The quickly becoming tiresome Linsanity ran into a roadblock yesterday. The Knicks had gone 7-1 over their last 8 games, all games that Carmelo Anthony missed due to an injury. Of course the Knicks were going to win that game right. Now only did they have the amazing Anthony back, the Knicks were playing at home and against the woeful New Jersey Nets. The same Nets that entered the game still in the single digits in number of wins. What could go wrong?
I mentioned that the human black hole was back, right? I'm not blaming this loss all on Anthony, but it's no surprise to me the Knicks lost on Anthony's return. Anthony missed 7 of 11 shots, only grabbed 3 rebounds and did have 6 assists. The assists look good but the other stats aren't up to his reputation. Anthony, although he's not a guard, also had 6 turnovers. And the Knicks were outscored by 10 points when he was on the floor. I know a lot of people don't put a lot of stock in the differential stat, but sometimes it can be useful. This time the stat is useful as it shows Anthony's less than stellar defense. I've heard many people say playing good defense is simply a matter of desire. I just don't see a lot of desire, or even caring, when Anthony is playing his version of defense.
Meanwhile Jeremy Lin had a better game. I'm sure he felt under pressure as he knows that Anthony is the man in New York. I'm sure he either intentionally or unintentionally deferred to Anthony. Lin missed 11 of 18 shots, but that was really his only bad stat of the night. He had 7 rebounds, 4 more than the all-star Anthony. He also had 9 assists and 3 turnovers, again both better numbers than Anthony had. The differential when Lin was on the floor was the Knicks were outscored by 1 point. He also scored 21 points.
Okay I know this was only one game and I'm certainly not going to draw any conclusions based on it. It will be interesting to see how the chemistry between Lin and Anthony affect the Knicks over the next several games. That being said I'm not surprised Lin had the better stats. It's not because I think that Lin is a better player. It's because I believe Lin plays with more heart and has more determination. He almost single handily revived this moribund franchise. Although he's a great story, Lin has reached the point of over saturation. Having several minutes devoted to an interview with him on Sports Center is over kill. Let's see how the Knicks finish this season, then we'll have a much more accurate judgment of Lin and his influence on the Knicks.
My predictions about the Knicks for the rest of this season: 1) Lin will continue to thrive. 2) However he and Anthony will have chemistry issues all season for which Lin will take the blame. He'll get the blame whether he deserves it or not. 3) The Knicks won't make the playoffs. If they do by some miracle, they'll quickly be elimanated in the first round.
Other NBA notes: I wish the Jazz had had enough fore site to sign Lin, the Jazz's biggest weakness remains at point guard. Their starting point guard honestly should be a back up. The Jazz would be much better with Lin's skill, heart and determination.
And no matter who's coaching the Jazz, their susceptibility to the opponents 3 point shooting remains mystifying and irritating. That was long one of the weaknesses of the Jazz under Jerry Sloan. Tyrone Corbin, as a Sloan disciple, does a lot of great things. However the Spurs hitting three pointer after three pointer last night in a fourth quarter had an awfully familiar feel to it. I never fully bought into Jerry Sloan and I'm not sure Corbin is the man to take the Jazz to the next level.
Honestly I still love the Jazz, but haven't followed them very closely this year. Although this team has a lot of great players, I didn't expect them to mesh this season. And I don't think they will mesh until they get a better point guard.
One final NBA note: It's time to give up on Greg Oden. How many micro fracture injuries, games missed and money spent before Oden announces his retirement? I was surprised that the Trailblazers paid him about $9 million to play for them this season. For their faith in him, what did they get? They got a player who will miss the entire season and not even play one minute. If someone pays him much more than the NBA minimum next season, that will be a crazy decision.
Also with MLB players reporting to training camp, I'm feeling the excitement in the air. I love Major League Baseball and I'm excited for yet another fun season. I look forward to seeing how the Dodgers will do under new ownership. They are already ahead of where they were with McCourt on the way out. I'm not entirely sold on Buck Martinez as the new Red Sox manager, but will give him a chance. I hope the Red Sox play this year with an edge in an effort to make up for last season's choke. Let's hope the Braves can redeem themselves in Chipper Jones final season. I'm hoping the Cubs actually look like a MLB team this season and that the Pirates build on their early season success from last season.
This song seems appropriate:
This song has been rocking my world lately. Got to love working out with an iPod. (Thanks to Apple and all the amazing people they have working for them.)
I watched the Michael J. Fox movie "Teen Wolf", for some reason I thought that was an 80's classic movie. But after watching it, I now know that isn't true. However a certifiable classic 80's movie is "St. Elmo's Fire". I love this song from that movie:
Another equally great, but less known, song is "Ghost Town". This is by the band First Aid Kit:
I love this song by Colbie Caillat: