Category Archives: basketball

The Knicks Have A Plan

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As I was about to throw my phone across the room in anger because the Knicks were about to let their first really good point guard since Rod Strickland (smh) walk away I saw this aura with a orange hue hover above me.

It was the ghost of Knicks coaching great Red Holtzman who prevented me from making a $250 mistake.

Enough intro, here’s what happened:

Red: what the hell is wrong with you?
Me: I’m sick of this damn team! Every year it’s the same old (bleep). Bring in older players, poor contracts, and letting go of really good players that we really need. Why?!?! Why us?!?! Did you see our draft?! Kostas Posdonous? Who the hell is that.
Red: (to the side) let me not bring up why we have no draft picks.
Me: huh?!
Red: nothing. Look, calm down Kevin it’s not the end of the world. What of I told you that the Knicks had an actual plan?
Me: is Isaiah Thomas apart of it?
Red: thank god no! It’s bigger than even his narrow- minded head could come up with. You should thank the Houston Rockets for doing you a huge favor.
Me: you’re losing me Red.
Red: have you seen that contract? It’s horrible. 5 mill over the first two seasons then 14 mill in the last season. If the Knicks agree to that then they’ll be paying $40 mill after luxury tax rapes them in the last year of that deal.
Me: … Ouch.

(side note: while everyone was dissecting Carmelo Anthony’s “ridiculous contract” statement… Um he’s right. I liked Linsanity, I like Jeremy Lin, but in two years unless he actually becomes Steve Nash 2.0 do I want to kill my luxury dollars on him? Hell no.)

Red: yup. Who knows if this kid is more than a 35 game wonder. Why kill your dollars for him?
Me: ok Red, I get that… BUT WE HAVE NO POINT GUARDS!!! We just signed Jason Kidd at 39 and the flabby wonder Raymond Felton. We’re still a crappy backcourt team especially without Iman Shumpert.
Red: but can you hold on for one more year?
Me: huh?
Red: picture next offseason Chris Paul in a Knicks uniform.
Me: I don’t get it.
Red: this is the real reason the Knicks aren’t signing Lin its CP3. Paul already rejected an extension with LA and is eyeing the Knicks. Neither team has enough firepower to make a deal happen right now so instead Paul will play out his last year and join the Knicks after the season. In order for the Knicks to have a shot at getting Paul they can’t sign Lin. It’s too much money, too much luxury tax and too much hassle.
Me: oh (bleep).
Red: next year the Knicks can also kill Amare Stoudamire’s deal as well to give them more room and sign an actual power forward who can rebound and isn’t scared of the paint.
Me: you hate Amare too?
Red: don’t get me started.

(think about this for a minute. It’s possible that next year the Knicks could have CP3, and Melo. Get rid of Amare’s horrible deal and get a real power forward or trade him for Josh Smith like I’ve been asking for 890 years, and they’ve quietly built up a decent bench with Steve Novak and Felton who works way better as a backup instead of a starter. Wait a minute, will the Knicks actually be a competitive basketball franchise that can actually function? Brain overload.)

Me: so wait a minute, we’re actually looking ahead, being patient and building this team up for something big instead of rushing?
Red: crazy isn’t it? It only took them ten years to figure it out.
Me: but I have to sit through one more crappy year.
Red: it’s the Knicks you’re used to it.
Me: true.
Red: Linsanity was fun, it was great, we all bought t-shirts and watched his highlights. But after 35 games, five turnovers a game, poor defense and that horrible contract the Rockets are giving him, is it worth it to give up something bigger for a few more dollars in merchandise?
Me: I guess you’re right.
Red: the Knicks are getting close. Brooklyn’s making noise, the Cavs may get Andrew Bynum, and the Heat and Celtics are there. However, Chris paul in NYC changes everything. The Knicks become important, they become a title contender and they become the big boys in the East. That’s real insanity. So cheer up, relax and don’t worry, the Knicks may be alright after all.
Me: thanks Red I appreciate it… Wait, why’d you say MAYBE alright?
Red: it’s the Knicks. You know if anyone can screw this up they can.

