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Celtics Playing with Fire

The Celtics ripped through the early part of their schedule like a video gamer playing NBA Live on "rookie" level. By Christmas, they'd already established a new franchise-best for consecutive wins -- and when you're the Boston Celtics, establishing a new franchise mark for anything is a big deal.

What does a gamer do when the game becomes too easy? He either moves on to a new game... or he changes the difficulty setting. The "new game" thing isn't an option for the Celtics, but the difficulty setting is. According to a report by ESPN.com's Mark Stein, the Celtics will add prodigal point guard Stephon Marbury to their roster as soon as Starbury shakes himself loose from the Knicks.

Someone's going to have to explain this one to me... because I'm baffled.

I understand the Celtics wanting to add some veteran depth.

I even understand them wanting a backup point guard to play behind Rajon Rondo -- especially with Sam Cassell now 53 years old and essentially serving as an assistant coach.

But Marbury?

The biggest reason that the Celtics have become world-beaters is chemistry. While they have three NBA superstars in their starting five, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are players willing to defer to each other, to play within a system, to sacrifice individual numbers for the sake of the team. The next person who uses any of those phrases to describe Stephon Marbury will be the first.

Furthermore -- Rajon Rondo has emerged as a budding star this year... does anyone really think Stephon Marbury will be satisfied with playing 10-15 minutes a night as Rondo's backup? Why risk the continuing development of Rondo with the addition of a guy like Marbury?

Do the Celtics really think they can keep Stephon in line?

Now, as a good New Yorker, I hate all Boston teams. I'd love to see Marbury join the Celtics and promptly cause an implosion... but the NBA fan in me doesn't want to see a good team brought down by a foolish and unnecessary signing.

An aside... I can't help but wonder if the "Marbury to Boston" rumor will actually keep the Knicks from letting him go. Can you imagine a worse scenario for Jim Dolan/Donnie Walsh than seeing Marbury celebrating an NBA title in Celtic green?

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