In a surprising twist of fate, somebody is stopping the ball in New York, but it’s not Carmelo Anthony, and it’s not JR Smith. It’s the god-send himself, Jeremy Lin. The Knicks just polished off a 111-115 overtime loss to Boston, a game New York had in the bag before Paul Pierce knocked down an awkward looking trey near the end of regulation, and from there we observed the regression of Jeremy Lin. It appears the kid at least temporarily bought into his own hype, and during overtime fancied himself the team’s best scoring option. In a handful of bad possessions, we saw Lin darting to the rim with little regard for initiating any sort of ball movement, and all the while Carmelo Anthony was left open around the perimeter. What came of it was a barrage of bricks and air balls, while cutters and perimeter shooters could only watch. It remains to be seen what Anthony might have to say about this one, but we have to think he’s not all too happy with Lin. After all, it was Anthony who led the charge to erase a double digit deficit in the second half, and it was Lin who undid it all. He finished 6-16, with more turnovers than assists. Meanwhile Lower The Rim stud Rajon Rondo posted as massive a triple double as you’ll ever see from a point guard, scoring more than Lin, turning over the ball less, and dropping a mere 20 dimes in the process.
Lin is smart enough to push through this and correct his play. But as of right now, he’s been brought back to earth in a pretty resounding way.
Charles Barkley routinely joins the Waddle and Silvy show–a Chicago based ESPN affiliate–and today dropped one of his all time best quotes, which is saying a lot. When asked whether the New York Knicks were a legitimate threat this year, he responded with this:
“Listen, you ever see the movie The Perfect Storm?… Ok, I know George Clooney a little bit, and Mark Wahlberg a little bit. Every time I watch that movie, I say ‘I hope ya’ll make it this time,’ and they drown every time. I’ve seen this movie with the New York Knicks in Phoenix. It ends the same way every time.”
Of course he was referring to the certain fate of the Knicks D’Antoni no defense system. Listen to the whole interview here.
JR Smith: These days it’s everything New York, and the fantasy pickup of the week is no exception. JR Smith is your guy. He could be the downfall of the new-look Knicks, but the guy is a volume scorer, and you can count on him to turn in a solid mid-level fantasy score every single week, including next week when Carmelo Anthony returns. We usually go over the pros and cons of any weekly pickup, but this one yields little to think twice about. You can’t question his game readyness or conditioning, because the guy has been the leading scorer in all of China for quite some time now. If anything, he may be in better shape than anyone in the league due to the length of length of time he’s been playing, and the volume of points he’s been counted on to score. You could also say the guy might be better than he’s ever been. In the last few years Smith has moved his game out to the perimeter, scoring mega points only when he shoots well from three. Yet now, he’s coming off months of taking his man off the dribble, getting the ball to the rim, getting himself to the line, etc. Yes, the competition in China is not nearly the same as the NBA, but I see no downside to the fact that he’s basically spent the last while playing a Michael Jordan-like scoring role. This one might be a sure thing guys.
NOTE: With the coming of Smith, the odd man out would appear to be Iman Shumpert, and the return of Anthony is only going to make that situation worse. If JR Smith is the fantasy pickup of the week, Iman Shumpert is the fantasy dump.
Our favorite network got a little too familiar with the Linsanity last night as they quipped on Jeremy Lin’s “chink” in the armor. What a life these journalists live. Pretend tough-talkers on the tightest ship ever. It’s like Whale Wars meets Office Space. There’s no doubt this was a complete accident, but perhaps this will slow the Lin witticisms, which really are only mildly witty to begin with. Creating a nickname using a fraction of a players real name is quite possibly the lowest exercise of creativity a writer (journalist) can muster. What happened The Mail Man, The Round Mound of Rebound, The Logo, Magic, The Glove, The Ice Man, The Reign Man, and on and on? Now finally, ESPN goes with something without the use of Lin, and “chink” is all they can come up with? Leave the Linsanity alone, and give us our nicknames back. D-Will, D-Rose, T-Mac, CP3, D12, AK47: good grief we are lame lately.
Rent-A-Wife Kim Kardashian has reportedly expressed her interest in dating Jeremy Lin–right on cue–bringing basketball’s favorite tramp starlet back to its forefront. The Jeremy Lin story was as fresh a story as we’ve seen in years, and yet it’s beginning to smell a bit soiled. It appears there’s nothing so good in the world that it is exempt from Kardashian flung poo.
Just as quickly as the Knicks stumbled upon a winning streak, they seem to be just as quickly finding a way to end it. Today the Knicks have reportedly added JR Smith–Melo Jr.–to the mix. Amare appears to be able to conform, and I think he understands that his window is shrinking, and this is absolutely it in terms of championship contention for him. Does Carmelo Anthony realize that? Probably not. And now the Knicks find themselves having to worry about whether or not Smith can handle going from 40 points a game in China, to right around 10 points a game in New York. Something tells me there’ll be some ball stopping going on when it comes his way.
This is really what it comes down to: while the Knicks didn’t necessarily have a choice when it comes to the return of Carmelo Anthony, they certainly didn’t need to bring in another player whose best attribute is his scoring volume. We feel for New York fans, because we know now that you aren’t going to win in this league with super-scorer compilations; the Miami Heat have that covered, and they do it better than anyone. You’re studs aren’t going to beat their studs straight up. For the next 3 or 4 years, the road to a championship is going through Miami, and the Dallas Mavericks provided us all the blue print for success. Your studs won’t beat their studs, but your team can beat their team. The return of Anthony, and now the arrival of JR Smith, are working directly against that blue print. Bask in the glory while it still lasts, Knick fans, because there’s more turmoil on the horizon.
The antithesis of the name Mike D’Antoni is the term “ball-stopper”, and with that said, New York Knicks face a monumental buzz kill that is likely to enter the picture in the next week or so: Carmelo Anthony. If you’re like Kobe, and under your bed, we’ll bring you up to speed. Basically the Knicks have spent $36 million annually to bring back basketball relevance to New York. Turns out it only should have cost owner James Dolan $762,195–Jeremy Lin’s salary–to be exact. Right now, that 36 mill sits in street clothes, and 18 of that sits with Carmelo Anthony. Mike D’Antoni has recently been quoted as saying he’ll ride Lin like Secretariat from here on out. Well, Mike, if Lin is your horse, sticking Anthony back into the lineup is like saddling your steed with Adam Sandler dressed as his own womanly likeness: hefty and bosomy and all together a major load. Don’t know what we mean? View the trailer of an insultingly awful movie, which we’ve posted for you below.
Long story short, Carmelo Anthony is the epitome of dead weight in the NBA. He left Denver, and the Nuggets are still soaring from the upswing. Meanwhile, the Knicks have been slogging every since the acquisition. Although we know a trade is never going to happen–because quite frankly I think James Dolan is as short sighted as any owner in the league–we can still call for Anthony to be traded. We can still dream of the possibility of adding one or even two major pieces to this flourishing puzzle. But the doom’s day equation isn’t rocket science. The team is more of a team than it has been in a decade, and one of the biggest ball-stoppers the league has ever seen is looming. All the analysis wonder, can Jeremy sustain this production? Probably, to an extent. But rest assured, Knick fans, the return of Carmelo Anthony may not quell the Linsanity completely, but it will stop the winning dead in its tracks. Please observe the trailer for a movie that is as bad as your team will be–again–if Anthony returns: