Jeremy Lin's 15 minutes of fame in the Big Apple will soon be over
Jeremy Lin mania has taken over the New York Knicks franchise, as well as the rest of the city, even in light of the Giants' Superbowl victory Sunday. The entire country has seemed to jump on the bandwagon, with praise coming from all over the globe.
However, much like the city he is currently playing in, success and adoration from fans around the country can be very short-lived. The Harvard educated point guard took the NBA by storm over the past few games for the Knicks, logging serious minutes and producing amazingly efficient statistics in the process.
In his first career start for New York, a 99-88 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday, he provided a scoring punch by scoring 28 points on 10-17 shooting from the field. He also handed out eight assists, running the offense with aplomb.
Since then, his name has caught fire in the NBA world. In the Big Apple though, his 15 minutes of fame will soon flicker and fade, and he will once again be a professional basketball nomad, struggling to stay afloat on an NBA roster.
It's no secret that the New York Knicks were desperate for a point guard when they yanked him from the end of the bench and thrust him into the rotation last week.
With a lack of a true lead guard right now, compounded by Amar'e Stoudemire's absence from the team to mourn the loss of his brother, as well as the groin injury to Carmelo Anthony during the Jazz game, the stage was set for him to shine. He was a desperation option who needed to score and play extended minutes in order for his team to succeed.
However, once New York's two biggest stars both return to action in the next few weeks, and Jeremy Lin's amazing hot streak begins to cool down, the Knicks cupboard won't be so empty with players who can score.
Jeremy Lin's 28 point outburst against the Utah Jazz is definitely something worth celebrating for not only himself, but Knicks' fans as well.
However, look a little closer, and you will see why he was put into a position to drop so many buckets in that game. Amar'e Stoudemire's absence left a scoring void to begin with. Then, when Carmelo Anthony left the game in the first quarter due an injury to his groin, New York was scrambling the find someone to put points on the scoreboard.
Backcourt mates Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert, Bill Walker and Steve Novak aren't known for their scoring exploits, so by default, the task was given to Jeremy Lin, who was on the floor for 45 minutes of action.
When both of the Knicks' frontcourt stars return to action, the backcourt won't be seeing nearly as many opportunities to score, and Jeremy Lin's value will go down in the process.
When Jeremy Lin hung 25 and 28 point nights against the New Jersey Nets and the Utah Jazz, respectively, it's safe to say that he wasn't the focal point of their scouting reports.
However, with all of the hoopla now surrounding the 6'3" point guard, NBA defenses won't be letting the NBA's first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent make them his next victim.
His offensive game will be studied by Eastern Conference standout point guard stars Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, etc., who all are capable of easily handling Lin's offensive package. Look for his numbers to drastically decline now that he is being targeted as a scoring threat for New York.
The NBA game is filled with some of the best athletes in the world. Many of the game's star point guards are not only blessed with an uncanny ability to see the court and their teammates, but a lot are also outstanding run-and-jump athletes who do significant damage with their natural athletic ability.
Jeremy Lin doesn't possess the same athleticism as many of his point guard counterparts. Now I'm not saying that it's not possible to be a standout lead guard in the NBA without explosive athleticism, but it certainly helps.
His game will peak once defenses figure out how to put a stop to his scoring and playmaking skills, which will happen very shortly. He will be given fits by defenders who will refuse to let him drive the lane in order to make his now trademark crafty passes or to even to get shots off against them.
Before Jeremy Lin came along, all the buzz in the Big Apple was focused on the emergence of Iman Shumpert at the point guard position.
While his name has been shoved aside in the pandemonium regarding Jeremy Lin, he will soon enough resurface as an option in their quest for a point guard of the future.
He has ideal size for the position at 6'5", while displaying athleticism that makes him one of the most explosive players in the NBA today. He's getting significant minutes for the team right now, and he's producing solid scoring, rebounding and assist numbers, while also being a force as a defender. He is currently averaging 9.9 points, 3.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
While he isn't ready to assume full-time point guard duties right now, by next season, with the proper offseason instruction and training, he can easily become the Knicks' point guard of the future.