New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had a run-and-gun system in Phoenix known as "seven seconds or less," and he is going to have to implement a seven-turnover-or-less rule for Jeremy Lin—at least for one half!
Against the New Orleans Hornets, Lin had eight turnovers in the first half, leaving him dangling precipitously close to an awkward double-double. The Knicks also lost to the normally hapless Hornets 89-85.
Yes, Lin had another 20-plus point night (26 in total) and threw in five assists, but when do we start to discount every effective dish that Lin subsequently negates with a wild toss or a misplaced dribble?
Until now, Lin’s turnover propensity was dismissed as the product of a newbie running a system he is just learning. People pointed to all the minutes he has been logging on legs that a couple of weeks ago only got an occasional flex when he stood up from the bench.
Enough is enough. Lin needs to start protecting the ball or Linsanity is going to plummet and drag the Knick season along for the nosedive.
Here is a good sign: Lin followed the woefully wild display with just one turnover in the second half.
He also made a key steal, knocked down big jumpers and drove to the hoop with reckless abandon, finishing his free throws in crunch time.
That story is now old.
The Knicks lost. This is relatively new.
For the Knicks to regain their momentum and go on another winning streak, Jeremy Lin has to protect the ball for entire games, and not only in spurts.
It may seem harsh to criticize a guy who just dropped 26 in a losing effort, but Lin has proven himself more than an underdog of hopeful praise. He is a top point guard that deserves careful criticism.
Lin can take that as a compliment.