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Saturday, July 26, 2014

2012 Report Card: Jeremy Lin

Stats:

Player Age G MP MPG PER TS% eFG% TRB% AST% TOV% USG%
Jeremy Lin 23 35 940 26.9 19.9 0.552 0.478 6.6 41 21.4 28.1

Per 36 Minutes:

FGA 3PA 3P% FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
14.7 2.9 0.32 7 0.798 0.7 3.4 4.1 8.3 2.1 0.3 4.8 3 19.6

There’s been plenty of ink on Jeremy Lin’s tremendous story. His rags to riches transformation. His Asian-American identity. His game winning magic. His national star power. His “demise”. His season-ending injury. And finally his contract debacle and exodus from New York. Heck even yours truly, along with a bunch of other Knickeristas, wrote a book on the dramatic aspects of Lin & the 2012 Knicks (coming soon).

So what else is left to write? How about a look into Lin the player? What does his 2012 season say about him & what can we expect from him as a player in the future? You know, analysis.

The first area to check out is his shooting. Lin’s 55.2% ts% was quite impressive given his youth and inexperience. Yet, shooting efficiency between seasons, especially ones just under a 1000 minutes, can be volatile. However, it’s probably just as likely that he hits that number again as much as he drops to 52.5% (which coincidentally would tie a season high for Raymond Felton). Lin’s three point shooting (32.0%) is sub-par, but that’s never bothered me as an analyst. Players can seemingly improve on their downtown rate, with a few exceptions.

A look at his shooting chart reveals that Lin took nearly a third of his shots from point blank, and a quarter from within 9 feet. That’s a good sign for his growth since it will persist for as long as he has his athleticism. Another element of his true shooting percentage that isn’t likely to drop precipitously is his ability to get quiet time with the basket. Lin averaged one free throw for every two attempts. It’s a phenomenal rate that was best on the team. His stats affirm what our eyes already suspect about Lin: he’s best at breaking down defenders, slashing towards the basket, finishing at the cup, and drawing a whistle along the way.

Being a point guard, Lin’s 8.3 ast/36 shows he’s able to find the open man and get everyone involved. On the other hand his 4.8 to/36 reveals he’s a bit sloppy with the ball. It’s hard to be successful with upwards of 4 oopsies per 3 quarters. And if anything holds Lin back as a player it’ll likely be this weakness.

I always thought Lin to a pretty good defender at his position. He’s agile and has the size to handle larger guards. Even if Lin is merely average at keeping his guy in front of him & fighting through screens, his 2.1 stl/36 should make up for some of those deficiencies. Throw in his 4.1 reb/36 and I think he contributes more on defense than the average point guard.

Put it all together and what do you get?

If you assume that Lin will improve a bit on his turnovers and three point shooting, and retain the rest of his attributes, then he’s a top 10 point guard. If he does that and tosses a few more baskets through nets, then he’s an All Star by the last season of his current contract. If 2012 was just a fluke, and his shooting drops while his turnovers remain a problem, then he’s just another point guard that got hot for a dozen or so games.

Of those three options the one I find hardest to envision is the last. Lin is only 24 years old, and just about everything in his history supports him being successful in the N.B.A. His college career. His dismantling of John Wall in summer league. His strong D-League play. And of course Linsanity. Usually I’m the pessimistic kind when it comes to athletes with “potential” (like this stud-muffin). However with #17 I feel like we have been burned enough betting against him, that it’s time to put some chips on the other side of the line.

J-Lin may be gone to Houston, and he’s not likely to turn that team around single-handedly, which in turn might lead to some backlash given the media hysterics that may follow him there. I won’t root for him because I want it to be an “I told you so” to James Dolan’s bass-ackwards thought process. I won’t root for him because he turned my kids onto basketball so much that they would recognize him or his jersey wherever they went. I won’t root for him because I want the stat guy to get one over on the rest of the league. I’ll root for him because as an analyst I think he’ll succeed, beyond what the fearful part of my brain is saying.

Fare thee well, Jeremy. Can’t wait to have you back on the 2027 Knicks.

Grades (5 point scale):
Offense: 4
Defense: 4
Teamwork: 10Nash
Rootability: Chesley Sullenberger
Performance/Expectations: Menage a Trois
Final Grade: God Particle

62 comments on “2012 Report Card: Jeremy Lin

  1. Z-man

    johnlocke: I loved Lin, but wow – grade inflation follows you, even after you graduate from Harvard.

    +1 lol

    Not your best work, Mike. Hardly qualifies as analysis. Doesn’t seem to matter how “iffy the “if’s”. And the evidence you cite…his college career? Dismantling the great John Wall in Summer League? D-League? Please. The shot chart? Why are you so sure that teams won’t simply take away the shots he likes? It looks far less busy on the right side than on the left, even at the rim. That chart screams “force him left and keep him outside.” Then there’s his college career (Harvard?) and 3-pt shooting (consistently mediocre going back to the shorter college 3-pt line.) Then there’s the >50% of shots within 9 ft of the basket, like he will always be able to get them off with impunity. How many times did we see Lin slow to get up off the hardwood after getting leveled by an opposing big? And that’s before he became the $25 million dollar man expected to star for a bottom-dwelling team in a bruising conference loaded with star PGs. Then there’s his athleticism, which is contingent upon 2 healthy knees. I didn’t even get to his defense yet, but your giving him a 4 (just a notch below shump?) speaks for itself.

