Staying with Woodson/Melo Knicks would hold Jeremy Lin back

There’s no doubt that the Knicks want Jeremy Lin back next season (if only for his marketing value and also the fact that Knicks fans would be storming Dolan’s mansion with pitchforks if Lin isn’t re-signed) and there’s a very good chance that the Knicks will get their wish due to the “Gilbert Arenas” provision (http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q44), which limits other teams to the mid-level offer. However, there’s a chance that teams can back load the offer by increasing the third and fourth year of the deal significantly. (http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-can-the-knicks-get-steve-nash-3) If this happens, it makes it extremely difficult for the Knicks to keep Lin, because of the Knicks’ salary situation. For Jeremy’s sake, I hope another team that understands and respects Lin’s game and his being makes an offer the Knicks can’t match, because I think Lin’s development will be severely limited with the Knicks for a number of reasons that I will go into.

I know Jeremy is loyal to his team and teammates to a fault. But he shouldn’t feel like he owes the Knicks organization anything. What he has done for the Knicks organization, not to mention the NBA, is tremendously disproportionate to the opportunity that the Knicks gave him out of sheer desperation. There’s nothing more he needs to do for them.

I do like the Knicks and I like Jeremy. But I don’t trust this Knicks organization–especially if they’re thinking of bringing back Isaiah in any capacity. This is the genius that tweeted to trade Lin for Fisher. And they’ve had a history of making very poor management decisions that have been well documented, so I won’t dwell on it here. They just don’t seem like an organization that either knows how to or is interested in developing their players. Things may change for the better now that Grunwald is the GM, but Dolan is still at the helm.

Management is one thing, but the person that has the most influence over a player’s development is the coach. It looks like Mike Woodson will return as Knicks head coach. If this is the case, I don’t think he’s the right coach for Lin, but probably not for the reasons that have been touted. Yes, Woodson is known for his isolation-heavy offense and has a history of it. But I think during the year off of coaching, he had time to think about it and I think he knows that he needs to move away from his iso-heavy offense. We all witnessed a hint of this after he took over for D’Antoni and both Lin and Stat were playing with Melo. Woodson combined some iso, as well as pick-n-roll, spread the floor D’Antoni offense. Now, I’m not sure if this blend was because he had just taken over as Interim coach and didn’t have time to implement more of his offense. We will only know for sure next season. I think it may be unfair to judge his offense after Lin and Stat went out and he went back to an iso-heavy offense. I think it had more to do with necessity (i.e., they didn’t have anyone but Melo who could score consistently) than him enforcing his iso-heavy system full-force. But, again, we won’t know for sure until next season. If it turns out that Woodson hasn’t learned anything during his time off, as well as his experience in the first round with Miami, and sticks to an iso-heavy offense next season, then that’s not an offensive system that Jeremy Lin would thrive in. One evidence that does favor this scenario is that Woodson appears to favor Melo over all the other players on the team (with the exception of Chandler), so he may stick to an Iso-Melo offense. Under an Iso-Melo offense, Jeremy’s talents would be completely wasted and he would take a step back after making such great strides during Linsanity.

