Saturday, April 14, 2012

Knicks Crush Wizards - New Dilemma

With the Knicks crushing the Washington Wizards, and the Sixers, Celtics, and Magic all losing, the 6th spot is now within reach. The Knicks could still finish anywhere from 6th - 9th, with the 7th and 8th spots the most likely.

My dilemma is I want Jeremy to take the rest of the season off and come back a guaranteed 100%. So, the best case for this would be finishing 7th-9th. Finishing 9th is obvious. 8th would be a matchup with the Bulls and 7th would be the Heat. Slim chance to advance. However, if they finish 6th, they have a very good chance of making the 2nd round. In this scenario, Jeremy would be close to 6 weeks off from surgery and with the enticing likelihood of facing the Heat in round 2.

How do you say no to this? Whats your thoughts?

44 comments:

  1. However, I think the Lin (or Journalist self explanation)mentioned that .. second round may have other problem, 'Chemistry' then .. Any playoff game is critical, if lin join in and doesn't play well with Anthony ( you know the problem of melo) then Jeremy will be the guilt of losing. It is really a very difficult situation for Lin.

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  2. If Lin can play, he should play.

    The post-season level of play is higher than the regular season. Even if he plays badly or in a more limited role, experiencing the play-offs will further Lin's development. The play-offs will also be a bonding experience and rite of passage, especially for the younger players. The Knicks should be a play-off team next year. If Lin comes back to the Knicks, which is likely, better for Lin not to be the only rotation player new to the play-offs.

    Season-ending elimination games and the play-offs are 'all hands on deck', when players are expected to play hurt. From a PR standpoint, with 6 weeks talked about so much as the expected recovery time and no report of serious injury from the surgery, if Lin fails to return in the 2nd round, he'll look bad.

    Lin has talked about not messing up the Knicks chemistry, with good reason. If the Knicks make the play-offs and then win the 1st round against presumably a top championship contender (Bulls, Heat), that would mean the Knicks team has gelled very will without him as starting PG. Reinserting a rusty Lin at either starting guard in the 2nd round would seriously risk jeopardizing that chemistry. However, it's fair to expect that a rusty Lin would still be an upgrade at 3rd guard over Walker, Bibby, or Douglas. 3rd guard would be the easiest transition point for Lin into a shortened play-off rotation given that Lin entered the NBA as a do-everything playmaking SG/PG combo guard. He's been converting to point guard in the NBA. Lin would have to adjust very quickly for a play-off return, and Lin should be able to adjust fastest in his more-natural NBA 3rd guard role.

    A rusty Lin combined with heightened play-off defense, combined with a much higher standard for taking care of the ball in the play-offs, combined with less tolerance for turnovers from fans, is a risky situation for a returning Lin who was turnover prone when healthy in the regular season. Reducing Lin's PG duties in his return will limit his turnovers.

    I know many Lin fans protest the notion of Lin 'demoted' to the bench, but 3rd guard is a critical role in the play-offs - think Ginobili, Harden, Barea last year. Good teams have versatile clutch 3rd guards and the role fits Lin's strengths. Not disrupting the starting line-up, fewer minutes on his knee, a key role in a shortened rotation, a more natural role for Lin to help him adjust quickly and mitigate his weaknesses - it makes sense.

    Playing 3rd guard in the play-offs won't hurt Lin's role with the Knicks next season. Lin would get to show off his natural game. Davis isn't getting any younger and healthier, and Bibby and Douglas aren't competition. If Lin plays well as a 3rd guard, he'll be the starter again next year.

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    1. Add: When was the last time Lin played post-season basketball? I believe his last time was when Lin won the state championship for Palo Alto HS over Mater Dei HS. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe Harvard played in the post-season while Lin was there. So, Lin needs post-season experience generally.

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    2. I am thinking... how will mike woodson use Lin if Lin is healthy at second round. I still think he doesn't really believe in Lin as what he did with JR.

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    3. Dreaming: How did Carlisle and the Mavs use JJ Barea last year?

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  3. What's the point in Lin playing 3rd guard when Bibby and Douglas are terrible?

