Bernucca: Jeremy Lin’s 15 minutes of fame are over

The truth is Lin isn’t even Houston’s best point guard. That honor belongs to James Harden, who often is given the steering wheel late in games because he is a better shooter and finisher who makes good decisions.

And Lin may not even be Houston’s best guard who arrived from New York. In December, he has being outplayed by Toney Douglas, who was tossed into the Marcus Camby deal but has shown improvement from last season.

Improvement has been a hallmark of Morey’s acquisitions, who have dominated our weekly rankings. Harden has become a top-five scorer. Omer Asik has become a top-five rebounder. Chandler Parsons has become a consistent starter. Patrick Patterson has become a starter. Greg Smith has become a contributor. Marcus Morris has become a D-League graduate.

You know which member of the Rockets hasn’t improved? Lin.

You can argue that the sample size evaluating Lin’s play this season is too small. I would argue that the sample size that created Linsanity was about the same size.

In the offseason, I chided the Knicks for not retaining Lin and still feel the same way. Learning the nuances of the position under the tutelage of an aging master such as Jason Kidd or Steve Nash would have been ideal. Instead, he has been thrust into a role as a starter, for which he has shown he is not quite ready.

Despite Lin’s obvious shortcomings, he will receive a hero’s welcome tonight at the World’s Most Famous Arena, a result of the three-pronged phenomenon created last season by his surprising play, an impatient fan base and a fawning media.

Smarter basketball fans with attention spans longer than squirrels realize that Linsanity was just another mood ring or macarena. So if you’re at the Garden tonight, you should be able to easily pick out the people who somehow are still caught up in Linsanity.

They will be wearing his T-shirt.

TRIVIA: Dwight Howard leads all active players with 60 20-rebound games. Who is second? Answer below.

THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT: Raptors big man Amir Johnson totally lost it after having his routine of grabbing the ball after a free throw disrupted by referee David Jones. Watch teammate DeMar DeRozan’s look of disbelief early in the video below.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: TNT analyst Charles Barkley, discovering one of the major differences between studio work and courstide announcing at the Lakers-Knicks game:

“How do you guys sit here and not eat? I’m starving.”

LINE OF THE WEEK: Nicolas Batum, Portland vs. New Orleans, Dec. 16: 42 minutes, 4-11 FGs, 3-9 3-pointers, 0-0 FTs, five rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, five blocks, two turnovers, 11 points in a 95-94 win. Although these numbers may not look extraordinary, Batum registered the first 5-by-5 game since Andrei Kirilenko nearly seven years ago. And only Batum, Julius Erving (1979) and Jamaal Tinsley (2001) have done it with 10 assists.


  1. Mikel says

    False advertising… Sheriden Hoops
    “A better basketball site
    For intelligent readers, from veteran writers”

    Intelligent readers may be true but you’re a rookie writer.

    Don’t open your mouth to speak so hastily because it might just get shut up just as quickly.

  2. Thomas says

    Hard to read such a vengeful article. How many games has Lin played as opposed to the years of playing the others mentioned have? The difference can be measured in years. Outside of high draft pick Lillard, these others had similar numbers at the very beginning of their careers, some, not as good. Lins first step is as good as anyone in the league and he knows he needs to finish his drives better – but to say his 15 minutes are up when he starts for one of the suprise teams is outrageous.

  3. Big Mike says


    do you have a personal issue with J-Lin? or do you just not know how to write?

    anyway after his performance at the garden please keep your mouth shut, at least for the rest of the season

  4. George says

    Bernucca points out what an idiot he is. First of all, he’s comparing Lin to guards who have been in the league for years except for the one rookie who is having an awesome year, Lillard. Lin’s rookie year (because that is really what this year is) compares favorable to such loosers as Jason Kidd. Will Lin ever achieve half of what Kidd has? Who knows – its his first full year for cripes sakes. Let’s give him a break.

    One other thing, for such a t-shirt he definitely made the eastern conference’s best team look pretty bad tonight…he also made the guard who replaced him and badly wanted to show him up look sub-par as well. My favorite play was when Chander gave him that cheap foul on a drive to the basket and he just laughed. It pretty much summed up the game.

    So Bernucca, put your hate down for one moment and give Lin another 2-3 years before you foam at the mouth and decide that he is nothing more than a scrub.

  5. adam says

    sorry to dash your hopes, chris bernucca, but linsanity never disappeared, as proven by his 38 point dominance against the spurs.

    espn puts it to you nicely:

    “But look what happens to Lin’s numbers in the 106 minutes he has played when Harden hits the bench: 19.7 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds with an above-average 55.4 TS% and a 17.7 PER.

    That’s pretty darn good. If those numbers look familiar, there’s a reason for it. Check out Lin’s per-36 minute stat line in New York last season: 19.6 points, 8.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds. 55.2 TS% and a 19.9 PER.”

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