Tags Posts tagged with "knicks"

knicks

0 3264
Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin's rise to prominence at NYC's Madison Square Garden was awe inspiring.

Top 10 Reasons Jeremy Lin is dominating:

First of all, it’s nice to see Spike Lee happy again after the disappointing Knicks struggled year after year.  Who would have ever guessed that a young asian american point guard would be the catalyst to help begin the turnaround.  Jeremy Lin is making Spike Lee happy and Lin is making a lot of basketball people and non-basketball people happy.  Here are a few reasons for his success.

10.  Defensive Play:  Frank Hamblen (One of Phil Jackson’s top assistant coaches) used to always say that if the other team finds a weak link they will pick at you “like a scab.”  Not only is Jeremy Lin a good defender, he is averaging 1.8 steals per game in the past six games.  If Lin’s overall stats only included the games where’s he’s received high minutes, Jeremy Lin would likely be in the top ten players in the league in steals alongside names like Wade, Chris Paul, and Ricky Rubio. Jeremy Lin easily holds his own on man to man defense.   He helps his teammates out a lot by playing the passing lanes and coming up with steals. Nobody is able to pick at Lin (like a scab) because he plays good defense.  Lin’s on-the-ball defense still has plenty of room for growth, but his off ball defense as evidenced by his ability to steal passes and strip players is very strong.

9. System and Minutes: Two factors that have played a role are playing time and touching the ball.  Lin is averaging almost 40 minutes a game which allows any player to find a rhythm and keep it for most of the game.  If Lin misses shots early in the game he has the confidence to know that Coach D’Antoni is going to keep him in there.  But the second factor is D’Antoni’s system itself.  Under this offensive system, Coach D asks the point guard to find the balance between scoring and setting up your teammates.  So far Lin seems to have found the perfect equilibrium in part due to the knowledge of the offense that Lin clearly has.  But the reality is also that the point guard is going to be doing the vast majority of ball handling and decision making under the typical D’Antoni system.  That helps put Lin into a rhythm from which he can build each game.

8. Athleticism: How many point guards can say they dunked down the middle of the lane in Madison Square Garden.  Not only does Lin dunk the basketball on this particular play, but he dunks the ball with authority as he drives into the lane with a purpose.  There are plenty of point guards in the NBA who won’t or can’t attack the rim with the attack mentality that Lin shows here. Jeremy Lin is a very athletic even within the NBA ranks.  And it’s nice to see the NBA’s first American of Taiwanese or Chinese origin go down the lane in MSG and throw down a dunk with authority.

7. Pick and Roll:  Lin has excellent vision in finding big men like Amare and Tyson Chandleer on all different angles of the pick and roll.  At the same time, his vision and understanding of angles allows him to pass to 3 pt. snipers like Steve Novak.  Mike D’Antoni’s offense is predicated on the pick and roll and requires a point guard who can make split second decisions which Lin does very well.  If you are a big man playing on the same team as Jeremy Lin, you are going to be licking your fingers because you know that Lin is going to get you open layups and dunks inside if you are ready to catch passes.  After the win at Toronto Amare Stoudamire talked about Lin and his “poise.”  Amare has seen poise before with two time MVP point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix. At the same time players like Steve Novak are happy because Lin is making everyone else better on the team and Novak is one of the beneficiaries of this also. When Jeremy Lin comes off the pick and roll it looks natural, fluid, and that something positive is going to happen for the Knicks. [content_ads float=”left”]

6. Confidence, Emotion, and Aggressiveness: When I was going through the pre-draft workout process one of the Chicago scouts commented that he liked to see players with a little bit of emotion.  Players like Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls) feed on energy and sometimes that energy transfers to teammates, fans, and coaches.  Jeremy Lin is not only showing us his passion for the game, but his aggressiveness and confidence continue to shine through.  After Lin had his first breakout game, (10 made shots on 19 attempts) everyone was curious to see what would happen in the very next game.   Lin came out again and was 10 for 17.  What that says is that Lin is not afraid of success.  He’s not the type of player to have one good game and then get scared. Lin is hungry to push himself and his teammates to the next level.  Lin’s not afraid to show some emotion.  He’s got the swagger that makes any opponent wonder to themselves, “That basket must look like the size of the ocean for this kid.”

0 455
Troy Hudson, New York City, Knicks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nate Robinson, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Basketball
Our preparation for such an early game was a little bit unique. Whereas normally we go to the arena in the morning, have shoot around and then have a few hours to think about the game, this morning was different. Photo: shutterstock.com

We just beat the Knicks here in New York City and now I’m back in the hotel room unwinding from the emotional contest. I really thought that Troy Hudson played a great game this afternoon. His three-pointer from deep behind the arc with just a few seconds left was an unbelievable make! It was a shot that shows just how much confidence Troy has in his game and his courage to take such a big shot. New York’s Nate Robinson, who is about 5’7” and one of my favorite players to watch, played a great game today as well.

It was a little bit strange to play at 1:00 in the afternoon. However, it was an honor to play on a holiday set aside for reflection on the life and example set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sometimes I wish I had been around when he was alive, so that I could have met the man who brought about so much good in this country and in the world.

Our preparation for such an early game was a little bit unique. Whereas normally we go to the arena in the morning, have shoot around and then have a few hours to think about the game, this morning was different. We woke up and went straight to a breakfast meeting, where we watched some film and ate. Then we went over to a ballroom in our hotel where our staff had taken white athletic tape and created a simulated three point arc, free throw line and painted area/key. We did a walk through in our street clothes on an imaginary court in the hotel ballroom.

The points that Dwane Casey emphasized were to limit their offensive rebounding and to get back on defense. I am very proud of Rashad McCants these days. Not only is Rashad playing at a high level offensively, but also he has really picked up his defense. He hit two huge threes today in the first half. Earlier this week I told Rashad that I write a weekly diary and he let me interview him. Here are just a few things that he said.

Q. What is the biggest surprise you’ve encountered thus far in the NBA?
A. Playing games on back-to-back nights. You really have to work at preparing your body for the energy you are going to need. It’s really important to eat well and get your rest.
Q. What is your mindset when you go onto the court?
A. Win by any means necessary.
Q. Describe your relationship with Kevin Garnett.
A. I’m like his little brother and he’s my mentor. He is the vet who is passing down what he learned from others on to me. It’s kind of like passing the torch to the next generation of players. I am thankful that he has taken me under his wing like that.
Q. What was it like winning a national championship at North Carolina?
A. It was a big-time accomplishment with a lot of hard work put into it by an entire team and coaching staff. It was pretty gratifying in the end to know that you were part of something special.
Q. Do you have siblings? Are they athletes?
A. I have a younger sister (Rashanda) who is playing basketball at UNC right now.
Q. What do you do on your days off?
A. Much like I do when we’re on the road, I try to rest and eat well. I also like to play video games and shoot pool.
Q. What sort of charity or community service work interests you?
A. I enjoy talking to young kids about staying in school and doing the right thing.
Q. Where do you get your confidence in yourself?
A. I found that at a young age I wanted to make my parents proud. I knew the only way to do that was to drive myself. There were going to be roadblocks. I knew that I had to push harder and harder. I’ve lived by myself for six years now and I have had to grow up and make my own decisions. I went to prep school for two years, then Chapel Hill for three and now this year in the Twin Cities.

Have a great week.