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Jeremy Lin

2014-2015’s Best Reality Show: Your L.A. Lakers

Less than two months from the start of training camp, the Los Angeles Lakers are in a unique position that the franchise has seldom faced going into any NBA season: with long odds against them to make the postseason.
 
There’s really little to argue against that premise, with the exception of citing intangible motivating factors like “Kobe Bryant’s undying will to win” or looking to an even higher power (some would argue) and saying that God loves the Lakers too much for them to be bad for this long. But examining all the empirical evidence, the damning facts are there.
 
After the Lakers struck out almost completely in free agency this past summer, the team will once again revolve around the excellence of Kobe Bryant. While this has obviously behooved the organization for the past decade–and even further past that–the Black Mamba is 36 years old, past his prime and coming off of two devastating leg injuries. Bryant is still the straw that stirs the purple & gold drink, but even as much as he’d like to channel his inner 30-something Reggie Jackson, time–and NBA history–are against him.
 
That right there should be enough to make any rational Lakers fan a bit dour on the team’s prospects. But the rest of the supporting cast isn’t helping matters. The roster is filled with reclamation projects (Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Ed Davis), unproven youngsters (Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre), faded stars (Steve Nash, Carlos Boozer) and young veterans still trying to find their games (Jeremy Lin, Jordan Hill). Altogether, the fit just doesn’t look quite there. Offensively, this team doesn’t even remotely resemble any of the teams that Byron Scott’s had success with, and that’s even with Kobe Bryant performing at the peak of his powers. Defensively, the word “disaster” comes to mind, but that term may not even be adequate for what could lie ahead for this Lakers team.
 
All in all, placing your emotional stock in this team right now looks about as heady of an investment as throwing down for a piece of Myspace in 2014. Beyond the factors that the Lakers can control, they’re looking at a Western Conference that will be (cliché alert) as competitive as it’s ever been. There could be as many as 9 teams that win close to 50 games and that’s discounting any possible strides that New Orleans might make. To me, the Lakers have virtually no chance at making the playoffs. Combine that with an uncertain forecast for the 2015 offseason and free agency (Kevin Love may not be an option any longer) and the Phoenix Suns owning the team’s upcoming draft pick (thus all but eliminating the motivation to tank), LA’s road map back to title contention is as muddled as we’ve ever seen. We saw this almost unprecedented situation for the franchise at the end of last season: a Los Angeles Lakers team flirting on the fringes of NBA irrelevance. Come February, March and April, why should anyone pay attention to a team that’s well out of the race for even the bottom rungs of the playoff bracket? With the future on hold for yet another season, there’s a chance that we’re not even witnessing more than one Julius Randle-sized building block for the next great Lakers team. Besides a guttural, instinctive urge to follow this team, what’s there to watch? What’s there to care about?
 
Controversy. Isn’t that always the case with the Lo… Read more...

The perils of Linsanity: How effective will Jeremy Lin really be?

There’s a chance Jeremy Lin will never be fairly judged as an NBA player. He’s undoubtedly an asset offensively, but defensively he may never be anything less than a liability. Is he the guy who dropped 38 points on the Los Angeles Lakers in Madison Square Garden two-and-a-half years ago, or is he the dude pointing fingers after Steve Blake rifled off a game-winning jumper in his face last season?
 
Easy answer: He’s both. He’s the hero and the goat, but in the eyes of some, the G.O.A.T. and a hero.
 
And that’s exactly where Jeremy Lin’s perceived value is murky even in the clear light of day. He’s proven to be a productive player, but yet, is worth more to any team he plays on because of his heritage or facial features. Lin is a marketer’s dream, especially in such an Asian-American heavy region like Southern California. He’s a draw all on his own, a ready-to-go community builder just by virtue of his race and ethnicity. The Lakers have never had a player quite like him: Equal parts novelty act and living folk hero. This, more than his on-court dichotomy of skills, will always skew what Lin’s true value is as basketball player.
 
It’s important to move past what Lin is as a cult figure and examine exactly what he is as a basketball player.
 
But this is who and what he is, and there’s likely nothing he can ever do about it. Off the court, he’ll mean more to the Asian-American community in the Southland than any other place in North America, save for the Bay Area. Many Lakers fans will never know just how much he means in those circles and what a monumental acquisition this is to a segment of the largest fan base in the entire world.
 
