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Tag:Jeremy Lin
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:26 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:30 pm
 

Melo must change to be great

Will Carmelo Anthony's legacy be more than just that of a pure shooter? (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com writes Wednesday of how Carmelo Anthony has a chance to be special and thus far... simply hasn't. Doyel specifically outlines a fact debated and wrought over constantly when it comes to Anthony, the fact that he is primarily a scorer. In these here blog circles, it's a bit more narrow than that: Melo can best be described as a volume shooter. Scorer's can be efficient, sharp-shooting, bucket-filling maniacs who don't excel at much of anything else, but what they do, they do exceptionally well. Anthony, on the other hand, is going to shoot roughly the same amount from game to game. There are nights when he's going to be brutally efficient. There are nights when he's going to be brutally inefficient. The approach never changes. And that may be the biggest problem of all with Anthony's game.

Doyel talks about the threat of winding up like a pre-Boston Kevin Garnett, what with the high praise and no substantive playoff success outside of a single season. Two thoughts there:

  • The immediate response is to bring up Anthony's Nuggets' 2009 run to the Western Conference Finals. There are a number of things to note in that regard, however. First, the Nuggets' second-round win over the Mavericks was about as tough as a series that short can be, with a crucial non-call on an intentional foul late providing quite a bit of drama in the proceedings. Second, the West that year was paper thin. It was essentially the Lakers and that's it. This isn't to take away from that Denver team, but it needs to be noted. And third, that Denver team was the same as it was for years with Melo; their success was as much due to Anthony's brilliance as it was to George Karl's ability to coach around Anthony's talents. The two things worked side-by-side, they just didn't necessarily work together. It was like "The Nuggets do this, this, and this well, and also Carmelo Anthony is very good." 
  • Doyel mentions that Garnett did everything else in his time in Minnesota, "scored, rebounded, assisted, defended, hustled, led."
And it's that last part that seems particularly relevant as the Knicks continue to try and adjust to life with his nearly entirely new lineup from the start of the season (and without a major trade!). Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith, Melo, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. How does Anthony fit? We've talked about some x's and o's, but there are some other questions invovled.

For starters, most volume shooters are that because they are not good at any other particular area. Is Anthony that kind of player? Well, no. He's averaged 6.3 rebounds for his career, with a high of 7.3, very good for a small forward. Anthony can have games where he controls the defensive glass. What about passing? The 2009 Western Conference Finals run from Anthony's Nuggets featured him dishing 4.1 assists per game. He had a 19.8 percent assist rate that season (percentage of team assists), higher than any regular season for Anthony before... this one? We'll come back to that in a minute. And what about defense? There are metrics I could run at you, but let's just say this. 

The Nuggets' most successful season with Anthony, that 2009 run, came when Anthony became a lock down defender for about 30 games. He was simply phenomenal. That may be the most frustrating thing about Anthony, who is widely regarded as a turnstyle defensively. He can be an excellent defender. He can lock up guys, destroy their spacing, ruin their day. He just... doesn't. 

The key for Anthony may be honestly to get as far away from one of his biggest mentors' approaches as possible. Anthony and Kobe Bryant share a kinship in their approach to the game. But Bryant's success in essentially doing things his way 100 percent of the time is nearly impossible to duplicate. Maybe if Anthony had Phil Jackson, it would be easier. But he doesn't. And if he wants to be successful right now, moving away from an intractable approach and towards a dominance in versatility is the best thing for him. He needs to do everything.

There are signs Melo is trying. He worked off ball for much of the first-half against the Heat, making cuts to get to the rim. It was only after the Heat had buried the Knicks (and Lin) with their suffocating defense that Anthony returned to blistering the offensive flow with Isolation sets shallow in the shot clock. His assist rate, as previously mentioned, is the highest of his career at 22.7 percent, over four per game. He's clearly trying to get his teammates involved. He's eighth among small forwards playing 30 minutes or more this season in assist rate. With the kind of talent around him, is that enough? How much can we reasonably expect?

The answer's not in the empirical, it's in the perceptible. The shift needs to continue to be Anthony working to get out of his comfort zone. Bryant has remarked several times about hoping Anthony doesn't shift his approach due to the criticism. Thing is, that criticism isn't (always) unwarranted or about devaluing his elite gifts as a scorer. It's about fit, and flow, and making the Knicks the best they can be. Michael Jordan got to play the way he wanted because he was the greatest of all time. Kobe Bryant has been able to because he's the second greatest shooting guard of all time and he was granted a team specifically built to provide him with the best support possible. Anthony is trying to fit in with a team of good players, and he is not one of the greatest of all time.

