Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Embrace the Linsanity

OK folks... it's time to accept the fact that we've got a brand-new phenom that will polarize the populace, Tebow-style, since talking about your religious beliefs is a sure fire way to get marginalized now, and he might be the biggest flash in the pan, well, ever. But there's a *far* better story going on here.

To call Jeremy Lin's story unreal is to, well, insult reality. We're talking about any number of utter improbabilities all coming together in a single week to make for the following.

1) The first prominent small Asian-American to play well in the NBA

2) An undrafted fringe guy, on his third team in two years, becoming the undisputed star of the biggest team in the biggest media market in three games

3) An Ivy League guy -- and not just any Ivy League, but freaking Harvard, no less, the place with twice as many Presidents (8) as NBA players -- supplying the talent

4) Oh, and he's utterly transformed the team to an unselfish bunch of careful ball movers. New York had 8 turnovers tonight, on the road.

To say that they are better without their two highest paid players is... correct. At least this week.

Tonight in the District, Lin more or less destroyed last year's rookie of the year and #1 overall pick, John Wall. Wall plays the exact same position as Lin. With Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony both out with injuries, the Knicks aren't even clearly the better team than the 5-20 Wizards, especially at home. Wall had 29-1-6 with a turnover and was -6.

His line tonight was 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting, with 10 assists and 2 turnovers. Oh, and 7 boards as well; had this game been close, he might have gotten a triple double. Was +18, the second best mark on the floor. And that says nothing about what the game was actually like. There was never a doubt that they were losing this, that Lin wasn't going to do well, and that his numbers. He distributed the ball early, scored later, and more or less looked as if he'd been doing this for a decade, rather than a week. For the third straight game, the Knicks moved the ball and won, and Lin set a new career high in assists. It's straight out out of a Disney movie. One that has no basis in reality. They chanted his name at the end of the game.

Can it continue? Well, in that it should have never started, why not? Lin has benefited from playing a few terrible defensive teams, and the Wiz can make anyone look good. But if it continues on Friday night, in New York, against the Lakers, with the whole world watching... well, that'll be something. We'll know he's for real if Kobe Bryant decides to take him on defense. This week, I'm not sure Kobe wins that match up. Utter insanity.

Oh, and then there's this -- guys do not want to be on his poster. Stay tuned.

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