(read on at SS&R)

 … Read more...

#Linsanity: 10 Months Later

I blabbered on and on about the intricacies about the NBA’s League Pass, the league’s now ubiquitous service in which hoop heads across the planet can watch any league sanctioned game, anytime, anywhere. I consistently refer to League Pass as a sort of “social deal breaker”; after all, why would I go out on a week day when I could see what all the fuss about Dion Waiters is about in another scintillating installment of Cavaliers/Milwaukee, the rivalry the entire country is simply abuzz about?

I mostly offer up my annual $180 dollars for the pleasure and sometimes excruciating pain of watching my Los Angeles Lakers. That in itself isn’t so much of a stretch–after all, who wouldn’t want to see their favorite team play against the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs of the world? But the Lakers have nearly 30 of their games broadcast on basic cable broadcasts throughout the country, via the largess of ESPN, NBATV and TNT. More than a third of the Lakers season, and the most important season-swinging games at that, will be thrown up on cable systems across the country for the added price of nothing. So in essence, I end up paying an extra $180 to watch a 30 point Golden State Warriors skewering and an inevitable mid-February Indiana Pacers game that would suck the enthusiasm out of even the most ardent fan.

This is what you call an addiction; a sickness. I love the NBA, and the Lakers in particular, enough to sacrifice my time, money and ultimately standings in my local social strata, to watch Kobe, Dwight, Pau and Nash eviscerate the hapless Wizards on a blustery January Sunday. It’s pathetic.

My aunty sat across the table, listening to my description of the NBA’s amazing service that has simultaneously sated my fandom and increased tenfold my eventual descent into true nerdom. As I reeled off the program’s many capabilities, perhaps condescendingly so, my aunt interrupted me in a sweet, comforting tone that can only come from the mouth of, well, your aunt. She told me that she in fact was a subscriber to NBA League Pass.

I looked at her quizzically. My aunt and uncle were lifelong Angelenos with a partial Lakers season ticket package. As much as a couple of middle-aged, empty nest parents of three could possibly muster, they were Lakers fans to the fullest. But living well within the reaches of Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and their nightly Lakers broadcasts, there was clearly no reason for them to drop cash onto League Pass. Well, unless my aunt had suddenly developed a deep and quite frankly disturbing addiction to Fantasy Basketball.
Before I asked why, my uncle cut in and said “…she wants to watch Jeremy Lin play.”
————————————————————–
It’s been over ten months since Jeremy Lin–he of #LINSANITY, lest we forget–broke into the major leagues. He was part camp, part hype, part narrative, but ultimately, all too real. Lin’s astronomical ascent from the doldrums of the 15th man to the cover of Sports Illustrated–twice in a row!–came without nearly any precedent. Left and right, people drew parallels to other sudden explosions in performance, from Brady Anderson to Micheal Ray Richardson to Flip Murray, and also to other breakthrough minority athletes, from Jackie Robinson to Roberto Clemente to Yao Ming. However, none of them quite fit the billing. Lin was Lin, his r
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Linsanity? Or Morey’s Insanity? — Houston Rockets Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Jeremy Lin, SG Kevin Martin, SF Chandler Parsons, PF Royce White, C Omer Asik

Key Bench Players: SG Jeremy Lamb, SF Carlos Delfino, F Terence Jones, F Marcus Morris, F Patrick Patterson, PG Shaun Livinston, PF Donatas Montiejunas, PG Toney Douglas, C Jon Brockman

Notable offseason additions: PG Jeremy Lin, C Omer Asik, SG Jeremy Lamb (12th overall pick), F Royce White (16th overall pick), F Terence Jones (18th overall pick), PG Toney Douglas, SF Carlos Delfino

Offseason subtractions:  PF Luis Scola, SF Chase Budinger, PG Kyle Lowry, C Samuel Dalembert, SG Courtney Lee, C Marcus Camby, PG Goran Dragic

What a strange offseason.  Really, there is no other way to put it.  Starting with the trade of former starter Chase Budinger for a draft pick, the Rockets made a series of moves that were presumably designed to entice the Orlando Magic to trade star C Dwight Howard to H-Town.  Unfortunately for Houston GM Daryl Morey (and Rockets fans), the Magic decided to ship D-12 out to Los Angeles instead.  Perhaps no team was more effected by this than the Rockets, given the overhaul the roster went through just to be in a position to land Howard.