Even if it turns out that Woodson favors team-offense over Iso-Melo, I still think Woodson is not the right coach for Jeremy Lin, because of one very important reason. From what you’ve read so far, you may think I don’t like Woodson. But it’s not true, if you’ve read my previous posts, I actually think Woodson is a fine coach, because he knows how to communicate to his (star) players. Sure he has his faults and is still not a proven coach in the playoffs. But he was dealt a pretty bad hand during the first round with Miami–everything that could have possibly gone wrong for the Knicks did. However, the main issue I have with Woodson is that he has MAJOR trust issues with young players and this is the biggest reason why I think he would hold Jeremy back. He has this thing that he picked up from Red Holzman that young players should just sit, listen and learn. And it’s been ingrained in his DNA. He repeats this every chance he gets and it makes me want to rip his throat out every time. He says it like it’s some profound thing. But it’s a very shortsighted view of things and I think it’s made him make costly coaching decisions. He’ll trust players to a fault, simply because they are veterans, whereas any young player has to prove themselves time and time again regardless of how talented, wise, or knowledgeable about the game they are. This has caused him to play a Chandler, delirious from the flu in Game 1, rather than give a healthy Harrellson a chance. It’s also made him stick with a gimpy Baron Davis who makes terrible decisions on the court time and time again and takes bad shots over and over without consequence it seems. It’s also made him trust JR Smith, who also makes poor decisions, constantly fouling shooters at the three point line and taking bad shots and making bad passes time and time again. But he trusts these guys, simply because they’re veterans. “They’ve been tested” is another tired phrase that he repeats over and over again, like it’s some wise saying.

I think Woodson’s debilitating distrust of young players will be a problem for Lin no matter what type of offensive system he runs, because he won’t give Lin the respect that Lin deserves. Whenever I hear Woodson speak about Lin, there’s always this sense that Lin still has so much to learn. It’s very condescending. Don’t get me wrong, I think Lin does have a lot to learn (after all, he didn’t play the point guard position until he got to the NBA–a fact that escapes most people) and Lin knows he has a lot to learn. But I just don’t see Woodson giving Lin much respect, simply because Lin is a young player. I think that’s extremely shortsighted of Woodson. Okay, I get that experience is important. But every player is different. There’s plenty of veterans out there who don’t have wisdom and make poor decisions on the court (i.e., JR Smith). Yet Woodson trusts JR to a fault, simply because he’s a veteran. And he questions Lin, who has more wisdom than most veterans on and off the basketball court. It’s clear from the way Lin plays and the way he breaks down the game during post game interviews that he has a very high basketball IQ and understands the game from a very deep level.

Woodson speaks about Lin, as if he doesn’t recognize that Lin essentially saved the season, just like Melo saved the season in April for the Knicks. Woodson needs to recognize this and give Lin the level of respect Lin has earned. He talks about Lin as if he’s any other young player that needs to be taught so much about the game. The way Woodson talks about Lin disregards everything Lin has done for the Knicks. That’s what’s condescending and raises alarms for me about Woodson coaching Lin. This, above all else, is why I think staying with the Knicks under coach Woodson will hold Jeremy back. I feel like under Woodson, Lin will keep having to prove himself.

Lin is at his best when he is trusted to lead the offense in the same way that Chandler leads the defense on the court for the Knicks. But there’s no way that Woodson would let a young player take on that role. But that’s what Lin excels at. It’s part of his game. And this brings me to Melo. A lot of people have been talking abut Melo’s ability to play nice with his teammates. At first, I thought all this talk was over-hyped and didn’t really buy into all of it. Now I’m not so sure. I think he went into Iso-Melo mode late in the season because both Lin and Stat were out and he was the only consistent scorer. But he seemed to really relish it and he seems to really excel when he’s the only offensive option on the court. There’s nothing wrong with this, necessarily. It’s just the way he plays best. And Melo needs a group of guys around him who support this type of offense. Stat isn’t that supporting cast for Melo and neither is Jeremy. That’s why the whole thing has been such a struggle and Knicks management is to blame, not the players. Not Melo. Not Stat. Not Lin. Not even the coach.

Jeremy Lin’s talents would go to waste alongside Melo, because they essentially play similar roles. Okay, I get that they play different positions, but they’re both guys who are comfortable shooting from anywhere and driving to the lane. The only difference is that Lin is also looking to pass when he drives into traffic, whereas Melo is primarily looking to score. Again, no knock on Melo. That’s just the way he plays. He’s a talented and prolific scorer. A scorer who doesn’t need an aggressive Point Guard. Melo just needs someone to pass him the ball and stay in the perimeter so he can pass it out if he gets double-teamed. It’s more important that Melo’s point guard can shoot rather than drive and create. So that’s another reason why I think staying with the Knicks would hold Jeremy back. Playing with Melo would limit his opportunities to do what he does best, which is to explode to the basket and create for himself or for his teammates, depending on what the defense gives him.

