Jeremy Lin is getting paid and is playing the Houston Rockets into the postseason. It's not the first time he's done this as the second year guard is took the New York Knicks to the NBA Playoffs in 2012 after starting just 25 games in a shortened season. Well, the Rockets should be happy they made that hefty investment, but the Knicks are probably happier because they got the same numbers from a cheaper option.
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The player the Knicks got at a bargain was Raymond Felton. He's making less than $4 million a year and is averaging the same numbers as Lin despite only playing in 65 games so far this season. Felton has given the Knicks a solid option at the point position as a starter averaging 14 points, 5.5 assists per game and a stat that Mike Woodson loves, just a little over two turnovers per game.
Now, turnovers was one of those corrections the Knicks made this year as they refused to turn the ball over and had their training staff running a lot at the beginning of the season. In 2011-2012, the Knicks committed over 1,056 turnovers, a total they have reduced committing over 100 less turnovers this season so far. The Knicks have only committed 933 turnovers, the least in the NBA.
Ironically for Lin, he's currently playing in the team that's committed the most turnovers in the league. However, it's not entirely his fault. Lin's turnover ratio is higher than Felton's in 78 games played this season. He went from 3.60 averaged with the Knicks to 2.9 with the Houston Rockets. He's averaging 13 points and 6.1 assists per game.
So maybe, aside from the money, it came down to a lack of trust, something many have wondered if Coach Kevin McHale possesses in Lin. He began giving the point guard less minutes at the end of February and beginning of March, but, it's paid its dividends as Lin has been playing well after getting some rest. For the Knicks, paying Lin an average of $8 million a year was absurd, especially when they knew Felton would be half the cost of Lin and provide the same kind of numbers.
The Knicks are still selling the Garden, they won the Atlantic Division and they are ready to make a solid playoff run behind their general Carmelo Anthony and probably the Sixth Man of the Year. Lin on the other hand is looking to play in his first playoffs. Last season, while he was probably the sole reason why the Knicks made it to the playoffs, Lin was out with leg issues and didn't suit up as he saw the Knicks fall to the Miami Heat in five games.
All is well in the Big Apple despite Linsanity being a distant memory. Now, the Rockets are rolling to the playoffs and they continue getting decent contributions from their second year player.
The Knicks are in second place in the Eastern Conference while the Rockets are in seventh and making a run at the sixth seed in the Western Conference.