Blog Entry

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:56 pm
NEW YORK – For 16 days, all Deron Williams heard about was Linsanity.

“It started on me,” Williams said Monday night.

And his personal mission was to have it end on him, too.

“We definitely had this one circled,” Williams said. “The whole team did, and I personally did because it’s been stuck on my mind. This all started on me.”

On a night when the Knicks assembled their full array of stars around amazing point guard Jeremy Lin, it was Williams, the one-man show from across the Hudson, who stole the show. Williams had a season-high 38 points, including a career-high eight 3-pointers, as the Nets beat the Knicks 100-92 to avenge a Feb. 4 loss at Madison Square Garden that spawned the incredible rise of Lin.

“Like I said, I had this one circled,” Williams said. “I don’t really watch SportsCenter. I don’t really watch too many games. But I do see Twitter. People tweet me and every three lines was, ‘Jeremy Lin destroys Deron Williams.’ So I definitely took offense to that. I had it circled.”

So did Knicks fans who were waiting to see how Carmelo Anthony, returning from a seven-game absence due to a groin injury, would fit with Lin running the offense. The best way to put it is: some good, some bad, lots to work on.

Anthony was willing to work within the flow of the offense, scoring his first basket on a pick-and-pop with Lin and then setting up Amar’e Stoudemire for two straight baskets, including and three-point play. But predictably, given Anthony’s extended absence while Linsanity gained momentum without him, the Knicks’ offense lacked its usual flow.

Lin’s 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds weren’t enough, and both Anthony (11 points, 4-for-11 shooting, six turnovers) and Stoudemire (17 points, four rebounds) struggled to pick the right times to assert themselves. Baron Davis also was ineffective in his first game of the season after missing the first 32 with a bad back, and it was J.R. Smith’s second game with the team.

“We have to get some things sorted out, and we know that,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Before we get back to Williams, who was the biggest reason for the Knicks’ struggles because he flat wore out Lin on the defensive end, here’s what you need to know about the much-publicized job of fitting Melo back into the Knicks’ offense: It can work, but everyone is going to have to adjust – including him.

Straight from a scout who has watched Anthony’s career extensively, here are the issues: Anthony and Stoudemire like to operate in the same area of the floor, and that’s something D’Antoni has to figure out regardless of who the point guard is. The way Lin has played for the first 11 games of this run, it will be easier for him to figure out than it was for any of the other point guards the Knicks have tried.

Here’s the other, and perhaps more important issue: Anthony likes to set up and call for the ball in an area that is between the low block and the 3-point line, a little wider than most mid-post isolation scorers want the ball. Anthony has been effective his entire career from that area, because he has so many options from there. But he also takes up a lot of space, thus killing the corner 3-pointer – so crucial to D’Antoni’s style – on that side of the floor, and also crowding out the pick-and-roll and wing penetration. One game is a little soon to call it a failure, though I’m sure that won’t stop it from happening.

“We are not in panic mode,” Lin said. Now, back to the real star of the show.

Back to D-Willsanity. After one night of well-deserved satisfaction, Williams goes back to his reality of playing for a 10-24 team that is quite obviously in the Knicks’ shadow for the time being. At his locker in the visiting room Monday night, Williams called this “definitely the toughest year of my career and one of the toughest years of my life.”

“I’ve never lost at any level going back to middle school,” Williams said. “It’s definitely been a struggle, but I’m learning to fight through things and trying to lead guys even though it’s not the best situation all the time. We’re playing better as it goes and learning how to play and we’re developing guys. So it’s still a fun process. I just hope it’s not an extended process.”

Which brings us to Williams’ future, the options he has before him with an opt-out after the season and whether he’ll be chastened in his desire to team up with stars – in Brooklyn or somewhere else next season – when he sees that it isn’t always easy to make it all fit.

“We still need to get some guys in here, there’s no doubt about that, if we want to be a better team,” Williams said. “We’re 10-24 right now. We’ve got to get some players.”

Asked how he feels about the Nets’ plan to make that happen, Williams said, “I’m very comfortable right now. There’s not much I can really do besides play basketball. And that’s what I said I was going to do from the beginning of the season: play basketball and let everything work itself out, and at the end of the season, assess where things are. I’m sure I’ll have a conversation with Billy (King, the Nets’ president), with ownership and go from there.”

On Wednesday night, the Nets’ last game before the All-Star break, Williams will see his friend and foe (for now), Dwight Howard, when the Nets host the Magic. The fortunes of so many are tied up in what happens with Howard between now and the March 15 trade deadline – and with both of them after that, on July 1.

