Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The End of Linsanity...

It was nice while it lasted. Even I got a bit excited about the whole thing. The Knicks were 8-1 while Jeremy Lin blasted out of the blocks to become the most heralded nobody the NBA has ever seen. His stats during this stretch were a sight to behold, and it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony himself was the one pushing for coach Mike D'Antoni to give Lin a chance in the starting lineup.

New York was abuzz with "Linsanity Fever", and you can't blame them. The last time Spike Lee cheered so hard for an Asian was when his local takeout Chinese restaurant delivered to his house during a snowstorm. Well, the fever has broken, and the patient has been put back on life support. The Knicks aren't really dead, they're just not alive. They are back to their normal state of rigor mortis, trapped in that familiar and overpriced mausoleum called Madison Square Garden.

Everyone was wondering what the dynamic would be when Anthony came back after suffering a groin injury (code for "I didn't stay in shape during the off-season, and if I bend over to tie my sneakers I may pull a muscle"). They are 2-8 since Melo came back and recently went on one of the most disastrous road trips since the Donner Party. They lost all their games during this stretch, even getting cracked by none other than the Midwest powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks, who've been playing without center Andrew Bogut all year due to injury.

And if that's not bad enough, we have J.R. Smith tweeting a photo of his hoochie girlfriend's fat culo for the world to see under the description "World's Fattest Ass". This is the Knicks' one saving grace, that as bad as things have gotten on the court, Smith will guarantee it will be worse off it. For what it's worth, the incident was pure comedy gold, and a pleasant distraction from the real issues hounding this franchise. Note to Smith-any woman who takes pride in having her posterior exposed in a thong on the internet probably isn't a keeper. Just sayin'.

Amar'e Stoudemire has been in a season-long funk that no one can put their finger on. Melo suddenly lost the aggressiveness and athleticism he had in Denver and has averaged season lows in points and rebounds all year. They were both recently benched for the entire fourth quarter of a game, giving rise to conspiracy theories of dissension and frustration between players and coach D'Antoni.

I don't understand what point D'Antoni was attempting to make with this move, but all it's going to do is get him fired. He's basically saying "I can neither coach nor motivate our two most talented and highest paid players, so I'll sit them down to teach them a lesson". But enough about their collective shortcomings. Let's get back to Jeremy Lin.

This is how homeboy has been ripped to shreds lately by the elite point guards in the league-

-Against the Nets, Deron Williams scorched him for 38 points.
-Against the Celtics, Lin got his monkey ass Chernobyled on national television by Rajon Rondo with an astounding all-time line of 18 points, 20 assists and 17 fucking rebounds. After that blast, Boston Police had to evacuate a 10-mile perimeter around the arena from the radiation that seeped into the atmosphere.
-Against the Spurs, Tony Parker horsed him like Secretariat for 32 points and was blowing by him like a circus freak getting shot out of a canon.

Lin's stats have come down to Earth after his red-hot start. The issue is New York is so starving for a winner they couldn't help behave like looters during a blackout when Lin was doing well. He's an OK player, just not the transcendent star New York's been craving for over the last 40 some-odd years. Then again, neither is Anthony or Stoudemire.

The closest they've had to a true superstar in recent memory is Patrick Ewing, but let's face it-he had his limitations. Number 1, he was a big man, and unless you have an outsized personality to go along with the height, people just aren't going to embrace you all that hard. Second, he never won a championship. Third, he had an unfortunate jaw line that was never going to see him land on the cover of GQ magazine.

So we are back to a sub-par, below .500 winning percentage team that gives up on defense and looks lost on offense. For some reason, players always seem to lose their spark when they come to New York. The explosiveness, the hops, the quickness-it seems to disappear. I know why. New York City has too many distractions, too many parties, and way too many hookers masquerading as groupies for most athletes to focus exclusively on their game. Who can say no to all that?

By the time a brother gets through even half the pussy that gets thrown his way in the Big Apple, what does he have left in the tank to play ball? Especially when his contract is guaranteed? Where's the incentive? And since they aren't going to fire any of the players, say goodbye to coach Mike D'Antoni, who never got a grip of this team and left his best work back in Phoenix with Steve Nash.

As for Lin, the Tim Tebow comparisons are appropriate. Yes, it's true that Jeremy Lin did invoke the hand of the Lord in his sudden rise, but as we all know, the good Lord giveth, and the good Lord taketh away. I want to give him a bit more time to figure it all out, but would not be surprised if all Lin turns out to be is an over-matched point guard with limited athleticism, unable to stop or even contain the elite point guards in the league.

Divine Intervention, the last bastion of the clueless-
He can't go left and does not understand the pick-and-roll well enough to execute it while under intense defensive pressure. His weaknesses became obvious when the Knicks faced the Miami Heat when the initial honeymoon phase was at a fever pitch. That was the night Linsanity died, and exposed him as an over-hyped rec league overachiever who finally played against some stiff competition and got clobbered because he sucks, like many around the league knew all along.

*Breaking News-Mike D'Antoni resigns by "mutual agreement" as Knicks coach. He is outta here. Let the losing and mediocrity continue.

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