At a time when the Knicks have been in dire need of a point guard, Jeremy “Lin City” has arrived. Going into the season with a void, (Chauncey Billups waived) everyone knew it was going to be a tough ride playing without a floor general... especially when you consider the work stoppage and short training camp.
In previous weeks the Knicks have looked solid on the defensive end holding their opponents around an average of 94.4 points almost every night. So the problem for the Knicks was no longer defense. Rather, the team knew they needed a big lift in offense. A few weeks ago the only answer fans could dream up was to wait on Baron Davis. Well it looks as though Knicks fans no longer have to wait for the offensive spark. Jeremy Lin is here, breathing life back into the City. And because of that I like to call Jeremy, “Lin City”.
It’s only been a few games and Jeremy Lin has been the talk of the town. If it were not for the Giants winning the Super Bowl, “Lin City” would have been the main attraction.
It was only a few months ago when Jeremy Lin did not know where his NBA career would be. Lin was a player who was undrafted out of Harvard, cut by Warriors (to make room for DeAndre Jordan), and signed to the Rockets only to get waived again (to make for SamuelDalembert). All of this happened before Lin City hit the Big Apple. Now Jeremy Lin has gone from the #1 underdog to the #1 overnight sensation.
In the last three games Lin has played some of the best ball you could ask for from a point guard. In that first game against the Nets, Lin was able to shutdown Deron Williams and score 25 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals. The next game Lin scored 28 points along with 8 assists.
After these two games the chatter about Lin being “lucky” and questions like “Is he for real?” have stopped. People are now trying to figure out how can a player be so talented and still get cut? Lin scored 23 points, 10 assists against the Wizards. That night he became the only player since Lebron James in 2003 to score 20+ points and 8+ assists in back-to-back games. Lin also scored 38 points and 7 assists against the Lakers to put all Lin doubters to shame.
So what does Lin do that is so special at the point that the Knicks desperately needed? Those of you who know basketball from the inside are familiar with coaches telling players "Don’t force shots... let the game come to you." That is exactly what Lin does when he runs the point. Let's examine it further:
1. Passing: He gets his teammates involved by hitting the open man and causing players to move around. Before the Knicks' offense looked stagnant with players just standing around. Now players are looking for each other and making better plays on the offensive end of the court.
2. Driving: The Knicks finally have a guard driving to the basket. Too often players at the guard position were taking jump shots. Now you have Jeremy Lin who is driving and making Knicks opponents work to prevent Lin from penetrating to the rim. So teams now have to figure out how to stop Lin from getting to the hole.
3. Pick and Roll: The pick and roll has always been coach Mike D’Antoni's favorite play. Now the Knicks finally have a player this season that can run the pick and roll. So far Tyson Chandler has benefited the most from Lin's pick and roll. Once all the kinks are out of the pick and roll it will be a hard act to stop.
4. Defense: Lin’s defense and being able to score makes it hard for his opponent to score or contain him. No one likes to go against a player who plays both ends of the court. Not to mention Lin's skill adds another defender in the backcourt.
5. Good decision making: This sounds simple enough, however too often we've see players making the wrong choice when they have the ball in their hands. Lin is letting the game come to him. When the shot is available he takes a jump shot. When the lane is available he drives. When a teammate is open he finds the open man. The bottom line is he is using his instincts.
Overall, Jeremy Lin has been a great addition to the Knicks lineup when the team, now more that ever, has needed production at the point guard position. Can you imagine how good Lin will look when he gets a chance to play alongside Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire?
If you don’t know, ask somebody. “Lin City” is here so sit back and enjoy the ride.