Odom and Marbury haters -- you gotta look at the big picture. Tony Parker is picture perfect. The Toronto Raptors? Not a pretty picture. The TrueHoop Network paints the picture.
Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold: "So do the people here who thought Lamar Odom had turned the corner a few months back still feel that way? He's had three games that have been down a little. I'll go back to what I've always said about him - you need to accept Odom as Odom, the moments of brilliance and the moments he disappears. It's all a function of just who he is. He is going to forever be inconsistent. He is going to be up and down in the regular season, but he tends to rise up in the playoffs. And he still provides a versatility that fits what the Lakers do very well. If you live and die with Odom night to night it is a roller coaster, but when you step back you see a picture of quality."
Graydon Gordian of 48 Minutes of Hell: "If I had to give away the game ball, it would go to Tony Parker and not just because he put up another 30-point game (12 of which came in the 4th for those of who you don't think Parker can make shots in the clutch). He was also a key piece in our defensive stands. Duncan sat for much of the 4th quarter. During that time, Parker dictated the outcome of the game on both ends of the floor. He made crisp rotations, swiped a couple of the previously mentioned steals, drained mid-range jumpers, and finished at the rim. This afternoon we did not see Parker's most impressive offensive performance of the season but we received a balanced, focused effort from our All-Star point guard."Brian Robb of Celtics Hub: "The Marbury haters out there will use his performance today (4 points, no assists, 3 turnovers, -14 +/- in 23 minutes) as an omen that Marbury's presence will be a negative for this team the rest of the way. I think the key here in evaluating Marbury's play must be patience. We have to remember this is a guy who has only played 4 NBA games in the past 13 months. He is still going through his own training camp right now and with the injuries piling up for the C's, Doc put him in a tough spot today by starting him against one of the top teams in the league.
Am I excusing his play entirely? Absolutely not. However I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the next few weeks as he tries to learn the system and find his niche in the offense. As long as Marbury's legs and his basketball IQ are up to par come May, it will be worth enduring the hiccups in his play for now. The majority of the team, not just Marbury did not show up to play today (10 assists to 17 turnovers!) so the reality also makes it hard to put too much of the blame on Marbury."
(Photos by Nick Laham, D. Clarke Evans, Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)