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The Hoop Doctors

Can We Really Blame Rockets and Warriors for Cutting Jeremy Lin

February 13, 2012 – Dan Favale

With more than a third of the season in the books, is there anyone that could of predicted what Jeremy Lin could have accomplished? No. And that’s the point.

Since Lin has emerged as a diamond in the rough of New York, Linsanity is in full swing, and both the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are taking flack for having cut him.

But why? Who knew that the tiny kid out of Harvard had this type of play in him? Who knew he had a Rajon Rondo like pep in his penetration step? Who knew he could create for himself and his teammates like Chris Paul?

What some are mistaken for genius on the part of the Knicks is actually desperation. With Carmelo Anthony failing to balance the tasks of scoring and facilitating, Mike Bibby stumbling and Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert struggling to lead, New York had no choice but to experiment with Lin. Both Houston and Golden State were never put in that position.

How could the Warriors have seen in Lin what he has shown when they already boast a two bona fide superstar guards in Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis? How could the Rockets justify giving Lin minutes when they cannot even find time for Jonny Flynn?

At the time, they couldn’t. Now that they know what he can do, of course they could. But that’s the problem, they didn’t know. And neither did the Knicks, who were apparently ready to cut him themselves before his explosion.

Lin’s story is an inspiring one, but it is also an improbable one; it is one that only actualizes amidst agony and anguish. New York was on the brink of imploding, Golden State and Houston never were.

Linsanity isn’t going anywhere. The unlikely phenom has proven to Kobe Bryant and the rest of the NBA that he is legitimate; he has proven that he was a great, albeit unexpected, find. But even Lin himself didn’t even know he had this kind of run in him.

Consequently, Lin’s success is not a lapse in judgment by the Warriors and Rockets, and it’s not a testament to the keen eye of the Knicks.

What is it?

Lin’s success is great for New York. It’s great for basketball. It’s great for any remaining worldly sports barriers. But most of all, it’s the quintessential example of how unpredictable the game of basketball and its participants are.

Dan Favale is an avid basketball analyst and firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His work can be found at in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.


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