Thus is the life of a Knicks fan. Even with a plan coming together we all know that at any moment things can get jacked up.


The Dwight Howard Horror Show Continues

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Enough Dwight Howard already… Enough!!!

I’ve had it, I’m sick of it and I wish that it would go away preferably by cannon fire.

This saga has made the plights of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony seems like fairy tales. We had somewhat of a clue as to what their plans were but the saga of Howard has been one big roller coaster of uncertainty.

At this time last year all signs were pointing to Howard going to the Lakers. Then it was Chicago, then Howard wanted Dallas, then Brooklyn, then the Clippers (that’s right, someone actually wanted to play for the Clippers. Crazy right?), then Orlando, then the Knicks became an option, then Stan Van Gundy said Howard wanted him fired, then Howard denied it, then Howard scratched his opt out clause saying he wanted to stay in Orlando, then he wanted out of Orlando again, the SVG got fired, then Brooklyn had a four team deal on the table, Orlando said no, now it’s the Lakers again…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

MAKE IT STOP!!!!

In 12 months Dwight Howard has gone from one of the games most fun and endearing players to a sissy and a chump. Countless people have complained to me about Howard and his flip flopping and how it’s upsetting them as fans.

Can you blame them? We’re in the big 3 era of the NBA like it or not with players positioning themselves like dominoes to fall into place with the right team. However, in the case of Dwight Howard this goes far beyond positioning, this is whining, crying and bullying at its worst.

Howard is like your little daughter who wants everything her way and stomps her feet, screams and throws fits to get it. At least you can tell your child no, in the case of Howard you can’t do anything right.

Orlando has tried and tried to make both team and player satisfied but to no end. They unjustly fired Van Gundy who did nothing but lead them to their second finals appearance for Howard only to have him ask to be traded again. They’ve tried to trade Howard everywhere only to have him or the team involved say no. They have upset fans, confused players and the entire league staring at them wondering what’s next.

What can they do? They have the great new problem in the NBA, a player who wants everything his way on his terms and doesn’t care who he hurts to get it.

It happened in Cleveland, Denver, New Orleans and almost in Utah before they told Deron Williams to step off.

Now it’s happening in Orlando and they really can’t do anything about it. The best deals on the table are for teams Howard doesn’t want to go to (hi Houston) and the teams he wants to go to don’t have the assets for him.

This saga could spread into the upcoming season with his free agency a torturous 365 days away.

Hopefully both sides can come to some sort of agreement to get Howard out of Orlando and out of the headlines. This thing has dragged on long enough and needs to end soon.

Who knows what Howard will ask for next. Maybe a trade to FC Barcelona?

Thanks a lot LeBron and Carmelo. Look what you guys started.


A Good Draft

Brow Down.

HOLY $#!! I’M ALIVE!!!

It’s been a minute I know but I had to come back on the night of the biggest draft since 2003.

I’m not into basketball like I used to be, but I’ve been looking forward to this draft since last May when the Cavaliers got lucky in one of the worst drafts in recent memory. The possible names that were available for this draft were like a basketball purist’s wet dream. Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Terrance Jones, Harrison Barnes and Jeremy Lamb were just the tip of the iceberg. These guys were sophomores that we knew were coming out and after seeing them in their first year in college we thought that they could all get better.

Add that to the McDonald’s All-Americans that had the possibility of being one and done (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal) and we were looking at the deepest draft since 2003 where we had three superstars (Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade), several other big contributors (Chris Bosh, Nick Collison, David West and Kirk Hinrich) and a gaggle of role players that can make a difference on any team in the league.

A funny thing happened on the road to the Prudential Center though, not that we should be surprised. Perry Jones became fragile, Barnes fizzled, so did Lamb, Sullinger’s back cost him, oh and Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Damian Lillard balled out.

The sure things don’t look so sure anymore, the draft doesn’t seem like it has the cant miss players that we all thought. There are question marks all up and down the draft once we get past Anthony Davis (who still needs a refined offensive game to match his foolish defensive skills) all the way into the late first round.

