Tag Archives: jeremy lin

Nashville Has To Keep Weber

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You lose Ryan Suter your second best defenseman and arguably one of the top 5 defenders in the league, you can get over that.

You lose Jordin Tootoo a resident tough guy and fan favorite, that’s ok he’s replaceable. You can get over that.

Losing Shea Weber, your heart and soul, your captain, the man that represents Nashville hockey and is quite possibly the best defenseman on the planet.

That’s another story.

Yet that is what the Nashville Predators are facing right now. The Philadelphia Flyers signed Weber to a 14/ $110 million dollar offer sheet in an effort to steal Weber away from the only team he’s ever played for.

The Predators have only five more days to match and the question that’s swirling in my head is why they haven’t already matched it?

You don’t let players like Weber walk away. This isn’t like the Knicks and Jeremy Lin. You can get another guard that does the same things as he does and plug him in easily.

Weber is a different story. He’s one of if not the best defensemen in the NHL. He’s a former Norris trophy winner who will win about three more before his career is done. He’s a natural born leader as captain and with Pekka Rinne leads possibly the best defensive team in the league.

To let him leave would mean to let everything that Nashville built go to waste. Yes they would receive four first round picks, but does that really add up to what you lose in Weber?

Coming into this offseason you knew that Nashville was going to lose either Weber or Suter to free agency due to money. They can survive without Suter, but losing both he and Weber would be too much to overcome.

For Nashville’s sake I hope that they match Weber’s deal no matter the cost.
Weber is the face and leader of their franchise. Losing him would mean missing the playoffs, falling into the lottery of the draft and starting over when you were considered a possible Stanley Cup contender.

Something’s you can get over, losing Weber is most definitely not one of them.


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.


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.