  2. Juany8

    Solid analysis overall, but the sugarcoating on defense is almost mind numbing. Lin was a defensive liability, not an above average defender. The steals mask the number of times he got burned by reaching. They also mask the fact that he had absolutely no clue how to guard a pick and roll, which is kind of essential for a point guard. He was a good offensive player, and I’m sure his defense will become passable over time (at least I hope so since I root for the Rockets lol) but he simply wasn’t a good defender last season.

  3. knicknyk

    Lin’s Synergy Defense was 0.81 (128th, 335 poss). Iso/Spot defense were mediocre (0.92 & 0.99) but P&R defense was good (0.72). I disagree that he is a defensive liability I would say he is about average defensively. Kyrie Irving is a defensive liability, Lin isn’t. Synergy Defense: Lin 0.81 Pts Per Possession. Kyrie 1.03 (worst among all PGs by far).

  4. cgreene

    Agreed. This is not great work. Seems like some people really did go a bit “linsanse” between this piece and Bob Silverman’s irateness over a Daily News article criticizing Lin yesterday 2 of our most interesting, most informed, most articulate contributors have gone off the rails.

    Jeremy Lin was a great story. It was the most exciting thing that happened to the Knicks in a while and in sports last year. I know that I am one of many that watched and it all and thought that it was a flash in the pan as much as I hoped differently. Kid played 30 games. He was great for half and above average for the other. He’s not worth skewing the usually excellent unbiased perspective of the contributers to the blog. Sorry he’s just not.

    And on a purely personal and subjective note I thought that his demeanor changed slightly over time and he became more of a “star” and that the aww shucks thing was less authentic. I also think, from a basketball business perspective, that he followed bad advice on his deal. It was better for HIS career to stay in NYC not just better for the Knicks. Unless of course he knew he could never live up to the hype long term and would rather disappear to Houston for $25M… haha.

  5. Juany8

    knicknyk:
    Lin’s Synergy Defense was 0.81 (128th, 335 poss). Iso/Spot defense were mediocre (0.92 & 0.99) but P&R defense was good (0.72). I disagree that he is a defensive liability I would say he is about average defensively. Kyrie Irving is a defensive liability, Lin isn’t. Synergy Defense: Lin 0.81 Pts Per Possession. Kyrie 1.03 (worst among all PGs by far).

    He’s not anywhere near as bad as Irving, I’ll give you that, but he also had Tyson Chandler behind him and played quite a few of his games with Jeffries at PF most of the minutes. Maybe liability is a bit too strong, but he was in no way an above average defender.

  6. JK47

    knicknyk:
    All this thread needs is ruru & his lowlights.

    If Lin was still a Knick I bet there’d be no lowlight reel. If Lin was still a Knick ruru would be telling us that the guy is Bob Cousy combined with John Stockton. Because ruru is full of shit.

  7. knicknyk

    JK47: If Lin was still a Knick I bet there’d be no lowlight reel.If Lin was still a Knick ruru would be telling us that the guy is Bob Cousy combined with John Stockton.Because ruru is full of shit.

    Dead. I was tempted to go back & post some of the stuff ruru was posting in regards to this season back when it was expected that Lin would be a knick. But i honestly don’t have the time of day & I think everybody knows ruru’s style by now.

  8. flossy

    Lin has some holes in his game, but so do most 23 year-old players. I find it odd that some of his detractors choose to make statements like “he has no left hand” and mean it almost literally, as if hardworking professional athletes can’t consciously develop certain skills. When Allen Iverson came into the league the strategy was to force him left; a few years later his left hand had gotten so strong that teams were trying to force him right.

    Players change and grow, and there is no reason to assume Lin won’t get better over the coming few years. He certainly demonstrated an upper limit to his potential that is well above most NBA PGs; the only question is whether he will stay healthy enough to approach elite play on a consistent level. He should study Tony Parker’s game to see how a fast, penetrating scoring PG can thrive without getting physically destroyed.

  9. flossy

    JK47: If Lin was still a Knick I bet there’d be no lowlight reel.If Lin was still a Knick ruru would be telling us that the guy is Bob Cousy combined with John Stockton.Because ruru is full of shit.

    No way, you mean the guy who brings up Jeremy Lin unprompted, spends a dozen comments dumping on him, and then ends with “it’s too bad people can’t stop talking about Jeremy Lin…” is full of shit?

  10. jon abbey

    flossy:
    He should study Tony Parker’s game to see how a fast, penetrating scoring PG can thrive without getting physically destroyed.

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying for months down to the Parker example, but the thing is that I don’t think this is possible. Lin’s game is all about initiating contact, then shooting, where Parker’s is about finding space and avoiding contact, I just think it’s too big a shift to make for any player at this stage in their career, not just Lin.

  11. knicknyk

    Juany8: He’s not anywhere near as bad as Irving, I’ll give you that, but he also had Tyson Chandler behind him and played quite a few of his games with Jeffries at PF most of the minutes. Maybe liability is a bit too strong, but he was in no way an above average defender.

    I don’t think he is above average either. Neither do I think he is below average. I would say average is fair. He has weaknesses defensively, spot up/iso but his pnr is good. When he gets beat off the dribble he recovers well which contributes to a lot of his steals from behinds & a blocked shot hear or there. Anyway, i wish him well in Houston I honestly don’t even think of his as a Knick anymore.

  12. ruruland

    Once again, showing us thaf reading comprehension not one of your strong suits. If you go back through all of my posts starting in March re:Lin I’ve been remarkably consistent.

    I’m sorry reading subtext and parsing through qualified statements is such a challenge, but then again, I shouldn’t be surprised by some of you.

    I’ll try to make this as simple as possible. I’ve repeated myself countless times saying the following:

    I like Lin. I like his caricature,most of the personality hepresents for cameras, his story, and his basketball talent.

