Why Amare and Melo Can Co-exist With Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin has taken the NBA by storm. The story started with a seemingly innocuous win over the lowly Nets on February 4th. Lin came off the bench to lead the Knicks with 25 points in New York’s 99-92 victory. The masses hardly took notice, but those NBA nuts who remember him from his days with the Warriors had to think, ‘good for him.’
The story started to grow some real momentum two nights later. In his first NBA start, Lin scored 28 points and dished eight assists in the Knicks’ 99-88 win over Utah. Lin also had eight turnovers, but that is to be expected with a Mike D’Antoni point guard.
By the time Jeremy Lin dropped 23 in his second career start against the Wizards, the epidemic known as ‘Lin-sanity’ had spread from ‘The Garden’ to every corner of the sports-obsessed country. The skeptics said, ‘let’s see what he does against the Lakers.’
Lin was up to the task against Los Angeles. In 39 minutes, Lin scored 38 points in New York’s 92-85 win. Most important, the Knicks are 5-0 with Lin in the starting lineup, 6-0 since he’s had significant minutes.
The next level of the story will be the return of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Both Knick superstars have assured the media they will share the ball and co-exist with Lin. Lin is a humble enough player to sacrifice points for wins.
The major problem with the Knicks before Lin got starts was not ‘Melo, Amare, or D’Antoni. The biggest problem was that the Knicks didn’t have a point guard, and the D’Antoni system is predicated on strong point guard play.
Naturally, the Lin to Steve Nash comparisons will begin en masse. Nash and Lin are built similarly, but I think the similarities end there. It’s obvious Lin has game, but media and the fans should not tear him down if his point-per-game production drops once Amare and Carmelo return to the lineup. Lin should be judged by the way the Knicks compete the rest of the season!