Hamilton: Linsanity Was Fool’s Gold

Overall, the Knicks are a more talented team than the Rockets, and the Rockets haven’t been losers or turnover machines solely because of Lin. But the truth is, having him on this current Knicks team, and having to worry about giving him minutes and allowing him to develop would have undermined the strengths that the Knicks have utilized en route to being one of the NBA’s early-season surprises.

Dolan didn’t trade for Carmelo Anthony in order for Anthony to wait for Lin to develop into a point guard that was capable of leading the Knicks through the Eastern Conference and beating the Miami Heat. Obviously, there’s no guarantee that will happen with Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd running the show, but until Lin learns to limit his turnovers and improves his shooting, the decision is a no-brainer.

Lin has the tools to be a successful point guard in the NBA. Now, all he needs is time to develop, but time is one thing this Knicks team doesn’t have. Many Knicks fans were sad to see Danilo Gallinari included in the trade that brought Anthony to New York. Gallinari, it was thought, had potential that made making such a trade a risky move.

How does that trade look now? Especially with ‘Melo among the leading MVP candidates.

Knicks fans hoped that Gallinari could become what, in many ways, they already knew Anthony was. It’s the same thing with Felton and Lin.

Felton had a miserable season as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers last year, but over the course of his career, he’s averaging 13.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. As a member of the Knicks, before being dealt away in the Anthony trade, Felton was on his way to an All-Star berth, averaging 17.1 points, 9.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds over 54 games.

This season, his numbers are down, but he’s shooting 42 percent from behind the arc — and 3-point shooting is a major reason why the Knicks have been winning.

Forget being better than Felton, Lin still has a ways to go before he’s on his level.

During last year’s Linsanity run, opposing teams didn’t have scouting reports on Lin.


  1. knicksuck says

    i am sure anthony would be to first to complain about playing D, I mean he played D for a good 10 games. So what about the last 8 year of his career? can’t wait to see amare playing his statue of liberty D when he returns and i m sure every team is focusing their D on Felton. Lin essentially played half a season while Felton play a few years already, he should be playing better than Lin.

  2. Arky says

    Also Fool’s Gold: The idea that the Knicks in general, and the “3-headed point guard monster” specifically, would maintain the same level of play.

  3. George says

    Agreed with much of what you say but remember 10 games does not a season make. Over the course of a season, most players revert to mean. That says Kidd and Felton will get back to their career averages. If that happens, which is likely, expect all hell to break lose, as you say. I am hoping the way they have moved the ball over the first weeks of the season will continue and that will mean higher percentages overall, but does anyone really think the Knicks are going to win shooting 26 3s a game while getting significantly out rebounded every game? Paint me skeptical.

    As for the turnovers, Houston has a very high level of TOs, but its hard to blame Lin for that when he’s averaging 2.8TOs vs Felton’s 2.3. James Harden and Omer Asik both average significantly more than Lin.

    However, at the end, I do think both teams made out fine and you make the best point. The Knicks have gotten players who can handle the pressure of NY while Lin gets a place he can grow in given that he’s started less than half a season in his career.

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