Anthony can do something "special" as Doyel describes, but he's got to become versatile, he's got to take the same approach to the other parts of the game that he does to scoring. He's always going to get the ball late with a chance to win. He's always going to get a chance to rise and fire. But for it to matter he has to take on the rest of the things that make up a complete game. 

Anthony can be great, if he chooses to be. Making this Knicks team work isn't easy. When life is hard, you have to change.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:56 pm
 

'All He Does Is Lin' remix by DJ Steve Porter

Posted by Royce Young

If you've been looking for probably the definitive Jeremy Lin tribute video, it's here. DJ Steve Porter, most famous for his work with Allen Iverson, has put out a remix for KnicksNow.com called "All He Does Is Lin." And as you might expect, it's terrific.

Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Jeremy Lin and the difference for a breakthrough

Jeremy Lin put in more than physical work to succeed. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

There have been two big questions asked in regards to the Jeremy Lin Phenomenon which has lead the two-year-fringe-player to the heights of NBA stardom and reinvigorated the Knicks' season. They are two separate questions that appear dependent on how you view players in the NBA. 

1. How did so many people miss out on what this kid can do?

2. Where did this kid come from?

In the former, there's a sentiment that Lin was always capable of doing this and just didn't get a chance to play. That somehow, basketball ability is not a developed skill, it simply is or is not. And that makes sense in a lot of ways in terms of today's NBA environment. Stars are largely self-evident, and you can tell they will be stars long before they're even drafted. LeBron James was going to be the No.1 pick in the draft form the time he was 16 (maybe earlier). The idea is that players can play, and all that's left is the basketball intelligence of the assessing personnel. In short, the idea is that the Warriors and Rockets are "idiots for whiffing on Jeremy Lin."

To take this approach is a lot like working backwards with circular logic. Jeremy Lin is good, so Jeremy Lin has always been good.

This isn't the case.

In a painstaking article from over the weekend, Howard Beck of the New York Times wrote a comprehensive account of Lin's path from high school to Harvard to the Warriors to D-League to the Knicks. It breaks down the entire process and talks to several coaches involved in his basketball development. The NBA, especially its elder statesmen, tend to shy away from the idea of development. Even Red Auerbach often (but not always) held the opinion of basically "the kid can play or he can't play." It's an easy approach. But with AAU, the shortened college tenure, the higher number of players and teams, the higher level of skill and the more developed playsets and schemes at the NBA level, lost is the fact that there are good players who need the right course of developmento get where they are. Lin has credited his coaches at every level, including his time spent in the D-League, with getting where he is now, on top of the world (unless that Heat game proves to be the end of the ride).

But lots of teams center on development. A lot of players get the same kind of help Lin did, often more. So what is it that made Lin make it through the process and come out on the other side a starting point guard on the World's Biggest Stage? 

There's a mental aspect. From the Beck piece in the New York Times
Lin’s perfectionist tendencies came out in a 3-point-shooting drill called “beat the ghost,” in which Lin earned 1 point for every shot he made at the arc and the “ghost” earned 3 points for every shot Lin missed.

On one occasion, Lin made 17 3-pointers but lost 21-17, then kicked the ball in anger, Scheppler recalled with a chuckle. He refused to stop until he beat the ghost. It took 14 games. When Scheppler tallied up all of the scores for the day, Lin had converted 71 percent of his shots from the arc. “That’s the beauty of Jeremy Lin,” Scheppler said. “It’s not about moral victories. It’s ‘I have to win.’ ”
via Jeremy Lin’s Evolution - NYTimes.com.

It's not enough to have the physical tools to improve upon. Players have to be checked in and want to improve, they have to want to dedicate themselves. Players need to look at the D-League, at extra coaching, at offseason workouts as imperative. It's not enough to just be superior athletes or talented shooters. There has to be a drive to make the most of potential and opportunities. Otherwise, you're only going to go as far as your natural talent takes you.

Should the Warriors or Rockets, both of whom let Lin go, have recognized that drive? Yes and no. Being a hard worker shows itself, but there are lots of hard workers who don't have the ability. You have to recognize not only their drive and ability, but be able to recognize that they are a good fit with a development plan. Ego gets in the way of that a lot of times.

You can't blame the Rockets, and you can't entirely credit the Knicks. It takes the right combination of events to occur for the situation to be right for something like Lin's rise to happen. But the one person you can credit is Lin. He's the one that put in the work.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:42 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:46 pm
 

Nike selling $130 Jeremy Lin shoes

Jeremy Lin has his own Nike shoes. (SlamXHype.com)

Posted by Ben Golliver 

It's gotta be the shoes. How else to explain the rapid rise of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, the roster cut turned global icon?