“It’ll be interesting to see how the fans are going to react,” Williams said. “I’m sure it’ll be pretty crazy. I kind of look forward to the game. I like playing against him, so it should be fun.”

Enduring the worst season of his professional life, D-Will deserves to have some fun. And putting a speed bump in front of Linsanity, which started on his watch, was well worth the trip back across the river.

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:36 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 6:49 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

You have accomplished a lot today my friend ....good day for you!

Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 6:41 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

Well, it doesn't.

but at least i got to point out how little you know about the game of basketball, how you have serious flaws in your logic, how you will not win just by trying to use other ppl's words in a competely different context and how you have no idea how to spell "guard" or "absurd."

Now that we are over this and you admit that you are wrong and i am right, let's be honest.  did you really, really go to the game and did you really record the game and study the game tape?  really?

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:59 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

well, i guess, compared to you, i am.

Well, hope that gets you far in life....  Cool

Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:56 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

well, i guess, compared to you, i am.

but you never answered my question:

what the heck is wrong with D-Will's hair?

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:35 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity


You win- YOU are a basketball guru-

Thanks for entertaining though!      

Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:12 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

hahaha nice try there buddy.

how is me saying "Lin couldn't handle D-Will" (are those even the exact words that I used?  whatever, anyways...) and
"it's called team d" inconsistent?

there is nothing inconsistent about pointing out one-on-one defense and the notion that bball is a sport where it's all about team d.

Artest, Battier etc. all play great one-on-one d.  that's different from team defense.  but then again, why am i trying to explain this to someone who thinks chanlder is a poor defender for letting d-will blow by him (you see what i'm doing here?)...

hahah how do you even try to raise the fact that i said Lin couldn't handle D-Will and try to make it sound like i contradict myself by saying "it's called team d"?!?!

you just allocated each basket that D-Will scored and allocated the blame to like 6 different knicks players - you basically just called them out for no reason.  you probably have no idea of the concept of rotation or switching d. 

since, as someone pointed out earlier, you get your sports news from TMZ and E!, why don't we stick to something you can really comment on? 

What the heck is going on with D-Will's hair?  Who has the worst hair in the NBA, D-Will or JR Smith?

Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:04 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity


there's  nothing inconsistent with stating:

A:  Lin can't handle D-will, and
B:  it's called team d.

the fact that i said Lin couldn't handle D-Will (i don't even know if those were the exact words, but anyway) does not negate the fact that b-ball is a game of team defense.  there is no flip flopping.  you're the one who said that it would be on chandler if on a mismatch d-will blew by chandler.  i'm the one who said it wasn't entirely his fault.  you know some people actually try to fight threw screens to stay on their own man?  but then again, how would you know this if you don't play ball.

keep trying buddy.  keep trying to use portions of my sentences and make them say something completely different.

you're the one who got upset when someone said something along the lines f D-will on his worst day is better than Lin.

I have an idea.  since it seems like you're getting your sports news from TMZ and E! like someone said earlier, why don't we stick to something you can comment on confidently?

what is going on with D-Will's hair?  i'm really curious.  does he have the worst hair in the NBA? or is it martell webster?  maybe JR Smith?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 4:24 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

I am amused at how many comments are arguing whether Williams is better than Lin.  Are you kidding me?  It speaks of how well this kid is playing.  Lin put up stats in this game that would make an all star proud.  The fact that people are even discussing him in the same sentence with Williams is a great testament to Lin.  The press who love to set up the straw man and then knock him down are baffled.  This author is absurd in pretending that their is some kind of feud.  The press is doing all the hyping and Williams did not want to be a victim of the press saying that he got smoked by Lin.  Look at what they said when he put up 38 on Kobe's Lakers it was all about how he smoked Kobe.  But Kobe is mature enough to let it roll off his back and Williams is not.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 3:52 pm

Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity

it's called team d.  that's not on the guy who gets switched and  gets caught with the mismatch.  that's just the nature of the game.  but then again, you wouldn't know that, because you think everything is an individual competition.  it's supposed to be a team effort.  then with that logic, how the hell did d-ho wiin Defensive POY if guards get by him all the time? huh genius?  why do you try to place it on one guy?  but then again, why am i asking you this, you don't know how team d is played.  

This all started when you said " Lin couldnt handle Williams"

I agree its a team sport, that why I noted who Williams scored on. THE KNICKS Couldnt handle Williams, it is a team sport.

You Flip Flopped though, First its Lin who cant handle D-WIll, now its team D-  Stay consistent with the arguements here...

It is Team Defense. D-will lit up the Knicks, not JLIN.     

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