Some players have fallen farther than anyone could’ve thought and some guys are rising that we had no idea could rise.

One thing is for sure, man there are no foreign players anywhere to be found.

Outside of Evan Fourier the foreign expansion is bleak. The boom in foreign expansion that came in the 2000’s looks like it’s all dried up. It’s so bad I haven’t even seen ESPN’s Chad Ford hyping up a guy that we nothing about from some third world country… WHAT’S THE DRAFT COMING TO?!

So now that it’s finally here, how do I think it’s going to go? You all know me, I’m not conventional, so keep that in mind as we go through picks 1-30 and even throw in the Knicks 48thpick for fun. (Because you know in the deepest draft in 10 years the Knicks don’t have a first round pick thanks to Isaiah Thomas who hasn’t even worked in the organization in close to 4 years… I hate the Knicks.)

Who are you?

1. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: ANTHONY DAVIS, PF, KENTUCKY

The NBA rigged pick (oops, did I go there?) is the only real no brainer in the first round. Anybody that watched 2 seconds of college basketball knows that Davis is the real deal. He’s tall with a huge wingspan, can run the floor, pass and well there’s his defense. Led the nation in blocks and made it look easy. Davis instantly becomes one of the best interior defenders in the game and helps the Hornets add 10-15 wins in year one. He needs to develop more of an inside offensive game but so did Lebron James and… well… look what happened.

2. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: BRADLEY BEAL, SG, FLORIDA

Yeah, the Hornets trade this pick for more picks (because they need help everywhere) and the Cavs get the type of guard that will take some of the offensive pressure off of Kyrie Irving. Beal is one of the big risers who started off as a late first rounder at the beginning of the season but his stock just kept climbing.

He has an NBA ready body and a Ray Allen type of game. He needs to improve defensively but you can’t pass up a guy who can possibly score 23 points a game.

3. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: HARRISON BARNES, SF, NORTH CAROLINA

He’s not, the second coming of Kobe Bryant like we thought, he can’t find his own shot and he shrunk in big moments at UNC. But Barnes has a high IQ, super athletic and brings some sort of continuity and stability to a team that desperately needs it.

4. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: THOMAS ROBINSON, PF, KANSAS

Man… I love T-Rob. He’s big, strong, can rebound, score face up and back to the basket and is a leader. Man… I love T-Rob.

5. SACRAMENTO KINGS: MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, SF, KENTUCKY

So apparently being a poor shooter overlooks the fact that, a. he’s a gym rat and a psychotically hard worker, b. has won on every level that he’s played, c. is the best on ball defender in this draft, d. can get to the rim at will and runs the floor better than anyone in this draft. That’s enough reason to drop him from number 2 to number 5 or lower… ok, gotcha.

6. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: DAMIAN LILLARD, PG, WEBER STATE

I’m not even going to lie to you, I know nothing about him, haven’t seen him play and don’t know why he’s ranked this high when he’s never played in the NCAA tournament, never played a top 25 team and is apparently a 6-1 shoot first point guard. Good luck Portland!

7. HOUSTON ROCKETS: ANDRE DRUMMOND, C, CONNECTICUT

Yeah this seems like a reach I know, but Houston is hell bent on getting into the lottery to try and entice Orlando into a trade for Dwight Howard (which by the way is completely stupid on Houston’s part) so once that fails why not fill a need and draft Andre Drummond. Drummond at one point was considered the top pick in the draft. However, questions about his motor and offensive game have soured scouts on him.

Let’s be real though, Drummond is a shot blocking machine in the NBA. He can rebound like crazy and who doesn’t need an improved offensive game in this league. Drummond to me can become a great center and pairing with Kevin McHale, who was a pretty good big man in his day, can help him reach that potential really fast. It’s a risk but hell, go for it.