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    1. vk: That is the point. With Davis and Shumpert starting, Lin would be the 1st guard off the bench. I'm classifying JR Smith a small forward, though he comes off the bench at SG, too.

      Also, Davis can break down at any time. I wouldn't be surprised if Davis played well enough for the Knicks to reach round 2, but broke down again, thus forcing a rusty Lin to take on emergency starting PG duties in the play-offs.

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  4. I really wish he can play because I miss his game. I also agree with you that Lin 'has to' play due to PR and experience purpose. However, I just worried that he may not be in good shape to manage playoff speed after missing so many games (that is what happened to Derrick Rose right now, Rose is a MVP) .His chemistry with melo will also be another big issue and not mention his ball handling skill still has room to improve. Although we don't need to care about the hater, we still have to consider his free agency condition. I worried that may hurt his career(because that is so many doubters out there).

    I wish he can at least play the last week of regular season to sharpen himself but that is not the case now :(

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    1. There's just no guaranteed way for a rusty Lin to smoothly transition back into the rotation in the heat of the play-offs.

      A recent cautionary tale is the Magic forcefeeding a rusty Jameer Nelson into the starting PG role for the Magic in the 08-09 Finals against the Lakers, when Rafer Alston had played very well leading the Magic to the Finals that year. As good as Nelson was before his injury, he was rusty when he came back and totally disrupted the Magic's chemistry. The Nelson-Alston Finals switch mistake, more than anything else in my opinion, doomed the Magic and giftwrapped the 08-09 championship for the Lakers.

      There's still a risk playing a rusty Lin off the bench in the play-offs, but there's less risk than handing him back the starting PG role at that point of the post-season. Off the bench, the reward of Lin gaining invaluable play-off experience is worth the risk. Then, if Lin shakes off the rust, plays well and as clutch as we expect, and the Knicks make into the Conference finals, maybe even the NBA finals ... who knows how Lin's role will change.

      As far as Lin's free agency, there is minimal risk at this point only because of the set limit on his next contract. His really big contract, where teams will have to scrutinize everything about Lin, is still 1-2 years away. Coming off injury in his first play-offs, even if Lin were to struggle, it shouldn't affect his next contract. At this point of Lin's career, the play-off learning experience is more important.

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  5. I still think Woodson is, in the depths of his heart, biased against Jeremy. He never came out so strongly in public of support Jeremy like he just did for JR Smith, even though Jeremy had played much better.

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    1. Yes, he root for JR so much even his 6-22 and 2-11 shooting rate, he still root for him (Landry played well in that game). He still played him in 4th quarter. :S

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    2. Smith is going to get his minutes regardless of Lin. They don't play the same role, though some minutes at back-up SG would overlap. Lin's minutes, if he's the 3rd guard when he returns, would come out of Bibby, Douglas, maybe Walker's time. I don't see Davis nor Shumpert averaging 45 MPG in the play-offs anyway. The minutes will be there for Lin. Zero if he stinks up the place. 10 minutes if he's rusty-shaky but over-all okay. A solid 15-20 minutes if he's good.

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    3. I do not worry about Woodson at all. If there is a conflict between Jeremy and Woodson, Jeremy will easily be the last one standing.

      How much is Woodson bring in for MSG? How much is Jeremy bringing in for MSG? Woodson is insignificant.

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  6. "Anybody that knows him knows that he loves the game of basketball and he loves to play and loves being out there with his teammates," Jeffries said. "He wants to feel that playoff atmosphere. I know he does."

    If Lin loves to play, as a fans I will support him and pray hard for him.

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    1. That reminds me: One of Lin's main strengths as a basketball player is his reputation for leadership. In sports, team leaders must lead from the front, on the court. (When team leaders can't lead on the court anymore, they retire.) For Lin to maintain his reputation as a team leader if he's close to playing shape and his teammates know he is, he'll need to man up and be on the court - or at least make himself available to play - for his teammates.

