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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Nov 23 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks revisit Houston, Jeremy Friday night (Fri, 23 Nov 2012 02:38:13 GMT)
    HOUSTON â?? Jeremy Lin will greet his former teammates on Friday with a fist bump and perhaps a quick embrace, which is standard NBA protocol before the jump ball.

  • [New York Post] Felton says no doubt he’s better than Lin (Fri, 23 Nov 2012 04:14:39 -0500)
    HOUSTON â?? Raymond Felton said it’s unfair to compare him with Jeremy Lin. Because there’s no comparison.
    Felton, Lin’s successor and the Knicks’ new point-guard engine, can once and for all stifle Linsanity talk around the Big Apple when the Knicks meet the struggling Lin tonight at Toyota…

  • [New York Post] Struggling guard says it was â??God’s plan’ to head for Houston (Fri, 23 Nov 2012 03:57:35 -0500)
    HOUSTON â?? Jeremy Lin says he has no regrets about the Knicks’ decision not to match his $25.1 million offer sheet in July, indicating it was “God’s plan” for him to be Houston-bound.
    “The biggest thing is I enjoyed playing for the fans,” the struggling Lin said after yesterday…

  • 22 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Nov 23 2012)

    1. Z-man

      Oh, now I get it, it was God’s plan for Lin to head to Houston. And here we’ve been foolishly debating whether it was Dolan’s plan. Unless…is Dolan actually…?

    2. Juany8

      I’m at the point where I’m hoping Jeremy Lin has some undisclosed injury, if he’s getting benched for Toney Douglas again I think I’m going to start rooting for a top 3 pick for the Rockets. Jeremy Lin is a better player than Raymond Felton, but that isn’t exactly something to be proud of, Raymond Felton is just a nice cog in a great system, like Derek Fisher, Mario Chalmers, and JJ Barea once upon a time. He’s more talented than those guys but has more obvious motivation/chucking issues, he’s the rare player who’s worth the mid level contract the Knicks have given him both times.

      The one issue I always had with Linsanity wasn’t the injury potential John Abbey has brought up or the terrible games against Miami and a few others, but his greatest scoring asset had been drawing tons of fouls and being able to make quirky, Steve Nash like shots in the paint. Those fallback jumpers off the dribble were incredible, and had the potential to make him at least a very competent scoring threat. This year those little moves have become worthless. Every time he takes an off balance jumper in the paint it’s not even close, and he’s developed next to no ability to actually shoot the ball from distance. He’s become a much better passer and defender, but he’s so bad at pick and roll defense and spacing off the ball when Harden is taking over that the Rockets have benched him for Toney freaking Douglas twice late in games. Now the Houston coaches are fucking terrible, but unless something is wrong with his knee and he’s going to get better (remember, Melo had small injury issues all year until roughly around when Woodson happened to come in. Underrated factor in his late resurgence, he started off the year fantastic)

    3. jon abbey

      Juany8:
      The one issue I always had with Linsanity wasn’t the injury potential John Abbey has brought up or the terrible games against Miami and a few others, but his greatest scoring asset had been drawing tons of fouls and being able to make quirky, Steve Nash like shots in the paint. Those fallback jumpers off the dribble were incredible, and had the potential to make him at least a very competent scoring threat. This year those little moves have become worthless. Every time he takes an off balance jumper in the paint it’s not even close, and he’s developed next to no ability to actually shoot the ball from distance.

      I haven’t seen him much, but is it possible this is connected to the injury potential I was talking about? Lin is a smart guy and I’m sure he realized if he spent his whole career slamming into much bigger guys that he wouldn’t last long, so is he trying to avoid contact much more this year?

      very curious about this, actually, as the other half of my statement this summer was that to avoid injuries, he would need to reinvent himself as a Tony Parker-like player and that I didn’t think he could do that especially well.

    4. Juany8

      jon abbey: I haven’t seen him much, but is it possible this is connected to the injury potential I was talking about? Lin is a smart guy and I’m sure he realized if he spent his whole career slamming into much bigger guys that he wouldn’t last long, so is he trying to avoid contact much more this year?

      very curious about this, actually, as the other half of my statement this summer was that to avoid injuries, he would need to reinvent himself as a Tony Parker-like player and that I didn’t think he could do that especially well.

      If it’s not some kind of injury, Lin is going to struggle to be more than an average point guard. The guy can’t shoot!

    5. Nick C.

      Juany8: If it’s not some kind of injury, Lin is going to struggle to be more than an average point guard. The guy can’t shoot!

      wasn’t that the issue when he first got playing time last season? I seem to recall initially a few people were calling for him to play because he at least did something like take the ball to the hole in garbage time. Then the game thread in Linsanity game #1 had much commentary on he can’t shoot and a lot of surprised or joyous comments when he hit jumpers.