8. TORONTO RAPTORS: DION WAITERS, SG, SYRACUSE

I’ve heard people say he has a lot of D-Wade in his game, some say that he is a glorified sixth man. I think Waiters is the second sure thing in this draft after Davis. Waiters is the type of player that lives for the big moment and excels in crunch time. With Waiters in Toronto I think they could become a playoff team… once they start playing defense.

9. DETROIT PISTONS: MEYERS LEONARD, C, ILLINOIS

This has bust written all over it. Leonard has risen up the boards recently but he doesn’t seem ready to bang down low with big boys yet until he puts on some weight and rebounds better.

10. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: AUSTIN RIVERS, SG, DUKE

Go ahead and pass on him… you’ll be sorry.

 

Ok, so I’m a Duke fan, I watched “Sub-Zero” play all year, nothing about him impressed me at all. He’s a ball hog, who shoots too much, plays no defense and due to his size is going to have to play some point guard in the league, which I don’t think he can do because he doesn’t pass. I understand that the Duke team he played for was offensively challenged to say the least but he’s not the type of guy that makes his team better. He’s a streak shooter that’s a liability in numerous areas.

But New Orleans needs a scorer with Eric Gordon leaving so what the hell? Try him out.

11. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: TYLER ZELLER, C, NORTH CAROLINA

I think people are sleeping hard on Zeller. He’s not the most athletic guy in the world but he can be asset on defense and block shots and rebound. He’s not a stiff like Leonard.

12. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: TERRANCE JONES, PF, KENTUCKY

Is he a 3; is he a 4, will his on court body language improve? Look, he’s a good defender; the Warriors need defense, badly. Start him at the 3, let him roam with David Lee and Andrew Bogut and win a few more games because you don’t allow 106 a night. Makes sense?

13. PHOENIX SUNS: JEREMY LAMB, SG, CONNECTICUT

He disappeared in that dreadful end to UCONN’s season last year. By himself he can’t carry a team but when paired with a good point guard he can do wonders. If the Suns can bring back Aaron Brooks this will be a great pick.

14. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: JOHN HENSON, PF, NORTH CAROLINA

Congrats Milwaukee you get the cousin of Brendan Wright and the second cousin of Ed Davis, a tall lanky “power forward” would crack a playoff teams top 8 players. Good job.

15. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: PERRY JONES III, SF, BAYLOR

You all know how I feel about PJ3; he’s a complimentary player with the motor of a model T Ford. If Perry Jones wants to be great he can be, but it’s going to be hell to get him going. Maybe Doug Collins is the guy to do it, who knows.

16. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: MOE HARKLESS, SF, ST. JOHN’S

Picture a 3 on 1 break with Steph Curry running the break. Klay Thompson on one side and Moe Harkless on the other… no proceed to tremble with fear 6 or 7 times a game.

17. DALLAS MAVERICKS: TERRANCE ROSS, SG, WASHINGTON

6-7 wingman that can fill it up and bring energy… Dirk approves.

18. HOUSTON ROCKETS: QUINCY MILLER, SF, BAYLOR

When I saw him play in November I immediately fell in love. An ACL injury limited him after January but once healthy Miller is an asset on both ends of the floor.

19. ORLANDO MAGIC: MARQUIS TEAGUE, PG, KENTUCKY

Teague improved his stock in the NCAA tournament and looks like a very good starting  point guard that can average 15 and 9 in the league.

20. DENVER NUGGETS: KENDALL MARSHALL, PG, NORTH CAROLINA

At one point he was a top 10 pick, then we realized that he’s slower than molasses. He should be a good backup to Ty Lawson

21. BOSTON CELTICS: ROYCE WHITE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT POSITION HE’S GOING TO PLAY BUT WHATEVER IT IS HE’LL GIVE TEAMS NIGHTMARES, IOWA STATE

He’s big, strong, athletic and has anxiety disorder. Kevin Garnett can’t wait to get him into camp.

22. BOSTON CELTICS: JARED SULLINGER, PF, OHIO STATE

Have fun dealing with him the next ten years.

 

He’s red flagged for having a bad back and possible weight problems… so?

