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D’Antoni Says He Hit the Lottery with Jeremy Lin: Fan’s View
On the Mike Francesa show on WFAN radio on Monday, February 13, 2012, which is also broadcast on the YES TV network and is the best sports show in New York, New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said he hit the lottery with Jeremy Lin.
D'Antoni said he's never seen anything like Jeremy Lin in his basketball career. He's seen players come out of nowhere and have a good game or two, but never had a player come out of nowhere and have such an impact over five consecutive games. Lin makes everything simple for all the players, which helps players like Steve Novak.
Steve Novak's Last Four Games
Steve Novak did not play in the win over my favorite NBA team, the New Jersey Nets, on Saturday, February 4, 2012. In the four wins since that game though, Novak has played an average of 25 minutes per game, and averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He's made 53.9% of his shots from the field (21-39), and 51.6% of his threes (16-31) over the four games.
Novak can't keep shooting like that, but he is a great pure shooter, and has a career shooting percentage of 42.4% from three-point range. That is excellent shooting. Novak is making 48.3% of his threes in 2012, which is currently fifth best in the NBA.
Iman Shumpert is Also Playing Better
Another player who has really benefited from Jeremy Lin's play has been rookie Iman Shumpert. Shumpert was shooting just 37.1% from the field before Jeremy Lin emerged, and has made 43.6% of his shots since, and is shooting 50% over the last three games.
Mike D'Antoni said it was a bummer that Iman Shumpert is not playing in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge. I could not agree more with the Knicks head coach on that one. Iman Shumpert has got real talent, and he belongs in that game.
D'Antoni said that Jeremy Lin can direct traffic great and keep everybody right. He doesn't see any problems when Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony come back. Stoudemire will play tonight, Melo might be back by Friday. The main objective is to win. D'Antoni said it was hard before Jeremy Lin emerged because the team did not have a point guard.
Carmelo Anthony is my favorite NBA, and has been since he led my favorite college basketball team, the Syracuse Orange, to the 2003 NCAA Championship. A lot of people think that when Melo returns from a groin injury it will create problems on the Knicks. I think Jeremy Lin will help Melo play better too, but will have to see about that.
Knicks Coaches Giddy Over the Play of Jeremy Lin
Mike D'Antoni said it felt like there was helium in room when the Knicks coaches watched Jeremy Lin's play on tape after the New Jersey Nets game. The coaches were that giddy watching what Lin had done in the game. The coach said the Knicks liked Jeremy Lin in 2010 after his college career at Harvard ended. Lin signed a two year free agent deal with the Golden State Warriors though, after going undrafted.
When Lin got released in December of 2011 by both Golden State and then the Houston Rockets, the Knicks remembered him and signed him. I've heard Knicks broadcaster Mike Breen say that Jeremy Lin had scored off the charts on their agility tests when they worked him out after college, but they didn't sign him then.
Finally, Mike D'Antoni said that Jeremy Lin is intelligent and grounded, and is handling the whole thing well. He said the last week has been his best week in New York, and the players right now are focused just on winning.
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