Plenty of “Linphomaniacs” are running their mouths these days, calling the Warriors stupid for letting Jeremy Lin go. He was a fan favorite, and the Warriors let him go without giving him a fair shot.
Now, he’s a dominant player, with three straight wins over the Utah Jazz, New Jersey Nets and Washington Wizards … BY HIMSELF!!!
It’s an unbelievable scenario turned plausible, for several reasons:
1. Lin is a confident yet desperate player (you would be too if you were released by two teams in the past few months) who dominates the ball, and the Knicks’ resident ball-dominators (Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire) are currently
2. Lin’s clearly comfortable in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
3. The NBA is totally weird this year. So many games, so little time. Omar Samhan could probably come in and score 20 ppg for a week this season.
4. The Jazz are incredibly bad on the road (ask the Warriors). The Nets are just … bad. The Wizards aren’t bad. They’re historically awful.
5. Teams aren’t gearing up to stop Lin … yet.
Joe Lacob was a huge defender of the Lin signing last year, which was seen by many as a marketing ploy. That view looks ever-cynical now; Lin clearly has what it takes to keep an NBA roster spot. However, Lin’s talents (intelligence, fearlessness when taking it to the rack) aren’t exactly ones that teams value highly — otherwise the Warriors wouldn’t have kept two second-rounders over him, and the Rockets wouldn’t have let him walk either.
After Golden State released Lin and amnestied Charlie Bell in hopes of signing DeAndre Jordan, they were left with negligible backcourt depth (Ish Smith, anyone?) and were forced to add Nate Robinson — since Charles Jenkins is still pretty much anonymous. Robinson’s had his moments, but Lin’s walking across the Hudson as you read this.
The Warriors have the Knicks’ former combo guard who used to light up the crowd at MSG; now Lin’s going to elicit louder cheers than he ever did at Oracle, which is saying something.
The question now: is Lacob pissed, or is he PISSED?
Okay, one more question: who was the one who decided Lin was expendable? Lacob seems to be the one making the decisions, so it was probably he who decided he could do without Palo Alto’s hero.
But what if it was Larry Riley who kept pushing and pushing and pushing to let Lin go and work on finding “known products” with “track records” to stick in Lin’s place? If Bob Myers is handling the GM gig by himself later this week, we’ll know Riley was on the unfortunate end of the “WEEK … OF … LIN.”
Is “Linsanity” a permanent condition?
All I’ve seen are highlights of these three games, so I have no idea. The highlights look good, I’ll give him that. Perhaps Lin’s truly figured out the NBA game and he’ll average 18 ppg and 8 apg for the next few years … nah. He’s a bench player who loves to shoot who just happens to be on fire. Did you see that bank shot he made against the Wizards on Wednesday night? Lin’s feeling it, and good for him. It doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to keep this going when the Knicks’ “stars” come back.
Even if Lin goes back to bench-riding by next Wednesday, this still adds insult to injury for Lacob and the Warriors. Just a few days ago, people only ripped Golden State’s off-season because they could’ve either held onto the amnesty provision or used it on Andris Biedrins (who went almost stat-less in over 13 minutes on Tuesday night, save for 1 steal and 5 personal fouls). Now that last season’s crowd favorite has become a full-fledged celeb in NYC, Warriors fans have another thing to complain about. The list grows…