Sullinger is the best back to the basket player in this draft. He gets after it defensively, rebounds well and has more low post moves than Dwight Howard. He has a refined game that fits in the league and could average 17 & 10 a game. I know there are health risks, but look at his tape at Ohio State, he’s a gamer, a big time player no matter the situation. If you pass on Sullinger you’ll be sorry and if he falls here or further to a contender that needs low post scoring (OKC) you’ll really be sorry.

23. ATLANTA HAWKS: ARNETT MOULTRIE, PF, MISSISSIPPI STATE

Not the biggest fan of his game but he has size and can rebound. After losing Al Horford this year the Hawks need more insurance.

24. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: JEFFREY TAYLOR, SF, VANDERBILT

The Bobcats continue to add pieces with the 6-7 athletic defender from Vandy

25. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: JOHN JENKINS, SG, VANDERBILT

Well O.J. Mayo, it’s been fun… here’s the door.

26. INDIANA PACERS: DORON LAMB, SG, KENTUCKY

The Pacers need outside scoring, badly Lamb is a great shooter with penetration skills and should be able to help Indiana immediately

27. MIAMI HEAT: FAB MELO, C, SYRACUSE

OH MY GOD, MIAMI ACTUALLY HAS A CENTER?! LET’S THROW A CELEBRATION!!

28. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: DREW GORDON, PF, NEW MEXICO

Kind of a reach but OKC needs another big body and even though he’s raw offensively he can be developed.

29. CHICAGO BULLS: TONY WROTEN JR, PG/SG, WASHINGTON

The Bulls need a fill in for Derrick Rose until he’s healthy. Wroten can play both guard spots and gets to the rim a lot.

30. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: DRAYMOND GREEN, PF, MICHIGAN STATE

Good size and strength for Golden State to play around with.

Well there you have it. Months of anticipation, speculation and revelation have brought us to this night. It’s going to be interesting to see where everyone goes and if this draft will be as good as we said it would be in years to come.

As for the Knicks:

48. NEW YORK KNICKS: KHRIS MIDDLETON, SF, TEXAS A&M

Last year he was a late lottery first rounder, this year thanks to injury he falls deep into the second round.

Even the Knicks could get a gem in this draft. Maybe it will be worth the wait and worth my first blog in a few months.


Amare’s Story

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Whenever I used to get mad at anything back in the day I used to turn on A Tribe Called Quest’s 8 million stories.

It was a song off of their Midnight Marauders album that was the antithesis of a bad day.

Why am I telling you this? Because after Amare Stoudamire decided to kill his season and the Knicks slim playoff chances I needed a breather and this song was this the first thing I thought about.

Naturally I wondered what would happen if Amare was Phife Dog on this song.

Well, here’s what came out of those thoughts:

Went to NY to get a new deal
Dolan opened up gave me $100 mil
Openly said that the Knicks was back
Fresh blue suit with a matching hat
Hated D’antoni out in Phoenix
Now I’m the man I’m the cleanest
New York had to drop David Lee
What they don’t his game is just like me
Went to Melos wedding back in August
Told him roll here and we’d all fit
Yeah to score both of us would need the ball
And we can’t play D but no prob at all
Started ballin out fans shouting MVP
Yet couldn’t rebound or even play d
Droppin 25 a night NY lovin me
Around January up there goes my knees
Finally the Knicks bring Melo back home
Should’ve known then that trouble would soon be on
He like ISO me I like to run the floor
And in half court i probably shouldn’t play at all
Everytime I saw the paint I had to peel out
When the playoffs came around I had to deal out
Shots started droppin low like my scoring
Couldn’t play a good game against Boston
All these problems that I’m havin and I cant correct them
And to top it off the league is locked out kid

(side note if you ever have a bad day A Tribe Called Quests 8 million stories is the best song to listen to. It covers every single bad part of everyone’s day. When I lived in Maryland this song was on repeat weekly. Yeah, I’ll never get over my hatred of Maryland.)

