NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA Sports Betting Articles and Sports News
Past featured sports articles and sports commentary from the OB Betting Experts. Stay up to date with the sports betting industry articles and weekly news of the OB Experts. Check daily for recent postings of articles and news for sports betting picks
Search all Basketball Handicapper Articles and Football Sports Betting Articles:
MLB Baseball | NBA Basketball | NCAA Basketball | NFL Football | NCAA Football | NHL Hockey
View All Sports Handicapper Articles
Carmelo Anthony responds to Linsanity
Written by Patrick Adams on 02/20/2012
Not much was at stake, just the possibility that an entire era of New York Knicks basketball would evaporate into thin air. After a decade of horrible decisions by the front office, dating back to the ill-fated Isiah Thomas regime, the Knicks had finally cleared cap space to sign LeBron James (more on him later), or a player of that caliber. They brought in offensive-minded coach Mike D’Antoni (more on him in a minute) and were ready to ascend to the top of the Eastern Conference.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Promised Land. James decided to shrink from the spotlight of New York City and take his talents to South Beach. So the Knicks decided to roll with two forwards – Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire – who need the ball in their hands.
In order to get Melo, the Knicks gave away a host of talent, and more importantly, great chemistry guys. In turn, they got a team with horrible chemistry, ill-suited to play D’Antoni ball. And just like that, years of prepping cap space to bring in big name free agents led to a 7-15 record and Knicks fans staring into the abysmal future of another decade with meager results.
A couple of weeks ago, D’Antoni was likely just a few bad losses away from losing his job. Knicks fans were worrying about their lottery status and wondering where to trade Melo. And then, at the end of his bench, D’Antoni found new life, the Knicks found new chemistry and their fans found hope.
Undrafted, unrecruited, Harvard grad Jeremy Lin saved the Knicks’ season, D’Antoni’s job and possibly basketball in New York for the next few years. In his first five games as a starter, he scored more points than any player in history. He also galvanized a city and a nation that loves the underdog story.
And it should not be overlooked, that he imbued hundreds of thousands of Asian-Americans with a sense of pride.
In just two weeks, Lin became the king of New York. I wonder what LeBron must be thinking now, seeing the biggest city in the country rallying behind such an underdog. Madison Square Garden feels like a playoff game every night Lin takes the court. All of that could have been LeBron’s. Instead, he took the easy way out. Lin may not have James’ talent, but he did what LeBron did not have the courage to do – he walked into the spotlight on the games’ biggest stage and became a hero.
Lin has captured the American imagination much like Tim Tebow did. But let’s not get too carried away with Tebow comparisons. Yes, they both surprised everyone with their ability to win games unexpectedly. They both captured Americans’ imaginations. But that is where the similarities end. Lin has awed with his talent, Tebow awed people by winning in such an ugly fashion. Lin went to an academic school, was relatively unknown and bounced around the league before ending up in New York. Tebow won a Heisman at a football factory and was selected in the first round.
Lin’s is a story of perseverance, of never getting down even though he was never given a fair chance. It is an American story in a classic sense. And Carmelo has been an American story in the modern sense – a me-first guy who does not get teammates involved. In an era of Twitter and Facebook and players rolling with big posses who serve as buffers and buttresses, Carmelo has been an island. He has also been on an island for the past two weeks, as he has been injured while Lin has taken over his team.
Carmelo returns Sunday, and how he responds to playing with Lin and playing a less-selfish style that requires player movement and ball movement, will be evident from immediately. This is now Lin’s team, in terms of having his peers’ confidence and support.
Melo has won a title in college. He is one of the best pure scorers the league has ever seen. But he needs to learn how to play team ball. He needs to allow himself to be led. If he doesn’t fit in with the Knicks chemistry after the first month back, he could be on the trading block. Imagine what the Knicks could get for Melo.
But I think Melo wants a ring. I think he has watched a team gel, much like his Denver Nuggets did after he left. I think he gets his act together and proves all the doubters wrong. I think he becomes a team guy and helps his new point guard mature and prosper. He would be Linsane not to.