Why Jeremy Lin’s exodus from New York is a good thing (for everybody involved)
When Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet to Houston wasn’t matched by Dolan & Co, a lot of rabid Linsanity fans were up in arms around New York. There was talk of switching allegiances to the now bohemian-savvy Nets team in Jay-Z’s Brooklyn, and ignoring the Jimmy Dolan nightmare that’s plagued New York since Patrick left. But with D’Antoni gone and his Lin-proof offense gone with him, it’s better for everyone involved that Lin is now wearing the red and gold colors of Houston.
First, Lin thrived in D’Antoni’s offense and was less-than-stellar once ‘Melo came back and the ball slowed down for his iso-heavy offensive game. Once D’Antoni packed his bags on March 14th, Lin basically turned into what he would have been this year if he wore Knicks colors: an average point guard that’s turnover prone because of his youth. Now in Houston, Lin will have more command of the ball, and with McHale running the same spread the floor offense Goran Dragic excelled in last year, Lin should continue to get the touches and the floor spacing he needs to be effective in half-court sets.
With the introduction of Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni the Knicks have exactly what they want: unobtrusive point guards that know their role (passers to Melo and Amar’e) and won’t steal the spotlight from the Knicks’ expensive front court. Prigioni seems to be exactly what Kidd and Felton are: servicable point guards with enough experience and ability to knock down the occasional three-pointer to keep teams honest, but also capable and they understand their primary job is to get the ball to the Knicks’ scorers. The point guard triumviate won’t be nearly as much fun to watch and the MSG atmosphere last year in the midst of Linsanity won’t be approach the same level during this year’s iso-heavy match-up Woodson offense (think of a slightly better Hawks team from 2008), but they fit with what Melo and Dolan and now Woodson and Grunwald are trying to do.
Meanwhile, Lin won’t have to live up to the impossible expectations he set for himself during last year’s incredible 25 game run in basketball’s mecca. Lin admitted as much to the San Jose Mercury News (by way of ProBasketballTalk) when asked about LinSanity getting to his head:
“‘If I’m being honest, in some ways, yes,’ Lin told this newspaper. ‘I fought it every day. But I think subconsciously it had its effect, everyone catering to you. People were saying only good things for so long that when people said negative stuff, it was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’”
Before the New York media could chew on Lin and spit him out during his inevitable struggles as a second year player (they all have them), Lin is in the cozy confines of Houston where I hope Jonathan Feigen’s nuanced analysis highlights all the amazing things Lin brings to the table before excoriating him for another turnover. Plus, Houston fans aren’t going to incite a Reign of Terror if Lin has a couple high-turnover games and the team struggles out of the gate.
Ironically, Dolan’s egomaniacal decision not to bring Jeremy back (or whatever ESPN chapter led to the decision) might be the best thing for both the Knicks and for Lin himself. I’m sad to see him go, but I hope it helps him mature as a basketball player in the long run, and maybe we’ll get to seem him later on in his (hopefully long) career.
I guess it’s Pablocura time?!
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