The lockout is over less stress see
Chris is now ballin with LAC
we need a point guard since we dumped Chauncey
Can baron be the man unlikely
Mike and Melo really ain’t workin
Here comes Linsanity now I’m really hurtin
Once Melo left I thought my game was on
Instead Tyson Chandler had it goin on
Can’t get a shot with Melo or J Lin
Back sat me down now they ballin
Woodson took over talkin bout defense
Moved Melo to the four now they intense
Came back now here are down 2-0
So frustrating make me wanna hit the door
See this piece plastic taking out my frustration
Damn, here come the ambulance racing


Please End The D’antoni Era

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I didn’t watch the New York Knicks game yesterday… Didn’t need to.

I just followed the flow of the game on Twitter and filled in the blanks… Jeremy Lin and turnovers blah blah blah… Melo missing shots blah blah blah… Amare Stoudemire with only 9 & 5… Knicks not playing defense… Landry fields torched by Evan Turner… BLAH BLAH FREAKIN BLAH!!!

The Knicks are back as Amare once shouted in his news conference last year to mark his NY arrival, back to playing bad basketball that is. Linsanity was fun for awhile. The Ben & Jerry’s flavors, the t-shirts, the sheer joy and hope that maybe the Knicks were turning a corner, now after a five game losing streak the Knicks are stuck at the eighth spot in the East and stuck in neutral as a team without direction or any energy.

And it’s Mike D’antoni’s fault.

Don’t blame this on Carmelo Anthony who is being fed to the lions as we speak, don’t blame Lin for losing steam because he’s technically still a rookie… This latest stink job is solely on D’antoni and his lack of skill as a coach.

You have two capable point guards, an all world scorer, a team full of talent and you still don’t know how to make it work this late in the season?

D’antoni’s run and gun offense has been a bust in the big apple. After reading yesterday’s stat sheet and seeing Lin lead the team in shots with 18 it’s clear that D’antoni has no clue about what to do with this team.

Which means by the time I’m done with this article the New York Knicks should have told him to kick rocks with no shoes on, seriously.

I’m over the D’antoni era, the lack of defense, control in the offense, and energy from his players at times. D’antoni is not a coach, or a motivator or even a plausible human being at this point (think that’s mean? Go read what’s being said about him by fans and writers alike. It ain’t pretty.).

The Knicks need a new direction. They need someone to instill defense in them, to give them direction, to make them look like an NBA franchise and not whatever this is on the basketball court.

I don’t know if it’s Phil Jackson, or Jerry Sloan, or hell it could be Tom Coughlin for all I care, the point is that the guy currently holding down the coaches chair in Madison Square Garden isn’t getting it done and there needs to be a change.

It needs to be done fast too. The Knicks had promise just two weeks ago and were looking to move up the eastern conference playoff ladder. Now they’re in danger of missing the playoffs all together.

Things need to happen and first on that list is relieving Mike D’antoni of his duties as coach of the New York Knicks.

It’s getting to the point where I don’t have to watch the Knicks to know how pathetic they are doing. Isn’t that enough to get him out?


Consumed By Linsanity

I Believe in this man.

The Knicks are a car accident to watch. It’s such a frightening mess and I know it’s bad to look at yet I still drag myself to a television set to watch this pathetic mess almost every night.

Last year they couldn’t play defense, this year they forgot how to score.
Bill Walker is a lackadaisical mess. Toney Douglas gets too trigger happy. Amare Stoudamire is the black David Lee (I told everyone this when he was signed but no one listened to me). Carmelo Anthony has no scoring help and all Mike D’Antoni could do was sit around and watch.

I wanted D’Antoni fired last year for his constant lack of detail, I wanted him fired this offseason for a defensive coach like Mike Brown, I want him fired this year because I’m sick of seeing him and his mustache.

Yet none of this matters right now in New York because Knick fans are on cloud nine thanks to a 6-3, 200 pound, undrafted point guard from Harvard that has become an overnight sensation.

His name is Jeremy Lin, and he is a gift from the heavens above.

Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but jeez not even last year’s acquisition of Melo brought this much buzz an joy to the basketball Mecca that is the NYC.

