What a story Jeremy Lin has been for the New York Knicks. Lin has come out of nowhere to revive the struggling team. His performances in the past two games have been astounding, earning chants of "MVP! MVP!" from the crowd at Madison Square Garden. That is high praise for an undrafted player out of Harvard who has been released by two teams since entering the league in 2010. Here are some reasons why Lin deserves to be called MVP.
He Can Score
In the past two games, Lin has led the team in scoring. He put up 25 points against all-world guard Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets. He scored 28 points against the Utah Jazz. What is more impressive is that these points came during crucial stretches. When the Knicks desperately needed baskets, Lin responded.
He Can Run the Pick-and-Roll
Knicks Head Coach Mike D'Antoni has been searching all season for a guard to run his offense. Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby and Iman Shumpert were not the answer. But Lin is. The pick-and-roll is a major part of the offense, and Lin has executed it beautifully. He has shown the ability to pass, drive or take the open jumper from the play. Suddenly, the Knicks are scoring points with consistency.
He Can Make Players Around Him Better
With Lin at point guard, the offense has flourished. The flow, spacing and ball movement have improved. As a result, Lin has made his teammates better. Center Tyson Chandler has had numerous opportunities near the basket thanks to Lin. Against the Jazz, Lin helped reserve forward Steve Novak to a season-high 19 points.
He Can Play Defense
Lin has played solid defense. He ranks 37 out of 350 qualified players in points allowed per possession. Two games ago, Lin did a solid job containing Williams and the Nets.
He Can Play Minutes
Coach D'Antoni has leaned on Lin. Against the Jazz, Lin played all but three minutes of the game. When asked if he was using Lin too much, Coach D'Antoni quipped "I'm riding him like freaking Secretariat." That alone should tell you how important Lin is to the Knicks.
For these reasons, Lin deserves to be called MVP. No other player has had an impact on the team like Lin has. It looks like the Knicks have finally found their point guard. He will continue to improve and become more effective, especially when Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire return. Lin may have saved the season for the Knicks. And that is what an MVP is supposed to do.
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Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.
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