The Knicks are not going to win out the string!

Posted by By at 15 February, at 23 : 16 PM Print

The Knicks are not going to win out the string!

They are on a nice little run though, aren’t they? A run that had included five straight wins.  A run that has got their playoff footing on slightly more stable ground.  A run that has also coincided with the emergence of the life force that is, Jeremy Lin.  Last night, in Toronto of all venues, that run almost came to a very abrupt end.

And then, all of a sudden.  It became his time.  Again.  A three-point deficit turned into a tie, and a tie into a lead.  Five straight turned into six, and the Knicks new point guard turned out to be a killer.

The legend of Lin reached mythical status on Tuesday night.  In truth, it was pretty easily his poorest game since becoming the starting one guard.  I mean the stat line was fine. 20 shots for 27 points is a pretty efficient scoring night. Add 11 assists, a career high, sheds light on another 20 odd points he helped create.  He didn’t play well though, at least not for the first 45 minutes.  He was exposed defensively. He was rushed, and he was turning over the ball. Repeatedly.
Then just when it looked like the Knicks might win this game in spite, not because of Jeremy Lin?  Layup and one, to tie. Splash three for the lead. Game over.

If you haven’t seen it, you will. Media will shove it down your throat.  What you may not see on YouTube however?
Jeremy Lin continuing to eat up the majority of the minutes at the point, allows Iman Shumpert to play the off the ball. No need to score. No need to run the offense. Just be disruptive and guard. He is that good defensively.  That alone, makes the Knicks much better than they were 10 days ago, sans Jeremy Lin.

So, what if the Knicks eventually do lose again?  And, what if Jeremy Lin fails to score in double figures for a game?  Turns the ball over more than he already is?  Don’t expect to see him stapled to the end of the bench, again.  The leash on Jeremy Lin is long, simply because, the Knicks seriously have no better option at the point.

I think he knows that.  He has been given the right opportunity (for him), at the right time (for the Knicks).  I think he is aware of that too.  When your point guard is not looking over his shoulder every time he makes a mistake. He is then allowed to play his game. You tolerate the learning curve and the mistakes, because you also know the propensity for making plays. In the shambles that was the Knicks point guard situation, I’d say, his game is translating pretty well. I mean. Look at the numbers. You must have seen them. They make sure you see the numbers.

This is bigger than just numbers though, the point guard position usually is. The ability to lead, and have your, more established teammates follow, is not something that can be shown in a box score.  Sometime, it takes risks to make plays.  Good point guards are just better able to calculate those risks.To shoulder that responsibility, in a city like New York, and for an offensive coach like D’antoni, takes an unshakable kind of confidence. So who was really surprised when Jeremy Lin turns to his head coach and asks to isolate at the top of the key with the game in balance? No time out.
No screen.  Just balls.

No, he is not the Knicks most talented player. Definitely not its star.  Make no mistake however; Jeremy Lin is leading this Knicks team right now.  How far and for how long are the real questions.  And those answers will only come with time.

So let’s not rush to anoint anything, just yet.

Leave that to the media, the hype machine, the manufacturers of America’s next athlete slash super hero. Hopefully this time, they aren’t as quick to tear down what they’ve built up.

Written by Eff Em Dee
-F

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