From the desk of: DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP
NEW YORK KNICKS: Jeremy Lin is Now a Point of Contention. Knicks on Verge of Pointing Him Towards the Nearest Exit.
Many have been clamouring for the return of Ray Felton ever since he found favor with fans prior to the Carmelo Anthony acquisition. Now, based on circulating reports, you may have him again Knick fans. And with Jason Kidd in the fold, it looks a lot like the Age of LINsanity is all but over. Jeremy Lin signed his offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, and now the Knicks will have 48 hours or so to match. But do they want to? If you're reading into the Knicks' moves, the answer is, No.
Without trying to detract from Jeremy Lin's arrival on the scene, and playing so well before getting hobbled by injuries, I was never completely sold on him. The key word there is SOLD. I'm not insinuating he can't be a good player. I just do not see the upper body strength from him, and watched him get pushed around last season after the brilliance wore off his introductory flash, and lighting the city on fire. Once teams started taking the body against him, LINsanity headed to the LINfirmary. In his defense, he almost always made good decisions on the court. But can he endure a whole season of bumping bodies in the lane? I do not think Knicks fans will be finding out up close. For answers to that quandary, check in on him while he plays in Houston.
With Jason Kidd on board however, the Knicks now have that alpha-point guard who will dictate the direction of the ball, and more specifically, direct traffic between Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Whether it is going to be Lin, or Felton, I look for the soon to be forty year old Kidd to be splitting playing time down the middle. In that case, Jason Kidd should be very reliable, not to mention effective while playing twenty-some minutes per game. Whether he is on the court during the last six minutes like he says he wants to be, will get itself worked out. That's Mike Woodson's problem for now.
With Jason Kidd on board, I think we'll be seeing a very different version of Carmelo Anthony. Of the players he'll share the court with, Carmelo Anthony stands to benefit the most from Kidd's arrival. For a guy I'm not too particularly enamoured with, Kidd just may help out Melo's game immeasurably. I still do not think Jeremy Lin has the cache to demand the ball back from Melo. But Jason Kidd does, and will. And if Melo doesn't fall in line, a veteran like Kidd knows how to send on-court messages to his team mates through selective ball distribution. Whatever in-game time the old man needs to refresh his legs and catch his breath, will be provided by Ray Felton or, possibly Jeremy Lin, or even both. Being a starter means stepping out on the court first. After the initial tip-off, being a starter means nothing. So, I don't care who steps out first.
If acquired, can Ray Felton recapture the flare and effectiveness he played with his first time here? He better lose some weight first. That's just fact. He's the third coming of Round Mound right now. Ray may need boot camp instead of training camp later this summer. In any case, expect him to get a loud ovation the first time he takes to the Garden floor this Fall. But just keep in mind, he couldn't win a starting job in any of his landing spots after he got traded.
I'm not lost on Jason Kidd's age. But for twenty to twenty-three minutes a night, I think he'll be just fine, and key to any Knicks' success next season. What Ray Felton can contribute remains to be seen. But we already have a feeling we know what we're getting. And I'm sure Amare Stoudemire is OK with the deal too. If Stoudemire's body holds up, prepare yourselves for a return of the Amare from the 2010-2011 season.
Marcus Camby's age is also not lost on me. But to back up Tyson Chandler and play some forward, I think he's marvelous. And the more players willing to play defense, the better. It will be nice to see Camby in a Knicks uniform again.