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LinSanity Taking Over New York – To the Dismay of Many Warriors Fans

It’s an all-too familiar feeling for Warriors, seeing one of their former players playing well elsewhere. But who would’ve ever thought former Warriors guard Jeremy Lin, the Bay Area’s own, would be doing this well this soon?

Saturday, he had 25 points and 7 assists in 35 minutes off the bench. Monday, he had 28 points and 8 assists in 45 minutes.

KNICKS COACH MIKE D’ANTONI: “I’m riding him like friggin’ Secretariat.”

Warriors fans are wondering: why again isn’t he a Warrior?

The technical answer: Golden State needed the cap space to make an offer to the Clippers’ then-restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan. The drafting of Charles Jenkins, who’s more of a true point guard, made Lin a casualty of the Warriors effort at bolstering the roster.

Of course, the Clippers matched the Warriors’ offer to Jordan AND the Warriors lost Lin (who they tried to get back, but he was claimed off waivers by Houston).

The analysis answer: Warriors management, perhaps too focused on what he couldn’t do, didn’t value the strengths of Lin. He is excellent at getting to the basket. He has always been, and he proved (while with the Warriors) that he can get to the cup at the NBA level. He is deceptively quick, has good strength and has a knack for body contortion and maneuvering in air. That figures to make him really good at pick-and-rolls (as Tim Kawakami deftly pointed out), coming hard off screens with the ability to get all the way to the rim. The question for him was his decision making (usually always drives). Can he come off that P&R and make the sound, smart pass? In transition, can he do something other than take it for himself.

These last two games shows he’s gotten better in those areas.

GM LARRY RILEY: “He is a great young man and we are happy that he is getting an opportunity, which he has handled well.”

Lin also gets after it on defense, a reason Keith Smart liked to go to Lin from time to time. Lin’s also tough and humble. He’s easy to deal with and understands his role. Those things are vital when building a winning team.

Instead of milking what he can do, the hope for the Warriors seemed to be to develop him into something else. Certainly, the Warriors get some of the credit for Lin’s growth. He is MUCH better than he was when he arrived. But it became apparent, quickly, Lin would never be a true point guard and he was probably never going to be a good shooter. Plus, with Monta Ellis already on the roster, the Warriors didn’t need another shooting guard in point guard’s body, especially one that couldn’t shoot. So as much as they liked him, the reward of signing Jordan was worth the risk of losing Lin.

Far too early to determine whether that was a bad decision. But the reality is, you don’t go for 25+ in back-to-back games in the NBA if you don’t have something to work with. And get at least 7 assists. And come up with multiple clutch plays to get a win.

No doubt, Lin lovers will get carried away and call for him to be an All-Star reserve (they were already chanting M-V-P! M-V-P! at the Madison Square Garden). Truth is, he’s got some flaws in his game. (He turned the ball over 8 times Monday), But Lin is showing he can help a team. Maybe even the Warriors. Is he going to carry your team? No. But he can help you.

Warriors management wasn’t unanimous in deciding on Lin. Some thought they should keep him. Others thought it wasn’t a big deal if they lost him. Warriors fans seem to share in that split. Some are saying the Warriors blew it, others calling Lin a fluke benefiting from D’Antoni’s system.

Obviously, co-owner Joe Lacob was convinced of the latter, since he was the key reason Lin was here in the first place (Lacob saw a lot of Lin, who played against Kirk Lacob, now part of the Warriors’ basketball operations staff). The consensus wound up being waiving Lin and if they could sign him back, they would. The Rockets killed that. Then they waived him and the Knicks swooped in to pick up Lin.

JOE LACOB: “I and we are happy for Jeremy. Very happy. We have always thought he was very talented and could play in this league. Unfortunately, we had to take a chance by waiving him in order to make an aggressive play for DeAndre Jordan, a big man that could have addressed our greatest need. We sincerely hoped that he would not be claimed, but he was by Houston. When Houston let him go, we tried once again to get him back but the rules precluded it and the Knicks picked him up. Obviously, for Jeremy, at least, this has worked out very well. I am very happy for him and his family, who I have known since he was in high school.”

Did the Warriors’ blow it? Perhaps. But it’s not a colossal blown move. They could certainly find someone who brings what Lin brings. You could argue Nate Robinson is that guy. Or Charles Jenkins will be that guy. But whoever that guy is, chances are he won’t be able to captivate a city like Lin. And the Bay Area won’t be able to claim him as his own.

And to think they sent him packing for nothing for what turned out to be nothing makes it sting even more for many Warriors fans.

Marcus Thompson

  • PhillyJ

    Linsanity will just continue. He has proven he can play and excel. The sample size is growing. Doubters and haters have to shut up soon.

  • PhightinPhil

    Final stat line: 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, which included a highlight-reel slam in the 3rd quarter, 10 assists, four rebounds and only two turnovers in a team-high 37 minutes.
    What’s more, he became the first player since Lebron in 2003 to record at least 20 points and seven assists in his first three career starts.