    Re-signing him should have no-brainer. I don’t like going over that particular discussion, but as a result of the decision, the Knicks made a move that will largely define their collective basketball acumen. And in that sense, it’s an interesting discussion that will be ongoing for foreseeable future.

    In the prior thread, where I mentioned Lins all-star potential, made the general point of listing the litany of concerns former Knicks fans should have with their guy.

    Naturally, I didn’t think said fans would be on this site, and thus taking offense to objective analysis of Lin’s current and future prospects.

  13. flossy

    jon abbey: This is exactly what I’ve been saying for months down to the Parker example, but the thing is that I don’t think this is possible. Lin’s game is all about initiating contact, then shooting, where Parker’s is about finding space and avoiding contact, I just think it’s too big a shift to make for any player at this stage in their career, not just Lin.

    I don’t know, he was able to do a great job getting into the lane and then using sudden jump stops, head-fakes and very high-arcing shots to get defenders off their feet and/or shoot over them. I really don’t think his game is just putting his head down and looking for whistles. Of course, any guard that lives in the lane will take a beating, but he’ll need to figure out how to stay healthy. All that being said, if his knee won’t allow him to get a step on his defenders and get into the lane on a consistent basis in the first place, the whole conversation is moot.

  14. flossy

    ruruland:
    Once again, showing us thaf reading comprehension not one of your strong suits. If you go back through all of my posts starting in March re:Lin I’ve been remarkably consistent.

    I’m sorry reading subtext and parsing through qualified statements is such a challenge, but then again, I shouldn’t be surprised by some of you.

    It’s actually not that hard to parse the nuance (or see the intent) of posters who interject off-topic Jeremy Lin “updates” into unrelated threads complete with “Cause for concern, Lin lovers?!” kickers and youtube blooper reels at the ready.

  15. ruruland

    flossy: It’s actually not that hard to parse the nuance (or see the intent) of posters who interject off-topic Jeremy Lin “updates” into unrelated threads complete with “Cause for concern, Lin lovers?!” kickers and youtube blooper reels at the ready.

    You see what you want. That wasn’t Lins blooper reel it was most of the plays he was involved in on Sunday. Somehow it had something to do with his really poor preseason play. I would have preferred to have posted a clip with all of his plays, none uploaded.

    Ill keep posting about Lin play now,you can be sure of it

  16. JC Knickfan

    cgreene:
    And on a purely personal and subjective note I thought that his demeanor changed slightly over time and he became more of a “star” and that the aww shucks thing was less authentic.I also think, from a basketball business perspective, that he followed bad advice on his deal.It was better for HIS career to stay in NYC not just better for the Knicks.Unless of course he knew he could never live up to the hype long term and would rather disappear to Houston for $25M… haha.

    Who in right mind wouldn’t have signed Houston offer? How agent offering sane business advice. You know only contract Knicks offered Lin was 1 million qualifying offer. There really no evidence that Knicks FO would have match the 4-year 28 million deal. Even Felton said Knicks where in contact with him as early as July 4th. Personal I think Knicks FO (Dolan) would have brought Lin back only contract similar to Felton’s and no one would be hating his contract $$$.

  17. Frank

    This board is like a bad addiction sometimes. I find myself arguing points I don’t even agree with, just because people I disagree with generally agree with that point — like when I argue with THCJ about Faried, who I love at all times we are not discussing him on this board.

    Re: Lin – here are my final thoughts, if anyone cares:
    - that 10 game stretch of Linsanity might be the greatest 2 weeks of my life as a sports fan. No joke.
    - the next 15 games, he was average to above average – some probably due to much more scouting of him, some due to confusion about roles once Melo and co. came back, and some possibly due to injury
    - if $ were no object, I think 100% that he would be here
    - I think I do not blame the Knicks for not matching the offer if the reason was financial – ie. insufficient value for the $
    - I would not be happy about it at all if there was any other kind of agenda (ie. Dolan was insulted/jilted/threw a tantrum)
    - I think he will really struggle defensively, and not just against the Russell Westbrooks of the world. Brandon Jennings lit him up, Lou Williams lit him up. He was dominated by Mario Chalmers.
    - Unless his jumper improves tremendously, he will have a very hard time staying healthy.
    - By all accounts (NY Daily News article notwithstanding), the dude is a very hard worker, so I don’t doubt that he can become a mid-high 30s 3 point shooter, and will learn to minimize his defensive weaknesses like Steve Nash does.

    - I expect going forward he’ll be in that 2nd-3rd tier of PGs – nowhere near Parker/CP3/Nash, more in the Conley/Lawson/Calderon region. Sorry, had to throw that Lawson dig for THCJ.

  18. ruruland

    flossy: I don’t know, he was able to do a great job getting into the lane and then using sudden jump stops, head-fakes and very high-arcing shots to get defenders off their feet and/or shoot over them.I really don’t think his game is just putting his head down and looking for whistles.Of course, any guard that lives in the lane will take a beating, but he’ll need to figure out how to stay healthy.All that being said, if his knee won’t allow him to get a step on his defenders and get into the lane on a consistent basis in the first place, the whole conversation is moot.

    Paraphrasing what most of us have been saying. Good job.

  19. ruruland

    Frank:
    This board is like a bad addiction sometimes. I find myself arguing points I don’t even agree with, just because people I disagree with generally agree with that point — like when I argue with THCJ about Faried, who I love at all times we are not discussing him on this board.