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  7. I'm somewhat surprise that people here even wants the Knicks to not make the play-offs because they want jeremy to not be forced to play. First i doubt the trainors and medical staff or even his coach would want to further his injury. So forcing him to play is out of the question. He needs the play-off experience to be a better baller besides No one can come back 100 percent in the first couple of games because of the rust. only the haters will hate on him if he comes back and not play well. Real fans will understand and haters will continue to hate even if he puts up 50 points in his return. He said so himself he will only come back if he's 100 percent fine. Who are we to doubt??? its his body. The longer he is not playing basketball the longer it is for him to not reach his true potential. He is the Knicks future together with Shump and maybe Landry not Smith, not baron. we dont even know if Smith or baron will be playing for the Knicks next season. I also dont know why peepz here thinks woodson is biased against Lin just because of his statement about Rookies. Shump is a rookie and he's playing major minutes. Woodson is playing Smith because he has no choice. The only legit offensive option right now is melo Chandler and Novak. And the rest is as erratic as the Knicks season. Smith defense is good his offense is bad but when he's Hot he is HOT. Sometimes i feel like woodson is throwing a hail mary every time he puts Smith in the game hoping he wont go 0-20. Landry is cool i love him but for some reason his shooting got worse and his game is also quite erratic. And please dont listen to the media about this melo vs lin drama. yes i hate the stunt he pulls against d'antoni but we all need to move on. B Jeremy did, hes playing good team ball with the knicks before the injury so i don't see no reason why he cant when he's back. And i'm hoping he'll be back soon.

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    1. "I’m a big believer in J.R.," Woodson said. "I told him that after the game. I'm in his corner and I'm going to do everything I can to see that he's successful for this ball club."

      I quoted. He attitude towards JR is really very different as his attitude towards Lin (not base on the rookie comment). When Lin win, he said 'Lin is good but not a great point guard', When Lin injured, he said 'Some player play through with this type of injury' and etc. I think it is the fact. I can't comment whether it is due to Lin TO rate or other factors.

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    2. I agree saying "Some player play through with this type of injury" was a dick thing to say. Hopefully Woodson doesn't have some innate bias against Lin. Coaches are generally known to be hard on their PGs.

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    3. I'm with romz.

      Unless any of us are the orthopedic surgeons who operated on Jeremy, our opinion on the "risk" of returning within 6 weeks is null and void.

      romz is also right about JR and the rest.

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  8. In all fairness to Woodson it is true that some players will play through a meniscus issue. Al Harrington is playing with one right now, but then again he can afford to cuz he's at the end of his career whereas it makes more sense for Jeremy to take precaution.

    And despite his comments about rookies, Woodson did continue to start Jeremy and during the Pacers game he let him spread the floor for in the 4th quater so he could attack and make that 4th quarter comeback win.

    His public statements about JR i think has more to do with JR than Woodson. JR is a known immature player who needs propping up by his staff or else he won't perform. There's a good reason Melo didn't want him in NY.

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  9. I'm probably going to get smacked down for this. I'm a Lin fan, not a Knicks fan so frankly, I could care less what happens to the Knicks without him. I became disillusioned with the NBA after Jordan retired and the Warriors went to hell - too many selfish stars with huge egos making 20 million dollars a year. I don't like the Knick's owner and I really dislike Carmelo until he proves me otherwise. Overall, the NBA hasn't appealed to me over the past 4-5 years. I just can't relate. However, I have really grown to like Novak, Shumpert, Chandler, Jeffries as well as some of the other class acts in the NBA like Tim Duncan/Ray Allen.

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  10. I am a huge fan of Jeremy. My dilema is: I am really missing his games (already recycled his Youtube games so many times LOL) therefore can't wait for him to come back; BUT I really want him to have a long career so definitely don't want him back until he is 100% ready. I also agree with some of the comments that Woodson plays favorites...he liks JR, Melo and Baron over Jeremy, Novak, and Fields (I am hoping that I am wrong on this). God bless Jeremy!

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  11. Lets say that if the Knicks rise up in the East standings to 6th place. They will play against the Indiana Pacers. They will NEED Jeremy Lin to create offense, push the tempo, defend Collison and Barbosa, take over the 4th quarter, and beat the Pacers.
    In both of Lin's games vs. the Pacers, he was the key to the Knicks wins. He was the only Knick player who got to the rim and went to the free throw line. He was the closer in the 4th quarter when Indiana went on a run. They could not close the games without Lin, even if Carmelo scores 40 pts again.