In addition to Budinger getting dealt, PF Luis Scola was amnestied, PG Kyle Lowry was traded to Toronto for a “guaranteed lottery” pick, and PG Goran Dragic signed with Phoenix after Houston failed to match his offer sheet.  A handful of other, lesser trades were made, with the end result being a complete mish-mash of a roster.  We could spend a whole blog post dissecting all of the players Houston sent packing, but why do that when this is a preview for the coming season?


The obvious starting point for Houston is international sensation Jeremy Lin.  If you’re reading this post, you know about Lin — the “long story-short” is an undrafted and twice-waived guard from Harvard started getting playing time for the New York Knicks, improbably turned the season around and saved the coach’s job (albeit temporarily), and was a household name by the end of a Disney movie-esque two week run.  For reasons typically associated with James Dolan, the comically inept owner, the Knicks let Lin, a marketing sensation at least and a pretty damn good guard at best, walk for nothing.

Who is the real Jeremy Lin?  Is he really a guy who can average 18 points and 8 assists over an entire 82 game season?  Is he really just a Harvard-educated J.J. Barea?  We will find out this season, as the Rockets will hand the keys to the offense over to Lin.  If Lin can really play at an elite level, the Rockets may not be half bad.  My personal take, having watched Lin first at Harvard and then during the Linsanity craze, is that he can play but not at an All-NBA level.  Something in the neighborhood of his Knicks averages (18 points, 8 assists, lots of turnovers) will be the production the Rockets get this year, which will put them somewhere between their Best Case and Absolute Apocalypse scenarios listed below.

Almost every other player on this roster is in a similar situation to Lin — definite potential, but nothing proven over an 82-game season in the NBA just yet.  It would be impossible to assess this group as an actual unit since almost nobody on the roster has played together.  Instead, let’s just look  individually at the players who will get the most minutes and see what we have.

The other big free agent acquisition was former Bull Omer Asik.  Asik is a 7-footer who can defend the rim and rebound, but has never been asked to play big minutes (last yeaRead more...

State of the Garden: To Brooklyn And Beyond?

Allow yourself to be a child again, and remember that one of the roughest moments of the Toy Story movies is when Buzz Lightyear finally realizes that he’s only a toy. Although, similar to other toys, he incredulously falls like dead weight whenever humans enter the room, it takes Buzz a while to realize that he can breathe without his space helmet, he cannot communicate with his home base, and he cannot fly. No matter how shiny his packaging is, he is still just like Woody and the gang. Each toy falls in line relative to the whims of Andy, and regardless of how much each toy is used, they are all part of Andy’s collection.

Buzz was pretty upset when he discovered the limitations of his powers. He almost let it get to him by becoming a depressing shell of himself, but he recovered in time to make the best of his situation. He didn’t go to the Vegas summer league and renegotiate his contract to put Andy in a worse position just because things weren’t perfect on the home front. But even if he did, the rest of the inanimate figurines would still be happy to play for the one team they’ve always known.

If you consider yourself a basketball one-percenter, then you may oftentimes refer to your NBA team as part of your family and friends, using a collective pronoun that implies shared feeling and experience. In reality, we all have the mental capacity to understand that we won’t ever don an official NBA (and coming in a year, 2×2 endorsed) uniform, we don’t employ agents or publicists, and for the most part, we actually are compensated at the level of our worth. However, we are justified in using “we” and “us” because we invest so much of our time and money for the right to feel the glory of a win and the immense pain of a loss.

As fans, we are YOUR New York Knickerbockers. We may be the toys that stay buried in the bottom of the treasure chest that never get to see the light of day, but we’re still there. So through all of our owner’s faults, if Jeremy Lin decides that Daryl Morey will provide a better home for him, it is our directive to stay home, even if the grass appears greener on the other side.

The Brooklyn Nets provide the alternative option for which a less headstrong Knickerbocker fan has been dreaming. Armed with a free-spending owner and a brand new arena, the Nets have put together a roster that will surely contend in the competition-starved Eastern Conference. But is that grass a true, solid green? Every single starter on Brooklyn (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez) will form a tasty first 5, but all of them are overpaid, including D-Will. This has left the Nets with less money to spend on their bench. The Knicks, on the other hand, feature battle-tested veterans to provide much-needed depth; yeah they’re old and frail, but nobody will argue that Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas can’t contribute to a professional basketball team. Brooklyn’s plastic seal hasn’t been lifted, so the new toy on the block is always intriguing. But I don’t know if that franchise provides the “greener” alternative. Green? Maybe. Greener? Questionable. It’s not puke-green, but it certainly isn’t money-green.