    Re: Lin – here are my final thoughts, if anyone cares:
    - that 10 game stretch of Linsanity might be the greatest 2 weeks of my life as a sports fan. No joke.
    - the next 15 games, he was average to above average – some probably due to much more scouting of him, some due to confusion about roles once Melo and co. came back, and some possibly due to injury
    - if $ were no object, I think 100% that he would be here
    - I think I do not blame the Knicks for not matching the offer if the reason was financial – ie. insufficient value for the $
    - I would not be happy about it at all if there was any other kind of agenda (ie. Dolan was insulted/jilted/threw a tantrum)
    - I think he will really struggle defensively, and not just against the Russell Westbrooks of the world. Brandon Jennings lit him up, Lou Williams lit him up.He was dominated by Mario Chalmers.
    - Unless his jumper improves tremendously, he will have a very hard time staying healthy.
    - By all accounts (NY Daily News article notwithstanding), the dude is a very hard worker, so I don’t doubt that he can become a mid-high 30s 3 point shooter, and will learn to minimize his defensive weaknesseslike Steve Nash does.

    - I expect going forward he’ll be in that 2nd-3rd tier of PGs – nowhere near Parker/CP3/Nash, more in the Conley/Lawson/Calderon region. Sorry, had to throw that Lawson dig for THCJ.

    Agreed for the most part. He was incredible first 15 games, but actually not good the last 15. Efficiency way down, turnovers up, assists way down. Offensive rating below almost all of his teammates in that time frame. We don’t know exactly…

  20. Z-man

    flossy: I find it odd that some of his detractors choose to make statements like “he has no left hand” and mean it almost literally, as if hardworking professional athletes can’t consciously develop certain skills. When Allen Iverson came into the league the strategy was to force him left; a few years later his left hand had gotten so strong that teams were trying to force him right.

    Oh, it’s that easy? That’s all that separates scrubs from stars is hard work?

    Jeremy Lin is 24 years old, not 19 or 20. He might, through hard work, get better at certain things, like shooting a spot-up 3 or avoiding contact. But dribbling with his left hand? That is a fundamental skill that very few PGs ever improve upon at the pro level. It’s not like he’s switching positions or anything. He plays a position where ball-handling is perhaps the most critical skill of all, and the assumption is that he’s been working on it his whole basketball life. Before last year, nobody ever cared because who the hell was Jeremy Lin. Now opponents will be paying attention with a vengeance (especially since Huoston doesn’t have much else) and every weakness he has will be magnified. And believe it or not, some of those guys are working hard on their games as well.

    And are you really going to compare Jeremy Lin to Allen Iverson? Why not Michael Jordan? The “Jordan Rules” started with “Force him left.” Please.

    I would almost bet that PGs around the league are licking their chops at the prospect of exposing Lin’s weaknesses.

  21. flossy

    Z-man: Oh, it’s that easy? That’s all that separates scrubs from stars is hard work?

    Jeremy Lin is 24 years old, not 19 or 20. He might, through hard work, get better at certain things, like shooting a spot-up 3 or avoiding contact. But dribbling with his left hand? That is a fundamental skill that very few PGs ever improve upon at the pro level. It’s not like he’s switching positions or anything. He plays a position where ball-handling is perhaps the most critical skill of all, and the assumption is that he’s been working on it his whole basketball life. Before last year, nobody ever cared because who the hell was Jeremy Lin. Now opponents will be paying attention with a vengeance (especially since Huoston doesn’t have much else) and every weakness he has will be magnified. And believe it or not, some of those guys are working hard on their games as well.

    And are you really going to compare Jeremy Lin to Allen Iverson? Why not Michael Jordan? The “Jordan Rules” started with “Force him left.” Please.

    I would almost bet that PGs around the league are licking their chops at the prospect of exposing Lin’s weaknesses.

    You’re joking, right? Ball-handling is just muscle memory, and it’s no more immutable than shooting mechanics (which are very frequently refined and sometimes changed wholesale over the course of players’ careers). Of course players can improve in that respect if they dedicate their training regimen to it, and I’m sure you’re not suggesting that Jeremy Lin is anything other than very hard working.

    As far as Iverson is concerned, so sorry you misunderstood that point, willfully or not. It was an anecdote to illustrate the fact that players can mitigate their weaknesses through practice. (Practice?!). The best-case scenario I actually used (best-case scenario) is Tony Parker, and I stand by that completely.

  22. knicknyk

    Some of the comments in this thread have reached the theater of the absurd now. Lin is just way to much of a polarizing figure by no fault of his own. For that reason alone I am happy he isn’t a Knick anymore. It’s sad that there are Knick fans (I see this everywhere particularly on twitter) wishing failure on somebody who did nothing but good for this franchise.

  23. cgreene

    If my comments were misunderstood as “wishing failure” then they were articulated poorly. As a fan of the Knicks tho it’s hard not hope that they were right in their assessment in terms of value.

    ps: he already succeeded far more than most of us ever will. He’s going to make over $20M.

  24. Juany8

    cgreene:
    If my comments were misunderstood as “wishing failure” then they were articulated poorly.As a fan of the Knicks tho it’s hard not hope that they were right in their assessment in terms of value.

    ps: he already succeeded far more than most of us ever will.He’s going to make over $20M.

    Lol this is an excellent point, the last person anyone should be pitying is Jeremy Lin, he turned 30 games into a $25 million dollar contract! Imagine if Landry Fields had the benefit of only having his first 30 starts count for his next contract? The Knicks would have been destroyed for not matching Toronto’s ridiculous offer lol

  25. Z-man

    flossy: Ball-handling is just muscle memory, and it’s no more immutable than shooting mechanics (which are very frequently refined and sometimes changed wholesale over the course of players’ careers). Of course players can improve in that respect if they dedicate their training regimen to it, and I’m sure you’re not suggesting that Jeremy Lin is anything other than very hard working.