Lin’s emergence came at a time when the Knicks desperately needed some good news. At 8-15 and flirting with a disastrous season that would’ve surely ended the D’Antoni era for the Knicks, Lin has caught fire and has led the Knicks through their best stretch of the season.

He’s been the missing piece that the fast pace D’Antoni offense has needed to get going. A pick and roll point guard with excellent vision and passing skills that is able to create shots for his teammates as well as fend for himself offensively.

Funny thing was that he was almost released to make room for the return of Baron Davis, I guess that won’t be happening now.

Ever since he stepped onto the court against the New Jersey Nets Lin has created a buzz across the league and has turned skeptics into believers.

He schooled Deron Williams and ran circles around him two Saturdays ago, he treated Devin Harris like a rag doll, he embarrassed John Wall with a sick crossover and dunk that was replayed over and over on Sportscenter, his performance against the Lakers last Friday will be talked about for years, and he showed toughness and moxie in gutting out a win in Minnesota.

He’s done it all from knocking down clutch free throws, reigniting Tyson Chandler’s game and leaving Derek Fisher flat-footed as he spun by for a highlight worthy lay in.

Yeah, I’m in love with this guy. But it took me a while to get into him.

Like most people I had to actually see him to believe him. Watching highlights of Lin didn’t tell the whole story. Yeah it was nice to see him drive at will against Utah and destroy the Nets already grim confidence but I wanted more.

I wanted to know three things about Lin while everyone was already crowning him the next big thing:

1. Can he handle the mounting pressure that comes with being an athlete in New York?
2. How does he deal with failure in a game and can he still stay on point when he’s not on his A game?
3. How will he play with the return of Stat and Melo (yeah, forgot about then right?)

My first question got answered on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The last few times the Lakers have hit The Big Apple it’s been Kobe Bryant’s town without question. He has carved his own name into Madison Square Garden lore with huge performances like scoring 61 points in a game there just years ago.

It was the perfect test for my Lin theory, play arguably the best player in the game and keep the Knicks on pace with the Lakers.

That was the first full time that I actually got to watch Lin, safe to say I was shocked by what I saw.

He didn’t just keep the Knicks in the game, he controlled it. He dominated the pace and flow of the game by continuously attacking the rim, floating lobs to Chandler, coming up steals on the defensive end and destroying Fisher and Steve Blake when the ball was in his hands.

He looked like a younger Steve Nash, honest to god. Just his style of play and the way he maneuvered around the Lakers reminded me of the two-time NBA MVP.

Every time the Knicks needed a big play or a big shot the ball found its way to Lin. He never backed down and always came through. 38 points & 7 assists later I was starting to get sold on the NBA’s Tim Tebow.

(yep I made a Tebow reference but all of the similarities and hype and mass coverage are there. The big difference? Lin can ball out, Tebow’s a bum… Just saying.)

The next test came the next night against the Timberwolves in a hyped up battle versus Ricky Rubio.

The main reason I wanted to see him fail is because I wanted to see if he was more like Eli Manning or Tony Romo.

When things don’t go Manning’s way his demeanor doesn’t change and he pressed on. For Romo he panics and loses his cool. I wanted to see if when things get too tight of Lin folds or rises to the occasion.

(yeah I fit an Eli reference in there, so what? By the way did you know that the New York Giants are Super Bowl Champions? God that makes me happy)

The T-Wolves game was a game of two halves. Lin was his usual self in the first half 7-12, 4 dimes and running the offense efficiently. In the second half Lin was totally taken out of rhythm. He only hit 1-12 shots and the Wolves forced him into bad shots and 4 turnovers.

However, I got the impression from Lin that even in tough stretches he still doesn’t get rattled.

Even with all of the turnovers and with his shots not finding the net he still continued to set up his other teammates including Steve Novak’s game tying three with less than a minute left. He also scored the winning point from the free throw line after being fouled getting to the basket.

Even without a dominant performance Lin still found a way to pull out a win for the Knicks. That was enough to make me even more of a believer.

