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NBA: How Long Can Linsanity Last?

by Al Dannity on February 16, 2012

in NBA Basketball

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He scored 38 points on the Lakers, he dropped 10 dimes against the Wizards, and last night he nailed a game-winning 3-pointer against the Raptors. It’s been an amazing 10 days for Jeremy Lin but how long can this dream continue? Al Dannity enters the frenzied world of Linsanity.

A perfect fit
The easy narrative surrounding Jeremy Lin’s rise to prominence has been about a star who came out of nowhere. Savvy NBA betting fans knew about him from his Harvard days, when Lin led the Crimson to a huge upset over Boston College. Having gone undrafted, he had a brief but memorable stint with the Warriors. Lin hadn’t quite made the breakthrough to national attention. For all his work-rate, Lin simply didn’t look up to being a starter at this level.

Then he ended up in New York, where Mike D’Antoni had the right offense and an injury crisis. Linsanity took exactly two games to become a national sensation. On the morning of February 4 he was a first time starter. By the evening of February 6 he was the most popular man in the NBA. Lin’s play at the point is perfectly suited to D’Antoni’s up-tempo style and he’s led the Knicks to 6 straight wins.

About those turnovers
The success of Lin has come in spite of one massive concern, particularly for a point guard. Lin has given up 31 turnovers in his 6 starts, including 8 last night. Against a largely non-playoff caliber slate the Knicks can survive with such miss-steps. The Lakers are the only team Lin has faced that’s like to make the post-season. Once the tough games start piling up, we’ll see if Lin can show better ball security.

There’s also the matter of where Lin fits in once Carmelo Anthony comes back. Lin is going to be relied on to be much more of a creator once Melo returns, meaning his 26.8 point scoring average is likely to drop considerably.

All he does is Lin
Yet despite those major concerns, it’s really hard to argue with a guy when he goes out and does this:
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The crowd erupted for Lin at a road game. Admittedly many of those fans were likely transplanted Knicks’ fans but it still adds to Lin’s incredible story. We are witnessing an undrafted Asian-American, who went to Harvard, and sleeps on his brother’s couch tearing up the NBA. The Knicks will be favored in their next two games, against the Kings and the Hornets. Then come the big tests. The Mavs come to Madison Square Garden for a nationally televised game on Sunday. The Hawks come to town on February 22 and then the Knicks travel to Miami a night later. Lin has come big once against top-tier opposition. Soon it will be time to see if he can keep up the magic night after night. For now, let’s just enjoy the ride.

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