Jeremy Lin & Hornets Bench Willed Hornets to Victory over Knicks Despite Awful Coaching by Clifford

I have so many things to talk about in this game, but I will try and keep this brief. This is really the first game that I got very pissed at coach Clifford. Jeremy Lin was one of the most efficient players in the first half and he had the fewest minutes of ANY Hornets players in the first half. Absolutely no excuse for this! Meanwhile, Kemba was probably the WORST Hornets of the night and he had THE MOST minutes in the first half. Not only was Kemba taking a lot of shots and missing all or nearly all of them, he also couldn’t defend Caulderon at all. Clifford benches Big Al no problem due to defense, but can’t touch Kemba’s minutes. I don’t know if this is due to politics or what not, but Cliff substitutes based on defense. Well, he didn’t in this game when it came to Kemba. Lin had less than 7 minutes in the first half while Kemba had nearly 18 minutes, I believe. That’s almost three times the amount of minutes, when Lin was having one of his best games (as good as you can have with less than 7 minutes) and Kemba one of his worst. If Lin can’t get minutes in this situation, then how is Lin ever going to get minutes on the Hornets?

I hate to say it, but Lin’s minutes situation is A LOT WORSE in Hornets than it has been with Lakers or Houston. I don’t think you can even pull the politics card tonight on how Clifford limited Lin’s minutes. He went out of his way to limit Lin’s minutes. Meaning that if it was about the Front Office hand cuffing Clifford, Clifford could have gotten away with playing Lin a few more minutes in the first half and still been well within whatever supposed limits the Front Office wants to put on Lin’s minutes. I really don’t know what Clifford was thinking tonight. It doesn’t matter what he was thinking, because it’s just plain and simple awful coaching. Lin was on a roll, playing efficiently and got taken out early in the second quarter after coming in (last sub as usual, which is INSANE) with about 2 minutes to go in the first quarter.

The other HUGE complaint I have about Clifford is his favoritism of Batum. Sure, Batum is good, but Clifford treats him like some great superstar. Batum is a good catch-and-shoot player who can pass the ball every now and then, but that doesn’t mean he’s some great play-maker or the one you go to at the end of games to CREATE clutch shots. He’s the guy you pass it to at the end of games when the defense is focused on someone else (Lilllard) and he hits a wide open jumper to win the game. That’s who Batum is. But Clifford sees Batum as the one who should have the ball to make clutch plays (since Walker wasn’t in at the end of the game). Batum is NOT THAT GUY. Jeremy Lin IS that guy.

In the fourth quarter and down the stretch, Lin made play after play, including one in which he basically willed the ball in the hoop to put the Hornets up by two less than two minutes left in the game. Lin had two defenders hounding him and he just somehow got that ball to go through the hoop with the shot clock winding down, because he wanted it to go through the hoop so badly. That’s clutch genes. There are advanced stats that clearly show Lin is great in the clutch. One of the best, in fact. The stats would be even more definitive in showing that Lin is clutch if Lin was given more opportunities during clutch time. So Lin’s clutch stats highly under-represent what he can really do, which is a scary thought. It’s no coincidence that Lin’s best quarter is the 4th quarter. When the game is on the line, Lin wants the ball in his hands and teams should want him to have the ball in his hands, but, unfortunately, due to coach’s lack of perception, this hasn’t been the case to the detriment of Lin’s teams winning close games.

Tonight, with the game tied and less than a minute to go, Clifford drew up a play for his favorite boy Batum (who else, since Kemba wasn’t in). Meanwhile, Lin was wide open and clapping his hands within shouting distance of Hawes, but Hawes basically threw the ball away trying to pass it to Batum (doing what he’s told by coach Clifford), who was surrounded by Knicks jerseys and all the way on the other end of the court. This is how INSANELY Cliff want’s Batum to have the ball. Hawes didn’t want to get in trouble, so he didn’t pass it to a wide open Lin standing a few feet away from him. Instead, he gambled, trying to get it to Batum and got the ball knocked away. Meanwhile, in the Knicks’s last play, which ended up not counting, because the shot came after the buzzer, they ran a play for Melo, but Porzingas had the fortitude to see that Melo wasn’t going to be a good optoin, since he was heavily guarded. So, rather than being a screener for Melo, he improvised and got himself open to hit a wide open 3 that would have won the game if he got the shot off in time before the buzzer. But before this in-bounds play, the Knicks used Melo as a decoy and got the ball to someone else and scored easily.

It’s insane that Clifford drew up an inbounds play for Batum, period. But the fact that he didn’t seem to have other options, like Lin, is just awful coaching. I don’t think these coaches are ever going to wake up. I thought Clifford was smart, but it’s still pretty dense when it comes to really playing Jeremy Lin the right way. The sad thing is, Clifford probably knows Lin’s game more than any of Lin’s previous coaches, aside from MDA, of course. That’s pretty much all for nothing, though, because Lin’s minutes have been severely limited under Clifford.

