Jeremy Lin’s magical run last season in New York was a perfect storm of a situation. Desperate for offense at the time the Knicks turned to Lin to do the one things he does well — push the pace and attack off the pick-and-roll — while surrounding him with shooters and a good pick-and-roll big in Tyson Chandler. It worked very well, although it never was going to mesh with the Knicks of Carmelo Anthony.
Houston came in to Madison Square Garden Monday against a Knicks team without ‘Melo and asked Lin to push the pace and attack off the pick-and-roll — and those things exposed a Knicks defense that has not played great basketball the past couple weeks. The result was an easy Rockets win.
“That was awesome,” Lin beamed to a Houston Rockets official awaiting him. “That was so much fun.”
“I am glad this is over,” Lin told Yahoo! Sports late Monday night. “This is a little bit of closure.”
This move — Lin to Houston, Raymond Felton taking his point guard spot in New York — is better for the Knicks in the short term. Felton and Anthony can get along better on the court and Lin needed a chance to struggle and develop out of the spotlight.
But when he came back in it for a night, he looked like his old, vintage self. And that was fun (except for Knicks fans).
Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.
DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’
“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”
“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”
Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.
But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.
The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.
Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.
I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).
The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.
Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.