Tag:New York Knicks
Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:32 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 10:33 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Move over No. 6. You're in third place now.
OK, so maybe Linsanity hasn't reach that level quite yet where an averaging dunk is better than LeBron's over John Lucas III or Blake Griffin's over Kendrick Perkins. But it's definitely bubbling to that point. Not only did Lin lead the Knicks to a third straight win, but he dropped another special performance scoring 23 points while dishing out 10 assists. It's been just three games and I think we're all trying to tell ourselves to slow our roll a bit, but it's hard not to get excited. The excitement around Lin isn't quite at the point of the madness surrounding Tim Tebow, but it's certainly building.
And it was in a head-to-head matchup with John Wall, a good exciting point guard that surely wanting to calm a little of the buzz around Lin's uprising. Not only did Lin get the best of Wall, but he put him on skates late in the third quarter and rose up for what some that are fully wrapped in the Lin Mania might call the dunk of the year.
I mean if we want this thing to get to a Tebow level, we're going to have get a little Linsane, right?
Posted on: February 8, 2012 8:46 pm
By Matt Moore
Linsanity is indeed in full effect.
Jeremy Lin came off the bench for the Knicks four days ago against the Nets and scored 25 points, with 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals in a comeback win over the Nets. More than that, though, there were signs of something Knicks fans haven't seen all year: a fully functioning offense. Lin showed an almost instinctive understanding of the pick and roll, a primary staple of most NBA offense but particularly Mike D'Antoni's, along with a creativity at the position the Knicks have needed to go along with their star power. And yet Lin was not through. In his first start in an NBA game, Lin followed up with 28 points, 8 assists, 2 steals, and a charge, along with an alarming 8 turnovers.
Needless to say, New York fans went bonkers.
Here was an undrafted kid out of Harvard (Harvard!), taking the reins at the world's most famous arena, without Amar'e Stoudemire due to a death in the family, and without Carmelo Anthony due to a groin injury, winning a game and looking superb while doing it. If excitement among NBA fans over single games from young players grows fast across the league, it moves at warp speed in New York. The excitement isn't just palpable, it's sweating down your neck in the elevator while you're praying you get to your floor before it vomits on you in excitement.
So with Lin making his second start Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards, there's kind of some pressure on Lin to live up to the hype.
There have been other breakdowns of Lin's game, and surely on Twitter you will find a bevy of analysis and opinions on Lin ranging from "future All-Star" to "fluke who will crash to the earth and burn in another pile of disappointment and failure Knicks fans have come to know so well." Certainly you can't really put much stock in two games. But having gone back and watched his work in those two games, there are some elements of Lin-ear progression I wanted to share.
It makes sense, when you think about it. You're guarding an undrafted rookie who flamed out of Golden State and Houston. Why on earth would you want to guard against him performing one of the most difficult maneuvers in the NBA? But for some reason, neither the Nets nor the Jazz chose to heed the damaging mounting evidence that yes, Jeremy Lin can and will split your double team off the pick and roll and yes, you do need to hedge him baseline as far as you can.
Lin's work in the pick and roll has been superb as stated above. It's not just the mechanics or the results. It's that he shows a natural feel. He's not throwing passes on clockwork, counting in his head before whipping regardless of how the defense reacts, nor is he immediately pulling up for a jumper or waiting too long to evaluate when coming off the screen. He's reacted with sharp, smart passes. Three of his turnovers (out of his total and disturbing eight) against the Jazz came because his teammates simply weren't expecting him to make a pass of that quality. Likewise, three assists were clearly blown for the same reason. With time and practice, that chemistry will improve.
But what has made Lin so dangerous in these two games has been his split of the double on the pick and roll. Teams have constantly funneled him to the middle, daring him to try and dribble past the big defender and the guard, closing off the baseline. In short, Lin has annihilated teams with it. He's slipped between defenders, used a dribble hesitation to freeze the third defender (when there; the Nets didn't have a third defender, they just kind of watched him score), then slip around him for a layup and often an and-one. If Randy Wittman has done any sort of scouting, he'll have Wall fight go under the screen, keep Lin in front of him, and push him to baseline. If they switch, a better move would be to have the big defender hedge Lin out as far as possible. Even if he gets the edge, it's not as familiar or as comfortable for Lin to attack from that angle, and forces the action away from the roll man. Lin can still create scoring as he did against Utah at time by dishing to Steve Novak if the wing defender comes to help, but if Steve Novak kills you, Steve Novak kills you. Gotta live with something.
