City Sports Report

Lin-ning?..Not So Fast by Josh Steele

Jeremy Lin has been the epicenter of basketball news. Everywhere you look, you see a new creative nickname or someone buzzing about him who otherwise would never have tuned into an NBA game. While this is great for the NBA, being it is the most buzz created since the lockout ended, fans should be advised to proceed with caution.

Sure, since the merger Lin is the only player to put up 28 points and 8 assists in his first start and holds the record for most points in his first four starts (109). Those are the stats people are talking about. Here are the stats everyone has failed to mention: Lin’s is shooting 16.7% from beyond the arc, which is second worst among starting point guards, only ahead of John Wall. Also, in his four starts this season, Lin is averaging 5.5 turnovers per contest, placing him dead last in the League.

It isn’t likely for Lin’s stats to improve either. With Amar’e Stoudemire returning to action Tuesday and Carmelo Anthony expected to be on the court this Friday, Lin could struggle. With the two stars returning to action, expect Lin’s shots to decrease, lowering his points. His touches should stay the same though, being that Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni would like to see Lin orchestrating the offense, which has potential to boost his ugly turnover numbers. In addition, it is likely that many of the shots that Lin will see will come as a result of Melo or Amar’e passing out of double teams and rotations around the perimeter. This means a likely uptake in his three-point attempts, which as we have seen, is one of the biggest holes in his game.

Do not think that this feel-good story has not been great to watch or that Jeremy Lin is not someone to root for because he definitely is. Anyone who goes from sitting on the far end of the Knicks bench and sleeping on his brother’s couch to having the most jerseys sold in the past week while simultaneously captivating an entire nation has earned it. That being said, do not expect Lin to propel the Knicks past the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat into the NBA Finals; that would be Lin-sanity.


  1. Sam's Sports Brief

    February 15, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I agree with you in some ways, but it’s hard to deny Linsanity. Doing it so consistently over a course of five games against elite players (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love) is unprecedented.

  2. Josh Steele

    February 15, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I consider a mere six games a streak instead of consistency. (20 games would be a better indicator) Also, the Knicks six wins have come against only one team with a winning record (LAL) and the six teams have a combined record of 68-106 (39.1%). Lastly, although Kobe and Love are elite players, neither play point guard, thus guarding Lin barely throughout the game. The Knicks have faced elite players, but Lin has yet to square off against Rose, Rondo, CP3 or Westbrook: the elite defensive point guards. And it is not unprecedented, Allen Iverson’s rookie year consisted of very similar numbers (with less turnovers and better shooting percentages) and he did it for 76 games that season. He even had a five game stretch where he averaged 43.6 points 7.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Those numbers blow Lin’s out of the water!

  3. CMR

    February 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Most important stat. Knicks 6-0 with Lin starting at point guard.

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