Repeat Offender or Passing of the Torch?

So now that we are through the halfway mark of the NBA season, or we technically have hit that mark, there are always the question as to who the MVP is to this point? Derrick Rose, deservedly took home last year’s award and it begs the question this year, should he retain his crown? Rose is posting 22.2 PPG, 7.7 APG, and 3.4 RPG, in other words, around the same numbers he put up last year. Rose’s influence on his team, however is what put him above and beyond his competition last year. It seems that Rose continues to carry his team this year as well, however; the team fared well in his absence of 5+ games this year. Which, to the voters, may diminish their view on Rose’s presence or absence with his team. However, Rose is clearly the leader of a team filled with a few high B-Listers, in Boozer, Deng and Noah, and an oft-injured Rip Hamilton way past his prime.

Competitors look like, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and we all know Jeremy Lin’s name will be thrown in there. Kobe is leading the league in scoring, on two bad knees with one wrist and now a broken nose and mild concussion. In other words, “Are you kidding me?” Bryant’s throwing up 28.4 PPG, 4.8 APG, 5.8 RPG, all above his career averages. Now if you look at the Lakers without Kobe, the tale is much different than that of the Bulls without Rose. Both seem to be facilitators on their teams, but Rose’s team is more meshed to play well without him, while the Lakers have their two big men that cannot lead an offense the same way Luol Deng can.

Lebron James’ numbers are ridiculous right now averaging 27.4 PPG, 6.8 APG, and 8.1 RPG, this coming from a small forward, or really a point forward. He did most of this without Batman, Dwayne Wade, who is putting up his own numbers of course. The most intriguing and jaw-dropping statistic is that Lebron is shooting 54.7% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the arc. Statistic wise Lebron should be the hands down favorite, however his voters will be swayed because of the team he plays on.

Finally, we have Mr. Lin. No he has not played a full season, but he has taken an 8-15 team and turned them around drastically while inserting energy into an entire city. Without him, the Knicks would have been looking forward to next year and the offseason where they could hope to mesh or find themselves a point guard, one most likely way past his prime. But now the Knicks have a 23 year-old franchise point guard in the making. He saved the team, possibly forfeited some blockbuster trades, and may have saved the coaches job, because of how well he meshes into that system. The argument will be made for Lin, but after all is said and done, it will be Kobe Bryant who finds himself as MVP of the shortened NBA Season in my opinion. The guy is a gamer and is tough as nails as he shows night in and night out.

Those are my two cents … cash them in if you dare!

Debate here for someone else!

To Lin-Finity and Beyond!

A Lin is a Lin is a Lin! … or something along those lines. It’s a lot of what Knicks’ fans have been able to say as their team has stormed back to a .500 winning percentage by winning 8 of their last 10 games. Even non-Knick fans have been singing a similar tune, due to one player, and he of course is Jeremy Lin.

Jeremy Lin is the newest lin-sation of the NBA, his image has overshadowed all over the past few weeks, including Miami’s Big Three, Lob City in LA, those other purple and gold guys from LA, and whoever else you can think of. Lin was cut by two teams this year, the Rockets and the Warriors, and almost the Knickerbockers. Carmelo Anthony, looked at Coach Mike D’Antoni during the Knicks game against the New Jersey Nets on February 4th and told him to give the kid a shot. Needless to say the “kid” erupted for 25 points, 7 assists to and 5 rebounds, much to the chagrin of Deron Williams.

Lin has thrived since averaging, 23.9 points and 9.2 assists. His turnover’s have been an issue, as he is averaging over 5 per game through his run as the newest Knick starting point guard. Most in New York overlook this factor, but his nay-sayers pinpoint on that statistic. The turnovers must come down, and have started to with the return of Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo knows that the entire city is behind this kid now after he was for a brief moment during the Nets game. Melo must mold back in as they seem they might be able to, and a good test will be the game against the Miami Heat. But, back to Lin here.

Lin is humble and plays his heart out every game. He has been averaging over 35 minutes per game, and that number has been dragged down because of the beating the Knicks put on the Kings, when the starters were able to rest most of the second half. Lin has no regards for his own health or body, as he constantly drives to the basket toward bigger defenders. This is what New York needs, it is after all a basketball town, and will only become a bigger one when the Nets move into Brooklyn. Lin has put life into the Garden and into the prices of tickets as they have skyrocketed over the past few weeks. Lin is great for the NBA, because after a debacle of an off-season and stand-offs between owners and players that resulted in a shortened season, where good ankles are a hot commodity, he has provided a spike in publicity and excitement. Not only that, but the Asian population is clearly paying more attention now than ever before, even when Yao-Ming was peaking during his career.

Lin has not slowed down as many expected throughout his run, and we shall all see and witness how can he run D’Antoni’s offense for the rest of the year as both superstars are finally healthy, and the Knicks have added more pieces in J.R. Smith, Baron Davis, and Steve Novak. Landry Fields, only seems to be playing better with Lin, and Tyson Chandler has benefited from great passing as he is shooting an astounding 70% from the field. Rookie, Iman Shumpert, a somewhat of a combo-guard has some of the quickest hands in the NBA and is perfecting his on ball defense. The Knicks, if all things click, could be a force in the East hoping to contend with the likes of Chicago and Miami.

Those are my two cents … cash em in if you wish!

T-Catz

Another Jeremy Lin Story

Where does one begin to describe the overnight success story that is Jeremy Lin? He’s Lincredile, all he does is Lin (8 out of 9 games), and even Grammy winner Adele says that Jeremy has Knicks fans RolLINg in the Deep right now.

His story is amazing and no one can deny that. He graduated Harvard University, went undrafted, then went on to be cut by two NBA teams, the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

The Warriors organization, including point guard Steph Curry have said they don’t regret the move. In an ESPN interview which aired during the recent Warriors/Blazers game, Curry went so far as to state that Lin would have never seen time on the court with Golden State. Who is Curry kidding? Even if Lin stopped playing at this high level today, chances are slim that the back-up guards in Golden State are going to go on a Lin-esque run and contribute this immensely anytime soon. Also, Lin contributes more to the Knicks than Nate Robinson presently does for the Warriors. In fact, most intellectual basketball minds would probably choose Lin over Robinson.

Head coach Mark Jackson said he did not have any regrets cutting the 6’3″ point guard. In Coach Jackson’s eyes, they are set at the point guard position for years with a backcourt presence starring Steph Curry and Monta Ellis, both of whom can run an offense. Jackson is not the general manager so he cannot lament over not having a particular player on his roster. This is where the Warriors management comes into the picture.

Lin was cut to make room for the potential signing of restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan. The Warriors successfully accomplished two things this off-season: They drove up the price for the Los Angeles Clippers to re-sign him and managed to give away February’s likely choice as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for nothing.

The Rockets organization did not hide their feelings towards releasing Lin. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was upset over the decision. On Twitter, Morey told the world how he felt when he tweeted, “We should have kept [Jeremy Lin]. Did not know he was this good.” Should he have anything to regret?

The Rockets are very deep at the point guard position with Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, Johnny Flynn, and Terrence Williams who showed glimpses of being able to run the point during his tenure with the Nets. With those guys, Lin wasn’t going to see much, if any time at all, and the Rockets need for a big by the name of Samuel Dalembert superseded any reason to keep Lin on the roster.

Even the Knickerbockers should be counting their blessings. Jeremy Lin was on the verge of being cut by the Knicks too. The Knicks came into the game versus New Jersey on the culmination of a back-to-back-to-back. Their starters were tired and showing signs of fatigue. D’Antoni was left with no choice but to give Lin playing time. And the rest, is LINstory.

Jimmy Lips