If I roll up to the Garden, or even a Bocker bar, I'll hear some type of comment like that. All those hours I've spent having bad dreams about John Starks' 2-for-18 performance in Game 7 of the 1994 Finals, rooting for Jeff Van Gundy as he hung onto Alonzo Mourning's leg for dear life, and sitting in the exact same spot for every game of the 1999 run...gone. I'm basically just another slanty-eyed dude whose expected to bring a sign showing my ability to place the letter "L" in front of any syllable that sounds like "in."
Of course, a 7-game winning streak makes it all worth it. Because deep down, my loyal Mambinites know that I dish and swish when it comes to dispensing hardwood smarts. And with that, I present to you guys, the 3 biggest things lost in the hullabaloo that is Linsanity.
Now, I'll just admit it right here. This post can't possibly be as thought-provoking or well-written as the epic masterpiece that my brother KOBEsh put out this past Saturday. So I reached out to the kid and asked him to give me an assist for this write-up.
The 3 biggest things lost in Linsanity are:
1. The Knicks NEEDED these wins.
KOBEsh: Just 13 days ago, the Knicks were 8-15 and out of the playoffs. They were trailing the Cavs and Bucks for the final playoff spot. To put this in perspective, this is a Knicks team that some overzealous fans and MAMBINO bloggers thought could even make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, they were floundering worse than we ever could have imagined, just struggling to get the 8-seed.
After last night, their record stands at 15-15. This 7-game winning streak isn't just a nice confluence of events surrounding Jeremy Lin's unprecedented and meteoric rise. This was absolutely necessary to save a Knicks season from getting too far out of control.
2. Iman Shumpert, playing without the pressure of running the offense, is becoming the steal of the 2011 Draft.
The Jeremy Lin Experience has taken everybody by storm, but it is Iman Shumpert who has settled into a role with the Knicks that best suits an inexperienced rookie. By playing off of Lin, Shump has saved plenty of energy to burn for the defensive end, culminating in Tuesday night's jaw-dropping shakedown of Jose Calderon at mid-court.
Jeremy's game-winning 3 propelled the Bocks to a huge comeback win. The Garden crowd that showed up for last night's game against Sacramento showered Lin with praise, MVP chants, and pleas for D'Antoni to insert him into the 4th quarter of a blowout win (those pleas, among other things, make me understand why people call Asians out for not being real fans).
But without Shump's defense, Jeremy might never had the chance to win it in the end. It's an absolute TRAVESTY that this man was not picked as one of the 8 "rising stars" representing the rookie class in this year's All-Star game.
3. The mafia hit on Mike D'Antoni has been postponed.
Winning cures a lot of ailments, as the saying goes. But for a typical Knicks fan, it's just not that simple. Although it is satisfying to see a competent point guard directing an offense predicated on spacing, slip screens, and constant movement, Mike D'Antoni's mistakes are still apparent to the well-trained eye.
|"What, like it's my fault?"|
This year, the plan is no different. While MDA has a minutes plan in place for this condensed schedule, he has veered from it whenever a particular game is on the line. The rotation calls for Stoudemire to sit at the end of the first and third quarters, playing the entirety of the second and fourth. Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are slated to rest for the beginning of the second and fourth quarters, playing the entirety of the first and third quarters. The rest of the team plays based on feel, their relative in-game success dictating their playing time going forward. In a close game, however, all bets are off.
Bibby's minutes have come at the expense of fourth-year combo guard Toney Douglas, mired in the worst slump of the former Seminole's career. During last night's blowout, Douglas was inserted for about 5-6 garbage minutes at the end. His confidence noticeably shaken, despite the handful of field goal attempts he took, Douglas played out the string. I've mentioned in this space before that Douglas has the potential to be a useful rotation guard, unlike his older counterpart, Bibby. According to the MSG telecast, he's taken that "first to arrive, last to leave" mentality into practice and shootarounds, knowing that he has to improve his overall play. Additionally, it's easy for any fan to see how great of a teammate Douglas is, always one of the first to leave the bench to congratulate a fellow Knick for a job well done. The guy needs minutes. That much is obvious due to the Linsanity phenomenon itself.
Although if Jeremy was stuck on the bench, then well, I'd go back to being just another hardcore NBA guy.