Tonight, the Hornets nearly gave away the game, because they kept going to Batum time and time again. And time and time, Batum just put up long range bricks, wasting so many possessions. Batum ended up being “Player of the Game”, but that’s just because Lin didn’t get enough minutes. Batum played 36:21 minutes and scored 24 points, while Lin played 21 minutes and scored 17 points. But it’s not just the stats. Batum was actually one of the factors hurting the Hornets down the stretch, because all he could do was launch long range bricks and wasted so many possessions. He wasn’t the Player of the Game if you actually look beyond the surface of things. Jeremy Lin was clearly the Player of the Game. Lin had a +11 vs. Batum’s +1. In this game, +/- did tell the story. Lin was 7 of 11, while Batum was 10 of 18 from the field. If Lin had gotten 36:21 minutes, Lin would have scored a lot more than Batum did and this game would not have been close. It’s comical how the Hornets starters keep digging a whole for the Hornets bench, in particular the JL boys, to bring the Hornets back in the game. This happened vs. Minnesota and happened again tonight. How many more times does this have to happen to wake up the Hornets’s organization? Do teams actually want to win games, anymore, or are teams just too busy playing politics all the time?

The other frustrating thing is that when Batum and Lin are on the floor, Batum is the one that Clifford wants handling the ball. How many turnovers does Batum have to commit for Clifford to realize that he has no business handling the ball when Lin is on the floor? Why does every coach want to take the ball out of Lin’s hands? I thought Clifford knew Lin’s game. Well, he hasn’t shown to me that he understands Lin’s game. The Hornets would be lethal if Lin was the primary ball handler. Lin would be helping Hornets win games like he did for Knicks during Linsanity, except this time he has an even more talented squad to lead. But, of course, that’s never going to happen due to politics. But the situation is so bad in Hornets that it seems it’s rare if Lin breaks the 25 minute mark, which is crazy to think about. Lin played out of his mind tonight the ENTIRE TIME he was on the floor and ended up with only 21 minutes. It’s crazy to me how blinded by preconceptions NBA coaches/GMs/Owners are when it comes to Jeremy Lin.

If Lin and Lamb get 34+ minutes, this game would not have been close and Hornets would be winning a lot more games. Unless this happens, Hornets are going to struggle and will have to fight for a playoff spot. If Lin and Lamb got 34+ minutes, Hornets could be fighting for the 5th seed, rather than the 8th seed. Of course, all of this is difficult to prove, and this is the frustration of being a Lin fan. We’re always having to play “what if” games, because coaches are either too stupid or too much of a coward to play Jeremy Lin the right way.

About JLintel

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  • MrPingPong

    Thanks for your postgame rant, Philosopher! I share your frustration and anger.

    I only saw bits and pieces of the first half but was able to watch the whole second half. Lin played his heart out as he always did. Lin laid it all out on the floor and saved Cliff’s ass. But Cliff will not touch Kemba because MJ made Kemba the face of the franchise. Hornets fans and media are warming up more and more to Lin though. They are beginning to see what Linsanity is all about. And they will start wanting “moar” Lin.

    Lin will ultimately triumph! My Ouija board says so!


    • You’re welcome, MrPingPong! If you had seen the entire first half, you would be even more angry, I think. Clifford really pissed me off, tonight. First time he’s really pissed me off all season and he’ll likely continue to piss me off, I think.

      Your Ouija board has got quite a track record. 🙂

      • old & in the way

        According to ESPN stats here are the PER’s for the Hornets’ guards. Lamb, 24.4; Lin, 21.2; Walker, 19.1; Hairston, 5.2. Why the F is Hairston starting? The PER stat takes into consideration defensive as well as offensive performance so if Hairston were such a great defender his PER would be much higher. So what gives here? I am not yet impressed by any of Clifford’s coaching decisions regarding who plays, when they play and for how long they play. Just because he may not be quite as bad as most of Jeremy Lin’s former NBA head coaches doesn’t mean that he is a good idea. Or to put it another way just because he isn’t as stupid as most of Jeremy Lin’s former NBA head coaches doesn’t mean that he isn’t stupid. In my view in very general terms most NBA head coaches are sorry and incompetent and it would seem that Steve Clifford is no exception. The sample size is still small but getting larger by the day. If Steve Clifford is going to begin coaching in an acceptably intelligent manner, then when it must be asked will this happen and especially in regard to his guards but also the rest of the team, too.

  • old & in the way

    I wrote the above post last night but was unable to post it as I have been having trouble doing so. Last night I actually wrote 3 comments but was only able to post one of them. I don’t know if this problem is on my end (in my computer) or on your end (in your website). I wonder if anyone else is having this same problem. I hit “post comment” but nothing happens. At any rate I couldn’t agree more with your evaluation of Steve Clifford’s coaching. It is singularly unimpressive so far. I see nothing about him (especially in regards to his handling of Jeremy Lin) to give me hope that he is going to ultimately see the light and guide this Charlotte Hornets team to play at their potentially optimum level. He does not properly utilize his personnel in any regard and his schemes lack imagination and innovation. His honeymoon for me is nearly over. If he doesn’t reverse course soon he will in my view join Woodson, McHale and Scott as incompetent head coaches with which Jeremy Lin’s teams have been burdened. He will like these former Jeremy Lin coaches become part of the problem and not part of the solution. Sadly just another lost cause for Jeremy Lin and those of us who are wanting Jeremy to be on a team that understands and plays a team oriented type of basketball as opposed to the typical NBA mode of a star-centered approach to the “simple” game of basketball. With this roster and a more intelligent coaching approach this Charlotte Hornets team could be very successful in my view. The ways things have gone so far this season however the Charlotte Hornets will as you have written struggle to win even as many games as they lose and will struggle to clinch even the 8 seed for the play-offs.

  • old & in the way

    And here is another interesting stat. Among Hornets guards Jeremy Lin’s PPS (points per shot) is the highest at 1.41. Lamb’s is 1.35, Walker’s is 1.21 and Hairston’s is 0.95. The team average is 1.21. Jeremy is second on the entire team behind only Cody Zeller at 1.43. Front court players will generally have higher PPS’s than back court players due to the obvious factor of playing closer to the basket and getting more foul shots on the average. For a back court player to be the most productive scorer on a team is a significant occurrence.

  • old & in the way

    The Truth

    The NBA Brooklyn Nets finally won their first game of the 2015-16 season…against Houston in Houston. Perfect. Patrick Beverley was arrested for an outstanding traffic warrant. Perfect. Houston’s record is now 4-4…the same as Charlotte. Perfect. James Harden is not the prospective MVP for this year. Perfect. Kevin McHale is not the coach of the year. Perfect. Fat Morey is not the executive of the year. Perfect. Ty Lawson is not a premiere point guard. Perfect. Meanwhile in Charlotte Jeremy Lin is playing behind two players, Kemba Walker and P.J. Hairston, who are not as good as he is and Jeremy is not being allowed to be the starter that he deserves to be and which he has earned. Not perfect. But some things do not change easily and may never change. So what else is new? Not much it would seem. Not much.

    • That’s some B-Ball poetry, right there, “old & in the way”. Nice!

      • old & in the way

        Dear JLintel:

        Thank you. I wrote it as a prose poem. Jeremy is great subject matter for poetry as is his story. He is a very inspirational individual and his story transcends life itself and translates well into art. Basketball may seem like an unusual topic for poetry to many people but not to Jeremy’s fans and supporters I am sure.

        • MrPingPong

          Way to go old friend!

          Since I can’t write like Old & In and the Philosopher, I just read what they write! Ha ha!


          • old & in the way

            Mr. PingPong:

            You write well, too, my friend. And you have an excellent sense of satire like Mr. Mark Twain. Perhaps not as political but just as keen and humanitarian. We walk side by side and I am proud and humbled to do so.

          • MrPingPong

            Thanks Old friend!

            Being an ex California Golden Bear, I follow the Dubs from afar, and man, Steph Curry is just unreal!

          • old & in the way

            Dear Mr. PingPong:

            I dream of Jeremy somehow finding his way to Golden State and playing with Steph Curry and the rest of the Warriors team. It is unbelievable to me that the Warriors have become as good as they have after so many decades of total futility. I get hope and solace from Steph Curry’s career as he was much criticized by the local (loco) media during his first two seasons with Golden State. He had some injury problems and all the experts were dismissing him as just another Warriors missed draft pick. Then slowly and quietly he became the guy he is today and all the critics disappeared. The same media people who had been trashing him began to praise him without any acknowledgment that they had been dismissing him without regard. Hypocrites and buffoons one and all. I am hoping that Jeremy Lin’s career may follow the same trajectory as Curry’s and all the critics may soon have to eat their damn words. The Warriors are the closest knit and unselfish team I have ever seen. Everyone is utilized and everyone contributes. They are extremely deep. Jeremy would fit right into this team…one of the few real teams in the NBA. It is a marvel to watch them play and to listen to their games. But as much fun as the Warriors are I would be out of my mind if Jeremy Lin could find himself on a team like the Warriors. So how about the Warriors since there would seem to be no other team in the NBA right now like Golden State. Jeremy Lin would prosper on the Warriors. I can only hope. Ciao for now.

