Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘Linsanity’ will not last

By Taylor C. Snow

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Courtesy of WBLK Radio

Two weeks ago, Jeremy Lin was a no-name bench player for the New York Knicks. Two weeks is all it took for the so-called “Linsanity” to become an international phenomenon.

After starting off the season with a 8-15 record, the Knicks needed a spark to get on track. With Carmelo Anthony injuring his groin and Amare Stoudemire missing time due to his brother’s death, it looked like the Knicks were hopeless.

Who knew it would be the unlikely undrafted player out of Harvard, Lin, who would be the spark? After a 25 point performance in his previous game, Lin made his first NBA career start, gathering 28 points and eight assists, leading the Knicks to win. Lin proceeded to score 20-plus points in his next four starts, including 38 points over the Lakers.

He is having one of the best starts in NBA history, averaging 24 points and 9.5 assists through his first six starts. The rags to riches story has allowed Lin to become a star to New Yorkers, and has left his brother’s couch for a Trump Towers suite.

Don’t expect this to last.

I can appreciate what Lin has done over the past half-dozen games for the Knicks, but the amount of praise is too much. He has been the most talked about person in the country this past week, was a feature story on CNN, and rarely left the front page of ESPN.com.

In one ESPN poll, asking “which NBA player would you be most interested to see play in person,” he appeared alongside superstars such as Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and LeBron James, falling in the middle of the pack in percentage votes. He also appeared in a poll asking fans who is the best point guard in the NBA.

This is when I realized it was ‘Tebowmania’ all over again. Tell me why a man who has made six NBA starts should be placed in the same categories as the superstars of the NBA. Some may not be willing to admit that Lin also has some great weaknesses that will hurt him in the NBA.

For one, he turns the ball over at a high rate. Through his first six starts, he averaged six turnovers per game. Only three players in the NBA are averaging even four per game. He may be a good passer, but he sometimes tries to do too much, causing him to play over his head and turn the ball over.

Also, he does not have a strong jump-shot. He may have hit a game-winning three-pointer, but don’t expect much of that in the future. Lin’s poor form and late release is an issue in his game, so expect him to be forced to take outside shots.

He is not nearly as athletically gifted as most NBA players. He may have quickness, but he lacks speed and jumping ability, two factors which probably explain his undrafted status.

Along with those reasons, Amare is back in the lineup, and Carmelo will be returning soon. These two superstars will be demanding the ball as usual, so Lin’s 20-point games are numbered.

Lin won’t completely leave the limelight with the return of the Knicks’ stars, but expect nothing more than an average of 15 points and seven assists per-game.

“Linsanity” is a great addition to the Knicks franchise, but he is no superstar and certainly should not be mentioned amongst the true stars of the NBA.

Taylor Snow can be reached at [email protected]

7 Comments

7 Responses to “‘Linsanity’ will not last”

  1. Taylor Snow on February 22nd, 2012 1:35 am

    Just for the record, I wrote this a week ago, in the midst of Linsanity. I believe Lin will be a very good player in the NBA, however, the reason I wrote this is to point out that he should not be mentioned amongst superstars yet. A handful of good games does not make someone a superstar, no matter how much attention he is getting.

  2. maggie on February 22nd, 2012 4:16 am

    We will see.

  3. Coach Steve on February 22nd, 2012 9:25 am

    Taylor,

    Interesting article on Jeremy Lin. Anyone that knows basketball knows this will not last (his numbers of course)…but, there’s no reason why Lin can’t avg 15PPG and 7 APG. Why does everyone have to score 30 PPG? In order to win championships, you need role players.

    The most important thing in all of this is Lin wants to win.

    What’s refreshing about Lin is that he plays the right way. He shares the ball, plays hard and is a great teammate.

    Lin may not be a superstar (yet) and of course you can’t compare him with superstars. And, this is nothing like Tim Tebow. The Broncos QB had success in college, won awards, was drafted and wasn’t cut by 3 teams.

    I think we should enjoy this story…

    Coach Steve

  4. Miguel Rodriguez on February 22nd, 2012 9:16 am

    Taylor pick a game after the All-Star Break maybe the Celtics and we can discuss Linsanity together….

    Go to my blog or hit me on twitter @THeNational

  5. Taylor Snow on February 22nd, 2012 12:38 pm

    @Coach Steve,

    I do not doubt Lin’s ability to win, and winning is all that truly matters in the game, not the personal stats.
    My main point that I want to make is that he is being labeled as a superstar far too early. The face that people voting in those polls really believe he is a top-3 point guard in the league right now, really bothers me.
    He has a great story and I fully support him, I just believe it has been overblown. The whole concept of Linsanity will remain, but it will settle down.
    And as for Tebow, I am not comparing the two in that sense, I am just comparing the vast media coverage that has been present after both athlete won a few games.
    Lin is very exciting to watch, and he may become a star, but he is not there yet — stardom does not occur overnight because a player really needs to play consistently great over a longer period of time than a handful of games.
    There were points from this story that were cut out in the edits. I really do appreciate his teamwork skills and his humbleness — traits that are hard to come by in the NBA.

  6. Thompson on February 23rd, 2012 3:00 pm

    Spot on here. Thank you Taylor for finally showing Lin’s weaknesses and not giving in to all of the hype. I am so sick of this over-hyped story.

  7. Bob on February 24th, 2012 1:28 am

    Those of you who disagree with this article are all fools.

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