An Additional Point
The NBA league average for rate of plays ending with an and-one according to HoopData.com is .3 per 40 minutes, for 2.4 percent of the time. Jeremy Lin is averaging 2.6 per 40 minutes at over 13 percent of the time. For comparison, through 795 minutes this year, Monta Ellis has 8 and-ones. Through 136 minutes, Jeremy Lin has 7. What I am trying to get at here is that Lin has been ridiculous at drawing contact and finishing. Lin actually has a right decent step through move. Much has been made of forcing him to his left, but he's able to finish with either hand, even if his left isn't as strong.
But it's highly unlikely that's sustainable. Some of it is sheer shock by the defenders ("Is this guy really getting past?") Some of it is terrible defense on the part of New Jersey and Utah, and some of it is officiating being influenced by the momentum of both the crowd and the story. These things happen. The kid has done wonders to convert those opportunities, but it's hard to see that rate continuing even for another night.
But his ability to finish with contact does bode well for the Knicks. Last game on the Knicks' whiteboard the word "SPACING" was emphasized, and for good reason. The Knicks' inability to space the floor has been one of the reason its offense has been a jumbled mess. A rolling, driving point guard does wonders for that element, and we've seen that with Lin's play through two games. It's not just the pick and roll, it's that ability to finish at the rim that pulls the defense in and allows for perimeter opportunities. Lin's quickness and elusiveness allows for that. The passing is just the icing on the cake.
Every Dream's Got To End Sometime
The Knicks' fan reaction has largely not been one of predicting a trip to Springfield for Lin down the line, just a hope that he can be the point guard to help the offense function, once they have all their components back (which won't be for a while -- Melo's out 1-2 weeks with the groin injury, Stoudemire understandably won't be back from being with family following the death of his brother until at least Monday).
There's likely going to be a peel back. Lin gets to have a bad game. It is the Wizards, but if you're looking for an athletic, long defender to corral Lin, John Wall's as good a place to start as any, and JaVale McGee down low (provided he's not running in the other direction) should deter Lin's attempts at the rim. But what Lin did these two games has not beenMagic or simply throwing up shots. He's been patient, he's been smart, and he's been effective. Maybe he will crash back to earth. But watching this ride has been as fun as anything else this season. I mean, come on, can you really beat this? (Via Posting and Toasting.)
Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:03 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 6:11 pm
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Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:50 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Amar'e Stoudemire left the Knicks Monday to be with his family in Florida after the tragic death of his brother. And he will remain there through the weekend.
According to the New York Post, Stoudemire will rejoin the Knicks on Monday meaning he'll miss three more games -- Wizards tonight, Lakers Friday and the Wolves Saturday.
The bad news for the Knicks, or good news if you're a Linsanity supporter, is that Carmelo Anthony will miss all those games as well healing a groin strain.
The Knicks appeared to sort of turn a corner in the last week led by Jeremy Lin who started his first game in a Monday win over the Jazz. Maybe this is an opportunity for the team to find a little chemistry with those role players. Build some confidence, gut out some wins together and then add the big guns back to the mix with some of the b-list guys playing better.
At least that's what Mike D'Antoni is hoping for.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:01 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 1:05 am
If there was a tipping point for when the compacted schedule would really start to take a significant toll on the league through injury, you have to wonder if it was Monday night. Here's a rundown of the M*A*S*H* unit the league turned into Monday night in a torrent of injuries.
That's one night of action and we haven't even gotten the random trickle-down injuries from the late games yet. Usually we'd be about a week away from the All-Star Game but since we haven't actually gotten through that many games due to the late start following the lockout, there's another three weeks before the All-Star break provides some relief. Vince Carter said last week that this year was about survival and you can tell how much that has an impact on teams' approaches. It's just a rough year for all teams in terms of managing wear and tear with this schedule, and Monday night was one in which a lot of teams lost that battle.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:36 pm
Posted by Royce Young
It was a milestone kind of night in the NBA as the story was Kobe Bryant passing Shaquille O'Neal on the all-time scoring list, but a couple upsets, a couple overtime games and some big matchups were all part of a wild Monday night.
The New York Jeremy Lin's.
