What’s Wrong With Marcus Camby?

One of the biggest mysteries through the first 13 games of the New York Knicks’ season has been the lack of impact by Marcus Camby.

When the Knicks acquired Camby from the Rockets, it was widely heralded as their smartest move of the offseason (Ronnie Brewer could be given that distinction also), while Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd were criticized.

A funny thing has occurred – Felton (I’m just going to go ahead and pretend like his performance during the Nets game didn’t actually happen) and Kidd have been terrific, but Camby has been more invisible than Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man.

The former UMass Minuteman has only played in six of 13 games, averaging just under eight minutes, less than one point per game, 2.5 boards and less than one block.

I wasn’t expecting Marcus to come in and play at an All Star level, but 15-19 minutes of boards, help defense and some cheap offensive points were not exceedingly high expectations. He hasn’t even come close to meeting those, though.

In his five minutes in the Knicks’ loss to the Nets on Monday night, Reggie Evans looked like he was a lion and Camby was a poor, lost helpless Zebra getting chewed up and swallowed. I had to turn my head because it was so difficult to watch (Do Lions eat Zebras??? I’m really not sure, but we’re going with it anyway).

The fact Rasheed Wallace, who was out of the NBA for two years, is contributing more than Camby is beyond shocking.

Camby is the one Knicks player that has looked and played like the age he is (38). It’s still too early into the season to write Marcus off; I have too many good memories of him in a Knicks uniform to think this is truly the level he will play at consistently this season.

That being said it’s an issue that needs to start being discussed.

Tyson Chandler should not have to play 45 minutes in a regular season game in late November. When Wallace is having an off shooting night, Woodson needs another place he can go.

Camby has to be that guy, but currently hasn’t proven himself worthy of rotation minutes. As the season progresses, the depth he can provide when he’s playing at a moderately high level will become increasingly important and it will significantly hurt the Knicks’ rotation if he can’t provide it.