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  12. My predictions:

    Knicks make the playoffs at the 6th spot. Amar'e returns
    Beat Indiana in 6 games
    Lin returns for matchup against Heat
    Starts by coming off the bench for a few games
    Lin/Amare/Melo take the Series in 6 games

    or

    Knicks make the playoff at 7 or 8, and lose in the first round
    Lin returns next season 100% with durability

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    1. Why do people think that Jeremy returning this season means he won't be 100%?

      And why do people think that Jeremy returning next season means he won't re-injure his knee again?

      I want J-Lin back as soon as he's medically cleared to play at full strength. Not a minute sooner...or later.

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  13. If the Knicks win the division, wouldn't they get the 4th seed? If they beat Boston next week at NY, they will be only 2 games out. Why go for the 6th seed when they can win the division and take the 4th seed.

    The Knicks lineup would be a huge upgrade with JLin starting. The way Baron has been playing (35% FG, 25% 3pt), it makes no sense to have JLin come off the bench. JLin can adjust to Woodson's system, and still be very effective leading the fast breaks, making plays, and scoring efficiently during crunch time.

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    1. Knicks are too far behind Boston to catch up, and the Celtics have a much easier schedule ahead. Knicks won't win the division, but they might leapfrog over Philadelphia and Orlando to get into 6th place. They've beaten Indiana 2X with Jeremy Lin and the last game they blew a 17 pt lead in the 4th quarter to lose without Lin.

      So yes, Lin is a factor in these games, and he can tip the scales in Knicks favor.

      Has anyone else thought the Knicks should have drafted Klay Thompson over Iman Shumpert .... better 3-point shooter is Klay.

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    2. The Warriors drafted Klay Thompson before the Knicks selected Iman Shumpert. But I agree, the Knicks need better 3 point shooters. Both Fields and JR shot 39% on 3s last season. If they can find their old touch, that will help open up lanes for JLin when he returns.

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    3. @Reebok:

      Lin has already adjusted to Woodson's system: he was playing very well before he got hurt, and might have been playing well while hurt for some of that time. Also, Woodson has the responsibility to adjust his system for Lin. Having an all-star caliber point guard makes a difference, and if Woodson's system doesn't allow it, then it isn't much of a system and he isn't much of a coach. It would be like having an all-star at center and reducing him to being a guy who sets screens and grabs rebounds instead of giving him opportunities to score in the post and setting him up for baskets in the paint.

      Also, Thompson is a better 3 point shooter, but Shumpert has a better all-around game and more upside. The guy who has to work on his 3 point shooting is Melo. With Lin and Stoudemire on the team, he isn't going to get anywhere near as many iso plays - or at least he shouldn't - and is going to have to adjust his game by doing more jump shooting.

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  14. The Derrick Rose situation this is not because Derrick Rose IS the Bulls. The Knicks, meanwhile, have Melo, Stoudemire, Chandler, Shumpert, Smith etc. to lean on while Lin gets his legs back.

    Also, didn't Lin go from not playing AT ALL to dominating the NBA?

    As far as Jameer Nelson goes ... that is an invalid comparison with Lin's situation. Look at their career stats of Nelson and Alston: the difference is negligible offensively - and this is with Nelson getting all those easy assists and wide open shots playing with Howard - and is clearly a worse player defensively. Where Alston was as good as Nelson at minimum and very possibly better, the Knicks' other 3 point guards put together (Davis, Bibby, Douglas) aren't as good as Lin is by himself. So, where Nelson at 100% probably no better than Alston on offense and was clearly worse than Alston on defense, Lin at 75% is better than Davis, Bibby and Douglas at both ends of the court. So, if Lin is healthy, he should play.