    Jeremy Lin is a hard worker, but aren’t most aspiring NBA players? Is he harder working than Andy Rautins? Toney Douglas? Jared Jordon? Hard work is generally not what separates professional players, whether in basketball, tennis or golf.

    And if he’s such a hard worker, why is he still deficient at such a fundamental PG skill? Maybe the muscles of his left hand are just dumber than those of his right hand.

    flossy: As far as Iverson is concerned, so sorry you misunderstood that point, willfully or not. It was an anecdote to illustrate the fact that players can mitigate their weaknesses through practice. (Practice?!).

    My point is that with Iverson, we are talking about a relative pick your poison situation. Same with Jordan. Not true with Lin. He is very strong going right and very weak going left. Most every b-ball analyst said this about him during Linsanity, and Mike K’s shot chart confirms it.

    flossy: The best-case scenario I actually used (best-case scenario) is Tony Parker, and I stand by that completely.

    And I stand by my assessment that his absolute ceiling is about the tenth best PG in a given year (not for the life of his current contract) and that he most likely settles into the Brandon Jennings/Raymond Felton/Kirk Heinrich i.e. middling range.

  26. flossy

    Z-man: Jeremy Lin is a hard worker, but aren’t most aspiring NBA players? Is he harder working than Andy Rautins? Toney Douglas? Jared Jordon? Hard work is generally not what separates professional players, whether in basketball, tennis or golf.

    And if he’s such a hard worker, why is he still deficient at such a fundamental PG skill? Maybe the muscles of his left hand are just dumber than those of his right hand.

    Forget I mentioned Allen Iverson, since you seem intent on misconstruing my point. Players add skills. Practice leads to improvement. Jump shooting, ball-handling, conditioning… all of these things can be improved upon while players are still developing–hell, we as Knicks fans saw David Lee go from garbage man to pick-and-roll savant with an excellent mid-range J. Weak hand ball-handling is not some special skill beyond refinement or improvement… it’s just not.

    Regarding Lin, I actually do think he’s a harder worker than the average NBA player. People who are consistently discounted as a result of their race have to work harder to get the same opportunities that are afforded others. Moreover, race aside, we don’t even have to speculate about Lin’s habits: during Linsanity it was well documented that he had sought extensive off-season coaching and put in a ton of work between his first and second seasons to refine his shooting mechanics, increase his explosiveness, add muscle, etc. Do other NBA players do the same? Sure. Do all of them? Hell no. It’s not speculation that the guy is a gym rat who is realistic about his need to improve and works hard to do it. I don’t see why that’s so hard to swallow for you, but then again I’m not one of those people who launched into full-on character assassination mode the minute Lin got an offer sheet from another team.

  27. Z-man

    Juany8: Lol this is an excellent point, the last person anyone should be pitying is Jeremy Lin, he turned 30 games into a $25 million dollar contract! Imagine if Landry Fields had the benefit of only having his first 30 starts count for his next contract? The Knicks would have been destroyed for not matching Toronto’s ridiculous offer lol

    I made this same point many times, Juany. Nobody seems to give a shit if you say that Landry was not worth matching, even though with some “hard work” he could one day become Thunder Dan 2.0 or even the next Dwyane Wade.

    Look, Linsanity was a magical time that touched all of our hearts. I celebrated every second of it, and even took my son to a game at its apex. But the bloom was off the rose for me well before the knee injury. And there’s no disputing that he has played like shit so far in preseason, after having all summer to work on his game (oh, his knee was still hurting? I didn’t hear anything about it before this month, did you?)

    I agree that it would have been fun to see whether he would have worked out here. But consider this: with Prigioni looking as good as he has, Lin might have wound up being our 4th best PG had the Knicks matched.

    knicknyk: It’s sad that there are Knick fans (I see this everywhere particularly on twitter) wishing failure on somebody who did nothing but good for this franchise.

    I confess that I routinely hope every player the Knicks give up on does not reach his theoretical ceiling on another team. I root for every player we pass over in the draft to not do as well as the player we draft. Nothing personal, it is only sports after all. In other words, I feel the same way emotionally about Lin as I do about Ty Lawson, David Lee, or Gallo.

  28. Z-man

    flossy: Regarding Lin, I actually do think he’s a harder worker than the average NBA player. People who are consistently discounted as a result of their race have to work harder to get the same opportunities that are afforded others. Moreover, race aside, we don’t even have to speculate about Lin’s habits: during Linsanity it was well documented that he had sought extensive off-season coaching and put in a ton of work between his first and second seasons to refine his shooting mechanics, increase his explosiveness, add muscle, etc. Do other NBA players do the same? Sure. Do all of them? Hell no. It’s not speculation that the guy is a gym rat who is realistic about his need to improve and works hard to do it. I don’t see why that’s so hard to swallow for you, but then again I’m not one of those people who launched into full-on character assassination mode the minute Lin got an offer sheet from another team.

    I was respecting your point of view, until you wrote this bullshit. First off, you have no fucking idea (nor do I) how hard specific fringe players work to improve themselves, regardless of their race, so everything you say here is pure speculation and borderline racist.

  29. Z-man

    Secondly, flossy, where do you see me assasinating Lin’s character? Or his work ethic? Are you that desperate to defend the guy that now you have to attack my character? What the fuck?!

    All I am saying is that 1. In my opinion, Lin will turn out to be an average PG and nothing more, at least for the next three years, 2. I think it was a prudent move not to match what I thought was a grossly inflated and punitive offer sheet, and 3. Felton will be at least as good as Lin and probably better, as well as a better fit for this team, especially for this critical season. Why are you so bent out of shape about this?

