Boiling Points

Josh Horton, Sports Columnist

All-Star teams never work. There aren’t enough basketballs on the court for all of the scorers. Jeremy Lin is a just a fad. J.R. Smith will destroy any team chemistry the Knicks may have.

These are all examples of what Knicks fans have been hearing from their critics.

On February 19, the Knicks proved some of these critics wrong, but not all of them.

J.R. Smith took some jump shots before the game started and despite some doubt, he did play in the game against the Dallas Mavericks. Also, he looked like the J.R. Smith who can actually help a team and not help destroy it. The remarkable thing about Smith’s performance in his first game as a Knick wasn’t only scoring 15 points. He did this without even practicing with his new team.

Smith joined the Knicks just two days prior to suiting up against the Mavericks. He had previously been playing overseas.

With the win over the Mavericks, the Knicks finally reached .500 at 16-16 and went above .500 at home at 9-8. J.R. Smith is just a small reason, if not the smallest reason, for the Knicks’ recent success. The main one is Jeremy Lin.

If you consider yourself a sports fan and haven’t heard of Jeremy Lin, maybe it is time to come out from underneath the rock you have been living under and watch this kid play. If you don’t have time to watch the games on television, tune into to any sports newscast and you will most definitely hear his name. Why is this Lin kid so significant?

For starters he is a graduate of Harvard University. Yes that Harvard, the Ivy League University that competes in division one basketball but refuses to award scholarship for athletic talent. The 6’3” rookie point guard from California may have been brilliant in the classroom, but he is also brilliant in the back court.

In just seven games as the starting point guard for one of the NBA’s most storied franchises, Lin has averaged an astounding 24.6 points per game as of February 19. Some may say, “Oh, anyone can score 25 points in the NBA if they shoot enough.” That’s where some would be wrong. To go along with his 25 points, he also racks up nine assists per game. This means he is averaging nearly a “double-double” (double-digit stats in multiple categories) throughout his first seven starts as a New York Knick.

“Linsanity” first showed the Association what he could in an early February win over the New Jersey Nets, where he led the team with 25 points. Since then, the Knicks have lost just one game and it was by four points against the New Orleans Hornets. Lin recorded nine turnovers, which was an NBA single game high for this season.

There are many positive things about Lin, but there is just one thing keeping me from buying in. This one thing is a very important in basketball: turning the ball over. Lin and the Knicks are getting away with turning the ball over now, but they won’t get away with it forever. Especially when they go on the road in unfamiliar territory.

According to a published report on ESPN.com, Lin had 45 turnovers in his first seven starts as a Knick, which is the most ever.

If he wants to take the Knicks to the NBA finals, he better learn better ball security.

It is easy to forget just how good of a team the Knicks are.  They have Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields, to name a few.

If the Knicks want to win they need to make it a team effort and not rely on just one LINdividual.