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NY Knicks: Why Raymond Felton Will Never Fill Jeremy Lin's Shoes

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2012

Apr 6, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Raymond Felton (5) looks to pass the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Trailblazers defeated the Mavericks 99-97 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Jeremy Lin's long-term productivity is questionable, but we've already seen Raymond Felton's future. It isn't bright, and that won't change with the New York Knicks.

Felton's been in the NBA for seven years. He did very well in his one season as a Knick player, but he's never come close to his career-high numbers in 2010 when he played 54 games in New York. He averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game as a successful facilitator in Mike D'Antoni's offense.

He wasn't the same player in 2011. In 60 games (56 as a starter) with Portland, Felton averaged just over 11 points per game, 6.5 assists and 2.8 turnovers. The turnovers were down from 2010, but his assist numbers fell more drastically.

Felton won't be able to fill Lin's shoes for two reasons. Let's take a look at each of those more closely.

No More D'Antoni

Felton thrived in D'Antoni's frenetic offense. He plays better at a faster pace, and he's barely a threat on the defensive end. D'Antoni's system was a match made in heaven.

Mike Woodson doesn't play that same style. No one in the NBA does. Felton hasn't found a better fit anywhere else, and that's the primary reason why.

New York fans will be hoping to see the Felton they saw in 2010. With D'Antoni no longer there, the results won't be the same. He would be a solid backup option, but Felton simply isn't starting point guard material.

Not in this pressure-cooked city, and not for a team hoping to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Linsanity

There's no way Felton will replace Lin in terms of marketing and hype. He's a typical "stop-gap" option and doesn't have any upside to speak of at this point.

Like I said before, Lin's upside may wind up being minimal. He could flounder in Houston, and Felton's play could be a moot point, but at least his ceiling has some mystery to it. Felton's a finished product, and that's not a good thing.

New York fans enjoyed the unexpected when it came to Lin. With Felton they already know what's coming.

Sadly there isn't much, and Madison Square Garden fans will be left pining for Lin's presence.

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