The most famous Mambinite of them all, Bill Simmons, gave his blessing for tortured Knicks fans to leave Manhattan this summer. As always, he put conditions on making a choice of free will, but I’ll take it a step further, and say that you can’t leave town. Not now… Read more...

Houston: Dolan Has a Problem

Before I go on, just get some background on what Jeremy Lin means to Mambino. KOBEsh and I experienced Lin’s 38-point effort against the Los Angeles Lakers, the peak of Linsanity, among fellow city-dwellers in NYC’s bar scene. (That’s bar scene, not sports bar scene.) Read his thoughts just hours after that game, and then come back here. Or don’t read it, but click the link. Because it’s ridiculous that the post, one of the best to grace TGM, is only 10th on the all-time list, trailing far-less deserving write-ups like Que-Ese’s on the NCAA bracket and my preview of the Exes season of MTV’s The Challenge.

Jeremy Lin is a popular guy these days. The Knicks have decided not to match Houston’s offer sheet, worth approximately 25 million dollars over 3 years. The pros and cons of retaining Lin’s services have been articulated far and wide, by minds with more sources and words with more eloquence than mine. As I’ve said plenty of times before, we strive to bring you Mambinites something that you may not find anywhere else; otherwise, what’s the point? If we only bring in the numbers from our friends and family, then we’re better off quitting.

To summarize, here are the major reasons for why YOUR New York Knickerbockers should sign Jeremy Lin for the next 3 years:

1. He is a marketing wunderkind. Madison Square Garden stock reached its high when Lin was ripping nets and dropping dimes to the surprise of nobody but himself. The Knicks, and the NBA, reached out to a demographic that had been relatively dormant since the retirement of Yao Ming, evidenced by merchandise sales, attendance at away games, and the exponential rise of Lin’s Twitter follower count. If you had listened to me and clicked on KOBEsh’s post, then you would have read that tapping into a new demographic would put a stamp on a race that has been looking for one since…ever. And the Bockers would always be associated with that. It’s more than just dollars and cents; it’s dollars and sense.
2. He is 23 years old. Many people like to point out the obvious deficiencies in his game: he’s not strong on the dribble, especially with his left hand; he has a propensity to turn the ball over when trapped by an aggressive defense; and he’s not exactly a lockdown defender. But…he’s 23! Why focus on the bad when there’s so much good? You’d be an idiot to think that a 23-year-old who’s willing to work won’t improve his game over the span of his career. Even in the Mike D’Antoni point guard-favored system, 15 ppg and 6 apg in 35 games is nothing to sneeze at. His per-48s look even better: 26 and 11. And then you stack that with the cojones that Lin displayed against the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks (28 and 14), and Toronto Raptors (game-winning 3 in Jose Calderon’s grill). I mean, just LISTEN to the crowd here:
3. The Knicks are not getting anything back in return for letting Lin walk! This will make me weep into my pillow every night for the foreseeable future. Why not match the offer sheet, and trade him? Would Houston really roll into the season without a point guard? Could Charlotte not use an influx of butts in seats?
But again, you could find those reasons everywhere else. Onto the good stuff:
I know it may be difficult to comprehend, but like all of you, I’ve made some decisions that weren’t so great.
Sad but true.
I’ve given the boot to dudes in my fantasy football league because they weren’t competitive en… Read more...

3 Things Lost in Linsanity

“These Asians don’t even like basketball, and now they’re coming out of the woodworks!”

If I roll up to the Garden, or even a Bocker bar, I’ll hear some type of comment like that. All those hours I’ve spent having bad dreams about John Starks’ 2-for-18 performance in Game 7 of the 1994 Finals, rooting for Jeff Van Gundy as he hung onto Alonzo Mourning’s leg for dear life, and sitting in the exact same spot for every game of the 1999 run…gone. I’m basically just another slanty-eyed dude whose expected to bring a sign showing my ability to place the letter “L” in front of any syllable that sounds like “in.”

