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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jeremy Lin Skill Set Analysis

Our culture is now fueled by instant hype/superficial commentary and it disdains patient observation and thoughtful analysis, but rather than rushing to be the first to say something about "Linsanity" I much prefer to examine a meaningful sample size of games before drawing any definitive conclusions. There is no way to know yet if Jeremy Lin has the necessary mental, physical and emotional stamina to be a top notch starting point guard for an extended period of time; what we have seen in his brief run as New York's starting point guard is that he has supplied some elements that the Knicks desperately needed: effective dribble penetration, timely scoring and deft passing. However, Coach Mike D'Antoni's system tends to inflate any true point guard's statistics (the Knicks' problem prior to Lin's arrival was that they did not have a true point guard and were thus using converted point guards at that crucial position or else experimenting with Carmelo Anthony as a point forward); Steve Nash became a two-time MVP playing for D'Antoni and under D'Antoni's guidance Chris Duhon emerged from obscurity to rank 10th in the NBA in assists in 2009 before promptly dropping back into obscurity after leaving New York.

Lin is quick, unselfish and deceptively strong/athletic--but he is also turnover prone, erratic on defense and an unreliable shooter outside of the paint. Until the past week or so, Lin did not likely even appear on the opposing team's scouting report but now the "book" on him will surely be to force Lin to play in a crowd when he has the ball with a live dribble but to otherwise concede the outside shot and to attack him at the other end of the court.

No one predicted Jeremy Lin's sudden rise and no one knows how his story will play out moving forward--but the numbers he has posted so far are stunning and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain anything close to this level of productivity.

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posted by David Friedman @ 3:21 AM


Friday, February 17, 2012

Michael Jordan: Feels Like Another One

"People ask me 'Do you really think you can fly?' I say, 'Yeah, for a little while.' It may be a split second, but it's flying."--Michael Jordan

If you are at least 30 years old then you probably remember this clip from the NBA Superstars 2 video and will enjoy seeing it again; if you are younger than 30 years old, check out a glimpse of Michael Jordan (who turns 49 today) and Patti LaBelle at the height of their respective games:

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posted by David Friedman @ 1:48 AM