Jeremy Lin has not solved the problem.
All season long we kept saying, “the Knicks just need a point guard to organize this offense and push the tempo and they’ll be fine.” Well, they found one in Jeremy Lin, then they added a new piece to help their bench scoring in J.R. Smith.
And the result is they have lost five of eight games since everyone came together. The Knicks look disorganized and unsure of how to work togheter. At a time when Philadelphia is slumping and suddenly up for grabs, the Knicks are letting the opportunity go to waste.
With all their new pieces, they can’t find a groove. Tom Haberstroh of ESPN passes along these notes on twitter:
Carmelo Anthony’s PER with Jeremy Lin off court this season: 21.8. Carmelo’s PER with Lin ON court? 12.2…. Knicks’ offensive efficiency (pts per 100 trips): Lin on/Carmelo off? 105.0. Lin off/Carmelo on? 98.8. Both on? 97.9.
Carmelo Anthony admitted as much after the game, as reported by Howard Beck at the New York Times.
“I think anytime you go from the early part of the season, just having the ball and me just having the ball and being the distributor, and now just running the wings and waiting for the ball to come to me, that’s quite an adjustment for myself.”
It is, but it’s what he has to do. We keep saying the Knicks just need time but right now we are not seeing any progress toward the goal of an integrated offense. They still just seem like parts. And Lin is not blameless in this — he is a point guard whose job is to get guys the ball in a place they like it and he is struggling to do that consistently. But the problems are deeper than just one person.
It’s going to come back to coach Mike D’Antoni — as much as he wants a less structured, more improvised offense he needs to come up with a framework where Lin and Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and everyone else can feel comfortable. Maybe that is to play faster, maybe that is specific half-court sets that use Anthony on the ball not off it.
If he doesn’t find an answer, his seat is going to start to warm up again as he sits there in the last year of his contract.