Nike will begin capitalizing on Lin's incredible rise to fame by selling a $130 version of its Hyperfuse sneakers in New York Knicks colors, according to Reuters. To be clear, these aren't "Air Jeremy's" or "Air Lin" signature models, but they are the shoes worn by Lin this season.

Nike said it will launch the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Low basketball shoes, built especially for Lin, this weekend in Orlando, Florida, where the NBA is holding its All-Star festivities.

"It's not a signature line but a version of the shoe that he's been wearing this season," the company told Reuters.

The Hyperfuse sneaker is one of the most popular models worn by NBA players. Lin's version features his last name on the tongue of each shoe.

The Oregonian provides additional details
.
The Oregon-based company sent out a notice this evening announcing the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Low iD basketball shoe created for Lin, the New York Knicks point guard who emerged from near oblivion this weekend to fame. 

The $130 shoe won't be available at off-the-shelf retail, but can be created and purchased at the NikeID.com website. Consumers can replicate the exact customization options of Lin's shoe. 
Newsday reported that a Nike spokesman issued a "no comment" when asked whether Nike has plans to produce a signature line for Lin in the future.

Sneaker companies generally reserves signature lines for established stars. All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James each have signature lines. All-Stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade have signature sneakers under the Jordan Brand umbrella.

Image via SlamXHype.com.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:02 am
 

Ben & Jerry's apologizes for Lin fortune cookies

Eye on Basketball staff

Ben & Jerry's, the ice cream maker known for its catch flavor names, has issued an apology for selling Jeremy Lin-inspired frozen yogurt containing fortune cookies at a Harvard Square location in Boston, the New York Daily News reported.

The limited-edition flavor, "Taste The Lin-sanity," contained crumbled fortune cookies before backlash resulted because of the racial overtones from using fortune cookies as part of the promotion.

"We offer a heartfelt apology if anyone was offended by our handmade Lin-sanity flavor," Ben & Jerry's said in a statement. 

The New England manufacturer replaced fortune cookies in its honey-swirl based Lin-inspired flavor with waffle cones.

"We are proud and honored to have Jeremy Lin hail from one of our fine, local universities and we are huge sports fans," Ben & Jerry's said in the news release. "Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin's accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate. "We try [to] demonstrate our commitment as a Boston-based, valued-led business and if we failed in this instance we offer our sincere apologies."

The former Harvard star has caused a league- and nationwide sensation as a result of his meteoric rise to stardom as the Knicks' point guard.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:39 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 11:08 pm
 

Linsanity is now an ice cream. Make it stop.

This actually happened. (Getty Images)


I would say "this has gone too far" but we're about six days beyond that. From the Boston Herald
Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has begun selling a limited-release new flavor at its Harvard Square shop in honor of basketball’s sudden sensation, Jeremy Lin, a Harvard University graduate who was an Ivy League star during his time with the Crimson, but left the Cambridge campus undrafted and largely unknown.

In recognition of the 23-year-old's overnight fame, the new ice cream pints are made at the Harvard Square shop with vanilla frozen yogurt, lychee honey swirls and come with a fresh waffle cookie on the side, which can be dipped into the ice cream or crushed on top, company officials said.
via Ben & Jerry's launches 'Lin-Sanity' flavor, takes out fortune cookie ingredient - Cambridge - Your Town - Boston.com.

Wait, wait, wait. It gets worse. 

Not only is it ice cream, originally it might have been racially insensitive ice cream!
The fresh waffle cookie ingredient replaces initial batches of the ice cream flavor that included "fortune cookie pieces" mixed in with the ice cream, Ryan Midden, Ben & Jerry's general manager for Boston and Cambridge said by phone today.

"There seemed to be a bit of an initial backlash about it, but we obviously weren't looking to offend anybody and the majority of the feedback about it has been positive," he said.

Midden said the primary reason for changing the cookie ingredient was because "a couple of [pints] got returned because the cookies got so soggy."
via Ben & Jerry's launches 'Lin-Sanity' flavor, takes out fortune cookie ingredient - Cambridge - Your Town - Boston.com.

Whoops. That's regrettable. 

But hey, getting an ice cream flavor is pretty awesome. Personally I think they should have mixed absinthe into the recipe, because watching Lin makes you feel like you have to be halucinating. The only way this gets more marketable is if the Knicks win a title and Lin winds up on a Wheaties box. Does anyone eat Wheaties anymore? Maybe he should just have his own cereal. Anyway, that happened, and we're all one step closer to the end of the world. 

