Tag Archives: raymond felton

Jeremy Lin and Hindsight

With Jeremy Lin putting up video game numbers of late… and set to face the Knicks tonight… his electric tenure at Madison Square Garden and subsequent controversial departure have been big topics of discussion.

I might as well chime in, right? Right. And I have too much to say to put this on Twitter… it’d take about 43 tweets.

So here’s my take:

On Lin as a Player

  1. Lin is a nice player. He’s a talented scorer, and he can create opportunities for teammates. But his game has significant holes… he’s a terrible defender, and he turns the ball over far too much.
  2. His jump shot – long considered a hole in his game – seems to have improved significantly.
  3. I don’t think you want him to be your primary ball-handler, because of the turnover issues. And I don’t think he makes a ton of sense in a backcourt with James Harden, because he has the same weaknesses in the turnover and defense departments. (Note that Lin’s strongest play this week came with Harden sidelined.)
  4. Ideally, I think you use Lin as a sixth man, or in a two point guard backcourt paired with a “three-and-D” guy (Mario Chalmers?) or a pass-first floor general type.

Which brings us to…

On Lin’s Exit from MSG

  1. I think the Knicks intended to re-sign Lin. I think they intended to develop him as a player with Jason Kidd serving as mentor and sometime backcourt partner.
  2. I think they badly mis-read the marketplace and were caught totally flat-footed by Houston’s “poison pill” contract offer. Once that happened, they had no choice but to let Lin walk.
  3. Ultimately, the Knicks deserve the criticism they’re still receiving for losing a valuable asset and getting nothing in return. But given the sequence of events, I’m not sure that was ever possible.
  4. Who engineered that poison pill contract? That might be the most interesting question – but I’m not sure we’ll ever know. Was it Daryl Morey alone, reacting to the Knicks’ public statements about their intention to re-sign Lin? Were Lin and his representatives involved? Did Lin want to get out of New York and out of Carmelo Anthony’s shadow? I doubt we’ll ever know… unless and until one of the parties involved writes a tell-all book. (Hey Jeremy… if you need a ghostwriter, give me a shout.)

What if Lin Was a Still a Knick?

Would Lin fit on today’s Knick roster? Absolutely. As I said earlier, I believe Lin’s ideal role would be in a double-PG backcourt. As you may have heard, the Knicks run a lineup like that on a fairly regular basis.

Obviously, the roster might look a lot different if the Knicks had re-signed Lin, but for the sake of this hypothetical, let’s assume that they brought Felton back and signed Prigioni even after making a deal with Lin. Maybe Lin and Felton would be tonight’s starting backcourt… and maybe Knicks Twitter would be begging Mike Woodson to use Lin with Prigs more often. (Actually, that second part seems like a given.)


Waiver Wire: The Curse of Expectations

Woodson has stubbornly insisted on playing a more traditional lineup this season, with Chandler at center, Bargnani at power forward, Anthony at the three and Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert in the backcourt. Last season, the Knicks were much more successful playing a small lineup, with Anthony at the four and two point guards – Felton and Pablo Prigioni or Jason Kidd – in the backcourt. Chandler’s injury will force the Knicks to go small more often, which will mean more minutes for Prigoni (1% owned) and Beno Udrih (1% owned). We could also see more all-around production from Iman Shumpert, (24%) owned who will have to play like a poor man’s Andre Iguodala for the Knicks to get through this stretch at anything approaching a .500 record.

via Waiver Wire: The Curse of Expectations.

Iman Shumpert is Not a Forward

My man Jared Dubin (@jadubin5, to basketball Twitter) wrote this article a while back for my site on About.com.

It is still relevant today… but for different reasons.

Iman Shumpert is a shooting guard.

He may not be one right now due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding the Knicks and their lack of a true point guard, but that’s where he should spend the majority of his career. It’s better that we — and more importantly, the Knicks — recognize this now and proceed accordingly, because wasting precious minutes of his career playing out of position any more than he already has will harm and stunt his development.

via New York Knicks – Iman Shumpert is Not a Point Guard.

I’m not a doctor or an athletic trainer or even a basketball coach. I don’t know why Shump – and by extension, the Knicks – have been struggling of late. But to make an educated guess, I don’t think the three-guard lineups Mike Woodson has been using of late are helping matters. The Felton/Kidd/Shumpert grouping means:

  1. Someone is guarding a much bigger player. (Felton on Rudy Gay? Really? On purpose?)
  2. Shumpert is playing out of position on the offensive end. (Is he really the guy we want setting up for a corner three?)
  3. And Jason Kidd is playing too much.

Not sure how to fix this… maybe shake the rust off of Ronnie Brewer and use him at the three more often. Or put Stoudemire back in the starting five and play Anthony at back at the three to start games. Or start Shump at the two and bring Kidd off the bench with JR Smith.