No Amar'e Stoudemire. No Carmelo Anthony, who went out with groin injury early in the first quarter. No problem for the Knicks against one of the West's good teams, the Utah Jazz. Behind a new career-high from Jeremy Lin who had 28 points and eight assists, also new career-high (but also eight turnovers, all in the second half), the Knicks were able to pull out an improbable win over a solid team. Jared Jeffries took five charges (!), Steve Novak randomly had 19 points and the Knicks got just enough from all over to win. This is maybe the type of game you can build on a bit. Backs against the wall and the role guys step up. Great win for the Knicks.
Over the last seven days, the 76ers have taken down the Lakers Magic, Bulls and Hawks. I had them as a contender and the Sixers did a good job of making that call look pretty good. Lou Williams was terrific down the stretch against the Lakers Monday and the 76ers put away yet another good win. It's time to wake up about this team. These guys aren't just good. They're LEGIT.
Another tremendous game from Howard in a losing effort. It's a shame to see a guy go for 33 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort, but the assertiveness from Howard was certainly nice to see. Howard took 21 shots, including 17 in the first half. Which moght then show you one of the issues the Magic tend to have -- getting the ball to Howard in key situations. It's not that he disappeared, he just wasn't near the offensive factor.
Kobe passed Shaq on the all-time scoring list and did it in a very Kobe way. He needed 24 to pass Shaq and so he got 24 in the first half. The problem: Kobe finished with 28. He had just four points in the second half and shot 10-26 with five turnovers. A great night for Kobe in terms of history, but not a good night in terms of what transpired in his hometown Philly.
Yes, the Knicks winning is the story, but don't overlook the fact that the Jazz blew an easy opportunity to put another win on the board. No Stoudemire, no Melo and the Jazz let Novak, Lin and Shumpert beat them. That's not a good look for a team trying to battle for playoff positioning in the West.
New Jersey Nets
The Nets stink. They're bad. The Bulls probably could've beat them by 60 had Derrick Rose not left the game early with back spasms. The game was over very early as Chicago led 35-14 after a quarter and seemed to be ready to increase that every quarter. The final score, 108-87, doesn't really illustrate what a blowout this was.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:09 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 5:54 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Update Tuesday 11:45 a.m.: The Knicks announced Tuesday Carmelo Anthony is out 1-2 weeks with a strained right groin. So Linsanity better be sustainable or the Knicks could come completely apart. On the other hand, this might give the Knicks a chance to find some chemistry and success offensively without Melo. If the Knicks, who have won their past two games behind strong play from undrafted guard Jeremy Lin, keep winning without Melo, that's just going to get awkward.
Just when things were finally starting to look the tiniest bit positive for the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony had to leave Monday's game against the Jazz in the first quarter because of a strained groin.
Anthony injured the groin just running up the floor and did not return to the game. He will be evaluated and a timetable will be set after that. Melo had just returned from a stint on the bench to rest list of injuries that included a bad wrist, back and ankle.
The Knicks were already shorthanded without Amar'e Stoudemire, whose brother was killed in a car accident earlier in the day.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:16 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 2:25 pm
Let the Lin Mania begin in the Big Apple.
After searching frantically for an answer at point guard the first quarter of the season, the Knicks are trying another solution: Jeremy Lin.
Lin exploded for 25 points and seven assists in a New York win Saturday, and now has been named the starting point guard for the Knicks' game Monday against the Jazz. It could just be temporary as Baron Davis is still seven to 10 days away from being back from herniated disks. But for now, the Knicks are all Lin's.
The New York Post has details on why Mike D'Antoni made this move now:
D’Antoni said Lin’s defense in Saturday night’s breakthrough performance against the Nets was a big factor in making the move vs. Utah and not waiting.Lin, the NBA's first Asian-American player, is incredibly popular having come to the NBA from Harvard. He started his career with the Warriors and had a brief stint with the Rockets, but seems to fit much better with the Knicks. He's an aggressive pick-and-roll point guard and that's really the kind of system the Knicks prefer to run.
The buzz around Lin can't be ignored as Madison Square Garden chanting his name late in the second half. He's given the Knicks a little shot of life and a bit of hope. Then again, I remember a similar excitement around Iman Shumpert a time ago. Which should tell you what you need to know. The Knicks are desperately looking for answers to turn this season around.
But you'll never know if Lin could be one unless he gets a shot.