Finally, Woodson’s primary job on the offensive end, or at least the thing he will be most  focused on during training camp is to resolve the whole debate on whether or not Melo and Stat can coexist. Lin is that answer for Woodson. So under Woodson, Lin’s primary (if not sole) job would be to help solve the whole “can Melo and Stat” coexist debate. So all Woodson wants for Lin to do is become almost purely a passer and give Stat and Melo the ball where they like it. However, Lin is at his best when he’s creating ALMOST EQUALLY for himself and his teammates. He’s not a traditional point guard who is purely a passer. He’s also a very talented scorer, as I’ve mentioned. But Woodson would train the scorer out of Lin and Woodson would be right to do so. Turning Lin into almost purely a passer might be GOOD for the Knicks, but not good for Lin’s development. You combine Woodson’s core objective on the offensive end (i.e., resolving the Melo/Stat co-existing debate), Woodson’s love of superstars, Woodson’s distrust of young players, Woodson’s lack of adequate respect for Lin (that’s proportional to what Lin has done for the Knicks) and it’s not hard to see that Lin’s talents will go to waste staying with Woodson/Melo Knicks.

I would love to see Lin with the Knicks for my own selfish reasons, since I enjoy rooting for Lin and the Knicks. I actually enjoy watching all of the Knicks players. Every single one of them is enjoyable to watch–with the exception of Baron Davis. And I’m also a big fan of Chandler, Shump and Novak. But Lin should find a coach and organization that respects Lin’s game and his being. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that’s with the Knicks. If Lin does end up with the Knicks, which is very likely, then he should not sign a multi-year contract.

I think Lin needs to go to a place where he can be trusted to run the offense on the floor. Jeremy Lin is a rare point guard who is also a talented scorer. So he needs to go to a place where he’s one of the primary scoring options. If D Williams leaves the Nets, then that’s a team that comes to mind. However, I admittedly don’t know anything about the coach there, so can’t say for sure if it’s the right place for Lin. The advantage is that he’ll be able to stay in New York–a big media market. Lin may also benefit from going to a team that’s in a re-building phase, such as the Portland Trailblazers or even the Bobcats. Sure, he won’t be contending for a title, but at least he’ll be able to develop his game and keep improving as a player, which is more important for him now than getting rings.

I’m confident that with Lin’s support network of family and friends, as well his own wisdom and intelligence, Lin will come to the same conclusion and do everything in his power to avoid signing with the Knicks. I hope this is why he has been so hesitant about his future with the Knicks during interviews.

In my ideal world, Lin, Chandler, Novak, and Shump would be in a team without Melo and Woodson. Again, not hating on Melo or Woodson. It’s more about the chemistry of the players. Everyone is talented in their own right, but it’s the right combinations of players that’s crucial for a team to compete for a ring and this is what the Knicks organization seem to fail at time and time again.

Side Note: Perhaps my worst fear would be for Lin to feel like he owes D’Antoni something and joins D’Antoni for a number of reasons. Sure, D’Antoni’s system is a dream for point guards of Lin’s caliber, because it allows him the freedom to create. I think that’s great, but I just have zero respect for D’Antoni as a coach, so I don’t think Lin will get much out of the relationship, whereas D’Antoni will get everything. This is an oversimplification, but I see D’Antoni as a very lazy coach that just sits back, tells his guys to spread the floor and has his point guard do all the work for him. This way, he doesn’t have to run any actual plays. All he needs is a talented point guard and players to buy completely into a spread offense and voila!

