Take Heart, Shawn Marion Owners

Shawn Marion

Don’t give up on The Matrix.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I like Shawn Marion. A lot. He’s somewhat enigmatic: Despite playing huge minutes, he’s often seemingly invisible on the court, except for the occasional highlight-reel dunk or acrobatic block. At the same time, he’s a total fantasy monster, getting it done it just about every category, and topping the list of all players (by most rankings) last season. Something about his combination of incredible physical ability, relative anonymity, shooting style that looks like a T-Rex hoisting a set shot, and, of course, monster stats has made me a big fan.

However, his production has been a little down as of late. From his RotoPoll player page, you can see his two-week rank is not up to standard (37th as I write this), and his line tonight wasn’t great either: Just 15 points and 5 rebounds.

However, before you panic and accept an offer to trade Marion for Mo Williams and Tyson Chandler, consider the following two reasons to remain optmistic about The Matrix this season:

1. Don’t overreact to the “Amare Effect”

A lot of people think that the recent resurgence of Amare Stoudemire is cutting into Marion’s production. That may be true to some extent, but consider this: The biggest drop in Marion’s numbers recently has been in the defensive categories—averaging almost two steals and 1.6 blocks on the season, he’s put up only one each over the past two weeks. That difference, more than anything else, accounts for his recent drop in value. It’s hard to see Amare limiting Shawn’s ability and opportunity to swipe steals and block shots, so look for his value to rebound as those numbers come back.

2. His bad games aren’t that bad

Case in point: Tonight’s game. Though he had only 15 and 5, he added 3 steals, and, unlike LeBron, he managed to make his free throws. All in all, his game gets a RotoPoll score a 0.92, good for a rank average of 33, which isn’t too bad considering it’s about as bad a game as you’ll ever see from him. Even on his worst night, he’s still as good as Josh Smith or Dwight Howard (#33 and #34 in the RotoPoll rankings, respectively).

So if you have Marion, be patient. And if you can get him from a nervous owner, make it happen. At least, that’s what I’d do.

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