Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Top 10 Takeaways From Tonight's Bout Of Linsanity

In case you someone missed it, the Knicks' point guard did it again tonight, adding a game winner with less than a second left. New York remains undefeated during the Lin Era, but here's what you really need to know...

10) There's absolutely no way in hell that Carmelo Anthony doesn't get blamed if and when the Knicks' winning streak ends

9) Amar'e Stoudamire hasn't looked this happy in years

8) Not to be a party pooper, but he doesn't need to crush the game-winner if he doesn't let Jose Calderon go off for a career night

7) It's going to seem like a bleak All-Star Game without him

6) Toronto drew over 20,000 people tonight, several of whom were rooting for the home team

5) Raptor coach Dwane Casey is steamed that his team didn't hold a fourth quarter lead, and that he got to be tonight's Red Klotz

4) Even as you read this, Asiatic slave labor is racing to meet the demand for Lin's jersey, which is, I don't know, kind of ironic or something

3) This is the first and last time you've read the words "Toronto Raptors" in a sports story this year

2) In utterly irrelevant news that will eventually matter, Lin did have eight turnovers tonight

1) Lin has more points in his first five NBA starts than anyone since the freaking ABA-NBA merger, which is somewhere on the scale between batcrap loco and utterly freaking linsane


snd_dsgnr said...

What's your take on the guy? Flash in the New York media pan whose numbers will come back down to earth when playing tougher competition? Legitimate talent who will be making multiple all star teams in the coming years? Somewhere in between?

DMtShooter said...

I should have saved this for a full post.

Too many guys in the Association pride themselves on shutting down people, especially new guns, and you don't rack up the cumulative numbers over this long of a stretch of games as a flash in the pan.

Also, while some of the teams have been dogs, many of the PGs he's faced have not been (Deron Williams, John Wall, Jose Calderon). The biggest threat to his numbers will be when defenses key to his weaknesses (he doesn't go left well, three-point shooting isn't great) and acclimating Amar'e and Carmelo back into something near their historic usage levels. They make a lot of money and have egos; they are not going to take 10 shots a game and spot up off his dribble all night. And in the long term, they probably shouldn't anyway.

An All-Star in the future... well, assuming he's not *really* an MVP candidate, he slots behind Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, which means he's got to beat out the rest of the East guards. In 2012-13, let's call that Andre Iguodala, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo. Assuming he keeps the job and 80% of his current numbers, I think so. He's probably already outsold all of their merch as is.

The bigger issue in the long-term is whether he'll be as good as his rep. At 27/3/9, and 49% FG / 75% FT, which is his current numbers as a de factor 6-0 / 40 mpg starter, he's all that and a bag of chips... but if/when he levels off to 22/3/7 with 44% / 70%, you've got something closer to empty calories, since the minutes are driving up the cumes.

You'd like your PG to shoot FTs and 3Ps better, and turn it over a lot less than 6 times a game. He also took a lot of punishment in that Toronto game, and health is a skill. Mike D'Antoni isn't known for sub patterns that keep guys healthy, either.

But the final point for win is that he actually makes his team better, at least to date. The Knicks move the ball with him; they dive for everything, they defend with teeth, and last night, they came back from a big deficit on the road. You can't play pro hoop without emotion, and Lin gives the Knicks the first good one they've had in about a year. 60-40 it lasts.

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