  30. flossy

    Z-man: I was respecting your point of view, until you wrote this bullshit. First off, you have no fucking idea (nor do I) how hard specific fringe players work to improve themselves, regardless of their race, so everything you say here is pure speculation and borderline racist.

    Sorry, but not only is it not speculative to say that Jeremy Lin is extremely hard-working, it’s also not racist to suggest that Jeremy Lin had to work harder than most players to get a chance to prove his worth in the NBA–indeed, it’s common knowledge. Pointing out structural racial bias is, in fact, not racist but actually the opposite. But I am sorry if you feel threatened by it.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think your shitting on Jeremy Lin for months has anything to do with his race, but rather a perverse need to see the decisions made by the Knicks FO validated. Whether the constant harping on his perceived flaws and gleeful touting of bad box scores amounts to character assassination is a matter of semantics. Maybe you shouldn’t take things so personally.

  31. Juany8

    Wasn’t Yao a number 1 pick? Wasn’t Yi a pretty high pick for destroying a chair in some workouts? Is it so hard to believe that Lin didn’t get a lot of recognition because he just wasn’t that good before he got serious playing time? It’s not like he lit up the floor his first year in Golden State, I know everyone wants to act like Lin’s career started in february of last season but it really didn’t, and no one was clamoring for him to be signed to a long term contract when he was getting garbage time minutes early in the season.

    As far as getting drafted, 2 Asians have gone in the lottery, including a number 1 pick who ended up being talented enough to merit the pick. How many Harvard graduates are even in the NBA? He didn’t get drafted because no one was impressed by his solid, not spectacular, play at Harvard, and if his outside shot, left hand, and turnovers were a concern when he was good last year, why would they not be huge questions marks for a somewhat athletic guy from a terrible conference? Someone with Lin’s resume would be expected to be a role player usually, and he didn’t have role player skills like spacing the floor, limiting mistakes, and playing tough D. Turns out he’s good enough to actually run an NBA team, but I’m not surprised teams doubted he’d be capable of that, and it has nothing to do with his race

  32. Frank

    Juany8: Turns out he’s good enough to actually run an NBA team, but I’m not surprised teams doubted he’d be capable of that, and it has nothing to do with his race

    I think you might be being a little naive here. I don’t think there’s any doubt that at least some subtle racism was at play in why he wasn’t offered a scholarship to any D1 school despite being California Player of the Year his senior year, and why he wasn’t drafted despite having good size for a PG, being up for National Player of the Year in college, killing it against top-level competition (see games vs UConn and BC) and doing well in predraft camps. Like he said in the article, it’s definitely not the only reason, but it definitely WAS a reason. And re: Yao and Yi, those guys are 7 footers, and in Yao’s case, a 7’5″ guy who wasn’t a total stiff. For an Asian guy to play maybe the most athletic position on the floor is a total departure from the usual stereotype.

    Re: how hard he works – I think it’s likely that some guys in the league get by on pure talent/athleticism, but I think Z-man is probably inelegantly right that many of the fringe guys probably work their tails off 365 days a year to stay in the NBA – they just don’t get the publicity because their stories are not as photogenic as Lin’s was. Lin’s work ethic is probably really good, but I don’t think we have any idea how hard the other guys work.

  33. Juany8

    Frank, I admit that it might have played a part in why he wasn’t offered a scholarship, but you’re giving him too much credit, nothing he had shown up to that point showed he’d burst out on the scene like he did. Imagine if he wasn’t a fantastic scorer? What would his role be on a team considering he can’t shoot from outside, he has a ton of turnovers, and he’s not a good defender? Lin is the type of player that is only really worth playing with the ball in his hands a lot, and most people who go to Harvard don’t end up being good enough to be a primary option on an NBA team. Scott Machado didn’t get drafted despite some pretty stellar numbers, and he also went to a tiny school that made people doubt his success (and he’s also terrible at defense lol)

    Again, subtle rascism might have played a hand in his college career, especially since colleges haven’t been particularly ethical when it comes to sports. Professional sports is different though, I still stand by the fact that Lin didn’t get drafted because he didn’t show he was good enough. Dallas had him on their summer league team and then didn’t bother, Golden State had him with no clear backup point guard in place and they didn’t want him, even the Knicks only played him seriously when everything else when wrong. If Lin had been putting up Linsanity performances even in garbage time of games, somebody would have at least given him a look, a few fancy games in summer league and college weren’t going to convince anyone to hand him the reigns to an NBA team, which is the only way he would have been successful

  34. knicknyk

    The Dallas claim is incorrect. THey offered him a contract and so did the Lakers Lin chose GSW. In fact before Lin went undrafted (during the draft night) Dallas owner had already called him & said that we want you on our summer league. Also the dallas owner took him to dinner right after he entered the draft stating that I think you can be a good player in the NBA but you are one year off (this was all prior to SL). After SL he had three offers from the Mavs, Lakers, GSW. And Lins defense is FAR superior to Machado’s once again your reaching on that. I think race played a part but it definitely wasn’t the only part of why he went undrafted.

  35. Juany8

    knicknyk:
    The Dallas claim is incorrect. THey offered him a contract and so did the Lakers Lin chose GSW. In fact before Lin went undrafted (during the draft night) Dallas owner had already called him & said that we want you on our summer league. Also the dallas owner took him to dinner right after he entered the draft stating that I think you can be a good player in the NBA but you are one year off (this was all prior to SL). After SL he had three offers from the Mavs, Lakers, GSW. And Lins defense is FAR superior to Machado’s once again your reaching on that. I think race played a part but it definitely wasn’t the only part of why he went undrafted.