Now the third and most interesting task is at hand… Can Lin, Melo and Stat all work together to be effective?

Carmelo Anthony has received a lot of bad press in the last week with all of the Linsanity spreading through NY.

It’s as if we forget that we wanted Melo here in the first place, it’s not his fault that the Knicks traded the farm to get him (thanks James Dolan). Melo has always needed a point guard to stabilize this offense to make more effective. Sorry Toney Douglas wasnt the answer.

With Lin’s emergence Melo and Amar’e for that matter now have a lot less pressure on their shoulders to score.

The main question is can Melo let Lin run the offense without asking for the ball too much?

As dynamic of a scorer as he is, Melo holds onto the ball for too long in too many stretches of the game. With Lin at the point now Melo will have to find his rhythm in the game and let it come to him.

Besides elevating Chandler, Landry Fields has found his game and confidence and Novak has become a reliable shooter off of the bench. The Knicks have gone from a two horse team to an actual team with a good rotation.

If Melo can stay dominant while letting this mix still cook then the Knicks will be making noise come playoff time.

If not then he’ll be the one taking most of the criticism if the Knicks go back to struggling.

The next stage of Linsanity is upon us. He won’t be throwing up 25 shots a game any more or dropping 38 on defenses, but I believe that after watching Jeremy Lin he is the answer to a lot of the Knicks woes.

Lin has dazzled America, balled out on every opponent that he’s faced and is getting better by the day.

In a city consumed by sports with the Giants winning Super Bowls, the Rangers leading the NHL and the Yankees always on the back pages, the Knicks have wiggled their way back into the minds of New Yorkers.

Linsanity is here and hopefully it’s not a flash in the pan.


No Need To Panic In Boston

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For all of those worried Celtics fans out there about the team’s lackluster 0-3 start… Calm down, you’ve seen this before. As a matter of fact you’ve seen it twice this year already.

For the entire sports scene in Boston slow starts have been the norm all year long.

It started in April with the Red Sox who after a headline stealing off season jumped off to a horrendous 2-10 start to the season. However, the Sox recovered to have the best record in baseball all summer before they imploded in September.

The Bruins had an obvious Stanley Cup hangover as they found themselves in last place in the Northeast division with only three wins after the month of October. Now the Bruins sit in first place of the entire Eastern Conference heading into the new year.

Now it’s the Celtics turn.

Let’s be honest, the C’s are old and in a shortened compacted season like this one age may play a huge factor integer success.

Kevin Garnett has been hot and cold, Ray Allen has been, well, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce has been M.I.A. due to an injured heel. The best performers so far have been an ultra motivated Rajon Rondo who has responded well to off season trade rumors, and Brandon Bass has been the inside presence that the Celtics have been lacking since trading Kendrick Perkins.

The Celtics are not a full team right now. Besides missing Pierce they are without Jeff Green for the season due to a heart ailment and newly acquired guard Mickael Pietrus is still injured and not scheduled to return until mid-January. Head coach Doc Rivers has had to rely on heavy doses of Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels to fill in for those roles and so far it’s led to mixed results.

However, people should realize that it’s only three games. With 63 games left and Pierce returning to action in the next game or two the Celtics have more than enough time to right the ship.

Even though a season like this favors a young team with fresh legs this Celtics team has won too many games to not make the proper adjustments to stay in contention.

A turnaround is eminent with this team and it starts with a fairly easy schedule for the next few games. Their next four have them playing the Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets and they play the Washington Wizards twice. By this time next week the Celtics could easily be 4-3 and getting back into the swing of things.

So for the worried fans of Boston who are ready to slam the panic button, relax. There’s plenty of time left in the season to turn things around and get back in track.

The Red Sox & Bruins had early season troubles and both recovered now it’s the Celtics turn to do so.

Since history repeats itself then the C’s should be sitting on top of the Atlantic division very shortly. However, if they do recover hopefully their season, and the Bruins for that matter doesn’t mirror the Red Sox season exactly. That would be too much for the fans of Beantown to handle.