To me, this is not good coaching. D’Antoni misses many aspects of the game and I’ve pointed out in my previous posts his blatant substitution and timeout mistakes during games. More importantly, he can’t get his players to play defense or do all the little things that wins games, such has dive for loose balls, rebound, etc. And the reason he can’t get players to do these things is because of his main weakness, which is his inability to communicate and motivate his players. He’s too laid back to energize his players.

From his post game interviews, I don’t get any confidence that he knows the game on a deep level. He doesn’t understand the psychology of the game and can’t make adjustments. How can he make adjustments when his only tool is to spread the floor and have the point guard do all the work? This is why the Knicks had such terrible 3rd quarters under D’Antoni. Opposing coaches would make adjustments at halftime, whereas D’Antoni has nothing to adjust, because he only has one tool. And while his offense gives the point guard a lot of freedom to maneuver, it leaves the point guard extremely vulnerable, because the defense knows that all you have to do is take out the point guard. In that sense, D’Antoni’s offense is very predictable, so a talented defensive team like Miami can exploit it.

Aside from this, the biggest reason why I don’t want Lin to go with D’Antoni is because if he does well, everyone will keep saying that Lin is a product of D’Antoni’s system. So, again, his accomplishments will be discounted. I don’t buy that Lin is a product of D’Antoni’s system. Even Nash, who was coached by D’Antoni, went out of his way during Linsanity to disagree with most analysts, saying that Lin isn’t a product of D’Antoni’s system. Lin is a hyper-aggressive point guard who is talented and comfortable scoring the ball from anywhere on the court and has the ability to explode to the lane to create for himself or his teammates depending on what the defense gives him. So, yeah, Lin benefits from a spread offense. So if that’s what people mean, then they need to say that. But I think whenever they say Lin is a product of D’Antoni’s system, it sounds as if they’re discounting Lin’s talents. That Lin is a one-dimensional guard that can only play under D’Antoni. And there’s nothing further from the truth. But if Lin sticks with D’Antoni, this myth will follow him through his young career. In other words, you don’t hear anyone saying Nash is a product of D’Antoni’s system, do you?

Related Post: http://jeremylintelligence.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/more-evidence-that-woodson-is-a-good-coach/

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  • GPT

    Agree. This has been my concern ever since Woodson commented on Lin in his first press conference as the interim coach “Jeremy is just a rookie & when I was a rookie I sat, listen and learn”, and avoided committing Lin as a starter. His tone of doubt has not changed since then other then adding evasive remarks such as “Jeremy is a big piece of the puzzle or big part of the ball club”. Jeremy Lin’s development as well as performance would suffer under Woodson for several reasons:
    1. Lack of recognition & trust of Lin’s capability and potential.
    2. Coaching style: May thinks all young players need to be taught and managed with a tight wring, as he did with JR. He also failed to trust and instill confidence in a player as Landry.
    3. Offense strategy & system – He may feel his career depends on Melo, hence would stick with a Melo centric offense system. I also think he is not creative and strong enough in offense strategy.
    I am still hoping Dolan surprises us by hiring a new coach. The worst scenario for Lin is Woodson stays and that no team comes across with an attractive offer. If he is not released by Knicks, let’s hope he is smart enough not to sign multi-year contract with Knicks.

  • GPT

    Hope Knicks management is sincere in developing Lin and Woodson would have to follow direction. (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/deuce_points_B4CWOn5KeNZt0FNj9rVvIO)

    • standupphilosopher

      I think Knicks management is sincere in developing Lin. I trust Knicks management more with Grunwald as GM. And Knicks now that Lin is the one that brings in the money for them. So I think that’s their main motivation. I’m not as worried about Knicks management as I am about Woodson. Even if management made Woodson give Lin more respect, it won’t be sincere, because Woodson’s heart won’t be in it. The belief that young players need to just sit, listen and learn has been ingrained in him since he was a rookie. It is at his core. He can’t let it go no matter what. So will never give Lin the respect Lin deserves and if management makes him, then he’ll only do this resentfully. That’s a bad combination.

