The first point I would like to make is that overlooked in this giant Lin lovefest, is the fact that he turns the ball over at an alarming rate. Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook lead the league with 142 turnovers a piece, both averaging 4.2 a game. Since Lin took over the job as the Knicks starting point guard eleven games ago, he’s turned the ball over 67 times, 6.1 per game. That’s trouble.
But what I think is going to hurt him even more, is simply just how big a story he has become. His jersey is now the top seller in the league. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated; two weeks in a row. Jimmy Fallon is even singing about him. So here’s my point: You think the rest of the league hasn’t noticed all of this? NBA players have egos, and they’re probably stewing over the fact that some nobody from the D-League is grabbing all the headlines. Deron Williams basically admitted as much, and took it upon himself to thoroughly abuse Lin as the Nets upset the Knicks at MSG last week. Three days later the Heat clearly had the same idea in mind, holding Lin to just 8 points (on 1 for 11 shooting) and 3 assists, while forcing him to turn the ball over 8 times.
In the seven games immediately following the All-Star break, Lin’s going to have to go up against Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, Tony Parker, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick Rose, in that order. Good luck Jeremy.
And on a side note, it’s funny how much a little excitement can alter people’s perception of reality. All the talk right now is whether or not the Knicks might be good enough to challange the Heat and Bulls atop the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile the common perception is that the Celtics are washed up and over the hill; but Boston and New York are only half a game apart in the standings. In fact, Philly has also lost 5 in a row, and only 4 games separate all three teams. The Atlantic Division (and the 3rd seed in the East) is still totally wide open.
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