In related news: 




(HT: SBNation.com)
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:14 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 9:09 pm
 

Jeremy Lin: Bias provides 'chip on shoulder'

Posted by Ben Golliver   

Jeremy Lin discussed the bias he faced from talent evaluators during All-Star Weekend (Getty Images)

ORLANDO -- Jeremy Lin knows exactly how much he was overlooked.

"I think ESPN had me as the 467th best player out of 500 or something like that coming into the season," Lin said, speaking in front of a standing room at Amway Center on Friday night.

Lin, a Taiwanese-American, said that he believes that a biased perception of Asian-American athletes was a contributing factor in his being underrated by NBA talent evaluators during the last few years.

"I think it has something to do with it," Lin, who was undrafted out of Harvard in 2010 and cut by both the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets this season, said. "I don't know how much. But I think just being Asian-American, obviously when you look at me, I'm going to have to prove myself more so again and again and again, and some people may not believe it."

Preconceived notions about his race, Lin said, choosing his words carefully, might even have influenced the language used to describe his skillset.

"I know a lot of people say I'm deceptively athletic and deceptively quick, and I'm not sure what's 'deceptive.' But it could be the fact that I'm Asian-American. But I think that's fine. It's something that I embrace, and it gives me a chip on my shoulder." 

The media contingent began arriveing more than a half-hour before Lin's press conference, which was televised live on NBA TV. Unlike the other participants in the Rising Stars Challenge game, Lin did not conduct interviews following Friday morning's practice. Instead, he filled 10 rows of chairs in Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy's Amway Center press conference room, with reporters hugging both walls as well. Eventually, the doors were closed and media members were turned away due to a lack of space.

Lin went on to state that the doubts about his abilities continued into his tenure with the New York Knicks, where he has become a breakout star since moving into the starting point guard role. He confirmed reports that he had attended a group chapel service with a number of fellow NBA players and admitted that he had prayed that he wouldn't be released before cut day, as his contract was not yet guaranteed.

"I went to chapel with Jerome Jordan and Landry Fields and the chaplain asked us to share a prayer request," Lin remembered. "I knew February 10th was right around the corner, so that was what was on my heart. Just that I would be able to continue to stay on the roster and be with the team the rest of the year. So that's kind of what I shared with the group of guys."

The prayer, he said, was the result of feeling as if getting released would put him at a crossroads.

"I really didn't have a Plan B to be honest... I was thinking about three main options: overseas, D-League or to just take a break or give up basketball for awhile. And I just didn't really know. I was just trying not to think about it basically. I just said, if I get cut by the Knicks, then I'll take a look at all that, but until then, I want to make sure I try to stay focused and not think negatively.

That prayer session probably feels like years ago to Lin, who currently ranks in the top-20 in player efficiency in the NBA. Nevertheless, his frugal lifestyle remains the same.

"I'm still a minimum guy," he said quickly when asked if he had "splurged" on anything recently. "That hasn't changed."
Posted on: February 24, 2012 7:54 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 8:04 pm
 

Jeremy Lin explains Slam Dunk Contest couch plan

Iman Shumpert and Jeremy Lin's dunk would have involved a couch, Landry Fields and Sprite. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

ORLANDO -- Blake Griffin's dunk-over-the-Kia will remain the corniest Slam Dunk Contest concept for at least another year.

New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert was a late scratch due to injury, and Shumpert's departure prevented Knicks guard Jeremy Lin from taking the Slam Dunk Contest to a whole new level of ridiculousness. 

Lin, a 23-year-old Taiwanese-American, has become a global sensation over the last few weeks. He barely avoided getting released by the Knicks before emerging as a big-time player once he moved into a starting role in February. The symbol of Lin's rags-to-riches journey became a couch, as he was reportedly crashing on the living room furniture of his teammate, Landry Fields, and his brother because he didn't want to rent his own place in Manhattan with his future unknown.

Word leaked earlier this week that the Knicks guard duo planned to incorporate Lin and a couch into their 2012 Slam Dunk Contest routine.

Lin laid out the whole plan in detail during a Friday press conference prior to the Rising Stars Challenge.

"We actually had a sweet idea," Lin explained. "Landry was going to roll a couch out with a cover over it, I was going to be sleeping underneath it, and then we were going to pull the cover, I was going to throw Iman an alley-oop from the couch, and he was going to jump over both me and the couch, windmill it and then sit down and have Landry hand him a Sprite. That was our idea, but it didn't happen."

Shumpert scratched last week due to a sore knee, and he was replaced by Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans. Shumpert will also sit out the Rising Stars Challenge.

"He got hurt and hopefully he gets better," Lin said. "We miss him and wish he was here with us in this game that we're about to play."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com