Jeremy Lin on the New York Knicks has been the biggest story in the NBA this past week. The young 23 year-old’s story is a remarkable one, and who knows where it will go from here.
Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese-American and was the captain of his team at Palo Alto High School in California, as well as the editor for his high school’s newspaper. He graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA.
When he was not offered an athletic scholarship he decided to go to Harvard. In the four years he was there he played in 115 games for Harvard’s basketball team and started 87 of them. Not only is he a good basketball player, but he has the brains as well. He graduated Harvard with a degree in Economics.
After graduation he was not drafted by any NBA teams, but on July 21, 2010 he signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors. During the 2010-2011 season he played in 29 games with a total of 284 minutes averaging about 9.8 minutes a game, and made a total of 76 points. But he spent most of his time playing on their developmental league (D-League). Then in December after the lockout ended he was let go. The Houston Rockets picked him up but also cut him shortly after. Finally he was picked up by the New York Knickerbockers (Knicks). During this 2011-2012 season he has spent most of his time sitting on the bench or playing in their D-League until this past week.
On Monday morning February 6, 2011 Amare Stoudemire received news of his brother’s death and rushed home to be with his family. That night New York had a game against Utah where Carmelo Anthony received a groin injury with about 6 minutes left to play in the first quarter. The New York Knicks have really been struggling to live up to the expectations everyone had for them with these two superstars on the team. Before Monday night’s game their record was 9 wins and 15 loses (9 – 15), a losing record that no one expected. Now the two superstars were going to be out for a few games.
It was this night that Jeremy Lin finally got his big chance to show his team what he could really do. Jeremy Lin played a total of 45 minutes and made 28 points. He also got 2 rebounds, made 8 assists, got 2 steals, and most importantly got a WIN for the Knicks over Utah. Since then the Knicks have played Washington, LA Lakers, and last night Minnesota. Jeremy played at least 36 minutes or more in each of these games and has pulled out wins for New York in all of them. With an impressive 4 wins in a row and Jeremy Lin in the game, the New York Knicks are now 12-15.
Jeremy Lin has really turned this team around. He is making assists, getting points, causing turn overs and really taking control in a non-selfish manner. Jeremy has great court vision, meaning that he has a talent of being able to see the court and tell who is open and get the ball to that player or find a path to get it in the basket himself. He is looking to be a great player and teammate. Jeremy has managed to bring up his teammates both on offense and defense.
But the real question is how will the team be when Amare and Carmelo return? Will these two players accept Lin and play with him, or will they step in and take away from Lin?
I believe that when Amare returns he will learn to play with Lin and will fit into this new team chemistry. I do not see that there will be any problems between the two and actually believe that Amare would make the team with Lin even better. Carmelo on the other hand I do see as a problem. Not only is Carmelo known as a scorer, but he is also known as a little bit of a selfish player as well. I do not see him being able to accept and play with Lin. If these two players cannot co-exist the team may go back to the way they were before Lin, because Carmelo is the superstar and will get the majority of the minutes, but if they can the team may get even better and start to live up to what everyone expected the Knicks to be back in December. This will be interesting to watch.
UPDATE: Amare Stoudemire returned to practice Monday February 13, 2012. Amare stated that while in Florida he continued to watch the games with his family and they all loved what Lin was doing for the team. Amare said “Lin is finding guys out there. He’s playing totally unselfish. He’s taking what the defense gives him. He’s studying, which is what you want from your point guard, a guy who wants to be that facilitator and get guys involved and get guys open shots. He’s passing the ball right on the numbers where guys can catch and shoot. That brings up high-percentage shooting.” On Tuesday New York played Toronto, and on Wednesday they played Sacramento and now have added two more wins to their record.
UPDATE: Carmelo returned to the team February 20, 2012 for the game against the New Jersey Nets. The Nets played well but lost 92-100. Even though the Knicks lost it was clear that Carmelo was trying to play with Lin and the new team chemistry. Carmelo said, “My mindset was just to not try to come in and not do too much, try to fit in and try to play my game within the system.” Anthony said he wants to “play the way that they’ve been playing the last few weeks: passing the ball, finding the open man, making the right play.” This is good because Carmelo is telling people that he is open to play with Jeremy Lin and be a part of the new team chemistry. Now fans will just have to continue to watch the Knicks play and see if this team turns out to be what they originally expected them to be.