By: Martin Rand, III
Date: February 12, 2012

This has been a crazy month for the New York Knicks (13-15). After looking like their season was just about over, with multiple injuries to star players Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire while already being almost ten games under .500, a nobody from off the bench breathed new life into the team.

“Linsanity” is sweeping across New York City thanks to Jeremy Lin getting the Knicks in playoff contention, but is the celebration premature.

Well, that nobody has a name now, and it’s Mr. Lin. Jeremy Lin.

Lin, who was just days away from being released by the Knicks before his breakout game versus the New Jersey Nets (8-21), has led this largely under-performing team back from the depths of the league and has them in playoff position. In five straight wins, Lin is averaging 26 points while shooting over 50%, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He is the first Knick to put up numbers like this in a five game stretch since Stephon Marbury in the 2004-05 season.

Add in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers (15-12) where Lin out-dueled “The Black Mamba” Kobe Bryant, and Lin has his teammates, coaches, Knick fans and the whole city of New York excited for what seems to be wild ride to the end of the season.

However, I can’t pretend, like most fans, that the Knicks are completely rid of their problems.

One major problem is the play of Anthony and Stoudamire. I know the lockout this off-season cut into some practice time for these two to learn how to play together; but a lot of the times this season, it looks as though they have never worked on that aspect at all. Their offense consists of one pass to either two and the rest of the team standing around waiting for them to create some type of shot.

Of course, with Lin running the point now, that could change; but my best guess is that Lin will defer a lot to the two superstars because they’re superstars and he’s only had five good games.

Speaking of those five games, they weren’t against the best in the league. Their only game against a playoff team was against the Lakers; but, I can’t call them one of the best teams because their defense and offense (which reminds of the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-16) two years ago when a certain king use to rule) seems to be in a flux right now. No player, outside from Bryant, seems to know what they’re doing on the court.

Until I see how well Lin performs against a defense like the Chicago Bulls (23-6) or Miami Heat (20-7), I can’t be sure that he is the answer long term.

Also, lets not forget one thing, Lin is from Harvard University. Harvard athletes historically don’t pan out well at the professional level.

Remember Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick last season in the NFL? He and the Bills got off to a fast start to begin the year. They started 5-2, beat the divisional powerhouse New England Patriots and some were mentioning Fitzpatrick in the MVP discussion. Ftizpatrick even got himself a long-term deal with the team worth around $35 million. Then, after beginning so well, the Bills lost their next seven games, finished the season 6-10, and missed the playoffs.

So, I ask you, should we really give Lin the key to the greatest city in the world after only five games and act like everything is fixed with the Knicks?

Just think about it, how many Harvard grads do you know have had an impact on the NBA? Can’t think of any? That’s because there are none. Only two other players (Ed Smith and Saul Mariaschin) have come from Harvard and to play in the NBA, and they didn’t last very long. So, I can’t believe that five games from Lin has cemented his place in the league.

I’m extremely happy to see the Knicks winning games and finally playing with some enthusiasm. However, they should’ve had that spark coming into the season, with the main charge being Anthony and Stoudamire. Those two have to get healthy quick, so they can get some quality practice time in; and the Knicks coaching schemes, role-players play and chemistry have to improve drastically before I can say Knicks are Lin-credible.

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Is Jeremy Lin a long-term option at point guard for the New York Knicks?
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