By: John Eby
All I Do Is Lin - Jeremy Lin is making New York want him back. First it's netw3rk over at Grantland pining for him.
In the Linsanity period, he seemed to be going as hard as possible all the time, every minute, so that, by the third and fourth quarters, he looked like a wrung-out wash rag, mouth gaping, face pink with exertion. Now he can pick spots, go full bore for a few sequences, then dial it back and still remain effective. He’s a better player now. A player the Knicks could’ve used.
Then it's Stephen A. Smith going on the radio (and thanks to a reader, Knickabokkaz, for posting this link in the forums) to talk about how far Lin has progressed, saying that he is a couple seasons ahead of schedule. Yes, he is.
If I Ever Get Out Of Here - Marc Stein goes into some detail about Omer Asik's desperate desire to get out of his situation in Houston. The most dire (but not entirely surprising) thing Stein reports is that Asik's absence from the lineup on Saturday was due to an emotional, not physical, malaise.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com that Asik was challenged by coaches and teammates this week for not being "engaged" in the wake of the lineup change, which took effect when Asik was moved to the bench for Wednesday's game in Philadelphia. And he hasn't played since the challenge, logging zero minutes Thursday night in New York while in uniform and not even dressing against the Nuggets.
Word of advice to Omer: since you've made your feelings known to the team, you can increase your trade value (and the speed with which the team can find a trade partner) by showing you're a pro who will show up to play despite less-than-perfect circumstances. Make teams want to give Daryl Morey an offer he can't refuse.
On the other hand, Asik's defensive talent is so well-known based on last year's production, that maybe Asik's moping doesn't do that much to his trade value at all. Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie delves into both sides of the Asik-trade-value equation:
The deals will be there. And if Harden and Howard get their personal acts together, the Rockets will continue to pile up wins even with Asik working in and out of the rotation. Houston’s front office needs data, and time, and they don’t need to cater to the (understandable) whims of Asik and his agent. They need to figure out what’s best for their team, and then go about trying to negotiate to add what’s best for their team.
Statcheck- At 2.8 miles per game, Chandler Parsons to top NBA.com's new tracking data for distance covered.
Also, Dwight Howard continues to lead in rebounding. As I pointed out in my Sunday column on Dwight, the new rebounding numbers can be interpreted a couple of different ways. Among prolific rebounders, the Contested Rebound percentage seems to favor guys like Roy Hibbert, Enes Kanter and our own Omer Asik, who have the size and strength to grab the ball out of the crowd, often by holding off an opponent with one hand and securing the ball with the other. Howard rates surprisingly low by this metric.
On the other hand, you have players who through hustle, positioning, and anticipation (and probably team pace) generate a lot of rebounding opportunities per game. It's no surprise that Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Derrick Favors and Nikola Vucevic top this list, although Spencer Hawes's placement seems flukey, and I would have expected to see Kenneth Faried ranked higher. These numbers will continue to fascinate as the season continues and sample sizes increase.
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