.php?t=Stephon_Marbury)  rode an Amtrak from Philadelphia to New York yesterday to visit his  
Central Park South dentist.  
On his off day in Manhattan, there was no need to  pull teeth to get the 
former Knicks point guard to gush about his basketball  rebirth in Boston.  
 (http://blogs.nypost.com/sports/knicks/) "It's been the greatest 
experience I've ever had,  playing with a group of guys, everyone with one thing in 
mind: winning a  championship," Marbury told The Post.  
"They don't care about anything else. All the guys  understand that 
feeling, because they just had it [an NBA championship]. I want  the same feeling, 
too. When you win a championship, it's like a drug. You're on  a high. I 
want some of that high."  
After Wednesday's Knicks season finale vs. the Nets,  the players will hit 
the golf course after another 50-loss season. But it's just  getting started 
for Marbury, whose Celtics play in Philadelphia tonight and  begin defense 
of their title this weekend as No. 2 seed.  
"I feel bad as a Knick fan," said Marbury, who  agreed to a buyout Feb. 24 
after not playing a single game this season.  
"I'm still a Knick fan. I love New York. I did it  the best way I knew. 
Maybe it wasn't the best way people wanted me to do it, but  I did it wanting 
to win."  
Marbury knows he could've at least made starting  point guard Chris Duhon's 
transition to New York smoother. Duhon's first season  in New York has been 
a bust, with coach _Mike D'Antoni_ 
(http://www.nypost.com/topics/topic.php?t=Mike_D'Antoni)   admitting he burned out Duhon after deciding to sit 
Marbury after preseason.  
"If I was playing with him, I would've helped him  out tremendously, and I 
was willing to do that," Marbury said.  
"I just wanted to play. I hated watching. I worked  hard for seven months, 
then [D'Antoni] shut me down. It wasn't to be. I can't  complain, because it 
worked out for the best. I'm playing 17 minutes. I was  playing no 
minutes."  
The Celtics are 14-7 with Marbury as backup PG, but  Kevin Garnett has 
played just four times during that span. Marbury's numbers  don't look solid, 
but coach _Doc Rivers_ (http://www.nypost.com/topics/topic.php?t=Doc_Rivers)  
has  praised Marbury for doing what's needed, his adjustment nearly 
complete.  
Marbury is averaging 17 minutes, 3.6 points, 3.0  assists, and shooting 33 
percent.  
"I feel like my game is coming along," said Marbury,  who last week become 
the national spokesman for the foundation, EDAR (Everyone  Deserves a Roof). 
 
"It's the most difficult thing I've had do to. I  hadn't played in a whole 
year. I was coming off ankle surgery and don't have the  same explosiveness 
I had when I was younger. But I reconfigured my body, lost  the baby fat. I 
can't say when I'm going to explode.  
"Doc wants me to be a ball-mover," Marbury added. "I  just run the team, 
get shots for guys who are supposed to get shots and my shot  will come. I 
score when you gotta score, when nobody's scoring."  
Marbury said that, after being dissed by D'Antoni,  Rivers has been a 
godsend.  
"He's unbelievable, breathtaking, he's a real man,"  Marbury said. "He 
tells you right in the face as soon as it happens. There ain't  no bull."  
Marbury also tweaked D'Antoni's lack of priority on  defense.  
"Night and day," Marbury said of the emphasis on  defense between the 
coaching staffs. "When you preach defense - and you look it  up, preach means 
delivering a message - that's what you perform up to. When you  preach defense, 
[it] wins championships. You don't even think about it. It's  something you 
just do."  
Despite the Cavaliers' 31-point win over his team  Sunday, Marbury likes 
the Celtics' chances.  
"They're still the champs," Marbury said. "I can't  say me. I say they. 
They know the formula. I'm learning it." 
_marc.berman at nypost.com_ (mailto:marc.berman at nypost.com) 

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