    6. Juany8

      Nick C.: wasn’t that the issue when he first got playing time last season? I seem to recall initially a few people were calling for him to play because he at least did something like take the ball to the hole in garbage time. Then the game thread in Linsanity game #1 had much commentary on he can’t shoot and a lot of surprised or joyous comments when he hit jumpers.

      And then this year he’s shooting roughly 20% on 3′s. It’s ugly too, a lot of air balls

    7. Eric Chen

      On the judgement that Felton is better for the Knicks than Lin, my take: Premature. Felton is a solid pro at PG. I thought the Knicks would do just as well with Felton as with Lin in the regular season, and with either PG, they’d earn a high enough seed to win the 1st round in routine fashion. The risk of Lin was paying more for same. The reward of Lin wouldn’t be known until the 2nd round where routine flips to clutch. Felton doesn’t have a reputation for clutch, and matching on Lin was for his potential to make the clutch game-or-series-changing play against a top contender (eg, Heat, Celtics), whether a hustle steal, rebound, chase-down, iso creative score, or playmaking assist.

      As far as reasons for Lin’s struggles with the Rockets, his shooting slump is reason one, which is exacerbated because he’s been relegated to spot-up shooter, which is not his strength. Reason two is the trade for Harden took away Lin’s role. Harden essentially is the new Lin and taken over all the things Lin had expected to do. Reason three is bad coaching: Lin’s role post-Harden has been poorly defined, and Lin has lost confidence because he’s not sure what his role is and what’s he supposed to be doing. Lin came into the season with noticeably improved passing, on-the-ball defense, and ball-handling. He’s been a capable pass-first PG who can make plays and finish well enough at the basket. Yet the coaches have Harden dominating the ball while playing Lin increasingly off the ball in a Chalmers-like defender/shooter role. (Douglas can compete with Lin as a defender/shooter, not a ball-handler/playmaker.) I’m uncertain how much Lin’s shooting is actually worse than last season. Lin was streaky last season but was able to shoot himself back into games. Lin isn’t being given the chance to shoot himself back into games this season. All the extra scoring chances are going to Harden.

      I believe if Lin was a Knick now, he’d be doing well. The Rockets have messed him up.

    8. Eric Chen

      Nick C.: wasn’t that the issue when he first got playing time last season? I seem to recall initially a few people were calling for him to play because he at least did something like take the ball to the hole in garbage time. Then the game thread in Linsanity game #1 had much commentary on he can’t shoot and a lot of surprised or joyous comments when he hit jumpers.

      Yep. Like I said, it’s hard to say how much worse Lin actually is as shooter this season compared to last season given he was streaky from outside last season. Lin was just allowed to slash to the hoop more to compensate and shoot himself back into games last season. Lin’s not being allowed to do the same this season.

      A pattern is emerging where Lin controls the ball as the Rockets PG to start the game. He shows off a few nice drives to the basket and pretty transition plays. The Rockets usually build a lead with Lin running the point. But after Lin takes his 1st break, he’s increasingly pushed off the ball for the rest of the game while Harden takes over. Parsons has also increasingly taken over as the 2nd ball handler deeper into the games, further cutting into Lin’s expected PG role. I think the Rockets offense looks significantly worse with Harden running the point over Lin. With lin off the ball, the Rockets becomes increasingly iso heavy, so Lin only gets sporadic touches. Not coincidentally, the Rockets’ leads have shrunk with Lin pushed off the ball. But the Rockets coaches have committed to following the conventional wisdom of keeping the ball in their lead guard’s – Harden’s – hands as much as possible to finish games.

    9. ruruland

      No one is stopping Lin from slashing to the basket. Where would you get that idea?

      It would be insane to take the ball out of Harden’s hands and put it into Lin’s (but the ball is still in Lin’s hands a lot)…. What we’ve seen from Lin dating all the way back to preseason, and frankly, for much of his post-Linsanity Knicks tenure, is that he’s not able to get all the way to the basket to get himself layups or fouls.

      His penetration gets cut short about 4-5 feet from the basket. Last year in that situation, as Juany and Abbey mentioned, he showed an uncanny ability to make an assortment of unconventional Steve Nash like off-balance shots in the 3-9 foot range. Now he is passing the ball back out or missing shots.

      He’s missing those unconventional shots now — badly.

      Lin’s scoring percentage on pick and roll plays is good — .75 ppp (39th in NBA).

      The problem is that so many of his pnr drives come up short that he’s not creating scoring opportunities for himself — and the Rockets desperately need his scoring at times.

      He is 1/13 in isolation situations this year, and obviously a well-below average spot-up shooter. Isolations was where his bread was buttered last year.

