Despite all the talk about free agents or trades that the New York Knicks could make this offseason, the biggest question might be about the talent level that Jeremy Lin brings to the table. I am one of the fans who feels that Lin could elevate his game even further, especially if he can just take care of the ball better than he did last season.
Lin finished the season averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game with the Knicks. That was despite seeing only a few minutes of action in his first 10 games with the team. His statistics improved significantly as a starter, but so did the number of turnovers that he was committing each game. Lin finished the year averaging 3.6 turnovers per contest, a number that was one of the worst in the NBA.
I think that even with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire both back in the starting lineup, Lin could still average 18 points and 8 assists per game. Those are pretty impressive numbers, to be honest, but entirely possible if the Knicks aren't able to bring in a significant point guard for the second unit. What Lin has to keep doing is taking the ball to the hoop and dishing out if the defenders continue to collapse upon him.
My opinion is that it won't be the end of the world if the Knicks can't get a top-tier veteran point guard to come to New York. Sure, it would be nice if Steve Nash left the Phoenix Suns or Jason Kidd left the Dallas Mavericks and decided to sign with the Knicks, but I don't think it is an absolute necessity at this point. All the team needs to do is find someone who can play 15-18 minutes on a given night and keep whatever pace the Knicks are working with.
I have high hopes that Lin can become an All-Star player with the Knicks, proving that what he did for the team last season doesn't turn out to be a fluke. He will see a lot of adversity from the fans of other teams that are either frustrated with what he did against them last year or simply envious that Lin doesn't play for them. If he can overcome that, as well as the scrutiny of the New York media, Lin could achieve true superstar status.
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*Ryan Christopher DeVault is a fan of the New York Knicks that has followed the team since the days John Starks, Charles Oakley, and Anthony Mason instilled their defensive will on the rest of the league.
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