Its true. Don’t try to deny it. Every single one of you has gone Linsane. Love for the Knick’s point guard has been sweeping nation ever since he put up 25-5-7 against the Nets seemingly out of nowhere. He’s started the four games since, leading his team on a 5 game win streak that may have turned their season around. Lin’s rise to becoming a starter has been the one bright spot this season for the struggling Knicks. His play has even spawned a movement of impassioned fans who think he’s the NBA’s next Asian superstar. All of which is totally acceptable in the Twitter world of sports fandom where people fall in and out of love with players with amazing speed(Who was that Spanish point guard for the Timberwolves again?). What’s not acceptable, however is things such as this, “‘Melo has to change the way he plays”(NYTIMES) about ‘Melo’s return. That’s Linsanity, it’s plain old insanity.
We’re not talking about a run of the mill forward here, this is Carmelo Anthony, the guy the Knicks completely gutted their team for last season. He’s arguably the best pure scorer in the league and suddenly he’s the one who needs to change his game. In his 9 year NBA career ‘Melo has never averaged under 20 ppg; Lin last averaged double digit minutes played when he played in the D-league and was cut twice prior to the season. What exactly am I missing here? Where in those 5 games did an undrafted point guard with 4 career starts become this team’s best player?
I’m not trying to say Lin is a bad player. He can run the pick and roll well and should definitely start for a Knicks team that is completely devoid of point guards with the Baron Davis injury. But as of writing(using stats from his starts), he ranks fourth in the league in usage percentage(an estimation of a teams possessions a player uses while on the court) at 32.8% and attempts 19.5 field goals per games. Those are practically Kobe numbers. He’s also averaging the highest turnover rate in the league at 5.5 per game, almost a full point higher than the second place player Russell Westbrook. If you still aren’t convinced, then take a look at Lin’s numbers from last season. He played 29 games for the Warriors, averaging 9.8 minutes per game and 2.8 points per game. Clearly not super star numbers.
Of course, Lin fits much better into the D’Antoni system and can run the pick and roll almost as well as anyone, but once ‘Melo returns he’s going to need to defer the ball much more than he has, and even moreso once Amar’e comes back. If he keeps playing well, look for him to finish the season with 12ppg and 4.5 apg. He’s a good player and who hopefully has a great future, but let’s be serious, it’s absurd to claim that a 5x All-Star needs to cater to a 4x game starter.
P.S. Jeremy Lin, if you somehow find this, keep up the good work. You’re on my fantasy team.