Linsanity Should Happen Again

Jeremy Lin is currently the point guard for the Houston Rockets, the backup point guard. Patrick Beverley is the starter. This is not to say that Jeremy Lin is playing the way he was in New York by any means, but the Rckets are definitely mismanaging him. He gets paid about $6 million this season, and the Rockets will choose whether to pay him $15 million or trade him next season. He is still averaging 13.1 points and 4.4 assists per game this season off the bench, but it is nothing like we were used to seeing when he played his home games at Madison Square Garden.

I reminisce to Linsanity, a time period between February 4th, 2011, to February 19th, 2011 (cut short by a season-ending knee injury). It was a time for the underdog success story and a time where New York saw amazing basketball for the first time in a long time. In that short time span, Lin averaged 25.0 points and 9.2 assists per game. Linsanity ended when Carmelo Anthony came back from injury February 20th, in a 100-92 loss to the New Jersey Nets. Lin still managed to have 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists, but his production slowly deteriorated until he was injured on March 24th, 2011 in a game against the Detroit Pistons. With Carmelo Anthony in the Knicks lineup, Lin averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 assists, a drastic decline in production.

This was obvious to occur, simply because Melo was the guy for the Knicks, and his game demands the ball a lot, taking away assists and scoring from Lin. Was Melo a cancer to Lin’s game? Absolutely not. Jeremy Lin still played extremely well even with Anthony running the show. But when he was injured and Jeremy Lin was the key figure running things from the point guard position for the Knicks, they went 8-1. When Melo came back, from February 20th-March 24th the Knicks went 8-9, including going on a crucial six game losing streak at one point.

Carmelo seemed to be a problem for the New York Knicks as a team, however.

Jeremy Lin demanded a bigger contract, to which the Knicks declined. His numbers spoke volumes to this, but it appeared the Knicks either thought his performance during Linsanity was a fluke, or they judged his outer appearance; a skinny, Christian, Asian-American who graduated from Harvard. How could he get a big contract, especially from the New York Knicks who had Carmelo Anthony?

I tweeted at the end of that 2011-2012 season that the Knicks should’ve traded Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudamire, given Jeremy Lin a max contract, and built around him with pieces like Tyson Chandler, Landry Fields, Steve Novak, JR Smith (who played well in that group) and Iman Shumpert. Instead, Lin went to Houston. Melo and Stoudamire are still on the Knicks. Fields went to the Raptors. Novak is now on the Raptors. Chandler, Smith and Shumpert are still there, but they do not fit with the scheme that Carmelo Anthony needs.

No one took me seriously when I said that, saying that Melo and Stoudamire would bring a championship to New York. Unfortunately, it looks as if Melo will never win one on his own, and that with this roster, they will have to be lucky to even make the playoffs in the dreadful Eastern Conference this season. Anthony puts up numbers, but does not facilitate, meaning he only shoots and rarely passes. A guy like LeBron James can facilitate, scoring and passing, making others better. Melo needs to be the second guy and allow another superstar to facilitate the offense.

When Lin was the go-to guy in New York he was putting up 25 points per game and a little over nine assists per night. This from an undrafted point guard who barely even made the D-League at one point in his career.

Linsanity needs to make a resurgence. The Houston Rockets will not keep him through the 2014-2015 season, let alone possibly at the end of this season. Some NBA team needs to give him another chance. Maybe a team like Milwaukee? What would they have to lose? They are already the worst team in the league, obviously rebuilding and tanking. Maybe Los Angeles? Kobe is done at the end of the 2014-2015 season, there is no doubt about that. Lin thrived in a big market town such as the Big Apple, he’d be able to do the same in the Hollywood Lights. The Lakers have nothing to lose.

Regardless of where Lin ends up next season, it should be on a team where he is the main guy. He is proven to be a great talent, beating the likes of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on February 10th, 2012, scoring 38 points and 7 assists (I will never forget that night). The question is, will every team ignore this eight out of nine game winning surge known as Linsanity as some kind of fluke or will they give him a chance?

Jeremy Lin was an inspiration for many minorities, including Asians, that they could make it into the NBA and be successful. He was an inspiration for the underdog. He was a great and humble role model. And he was the hero for the country’s most populated and high-expectations city. He was one of the most amazing stories in the history of the NBA, and I think it can for sure make a comeback next season.

Watch out, Linsanity hopefully will be coming to an arena near you.

 

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