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'Linsanity' will give way to Melo

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The newest phenomenon in the sports world is an undrafted free agent from Harvard, Jeremy Lin. The waves created around the league and world are nothing short of amazing.

Lin's been on the cover of Sports Illustrated for two weeks in a row. The hoopla and media frenzy surrounding him is nearing Tim Tebow levels.

This is what I've deducted so far from "Linsanity," as the masses have dubbed it. He's a good player. He's fitting into Mike D'antoni's pass-happy offense. He's been controlling the game for the Knicks, who desperately needed someone to step up in Carmelo Anthony's absence.

Lin will face a learning curve. Despite producing like Michael Jordan in his first seven starts with the Knicks, Lin has turned in a couple duds now. The spotlight is shining very bright on the young man who has been forced into being the face of the Asian basketball playing community.

Being from Harvard, clearly Lin is intelligent enough to handle the new fame and responsibilities. But now the hardest part of the season approaches. And playing in Madison Square Garden in front of the ultra-picky New York media will provide extra challenges.

The Knicks may have found a starting point guard in Lin but everything still must run through Anthony. D'antoni's system can work with a quality point guard and a team of unselfish players. However, it's yet to work with a player of Melo's stature and abilities.

Melo will be the one taking the last shots and needing the ball. Sure, he can fit in for the time being, but in the end, Melo is the player he is. The game will need to run through him, and he'll need his shots.

This isn't insinuating Melo is a selfish player, I don't think he is. He's just not right for D'antoni's "system" and both the coach and Jeremy Lin will need to figure out how to perform at a high level with Carmelo as the star.

This is what the Knicks wanted. That's why they traded their entire roster to acquire Melo. Now it's time to make it work. The Knicks got a blessing from above in Lin. Now that blessing is asked to win with the franchise player.

There will be many more learning curves for young Jeremy Lin. The first one to pick up is Carmelo is The Man, and he isn't going anywhere. The same can't be said about D'antoni.

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Zach Jevne
Real Sports Talk
Zach joined the Daily Reporter staff as sports editor in March 2011. He is originally from Decorah, Iowa. He played baseball at University of Northern Iowa and studied multimedia journalism at Simpson College.