The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a defeat at the tail-end of a back-to-back against the New York Knick.
The main culprit? Big Apple's latest hoop darling: #17 Jeremy Lin.
Lin scored a career-high 38 points and dished out 7 assists to lead the Knicks to the their fourth straight win and hand the Lakers their third loss in four games. In the four Knick wins, Lin started at point guard.
I think Lin is skilled and has NBA-level talent, to call him as Basketball's Next Big Thing? I'm not so sure about that. I have four reasons to be skeptical about "Linsanity":
- Point guards have been the Lakers' weakness - In the last 15 years, point guards have made careers by abusing the Lakers and this season is no different. The current Lakers roster is not constructed to bottle up slashing point guards. I'll join the "Linsanity" after Lin goes up against Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and Tony Parker and lights them up.
- Too small a sample - Lin belongs to the NBA for sure, I don't doubt that. But what I'm skeptical about is how people are crowning him as New York hoops' messiah. People are jumping the gun the praise because the Knicks desperately needs a distraction from its sub-.500 winning record.
- Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are still inactive - One of the key reasons Lin got so many shot attempts (18.5 per game since he started) is because two of the Knicks starters were out of commission. The pair take up about 40% of the team's shot attempts and 50% of the team's free throw attempts. Once the duo comes back into action, I see Lin's attempts going back to earthly portions.
- D'Antoni needs to keep his job - Prior to the winning streak, the Knicks were spiraling into the NBA Draft lottery and the Madison Square Garden faithful were asking for the axing of coach Mike D'Antoni. But then two things happened: D'Antoni shuffled his line-up and the Knicks began to win. Had the Knicks kept losing despite Lin in the line-up, all this hoopla wouldn't be happening.
I'm not dissing Lin, I just think he's not proven yet. But one thing's for sure, people have taken notice, including the Lakers' Kobe Bryant.
In the post game interview after the loss to the Knicks, Bryant said, "Enjoy it, they'll receive judgment next season."