    Oh I honestly didn’t know Dallas and the Lakers offered him a contract, I thought it was only Golden State, and of course the Rockets a year after. And you’re right, he’s not as bad at defense as Machado, but my point still stands that no one likes drafting role players who they think will be mediocre defensively, and no one could have predicted Lin would be anything more than a role player when he was being drafted. I do really think race played a part in his college offers, but the only teams for which race might have mattered in the NBA probably don’t have any idea how to pick players anyways

  36. knicknyk

    Juany8: Oh I honestly didn’t know Dallas and the Lakers offered him a contract, I thought it was only Golden State, and of course the Rockets a year after. And you’re right, he’s not as bad at defense as Machado, but my point still stands that no one likes drafting role players who they think will be mediocre defensively, and no one could have predicted Lin would be anything more than a role player when he was being drafted. I do really think race played a part in his college offers, but the only teams for which race might have mattered in the NBA probably don’t have any idea how to pick players anyways

    In GS though he was known for his defense. The talk about Lin being mediocre on defense started in NY. In GS his defense was his strength. I definitely don’t think he is mediocre on defense nor do I think he is a defensive stalwart though. And yes three teams offered him a contract. This summer the Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets & Raptors were teams that were interested in him. Only the Rockets made him an offer this year because everyone thought the Knicks would match. In regards to the NBA I don’t think any of these scouts are racist. But I do think that when you see an asian american guard or any minority player there is nobody from which they can compare him to and more often than not people want a frame of reference.

  37. jon abbey

    I definitely think there was a racism factor with Lin, but the Ivy League factor was probably even bigger (the only two Ivy Leaguers I can remember in the league were Matt Maloney and Chris Dudley), and the even bigger factor than either of those was his unusual style of play which I keep citing.

  38. StatsTeacher

    Well I still lurk a bit here though I have moved onto to the Houston blogs, especially clutchfan (though I will watch all the Knick games on LP this year, along with GS where I observed Lin “from the start”). This thread seems like an OK spot to chime in on the Lin debate. The point being missed, is that (I think) what the Knicks did in the off season was extrememly risky. Dolan doesn’t seem to understand risk, many GM’s also don’t seem to. Signing Kidd, Camby Prigioini and Wallace are all dumb moves with a very high risk/low reward. It indicates they are 100% in the win now mode. Fine, why not sign Lin and Felton and forgot the old, injury prone guys? That is win now. The salary tax situation was easily mitigated with waiving STAT after this season if it goes poorly. Are the Knicks worried about high salary or tax implications? They don’t seem to know which.

    Lin is struggling a bit in Houston, game 2 preseason was good — 9 pts and 7 assists in 20 minutes. Houston is FASCINATING they have whole squads of athletic, talented and raw young guys. The rootability is high. I love Lamb and TJones and Asik already. Their division is murder. The Spurs are so tough — the Knicks ain’t winning there this year either. I am still all in on Lin and think he’ll be 18 and 10 this year and the Rockets will run and gun and make mistakes and win some they shouldn’t have and it will be glorious as opposed to the oppresive Woodson/Melo ball (which admittedly is a LOT closer to a championship) Good luck!

  39. johnno

    jon abbey: the only two Ivy Leaguers I can remember in the league were Matt Maloney and Chris Dudley

    There was a guy who used to wear #24 for the Knicks who went to Princeton…

  40. Frank

    @47 –
    I sort of disagree to be honest, with pretty much all your points. I would characterize the Kidd/Camby/Prigioni moves as low-risk low-reward moves and backing up the truck for Jeremy Lin as the high-risk/high-reward move — and depending on what they though Lin’s ceiling as, potentially a high-risk/low-med risk move.

    Re: Kidd and Camby (the only ones that matter, since both Prigioni and Wallace are on 1 year vet minimum deals –> they are a great value at that price), both were valuable contributors despite their age. Camby in particular doesn’t seem to be having any statistical decline in the things you pay him for, namely defense, rebounding, and shotblocking. On top of that, I don’t know the details on Kidd’s deal, but Camby’s is only partially guaranteed, making it waivable just for the buyout $ and also very tradeable (like what we did with Gadzuric, Jorts, Jordan etc.).

    Re: Lin in Houston – I think he will have a good year too – not sure about 18 and 10, but 16 and 8 is certainly reasonable. But on the Knicks, with all the $ they have already invested (sunk?) into Melo/Amare/Tyson etc., I don’t think he was a good fit for this championship run. He’s best doing what he will be doing in Houston, which is dominating the ball like Dragic did in the same offense last year. I hope his knee heals up and that this SA game was a fluke. Even so, I have trouble believing Houston will win more than 25 games. I like Asik overall as a player, but he hasn’t shown he can even stay on the floor for starter-type minutes. He’s averaged 6.2 and 5 PFs/40min the last 2 seasons. To put that in perspective, no center who played more than 25 min/game last year was even close to that (Kendrick Perkins averaged 4.3 PF/40). But when you’re playing starter minutes, you can’t be as aggressive as he could be in Chicago, when he was the 4th big – and maybe his D will suffer for that?

  41. Frank

    Re: the tax/salary cap story you wrote about – the Knicks don’t have am amnesty to use anymore, and I don’t believe you can use the stretch provision on pre-new-CBA contracts. And even if you could, the size of Amare’s stretched salary cap dead $ would be even more of an albatross than Lin’s would have been.