  • Yong Jin

    I agree with most of your comment, but I disagree that Lin is comfortable shooting anywhere on court. From what I observed, he is clearly hesitant to shoot many mid to 3 point shots. I do agree that Melo and Lin styles of playing just does not mesh well.

    • standupphilosopher

      I take your point. Jeremy also has major issues going to his left. He’s definitely not as prolific as Melo. But he is a rare point guard who can score and create for himself. This is because in college he played shooting guard, so he’s comfortable in a scoring role, as well as in an assisting role–especially during clutch time. I actually think people underestimate Lin’s jump shot, because his elbow flares out a bit and it’s a little unconventional. He is definitely a point guard with many weapons that will hurt the defense.

  • 1)I disagree that Woodson does not trust Jeremy Lin. He played Lin and trusted him and the Knicks were 6 – 1 during that time. Actions speak louder than words and Woodson played Lin big minutes. Woodson also says “Lin is a big part of what we do here” He has also spoke well of Lin’s talent. You didn’t give that enough weight in your essay. Woodson played Lin he didn’t bury him.

    2)I disagree that Woodson comments about Lin hurts Lin. I think they help Lin by taking the pressure off him. Lin’s situation is similar to Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. Rondo was a young point guard teamed with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett. Doc had a similar cautiousness about Rondo in the press as well. It is also a possibility that Woodson is in MSG “speak mode”. Not claiming Lin is the auto starter may attract an interested vet who would like the starting position.

    3) I disagree with you when you say Lin and Melo score in the same way so the pair is not a good fit. a)Lin and Melo have significant differences in the way they score b)Lets say their games were too similar that doesn’t make them incompatible. There are several examples of duos teams that do it. Pippen/Jordan both slashed to the basket. Randolph/Gasol of the Grizzlies both are Center/forwards. Duncan/Robinson, James/Wade both attack the basket I could go on….. Its possible to have multiple players that can attack the basket. That is a fact.

    4) I agree that from a development stand point Lin is not with a good organization. To my memory the Knicks have not developed a player since Charlie Ward of the 90’s. The Knicks have a history of squandering young talent for “name” players. I am cautiously optimistic that this has changed. The Knicks have made some savvy youth moves the last 2 years. As a Lin fan I think there are better fit organizations for him. Indiana Pacers come to mind.

    5)I must say if used properly Melo’s game will not hurt Lin. Many use iso as a pejorative term. The truth is iso heavy offenses can have excellent player and ball movement. The 2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks won a championship with Dirk in iso,

    • standupphilosopher

      First of all, thank you for your very thoughtful and detailed comments. You bring up many great points. Here are my responses:

      1) I know the point you’re trying to make. I’m trying to make a bigger point, that’s why I didn’t point out those obvious things you brought up. I wasn’t trying to be biased. For example, I think if Woodson didn’t start Lin and give him major minutes, there would be an outrage among Knicks fans. So I don’t think those actions speak to Woodson’s respect for Lin. I mean, that’s the least he could do. If he didn’t do that, then he’s plain crazy, because Lin is the best point guard the Knicks had at the time. Also, “so and so is a big part of what we do” is another tired phrase that Woodson uses. He’s said that about Douglas. So I don’t think that says much. Also, communication is only 20% what someone says. So it’s a subtle point I’m trying to make. In addition to what he says, it’s how he says it, his body language, etc. Just compare how D’Antoni talks about Lin versus how Woodson talks about Lin and maybe you’ll kind of see what I’m seeing. You can that they’re two different people. But watch how Woodson talks about Melo. His eyes light up. He has a big smile on his face, etc. With Lin, he pretty much says what he thinks he has to say. He says the minimum.