      Felton has been better in every category. We all figured they’d both be good in high pnr– Felton has been much better, even with Lin’s solid playmaking. Felton is quicker, has better floor vision and is a more skilled passer — he’s also finishing at much higher rates.

      The biggest difference is that Felton is a vastly superior spot-up shooter, which the numbers hinted at the last three years.

      Why would the Knicks be better off with a guy who’s less effective in the pnr, and who is much less effective as a spot-up shooter working from Melo double teams, and who would likely opt for more isolations?

      Felton is perfect for the Knicks becuase they Knicks have an offensive system and personnel that cater to his strengths.

    10. ruruland

      I wish I could agree with your argument that this is merely a matter of poor fit, poor role for Lin, but it’s not the case.

      He’s run a lot of pnr, and much of it leads to passes back out to the perimeter where someone else is forced to create something.

      Some of the issues stem from poor finishing inside, opponents are not forced to help down on the dive man as much as they do with Chandler.

      But this is really about Lin not being any good offensively.

      If you cannot shoot the ball as a guard in this league, you better damn well be great in other areas if you want to start.

      Lin has been far from great in other areas.

      I will say, defensively, he’s been pretty good.

      And yes I go out of my way to watch the Rockets play most nights.

      Also, Eric, let’s be clear, Harden might be the best pick and roll scorer in the NBA right now (he’s sixth in ppp, 1.06 to Lin’s .75)

      It would be insane to take the ball out of Harden’s hands — the team should be built around Harden, a far superior player.

      Right now, Lin is not close to living up to his role as a second scorer/playmaker.

      If a merely average guard was backing him up, Lin would probably have been benched by now.

      We’re talking about close to a 20 game sample where Lin is putting up historically low efficiency numbers.

    11. ruruland

      Lin has a .428 TS% so far this year. In the preseason, it was below 40%.

      That .519 TS% he put up in the final 15 games last years almost looks flukish given what were seeing now.

    12. Gideon Zaga

      And Stephen A. Smith gets the last laugh. Can’t believe it, the guy basically called him a scrub and he’s living up to it. Oh well it was fun while it lasted

    13. daJudge

      I wouldn’t be so quick to judge Lin. Granted, it was for a short period of time, but he as pretty super for our boys. Uncanny in fact. Has there ever been another player to put up his numbers over that period then gone total bust, absent injury? His so-called uncanny shots took huge balls, skill and effort. I really respect the guy and think he will get it and get better. I know about one hit wonders, but I don’t see that with Lin. Again, all this is absent injury. As Jon pointed out, his style (balls out) is prone to injury. BTW, I am very happy (thrilled) with Felton, but my guess is that Lin and Harden will be a very effective back court.

    14. daJudge

      Ruru–what is a DEFCON 1 situation? It’s bad enough that I don’t get Bob’s media/intellectual/popular references, but now you too.

    15. outoftowner

      We don’t need to look as far as Flip Murray… our own Landry Fields came out of nowhere to light the world on fire for 30 games and then regressed to obscurity. So, it does happen. That said, its pretty rare.

      Given how often “small sample size” was used as an argument against resigning Lin, it should still apply in making Lin vs Felton arguments this early in the season.

      The simplest explanation for Lin’s play this season (which has been atrocious) is that his knee injury was worse than let on. Both the Knicks and Jeremy had reason to minimize the injury, since the Knicks were trying to renew season tickets and Jeremy was trying to get a contract. But it looks like either its still bothering him or he just didn’t get his usual training regimen in this offseason.

      There’s a wide range of outcomes after meniscectomy – there’s players like JR Smith who seem unaffected, Chris Paul who took a year to get his strength back, all the way to Brandon Roy whose career basically ended. Lin’s not in the JR Smith category but he could still be in the Chris Paul group.

      Certain ex-Knicks I’ll always root for no matter what jersey they wear, and Lin is definitely one of them. I hope he gets it together.

    16. JK47

      Let’s not forget that Felton also looked great for about 30 games in his first stint with the Knicks– he had a .567 TS% through his first 30 games here. Then in his last 24 games with the Knicks his efficiency fell way off, to the tune of a .472 TS% in those games.

      Felton has a .503 eFG% right now and is shooting .422 from downtown, both well above his career norms. Despite those very high numbers, he has a mediocre .513 TS%, mainly because he rarely gets to the free throw line. I hope he figures out a way not to bottom out when the 3′s stop falling, because he sure does shoot the rock a lot. Career high usage of 25.2. As good as Felton has been I fear he’s a ticking time bomb.

    17. jon abbey

      D’Antoni was playing Felton way too many minutes as I recall, without checking I’m sure he’s playing less now and will be playing even less once Shumpert is back and Kidd is coming off the bench.

      GAME THREAD
      SHEED SHEED

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