After grading Jason Kidd, it seems that most of MMB thought favorably of him this past season, giving him mainly 7’s and 8’s. Now we get onto the next player on our report card, Shawn Marion.
On another note, the remaining players I have left on these are JET, Butler, Haywood, and Roddy B. If there’s anyone I left out that you guys want to see, make sure and say it in the comments.
Of all the roster discussion that has gone on in this past season, Marion has been seemingly talked about the least. For the most part, Marion did a great job on the defensive end as he held Kobe, LeBron, and Durant (among others) all below their season average. However, his skills have obviously diminished as he is no longer the player he once was. On the whole, though, he is definitely an interesting person to grade.
Positives: Marion was easily an improvement over Josh Howard at the 3. Guarding the other team’s best player on most nights, he improved Dallas’ overall team defense while also providing great versatility at different positions (including power forward when the Mavs went to their small ball line-up). Marion also had a terrific month of March – save for the last game in Memphis – as he shot over 50% from the field in all but two games while scoring in double digits in almost every game and averaging over 6 rebounds a night. This stretch, coincidentally, included part of the Mavs’ 13 game winning streak. Also, having played with the likes of Steve Nash, Marion, despite having near career-low numbers, was a great fit on offense with Jason Kidd.
Negatives: At 32, Marion is not very old for a basketball player. However, his 13 seasons have placed a lot of mileage on him. His numbers have taken a toll as a result as he has dropped from a guy that averaged a double-double on a regular basis. Now, coming off a season in which his points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals were at their lowest since his rookie season, his numbers figure to drop lower as he gets older and more into his contract. On another note, he has one of the weirdest shots ever seen, which seems to have cost him in some situations.
My Grade: I’m going to give him a 7. I think the part that most people overlook in regards to Marion is his impact on the defensive end, which I felt was huge. Yes, he has aged, but the guy still has his spurts where he’s a great player. On the whole, he’s still extremely solid.
Outlook: Look for Marion to continue to be a solid player on this team for at least the next couple of years. But the contract he signed last year is going to look worse and worse as the days pass and it’s something that will need to be dealt with.