      2) That’s a great point about taking the pressure off Lin. But I’m not sure if that’s Woodson’s intention. I think it’s more of putting Lin in his place and letting Lin know that he’s a young player and needs to take a step back. I actually don’t mind about Woodson saying Lin’s not a starter, because the future of any organization is uncertain. Say they get Nash, then Woodson would have to bite his words if he promised Knicks fans that Lin would be a starter. So I think that’s what Woodson was getting at. Unlike a lot of Lin fans, I don’t fault him for that. I don’t factor that into my interpretation of the points I’ve made about Woodson’s distrust of young players. The only young player on the Knicks that makes Woodson’s eyes really light up is Shump. That’s because Woodson respects Shumps confidence and energy level on the defensive end.

      3) I see your point. I should have been more specific with the point I was making and I should have brought up the fact that there are plenty of successful duos that are comfortable shooting and slashing, so readers wouldn’t think it was oblivious to this. I think in this particular case, with who Melo is and Lin, being a young player with a coach who has a debilitating distrust of young players, the one who will be hurt in the duo would be Lin. Woodson is going to tell Lin to be more of a passer. He pretty much said as much in his interviews when he took over for D’Antoni. Look at those interviews if you have time. Woodson wants Lin to pass the ball and limit his drives to the basket, whereas he’ll favor Melo scoring versus passing. I think coaching-wise, it’s the right call for Woodson to make, because Melo has more experience and he’s a lethal scorer who’s not a natural passer. I think Melo actually is pretty good at finding guys when he hasn’t dribbled the ball. But the moment Melo dribbles the ball, he’s usually in scoring mode. And I think that’s what makes Melo such a lethal scorer. Once he takes one dribble, his head is either down or his eyes are focused on the rim and he just wills the ball through the hoop. So with the Melo/Lin combo, Lin won’t be able to play his game, because the coach will rightfully favor Lin to be more of a passer, rather than a scorer. That’s the point I was trying to make. Thanks for helping me make it clearer.

      4) I’m optimistic about the Knicks organization, because I think Grunwald will make a great GM and the Knicks have every incentive to develop and keep Lin long term. My issue is more with Woodson, when it comes to Lin’s development.

      5) I’m with you on the fact that “Iso” has been getting a bad rep. I think it’s just the mob mentality that’s over-hyping “iso” as a pejorative term. Nearly every team with a superstar uses iso-heavy offense. I’m totally with you on that. So I’m not one of those fans who are getting all riled up about iso this iso that. In fact, when Woodson took over, I was looking forward to him doing more isos with Melo. And I hated it when fans started booing Melo after he got the ball after posting up. This is during the time right after Woodson took over. If you have a lethal scorer, Iso has to be a big part of your game plan. I loved Woodson’s offense after he took over for D’Antoni, because it was a nice blend, as I’ve mentioned in my blog. And it drove me crazy that D’Antoni didn’t let Lin give up the ball and move without the ball around screens for example. So I do agree that Lin can benefit from not being the main ball handler on a good number of possessions, because Lin is also a talented scorer. So I do think Lin can benefit from an Iso offense. But, again, in this particular situation with Melo being the Iso-guy, I’m not as optimistic. Like I said, Melo is pretty good when he catches the ball and starts looking for open guys, but the moment he takes his first dribble, he’s mainly thinking about putting the ball through the hoop. If Melo has good court vision when he’s dribbling the ball, he will be unstoppable and will make all his teammates better. But I think after playing a certain way for nine years, it’s asking a lot of Melo to change his game. You’re basically saying, “Melo, do what you do best. Put the ball through the hoop in whatever way you can. But, by the way, I also want you to look around and see if anyone is open while you’re driving through the lane or creating some space between you and your man. Think you can do that?”

  • hkau

    I just want you to know that how I enjoyed reading your posts and comments.
    Would be very disappointed if not seeing more.

    • standupphilosopher

      Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it!

      • WINN

        thank you for your article.. hope to see you write more article about lin in the future about where he going or what he is doing now or anything..