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    1. a 50 percent Jlin is better than bibby and douglas

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    2. i totally agree with you that Lin is better than bibby and douglas. However, you can't underestimate Davis experience, he had some good assists and he can run the offense ( I know he is old & injured)

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  15. I don't want to see Lin try to come back this year.
    1. He would risk further injury. Let the knee heal 100%.
    2. Knicks are playing well now, there isn't much upside for a rusty Lin to return, but there is a lot of downside. And this isn't the middle of the season, where they can afford to work out chemistry issues.

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    1. 1. Lin's knee injury is minor ... not a tendon or patella issue. The risk of permanent damage to his meniscus is very low, but the reward of his playing in the playoffs is very high.

      2. The Knicks might be playing "well", but that isn't good enough. They've beaten losing teams - or teams in turmoil like the Magic - but struggled mightily against the better ones. 3 of their next 5 games are going to be against teams that have already clinched playoff spots and are contending for seeding (the Hawks, Celtics and Heat). That's when I expect we will see precisely how much the Knicks need Lin if they are going to be an elite team.

      3. There are no chemistry problems with Jeremy Lin and the Knicks. Lin and Melo aren't at their individual bests when playing together, but their mutual presence makes the team far better. In more general terms, getting Lin on the court gets guys who really can't play - Davis and whoever backs him up, whether Bibby or Douglas - off it. The Knicks got NOTHING from their point guards when they really needed them in the games against the Bulls and Bucks that were basically for their playoff fates, and that wouldn't have been the case had Lin been on the floor. And playing Lin keeps the Knicks from being forced to give Shumpert and Smith too many minutes - and allowing Melo and Smith to take too many shots - also.

      If there are chemistry problems on the Knicks, they are between Melo and Stoudemire. Getting them both going at the same time offensively was always a challenge, and now the Knicks have to deal with a situation where Melo is playing the best ball of his career in Stoudemire's power forward spot, which in turn created a lot more minutes for the backcourt players, some of whom i.e. Smith and Shumpert, have arguably taken advantage. Maybe you could solve it by making Stoudemire a 6th man who backs up both Chandler and Melo and still gets about the same minutes as he did as a starter, but I don't think that he will handle it as well as Kevin McHale did back in the day. THAT'S the real chemistry issue, and if anything having Lin will help resolve it, because Lin on the court means fewer shots for Melo and more shots for Stoudemire and everybody else.

      So long as Lin is healthy, his being on the court is better for him and the Knicks.

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    2. Melo is scoring better in Amare's power forward spot, but at the same time, he's giving up a ton of offensive rebounds and 2nd chance points to bigger PF's.
      He's undersized for that position, and he's not very good at crashing the boards, not because of a lack of athleticism but a lack of fundamentals.

      It's too late in the season to train Melo to become Kevin Love. When Amare comes back to the rotation, look for Coach Woodson to not put Amare and Melo on the floor at the same time.

      As for Lin, he will need to adapt to the half court inside-out game. He will need to become a much better outside shooter. He must also get better at moving without the basketball and cutting to the basket.

      Lin can learn from Landry Fields, who has been shooting the ball terribly, but he more than makes up for it with his quick off the ball cuts to the basket, for easy layups and dunks. Landry Field's game compliments Carmelo's iso-game perfectly.

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  16. @JLinFan:

    If Woodson "believed" in Smith so much, Smith would be in the starting lineup, which is where Lin would be if he were healthy.

    Lin is nothing like Melo, Smith and Davis mentally. Woodson knows that his treating Lin the way he does results in Lin getting better in areas that his game that needs work. Woodson knows that treating Melo, Smith and Davis the way that he treats Lin would result in those guys going into the tank, turning on him and possibly both. And yes, Woodson also knows that treating Lin the way that he treats Melo, Smith and Davis isn't necessarily the way to get the most production out of Melo, Smith and Davis.

    Woodson's job is to win basketball games, not to publicly reward Lin for being a great person. Sorry, but that is now the NBA is. And it isn't unique to the NBA: plenty of law firms, corporate boardrooms, top university departments, elite research hospitals, major media bureaus etc. are the same ... a lot of the most talented people are selfish, immature, ego-driven cads, but you need their talents in order for the organization to be competitive and successful, and the manager has to make things work between the good guys and the not-so-good guys.