    Whatever- in any case the biggest problem we had last year was lack of depth at the C and PG positions (yes we had other problems, I just think when you are forced to play Mike Bibby and Jorts against the Miami Heat in the playoffs, you have serious depth problems). We have corrected that x 3 now, with Felton/Kidd/Prigioni as legit PGs, and TC/Camby/Rasheed/Kurt Thomas all capable of playing good defense at the 5.

    Re: all the writers predicting mid-40s wins– in spite of all the injuries/chaos last year, this team still won 36/66 games, which would equal 45 wins in an 82 game season. We added Kidd, Prigioni, Felton, Camby, Thomas, Rasheed, and Ronnie Brewer, and the only consequential player we lost was Jeremy Lin (sorry, Landry Fields doesn’t count). Our defense was top 5 in the league despite not having a single PG that could defend anyone, and having our center play with one hand behind his back 1/2 the time because he was worried about foul trouble. Now we add to that a superior defender at PG, one of the best wing defenders in the league in Ronnie Brewer, and one of the best rebounders/shotblockers in the league in Camby. I feel very certain this is a 50-55 win team at the very least. If we don’t reach at least 50, this regular season wil be a serious disappointment.

  42. ephus

    Frank is correct w/r/t the Stretch provision being unavailable for Amar’e (or any contract signed under the prior CBA). Contracts from the prior CBA count against the salary cap at full cost, even if the team works out a lower buyout.

  43. StatsTeacher

    I thought if you waive a player then the following year the salary comes off the books, while the one time amnesty provision is immediate and counts on the current year cap. Am I wrong?

    The vet minumum deals the Knicks signed aren’t high risk — I agree. But Kidd was — a 3 year deal?

  44. Z-man

    flossy: For what it’s worth, I don’t think your shitting on Jeremy Lin for months has anything to do with his race, but rather a perverse need to see the decisions made by the Knicks FO validated. Whether the constant harping on his perceived flaws and gleeful touting of bad box scores amounts to character assassination is a matter of semantics.

    And for what it’s worth, I think that you and many others are so enamored with Lin’s rags to riches story that you purposely overlook serious flaws that you would be quick to point out in another player with a less compelling story. I think the fact that Lin is Asian-American plays a role in the preferential treatment some here are giving him. I also think that because of hatred for Dolan and frustration with a decade plus of shitty basketball at MSG, some here have lost all objectivity in judging each managerial/ownership decision purely on its merits.

    I would also point out that most of my “Lin-bashing” is part of a give and take with other posters, and not a continuous monologue. I post about all players, all deals, all games; yet the only topic i have an opinion on that really gets under your skin is Lin. What does that say about you and your objectivity?

    Frank: Re: how hard he works – I think it’s likely that some guys in the league get by on pure talent/athleticism, but I think Z-man is probably inelegantly right that many of the fringe guys probably work their tails off 365 days a year to stay in the NBA – they just don’t get the publicity because their stories are not as photogenic as Lin’s was. Lin’s work ethic is probably really good, but I don’t think we have any idea how hard the other guys work.

    Thanks, Frank, this is the kind of preferential treatment I am alluding to.

  45. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    I definitely think there was a racism factor with Lin, but the Ivy League factor was probably even bigger (the only two Ivy Leaguers I can remember in the league were Matt Maloney and Chris Dudley), and the even bigger factor than either of those was his unusual style of play which I keep citing.

    I believe Bill Bradley attended Princeton.

  46. Jafa

    Jeremy Lin, the one that got away. I look forward to November 23rd and December 17th to see the head-to-head matchup between Lin & Felton. That will go a long way to settling this long running debate about the Knicks front office decision at the PG position.

  47. ephus

    StatsTeacher: I thought if you waive a player then the following year the salary comes off the books, while the one time amnesty provision is immediate and counts on the current year cap. Am I wrong?

    That is not accurate. If a team waives a player, all of his guaranteed salary counts against the cap, unless he is amnestied (in which case none of it counts against the cap) or stretched (in which case the deal is paid out over twice the current remaining years — i.e. 1 year left = 3 year payout and cap hit, 2 years left = 5 year payout and cap hit).

    Contracts signed under the old CBA cannot be stretched, but can be amnestied. Contracts signed under the new CBA cannot be amnestied, but can be stretched. Each team can use only one amnesty, and the Knicks used it on Chauncey Billups (in order to have the cap space to trade for Tyson Chandler).

  48. ephus

    On Ivy Leaguers in the NBA, don’t forget Walter Palmer, the 7’0″ center from Dartmouth who warmed the bench behind Mark Eaton for the Utah Jazz for two seasons. When Walter was asked about a fan holding up a sign reading “Put Walter in”, he replied, “I cannot believe that he ended his sentence with a preposition.” Really funny guy.

  49. johnno

    ephus: On Ivy Leaguers in the NBA, don’t forget Walter Palmer, the 7’0? center from Dartmouth who warmed the bench behind Mark Eaton for the Utah Jazz for two seasons. When Walter was asked about a fan holding up a sign reading “Put Walter in”, he replied, “I cannot believe that he ended his sentence with a preposition.” Really funny guy.

    Armond Hill from Princeton also had a pretty nice career in the NBA.

  50. johnno

    Frank O.: I believe Bill Bradley attended Princeton.

    Yes, he did (see #48 above). He was only considered one of the best college basketball players of his generation, if not of all time. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that there are any Knick fans who weren’t aware of Dollar Bill’s college career. Maybe it’s my age showing…

  51. jon abbey

    and I was just going from memory, but Chris Dudley was in fact the last Ivy Leaguer to play in the NBA before Lin. Geoff Petrie is a slightly more recent example than Dollar Bill, but there have been almost none in the last 25-30 years.

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