  • WINN

    I enjoy reading your post..100% true..I knew if from the start when woodson take over..He said’ ( he’s leaning toward his stars)..One comment like this knows exactly what is he all about….And after knicks beat the 76s at home while lin had 16 point 4 th q and win that game,woodson was very anger ..i still remeMber what he said to lin..(look at my face,do you see me smile? NO..do you see me clapping for lin? NO..he must know how to pass to his team mate,..WHICH REFER TO STAT AND MELO..

    • standupphilosopher

      Thanks very much for your comment. I think when Woodson took over, he downplayed Lin partly to manage his superstars, which I think is a shrewd move on Woodson’s part. That’s partly what makes me respect Woodson as a coach, because he knows how to communicate to his players and understands player psychology. He knew that Melo, in particular, was feeling somewhat insignificant and wanted to let Melo know that he will make Melo significant again by downplaying LIn. So I think that’s part of it. But overall, I do think that Woodson’s level of respect for Lin is disproportionate to what Lin has done for the Knicks.

      That’s interesting the point you made about the Sixers game. Did Woodson really say those things? I haven’t heard that. If possible, can you refer me to where you found that information, because that would be very interesting to know. A lot of people point to that Sixers game as ONE example that shows Woodson respects Lin. But to me, regardless of whether or not Woodson said those awful things to Lin, that Sixers game doesn’t say much. I mean, Lin is the Point Guard after all and he does bring the ball up the floor. So I’m sure every now and then he can get away with freelancing and creating for himself. But in the bigger scheme of things, I don’t know how anyone can deny the simple fact that Woodson would train the scorer out of Lin to meet his objectives and turn Lin into a traditional Point Guard. In addition, Woodson is also a very old school coach. So he sees the role of the Point Guard as almost purely a distributor.

    • MrPingPong

      I am not sure where WINN got this information. Woodson was quoted by Howard Beck of the New York Times on March 21, 2012 after the game as follows.
      “He’s done that all since he’s become Linsanity,” Woodson said. “He’s been doing that. I put the ball back in his hand at the end, and he came up with the big plays.”

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  • MrPingPong

    I have enjoyed reading this post and the readers’ comments. Can any one here tell me what to make of Bill Smith, Woodson’s high school coach, mentor and consultant?

    • standupphilosopher

      Thank you very much for saying so. I really appreciate it. The only thing I know about Bill Smith is an article I read about him in the NY Times during the time Woodson took over. Of course, he’s very old school and served as a tough father figure to his players on and off the court. He was especially tough on Woodson, because he saw great potential in Woodson. Seems like the type of guy that would respect Jeremy Lin, because of how Jeremy conducts himself on and off the court. Woodson really respects Bill Smith, so that could be a good thing for Lin. Pure speculation on my part, though.

  • MrPingPong

    OK, which NBA coaches, past or current, would be good for Jeremy Lin then? Larry Brown?

    • standupphilosopher

      Good question. I actually don’t think Jeremy Lin is a difficult player to coach and can pretty much fit under most coaching styles. I’d have to see him under a specific coach to judge whether or not that coach is good for him. Can’t really talk about it in theory. Woodson would be a fine coach if it weren’t for the things I’ve mentioned (i.e., not only Woodson’s distrust of young players, but the situation the Knicks are in with the whole Melo/Stat co-existing thing). I guess D’Antoni would be pretty ideal for Jeremy Lin–despite what I said, but I would like him to be more active and actually run plays where Lin is moving through screens without the ball, etc. Also, he wouldn’t help Lin improve Lin’s defensive game. And, as I’ve mentioned, I just don’t think he’s too lazy of a coach. I here Jerry Sloan is itching to get back into coaching. I guess he’d be pretty good, having coached John Stockton and I also respect him as a coach. I’m sure Larry Brown would make a fine coach, too. I really think most coaches could work with Lin. Probably a lot of no name coaches, too. Jeremy just needs a coach and team that respects his game and allows him to play his game. That’s all. And I think there are a lot of places for him to go to do that. Sorry my response is very vague to your question.

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