Despite the roller coaster season last year, the New York Knicks hosted arguably the hottest commodity the NBA has seen in awhile.
I’m talking of course about Jeremy Lin.
The Harvard graduate dribbled his way from basketball obscurity into an unlikely starting position against the Brooklyn Nets. That night will now be forever known as the birth of “Linsanity.” Lin’s meteoric rise helped the Knicks get back into the playoff hunt.
But now that the Knicks have decline to match Lin’s contract extension this summer, he took his talents and hype to Houston–of course not before fueling a small stimulus package in merchandise sales.
Although the New York brass greatly appreciate Lin’s service at the Garden, they now feel more secure with their offseason acquisitions to replace Lin. Between Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, and Pablo Prigioni the Knicks have everything they need in a floor general to run Mike Woodson’s offense.
The one important thing that the Knicks’ point guard trio now have compared to the Lin era is experience. A characteristic that Tyson Chandler commented on:
“Jeremy was a young point guard who was inexperienced, who brought a great light to the organization. But as far as being able to run the offense and putting players in the right position he just wasn’t there. We got some veteran point guards that are capable of doing that.”
Indeed the Knicks now have a more experience and stabilized point guard rotation, Lin was a victim of circumstance. The Knicks were struggling offensively with both their All-Stars not meshing well together. Lin provided instant offense and the Knicks were wise to ride his hot streak.
But with the Knick’s current point guard trio they have guys who have experience running a basketball team and can adjust to Mike Woodson’s offense. Lin was still coming into his own on making the right pass under Mike Woodson something Kidd, Felton, and Prigioni will not have trouble with.
Although Lin’s unorthodox offense will surely be missed, the the Knicks point guard trio will more than make up his production. Felton’s last tenure as a Knick saw him average 17.1 points and dish out 9 dimes through 54 games. Jason Kidd for his career has averaged 13 points and 9 assists. Prigioni does not have NBA experience yet but during his Euro league stint showed he was capable of running an offense efficiently. Defensively, Felton is stronger and peskier than Lin with his on the ball cover. Kidd and Prigioni because of their age will use their craft to defend their man better than Lin has done.
New York Knick fans should be pleased and excited for the point guard replacements moving forward from the “Linsanity Era.” Lin was a great short term fix for the Knicks when they needed a prayer but now that they have a more stable team across the board, they need more experienced floor generals to get this team over the hump from playoff contenders to title contenders.