Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lin-sanely Deep

With Baron Davis' anticipated return, the singing of J.R Smith, and emergence of Jeremy Lin; the Knicks have a plethora of capable guards on their roster. The backcourt is becoming pretty crowded, and allocating minutes between guys is gonna be a tough call for Mike D'Antoni. Obviously Jeremy Lin has more than earned the starting point guard job and can be penciled in for 35+ minutes a night (excluding blowouts).

The shooting guard position has been the question mark the last two seasons but Landry Fields has become the regular starter due to his versatility and he should keep that spot after the recent relationship he developed with Jeremy Lin.

J.R Smith made his debut today and almost overtook Lin as the Garden favorite. Knocking down threes, pumping up the crowd, and running the floor, Smith is going to provide the athleticism and bench scoring Mike D'Antoni's squad really needs. It may seem like a good idea to insert him into the starting shooting guard spot because of Fields' recent erratic play, but Smith has been a Six Man of the Year candidate during his days in Denver and should thrive in that role (provided he plays substantial minutes off the bench).

Iman Shumpert seems to be the guy who will see the biggest decrease in playing time. Before Lin, Shumpert was the starter and by default getting big minutes. Even with Douglas kept in the dog-house, Shumpert will be the 4th option at guard. The one thing that will guarantee big minutes for Shumpert is his outstanding defense. He will likely come off the bench as a combo guard, throw him in there along side Lin or even have him play some point.

Bill Walker played some huge minutes and knocked down big shots for this team during the recent winning streak. Today he was a late scratch that allowed for the Knicks to activate J.R Smith; and we all saw how that turned out today. Smith will probably take the minutes and shots that Walker has recently had, which puts Walker into a reserve role; not quite Toney Douglas status, but close to it.

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