Lin-to the Future: Impact of Knicks Surprise Star
If you asked someone who the star of the New York Knicks was a couple months ago, the two answers you would receive are Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. However, with the dynamic duo shooting at career-low percentages, making it their worst season yet, someone else needed to step up and save the Big Apple.
The Knicks were 8-15 and had dropped 11 of 13 when Jeremy Lin finally got his chance. He had only played in nine of the Knicks’ first 23 games, but only because the games were blowouts. The Knicks were hosting the Nets, and no one knew that it would be the start of “Linsanity”. Lin came off the bench and exploded for 25 points and 7 assists in a 99-92 win. Sure, it could’ve been just a fluke, but the next 6 games proved his worth.
Lin led the Knicks during a 7 game winning streak that brought the Knicks back into the playoff race, which virtually saved their season. During the streak, Lin averaged over 24 points and over 9 assists, including a 38 point outburst en route to defeating Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. He shot better than 50% in 5 out of those 7 games as well, doing so without the Anthony/ Stoudemire duo. However, Lin is continuously criticized for his turnovers. He had averaged over 5 in the 7 game stint, but only because he had the ball about 80% of the time on offense, and was constantly double- teamed. If you you concentrate on all the other benefits he brings to the team, the turnovers are a minuscule problem.
Since Lin has started playing big minutes, Knicks ticket sales have gone up 27%, and his jersey is the most popular in the NBA, selling out all over the place. The first player to come out of Harvard since 1953, Lin is a global sensation, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit. Although the Knicks have dropped 3 games out of the last 5, Lin is still playing exceptionally–aside from his showing against the Miami Heat–and seems to need some time to get used to Carmelo Anthony, and vice-versa.
Jeremy Lin is definitely the most improved player this year, if not the most improved player ever. What other player can you name that got cut by two different teams, then finally find a team that would take him, but for league minimum salary as a bench-warmer? Then, saves his franchise by dominating some of the best point guards in the league with his two “star players” doing nothing to benefit the team? Jeremy Lin saved the Knicks, and if Anthony and Stoudemire could perform how they’re expected to, then they would be a championship contender without a doubt, not only this year, but for at least the next 5 seasons.