Of course, a 7-game winning streak makes it all worth it. Because deep down, my loyal Mambinites know that I dish and swish when it comes to dispensing hardwood smarts. And with that, I present to you guys, the 3 biggest things lost in the hullabaloo that is Linsanity.

Now, I’ll just admit it right here. This post can’t possibly be as thought-provoking or well-written as the epic masterpiece that my brother KOBEsh put out this past Saturday. So I reached out to the kid and asked him to give me an assist for this write-up.

The 3 biggest things lost in Linsanity are:

1. The Knicks NEEDED these wins.

KOBEsh: Just 13 days ago, the Knicks were 8-15 and out of the playoffs. They were trailing the Cavs and Bucks for the final playoff spot. To put this in perspective, this is a Knicks team that some overzealous fans and MAMBINO bloggers thought could even make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, they were floundering worse than we ever could have imagined, just struggling to get the 8-seed.


After last night, their record stands at 15-15. This 7-game winning streak isn’t just a nice confluence of events surrounding Jeremy Lin’s unprecedented and meteoric rise. This was absolutely necessary to save a Knicks season from getting too far out of control.

2. Iman Shumpert, playing without the pressure of running the offense, is becoming the steal of the 2011 Draft.

I’ve been a Shumpert guy ever since the first preseason game. Picked 17th in the 1st round, the guy is built like a #1 Wide Receiver prototype, with the uncanny defensive reflexes of Darrelle Revis. But he’s not a natural point guard. After Toney Douglas struggled (I’ll get to him later), Mike D’Antoni turned to Shump. The rookie hit a brick wall, engaging in poor shot selection merely because he didn’t know when to shoot or when to pass. And when the losses started piling up, he became a little timid, losing confidence while manning up against high-caliber guards such as Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade.

The Jeremy Lin Experience has taken everybody by storm, but it is Iman Shumpert who has settled into a role with the Knicks that best suits an inexperienced rookie. By playing off of Lin, Shump has saved plenty of energy to burn for the defensive end, culminating in Tuesday night’s jaw-dropping shakedown of Jose Calderon at mid-court.

Jeremy’s game-winning 3 propelled the Bocks to a huge comeback win. The Garden crowd that showed up for last night’s game against Sacramento showered Lin with praise, MVP chants, and pleas for D’Antoni to insert him into the 4th quarter of a blowout win (those pleas, among other things, make me understand why people call Asians out for not being real fans).

But without Shump’s defense, Jeremy might never had the chance to win it in the end. It’s an absolute TRAVESTY that thi… Read more...

Jeremy Lin: 2 Incredible Stories from Knicks-Lakers

I have been staring at my computer screen for 10 minutes. I have 22 e-mails in my inbox from the last hour. I’ve sent text messages to over a dozen people. I can’t concentrate. I keep on trying to come up with a series of complex sentences and metaphors to describe what I’ve just seen and how I’m feeling and nothing’s coming to mind. I write thousands of words a week, and somehow I can’t find the words to adequately describe the one sports story that I’ve had the biggest emotional response to.

Jeremy Lin just dropped 38 points on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Am I dreaming?

Jeremy Lin life stories are emerging from the interweb at a pace that would make Usain Bolt’s shoes melt. But, for posterity’s sake, here we go.

Lin was an undrafted free agent in the 2010 rookie class coming out of the very prestigious academic heavyweight Harvard University. There’s almost no need to say it, but as one of the finest institutions of higher learning on the entire planet, Harvard isn’t exactly renowned for its athletic programs. Before Lin, only 3 other varsity basketball student-athletes had ever made to the big leagues. In fact, the Harvard pedigree has produced twice as many United States Presidents (8) as they have NBA players (4).

Despite taking his high school team to the California State Championship his senior year, Lin was only offered a basketball scholarship by 2 schools; Harvard, of course, and Brown University. Lin chose Harvard, only to see the program flourish underneath his skilled handle. The Crimson went on to their winningest season ever, and along the way, defeating the #17th ranked Boston College Eagles in 2009, and then again the following year (not to mention the next two years WITHOUT Lin – so maybe this speaks more to the inferiority of a supposed ACC-caliber team in the Eagles than the upstart Crimson).

Jeremy went unselected in the NBA Draft, as few scouts and critics saw him as anything more than a somewhat athletic Ivy League player whose collegiate dominance was supremely tied into the substandard competition he faced. Lin, as many undrafted free agents do, went on to play in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, hoping to catch on as an invitee to any training camp, or at best, sign a non-guaranteed contract with one of the 30 teams. To the surprise of everyone (except for perhaps those who saw his skill firsthand in high school or college), Lin was one of the most effective players in Vegas, dropping nearly 10 points in 18 minutes on 54% shooting. Scouts were stunned by Lin’s confidence with the ball, his decision-making ability and fearlessness in the face of more polished prospects. He was soon signed by his hometown Golden State Warriors.

Right there, in signing a two-year non-guaranteed deal, Lin’s story was already an incredible one. He had overcome college scouts and coaches that didn’t think he was anything but a limited player that won at the high school level. Those same people didn’t think he could play well enough to warrant a scholarship to a 4-year college. He erased the stigma attached to playing in the Ivy League, a league known more for its scholastic achievements than any athletic endeavor. Even after overcoming all of those obstacles, he still managed to fight through the ignominious distinction of being undrafted, ignoring all the professional scouts and taking the hardest road to the NBA. Anything that he had achieved, right in that moment of being signed to a professional basketball contr… Read more...

State of the Garden: Linsanity

Karate punch!

A big reason why there are a few Mike D’Antoni supporters to this day was that the Knicks didn’t have an attacking point guard since Raymond Felton left town in the Carmelo Anthony trade. And after the past two games, MDA has a smile so big on his face, you’d think that Steve Nash had demanded a trade to the Apple. For the last half-week, all is good in Bocker Nation. Jeremy Lin has risen from 12th man to New York’s best quarterback.

(Kidding.)

(Kidding again.)

If you’ve read my stuff before, this is the part where I transition to telling you that things aren’t as happy-go-lucky as they appear. But let’s face the facts: I’m as Linsane as anybody else in these parts, if not moreso. (Can’t you see the resemblance?) Against the cross-town rival Nets, Lin came off the bench and legitimately outplayed superstar point guard Deron Williams, netting 25 points on 10-19 shooting, with 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals in 36 minutes. The minutes, points, assists, and rebounds were all career highs. Last night, the former Harvard standout eclipsed that performance in his first NBA start. When the Knicks won the jumpball, the crowd was silent…until Lin received the ball from Anthony. Standing O. As Mike Breen so eloquently put it, his spirit has lifted the team, the crowd, and the city (well, the non-Giants fans, who NEED uplifting.) 28 more points at a 10-17 clip, and 8 more assists, in 44 minutes = 3 new career highs.

The final number is the most important: 44 minutes. As I’ve mentioned before, these aren’t your average 44 minutes, where you can take a breather by hiding on defense or throwing some stand-still passes on offense. These are 44 minutes in a D’Antoni offense, as an attacking point guard, while guarding the opposing PG in this relatively new, no-hand-check era of NBA basketball. Anyone who watched the game on TV last night could see that, save for the momentary adrenaline rushes, Lin was dead tired by the 3rd quarter. And what happens when you get tired? You make mental errors. Lin eclipsed a 4th career statistic last night with 8 turnovers. While beating a decent Utah Jazz team with Amar’e grieving in Florida, Melo hurting his groin, and Tyson in foul trouble all night is nothing short of remarkable, it’s important to take a step back and see what the future holds for the New York Jeremy Lins.

The most wonderful part of this kid’s game is his astoundingly high basketball IQ. He doesn’t possess the athleticism of Iman Shumpert or Toney Douglas, nor does he possess the long-range capabilities of Anthony or Steve Novak (whose brilliant performance last night was overshadowed by the man of the hour). But he’s just so darn smart. He runs the pick and roll to near perfection, attacking the big man on a switch, throwing picture perfect lobs to the screener when the opposing guard gets lazy, and occasionally shows some flash by splitting traps and double teams. He keeps his head up, rarely picks up his dribble, and maintains his peripheral vision, 3 absolute musts for a point guard at any level. The common go-to is that he’s naturally smart because he attended Harvard. But as anyone from the great suburban town of Millburn knows, paying your way to Cambridge, Massachusetts because they want you to play sports for them is not the same as being as intellectually gifted as the rest of the student body (still love you DB). Lin is smart on the basketball court for reasons nobody can truly explain, because basketball IQ is part… Read more...