Even the AFRO Sports Desk couldn’t ignore the hottest story in the National Basketball Association: Jeremy Lin. The second-year point guard out of Harvard has resurfaced the NBA with his name sprawled all across it. With Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire in the frontcourt, the New York Knicks were already one of the league’s most talented teams. With Lin at point guard, what’s stopping the Knicks from returning to the promised land? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk answer the question.
Green: Can the Knicks win a title behind Lin? Yes, of course. Lin’s already drawn comparisons to Steve Nash and Rajon Rondo, two of the NBA’s better floor generals. Their frontcourt was already one of, if not, the most talented in the league with Anthony, Stoudemire and center Tyson Chandler patrolling the middle. Add Lin to the equation and sprinkle in newly acquired shooting guard J.R. Smith and New York has all the makings of a big-time team in the Big Apple.
Riley: Paint me unimpressed so far about all of this Linsanity. Sure, the former D Leaguer has brought excitement to the table and his run has been remarkable so far but the turnovers, inexperience and lack of cohesion overall with the Knicks scare me. Once teams start reading the book on Lin you’re going to see a change in how he plays, that’s the NBA and everyone goes through it. How he adjusts from teams keying on him is what will define his career. Will the Knicks get to the playoffs this year? They’d better, with Stoudemire and Anthony on the roster. Will they win a title this season or next? I can’t see it.
Green: Although Lin has been the story, it’s more to it than just him. Teams can key on him all they want but what about those two perennial all stars? Do you just forget about them? I’ve seen enough to know that Lin is the legit lead guard that the Knicks need to propel them deep in the postseason. We’ve been captivated by his scoring but really the only things the Knicks needed was a dish man and they now have that. Lin doesn’t have to drop 20 and 30 points like he’s been doing and once Anthony comes back from (groin) injury, Lin’s job will be a whole lot easier. Let’s not make the mistake that the media and fans are waiting on Lin to carry the team because that’s not what the excitement is about. His ability to compliment Anthony and Stoudemire is what has everyone excited upstate.
Riley: You can deflect the attention off Lin to his teammates if you want but how often has Stoudemire been healthy these last few years? And how many times has Anthony gotten a team deep in the playoffs? Both Anthony and Stoudemire have been on more talented teams than this current Knicks team so to just expect them to carry the weight is foolish. If New York is going to win anything, Lin will have to be a key contributor. He’s a nice story and that’s clear. But in my opinion, he’s just keeping the seat warm for the arrival of guard Deron Williams. New York needs a superstar pass man. Lin would be a good role player because I think his Cinderella story could turn into a nightmare once the playoffs arrive.