Monday, February 13, 2012

N.Y. Knicks ~ Jeremy Lin and the Art of the Win

From the desk of:   DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP

Driggs Street Mural

NEW YORK KNICKS:  What's Saving the Knicks is Not Some Ancient Chinese Secret.  Jeremy Lin is a Damn Near Modern Day Miracle!

Once is a flash in the pan.  It's an - on any given day - kind of thing.  Twice can still be considered a coincidence.  But three times?  Now we're talking about a trend.  Four times?  That's usually when patterns start.

Okay, so who predicted the Knicks would beat the Lakers without Stoudemire and Melo?  I suspect, no one.  And don't say you did either unless you yourself are that one-in-one-thousand guy of Asian decent, who studied at Harvard, and excels at basketball as well.  Because as far as we all know right now, there's only one guy that fits that description.  As a matter of fact, no one even knew who Jeremy Lin was a week ago.  But he's lit up The Garden with fireworks reminiscent of local Chinese New Year traditions celebrated around the city just a few weeks ago.  And every team is playing a compressed schedule.  Therefore I'm not interested in hearing the Lakers were tired or anything of the kind.

You know debuts like this aren't supposed to happen.  That's why he's turned this into such a hot time in the Garden lately.  And now suddenly everything seems possible again.  It's been a great story and to his credit, he's made a lot of friends of Knicks Fans in a very short time.  He's turned a ticket to The Garden into an invitation to Enter the Dragon.  And I'll also give the kid credit for electrifying  MSG unlike the place has been jolted in over a decade; save last years pre-Melo trade when Felton was still here, and then again in the playoffs.

But what are we to really make of Jeremy Lin?  For starters, he understands the position and is very patient yet decisive with the ball.  He's shown a knack for the pick and roll.  He penetrates the lane exceeding well, and either kicks back out or finishes strongly to the hoop.  He keeps his dribble and hits the open shot when teams seem content with giving it to him.  Then Saturday against the T-Wolves/Muskies, he saved the Knicks again this time at the free throw line.  Yes, in four games he's pretty much shown he can do it all.  To summeraize, he's fundamentally sound and confident.

My only concern is can he sustain this?  But I will say, I believe in giving people the ball, or giving them opportunities, and letting them work and learn through both good and bad times.  With more games we'll learn more about Jeremy Lin.  And the Knicks have nothing to lose.  Let him start and let whomever play back-up.  At the same time, a little depth with give the Knicks a slight boost off the bench.

In Melo's absence however, the stark differences bewteen selling-out to the Star System, versus playing a team oriented game have never been more apparent.  The biggest question looming for the Knicks now is what happens to Lin once Melo comes back.  The arrival of Melo has meant the disappearance of Landry Fields; just as a matter of reference.  Truth is, he's never been the same since.

But maybe Jeremy Lin is just what Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire need.  If Jeremy Lin can find ways to consistently feed those two the ball, and be an effective traffic cop for them and still find ways to incorporate Tyson Chandler down low, then the Knicks really do have a revelation on their hands.

The Knicks take to the court again on Tuesday.  We have a few days to soak in and enjoy what Jeremy Lin has brought to the team.  Take a few days to sit on a victory against the T-Wolves, not to mention Kobe Bryant, who didn't even know who Jeremy Lin was just a few days ago.  After Friday's game however, he knows who Lin is now.  Enjoy the wins.  Next tip-off is Tuesday.


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