  • PhillyJ

    Not to mention Greg Monroe with 20 pts and 12 boards tonight.

  • DW

    The Golden State Warriors… “SMH”… enough said.

  • robert rowell

    good to see the kid on a hot streak, but really? lin wouldn’t help the warriors with strings of DNP CD’s. would i rather him than robinson? probably, but i’d also rather lebron, rondo, aldridge, love and wade than the junk we got, but it ain’t happenin’.

    you can scream all you want in your posts, but Lin is gone, get over it. the people who made that decision, shaped this god awful team, and continue to bumble along are STILL here. and on the face of it, letting lin go isn’t even in the top ten of crap decisions that they’ve made.

    riley + lacob = garbage ball.

  • Fraudy Tom

    JLin’s game has flawed? who doesn’t have flaws beside Michael Jordan? give me a break.

    Jlin plays def, and he can lead a bunch of backups to victories vs Utah and Washington. I will take that flaw any time.

  • Fraudy Tom

    Larry Riley needs to go! we have too many missing pieces in the roster that could have easily fixed by drafting correctly.

    Why didn’t the Warriors drafted a center and took a PF Udoh instead?
    Why cut Lin and keep useless junks like Thompson,Jenkins, and Tyler? makes no sense.

  • http://thesportspress.blogspot.com/ Mike Brewster

    Great analysis. I really am getting tired of people saying this is all a fluke. The first game he’s been given a chance this season to prove he has something and he scores 25 with 7 assists, the next game he scores 28 with 8 assists, then the third and he scores 23 with 10 assists. Not only has he played well in these three games, but it’s not like he’s throwing up lucky 3-pointers. He plays at a fast-pace, keeps the ball moving, passes well, penetrates the lane, is quick on his feet.. these are all qualities that come from years of working on different skills. They aren’t things that some lucky bench player can have for a few games, score 20+ points and then suck for the rest of the year. Also, he doesn’t seem to care about the pressure. He was smiling and fired-up throughout all of these games, so I don’t think the pressure will be too much of a factor in limiting his progression.

  • JB Carrol

    Warriors are a mess. Disfunction lives on. Lin’s play is a sucker punch to Locab’s gut. Poor guy- he gets squeezed by Cohen for about 50 mil more than the Warriors true worth. Warrior “braintrust” makes a play on Jordan even after the clips package Kamen up to the Hornets. Hmmm- would the Clip’s really let their only center Jordan walk? One can dream as the Warriors do. Anyone want to talk AC LAW at point? Most uninspiring play that one can witness last year.
    What about that amnisty move – Charley Bell’s contract …really?
    If the Warriors were smart they would actually package both Ellis & Curry while the hype is still there…and forward Biedrins to the Castro in SF for Cash.

  • Fraudy Tom

    Warriors blew it big time.

    Lin could of been the savior that the Warriors are hoping for. This guy has “it” in him. He is a mega-star. a true leader and a read PG. he makes his teammates play harder. as simply as that.

    I would trade both Ellis and Curry (and whatever the knicks want) for lin right now and build this warriors team around Linsanity. Please Lacob, blow this team up and start over.

  • mwlx

    Jeremy Lin has gotten better than he was. Would he start ahead of Curry or Ellis? No.

    He’s found a lot better fit in NY. Let’s leave it at that, without all the whining.

  • Fraudy Tom

    trade for Lin now.

  • Ex-W’s & NBA fan

    Reason 53 why I cant follow the GSW anymore, let alone the rest of the NBA.

  • Knicks Fan

    Just want to say thanks again for letting Lin go. Historically, This could become the biggest blunder by a franchise (along with Houston)and the greatest waiver wire theft in NBA history…

  • Knicks Fan

    PS: Lin’s not going anywhere anytime soon~ Dream on…

  • coachdag

    Thanks for Lin. I can watch basketball now. I have not watch basketball since the Anthony Trade.

    I am a Knicks fan that loved Raymond Felton and now we have a true point guard back.

    Joe from Strong Island, NY

  • Will Hung

    Smart and Riley = DUMB and DUMBER

  • Will Hung

    Joe Lacob must be fuming at Riley for getting talked into letting Lin go. It was Lacob’s ‘find’- a diamond in the rough-that if nurtured and developed properly would blossom into a real gem. Instead Smart, who we deservedly axed, burried him on the bench, looking out for his own neck instead of developing players in a lost season. Now it’s time for Lacob to axe the person who made him look like a complete fool, by getting him to agree to cut “his” guy, Lin. Hey Joe, we will fully understand if Larry Riley leaves to pursue other opportunities, because he just blew yours and mine of ever making it to the playoffs in the foreseable future! Firing an executive for making huge critical mistakes is part of the business. Just do it now before it’s too late.