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New York riding the wave of Jeremy Lin… but it will hit shore

Feb 7, 2012, 2:57 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin AP

You know how you can be working hard on a really hot day, spending hours helping your friend move (including getting that couch up three flights of twisting stairs), and you really could go for a beer. When it’s all done, someone hands you a cold Bud Light and it tastes like the best beer you’ve ever had?

It’s not. It’s no Stone IPA. Bud Light is barely passable most of the time. But in the right place at the right time it seems heaven sent.

That’s Jeremy Lin in New York right now.

He’s not a great point guard, but he’s the right guy in the right place at the right time.

Lin was a curiosity out of Harvard who caught people’s eye at Summer League two years ago for the same reasons he is succeeding in New York — he plays well off the pick and roll and attacks the paint with a vengance. He makes smart plays and is crafty getting to the hoop, and he can hit open teammates when the defense comes at him. This season he generates 43.7 percent of his offense as the pick-and-roll ball handler and shoots 60 percent in that role (via mysynergysports.com).

The Knicks haven’t had anything like this since the ‘Melo trade, and suddenly Mike D’Antoni’s offense looks like that thing we remember from Phoenix. The pace is being pushed, guys are getting dunks at the rim and wide-open threes. There is spacing and ball movement again.

And Lin gets all the credit for it. He deserves it, he has given the team energy.

We all know this isn’t going to last. Right? Zach Lowe talks about it at Sports Illustrated, too. There are reasons the Warriors and Rockets didn’t give him this kind of run. (Come on New York, deep down you know it, too.) First, it’s a small sample size of success. The fact Lin turns the ball over on 28 percent of the plays where he is the pick-and-roll ball handler hasn’t caught up with him yet. He has played against teams that struggle against the pick-and-roll defensively so far. Also, eventually Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire will come back and take the ball and shots.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for Lin in New York. He may not be the long-term answer, but he can be an answer. His style of play coming off the bench with some shooters around him could give the Knicks a formidable and fun second unit. He should stick for a while — so get the guy a place to live.

And right now — with Stoudemire and Anthony out a few more games — it’s going to be fun to watch him go against John Wall Wednesday then make Derek Fisher look slow and old on Friday.

New York should keep riding the Lin wave. Just know that eventually it will get to shore.

  1. phaden27 - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Keep going Jeremy, good luck!

  2. okcallday - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Barely passable??? Bud Light is a delicacy for 18 year-olds!

  3. cantonbound13 - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Another story putting down the Knicks. This kid has been an amazing story. Great example of hard work paying off. What happened Kurt, run out of stories that kiss LeBron’s overrated a@#?

  4. goforthanddie - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Let the Knicks fans enjoy him while they can, it’s not like they’ll have anything else to cheer about this year.

  5. 00maltliquor - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Nice analogy with the Bud Light. And it is barely passable, but the new Bud Light Platinum…oh yeah, now we’re talking!

  6. dysraw1 - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    prtty soon b diddy his back up will be ready

    • philtration - Feb 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      English.
      Do not fear it… embrace it!

  7. carolinakid - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Don’t really care about the attack on Lin but you really nailed it by calling out bud light for what it really is … garbage.

  8. booboome - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Jeremy Lin does not need your approval, Kurt.
    You are blind as Warrior and Rocket!

  9. irvness21 - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    He’s ballin outta control. Whats the problem?? I think he is a HUGE improvement over Douglas..

  10. manuelvargas1203 - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Clowin with only a 10 inch verticle

  11. SOSB - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    “We all know this isn’t going to last. Right? Zach Lowe talks about it at Sports Illustrated, too. There are reasons the Warriors and Rockets didn’t give him this kind of run. (Come on New York, deep down you know it, too.) First, it’s a small sample size of success. The fact Lin turns the ball over on 28 percent of the plays where he is the pick-and-roll ball handler hasn’t caught up with him yet. He has played against teams that struggle against the pick-and-roll defensively so far. Also, eventually Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire will come back and take the ball and shots.”

    This paragraph contradicts himself. The sample size that suggests he’s turnover prone on pick & roll is just as small as the one where he’s been successful. Nobody is suggesting he’s the second coming of nash or whatever, but the kid has a chance to be the best option they have as point right now.

  12. hoytdadd64 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    I will have to try this Stone IPA, I’ve been drinking a lot Hop Wallop and Hop-a-lot-amus lately. Being a hop-head I’m always down for a good IPA. Thanks Kurt.

  13. clifford84 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Your argument against Lin is weak. The fact that his play constitutes a small sample size says nothing about whether it will continue. And just because a couple mediocre teams cut him, it doesn’t follow that he’s necessarily a bad player.

    But you go ahead and use Lin’s low draft status and lack of previous hype to continue your tired personal agenda against the Knicks.

    • chetcrunkman - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:52 PM

      Helin gained a little of my respect for giving props to Stone IPA

  14. philliphernandez - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Considering the Lakers are still rolling out the slow and old Derek Fisher I would take a young and hungry player like Lin for 20-30 minutes a night in a minute.

  15. bushido49ers - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    I’ve concluded that I read Kurt’s articles because he’s fair and balanced. That’s sarcasm, people.

    • ljl2 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      Kurt Helin…the Fox News of sport bloggers?

  16. premiumpit - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    I like this kid…I hope he continues to help us out…Hes actually passing the ball…He Works good off the pick and roll

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