Letter From A Disgruntled Optimistic Knicks Fan by @WeatherMatts

@WeatherMatts- “Suddenly, being a Knicks fan is cool again in NYC.

Ever since February 6th, when Jeremy Lin erupted for 28 points in his first NBA start against the Utah Jazz, walking around Manhattan without seeing some glimpse of Knicks merchandise is nearly impossible. Whether it’s the hat on the 13 year old kid at the park or the jersey on the old lady on the train (true story), Knicks blue – and more specifically Lin-sanity themed Knicks attire – is everywhere.

And with perfectly good reason, too. I mean, c’mon. When was the last time New York had an athletic hero like this? Not to knock on all the other superstars the Knicks have (Melo, Amar’e and Tyson) but how many of you received 0 scholarship offers out of high school? How many of you starred in college only to not be drafted? AND, how many of you were cut by not one but TWO teams in the off season only to ride the bench and be nearly cut again!

The answer of course is none.

Amar’e Melo and Tyson are all seasoned veterans who have proven to be anything from the perennial All-Star to the highly touted big man. But that’s what’s so special about the Jeremy Lin story. He isn’t proven. In any way. Not in high school, not in college and not in the NBA. Simply put, a movie is being made right in front of our eyes.

But forget all the back story. Forget the lack of scholarship offers and the undrafted tag. Forget the waiver wires and even the January D-League demotion. What I’m here to focus on, is what Jeremy Lin has actually done. The stats. How exactly does Jeremy Lin stack up against some of the best players in the league.

The players I stacked Lin up against are all amazing players. Forwards, guards, East, West and essentially, all different styles from the NBA. I also did full season as well as February splits for each player. Here’s the list:

D. Rose
Deron Williams
Steph Curry

All great players. Not all of them allstars, but solid players none the less.

First look at what Lin is averaging over the entire season:

14.6pts/4.2ast/1.4stl/2.7reb/3.4to with 75% from the line and 49% from the field. Those are pretty good numbers for a guy who barely played in the first month and a half of the season. But if you completely exclude December and January, Lin’s numbers rival some of the best players in the NBA.

One of the biggest knocks on Lin has been his turnovers. In his starts, Lin is averaging 5.2 turnovers pergame, the highest of all compared players – but not by far. Russell Westbrook is averaing 4.9 pergame  while Nash (to whom most compare Lin’s game) is averaging 4.9. everyone knocks on Lin for turnovers, but his numbers state that even though he does have the games with seven or eight turnovers – he really is comparable to the other players.

Or how about assists. Of the PGs on the list, Lin is averaging more assists than all but Steve Nash. His 8.5 assists per game his even higher than Rose and DWill’s numbers for the entire season! Pretty amazing for an undrafted, cut kid from Harvard, if you ask me.

Now the point I’m trying to make is not that I want to have Jeremy Lin over a player like Westbrook or DWill. If given the opportunity to give Lin up for the other, I’d do so in a heart beat. But what I’m saying instead is: New Yorkers finally have true reason to believe again. Although Amar’e and Melo are big names, lets be honest, the year since the Melo trade has been a class in how bringing stars together doesn’t necessarily mean a winning team. Finally, New York basketball has the cohesion it needed to bring the two togther. To tie Melo’s iso game with Amar’e’s pick and roll. The D’Antoni system is centered on the point guard, and finally, the knicks have a true, past-first point guard who, I believe, can help them to finally get their first playoff win since 1999.”

Derek Swisher: I figure we showcase these thoughts and analysis just to showcase how New York Knick fans are the most entertaining enthusiasts we have in the basketball world. Whether thats a positive or negative I don’t really know. I’m anti-Linsanity personally, but that still doesn’t blind me front the fact that having Big Apple basketball back in primetime is absolutely necessary for the league, its looking like we are going into another golden era.

And the best part of this post is that our man @WeatherMatts will probably have no problem writing a extreme hate letter in May if they take a first round exit, with no remorse and no memory of all this praise he’s just given. Thats New York for you though, enjoy the hoops on this Sunday, make your girl cook and nurse those hangovers.


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