    Like I have mentioned a few times before, the NBA is what it is. It was that way before Lin came, will be when he leaves, and whatever success Lin has will be in that context. Other major sports, i.e. MLB, NHL, NASCAR, golf etc. are similar, and as I alluded to earlier, so are a lot of other non-sports professional situations where the competition, visibility and compensation is very high.

    So, what gives me the most concern about Mike Woodson isn't his not being as complimentary to Jeremy Lin in public as he is of Melo, Smith and Davis. Instead, it is how Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague began burning up the NBA - at times outplaying the team's veteran stars Joe Johnson and Josh Smith ... if the Hawks had Al Horford they'd probably be a title contender the way Teague is playing! - almost immediately after Woodson left Atlanta. Now Lin is better than Teague, in addition to being mentally tougher and better at handling adversity, but it is still mighty hard to look at Teague and claim that Woodson has a good track record in developing young point guards as a head coach.

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    1. smith can't be the starer because he would be easily caught up in foul problem and Smith always perform better off the bench(I read from somewhere)

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    2. I think people take exception to Woodson's tone when talking about Jeremy because he's had too many people say he isn't great, isn't the NBA quality etc. and for once, it would be nice for a coach to publicly have faith in him. D'Antoni wasn't any better for the record. He only played Jeremy out of desperation and then proceeded to cackle to the press that he was going to 'ride him like Secretariat'. Not complimentary or rewarding either.

      I understand different players have different psyches and responded to different types of coaching. But EVERYONE needs positive reinforcement, not just J.R and Melo. It's galling to hear Woodson go out of his way to NOT praise Lin, which is very strange to me. What was the need for instance to say he is a good PG but not a great one? Would he ever say J.R was a good closer but not a great one?

      Given Jeremy's background and history of fighting against all odds to get to where he is, it's no big surprise that people are defensive about him and his treatment by his coaches.

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    3. My only point about Jeff Teague is that he's primarily a small dribble driving PG who needs driving lanes and pick setting big men to attack the rim for his fearsome drives.

      The Atlanta Hawks during the Woodson years started 4 post up forwards: Horford, Johnson, Smith, and Williams. With that kind of personnel, a standstill perimeter kickout shooter like Mike Bibby was ideal as the starter.

      If I were coaching the Hawks back then, I'd have brought Jeff Teague off the bench as a Jason Terry (another ex Hawk) type of attacking scoring PG.

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  17. If thinking positively, maybe the first dose of medicine Coach Woodson gave the disfunctioning Knicks after coach D'antoni left was to pad on Camelo's back by the public speach that rockies need to sit and learn, as we all know the story of Carmelo, Lin and D'antoni?

    Woodson's first press conference certainly makes Carmelo etc feel like the most beautiful music to the ear; maybe that turned around the negative force into
    powerful positive force, plus Carmelo wanted to prove a point,
    that is why he and the team fighted so hard especially after Lin was out;

    It's so unbelievable that the current knicks is the same team as the one who where at 8-15 before Jeremy Lin started to
    turn the sinking ship around.

    Maybe the sense of competition (between Carmelo and Lin), the urgency brings some positive force to the team? Without Lin's threat to take over the spot light, the superstars may not have that much of motivation to fight so hard every game.

    Just guessing.

    Though it's not fair to Lin, as long as Woodson still respect Lin's skill and believe Lin is variable asset to the team win in private, that is not the worst scenario. Hopefully, that is the case.

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  18. Knicks might have the chances to climb up to 6th because Magic is awful without Howard. Knicks even might have chances to beat heat because Heat is not in their comfortable stage right now.

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  19. 7th vs heat.
    Jeremy changed the chemistry in this team. Now they play for win not for money. They play hard not lazy. Even Jeremy is not on the court, this team knows whats the meaning of responsibility.

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  20. I think we have to accept that Lin won't return this season.

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  21. I've been following this site before the Linsanity, and I have to say, this is by far the most selfish post you've made to date. Who wishes a team to miss the playoff JUST for the sake of Lin?? I get this is Lin fanboy page, but come on, knocking down the Knicks is like knocking down Lin's brothers.

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