  • Chirico

    The only thing I could rationalize this way of last night’s game vs Knicks was Hornets coach team thought it would not be fun if they had blow out game (if they know and read user guide of Jlin) than a close game that is memorable and thrilling so the fans and audiences stayed at last second of the game. The right thing I see is coach Clifford kept jlin on the floor in the 4th qrtr, but his arrangement of play and romance with Batum offsets this plus by a huge margin.

    I completely agree with your view, philosopher. Objectively speaking, the main issue I see currently with hornets is that they play the most efficient set of players the least minutes while playing the most inefficient set of players the most minutes.
    I understand it is hard to admit mistake that FO made under Bball God Mr. Jordan but you better change who you want to play the most. If I were the owners of this team, someone is definitely going to be fired soon.

    “Jlin is our biggest acquisition this season” – M. Jordan spoke this in China.
    Now if you are the man of your words, do it the way you said it.

    • Yeah, at least Cliff kept Lin in to close the game. If he didn’t then Hornets would have certainly lost and even Cliff knew that. So that’s why he had to keep Lin in there and bench Kemba. If Kemba didn’t have such a horrible game, I’m not so sure if Cliff would have benched Kemba, though. And Hornets would have lost. So Cliff lucked out last night, because the situation was right to keep Lin in there to bail him out.

      We’ll see how this all plays out going forward. Lin just needs to somehow continue playing out of his mind with limited minutes. The good thing about Hornets is that I don’t think it’s so corrupt that they would be able to ignore it if Lin continues to do what he has been doing. So lets hope that Lin continues to play loose and free and makes it very difficult for Cliff and company to continue to limit his minutes.

  • Check out this excellent article by Chris Baldwin, who’s one of the few insightful/brave sports writers out there:

    Also, here’s a good article by Greg from Sportiege, who often writes about Lin:

    These are two sports writers who aren’t afraid to speak the truth about Jeremy Lin. Other sportswriters are either too cowardice or dense to do so.

    • linfan123

      Watch Steve Clifford’s post game press conference following the Knicks game. It is a mixed bag from a Lin fan standpoint. Clifford clearly praises Lin’s defense. Twice! That is very refreshing. Then a reporter asks about the success of Lin, Lamb and the second unit in general. Pointing out that the last two games they picked up the first unit ………and Clifford gets defensive. In my opinion OVERLYdefensive of the first unit. You can tell he doesn’t want the media to start in with the whole maybe Lin or Lamb or both should be starting/playing more. I (like you) think Clifford is the best coach Lin has played for yet. I really appreciate his overall honesty and positive attitude. I think, however, this will be a frustrating season because Clifford seems married to the notion that Jeremy is a quality 2nd unit player. Maybe this will change but with Kemba there I doubt it. One last point I have actually been pretty impressed with Kemba as a teammate overall. He has been a willing passer to Lin and seems “sincerely” supportive of the whole team including Lin. Very refreshing coming off the Melo, Harden, Kobe nightmares. Really enjoying this season so far. Heck Jeremy’s body language clearly suggests he is enjoying this season! Just wish he could get more minutes. Go Hornets! All of them!

      • old & in the way

        Dear linfan 123:

        Interesting and thanks for the information. I missed Clifford’s post game press conference. I think Jeremy should be starting but I concede that starting is secondary to minutes played. If Jeremy could come off the bench and still play 30+ minutes I would be satisfied but this is highly unlikely to happen. Anything less than 30 minutes is not fair to Jeremy, his skills and the overall success of this Hornets team. For me the jury is still out regarding Steve Clifford’s coach abilities but so far I have not been overly impressed and I am being kind to him I think. He may not be as bad as his predecessors but that doesn’t necessarily make him good…for Jeremy Lin or the Charlotte Hornets in my view.

      • MrPingPong

        Yes Linfan123, I notice the same thing from Cliff’s post-game interview too. He also briefly pointed out something like it would take about “twenty games to figure out” the proper rotation.

        I really don’t know much about Cliff as a coach, but if I were in his shoes, having seven new players on the team, I would take time to figure things out. I am not defending Cliff, just trying to understand his perspective that’s all. Cliff is not completely sold on Lin, as we can see. I can live with twenty games of “trial-and-error” to start the season. There is plenty of time to finish strong and peak in a marathon 82-game season.

        Oh yes, Linsanity baby! Lin’s body language is very good. It reflect his Linsane state of mind! 😉 I re-watched all the shots Lin attempted in the Knicks game and saw no hesitation. I think Lin has figured things out. It can only get better. Before long, he will be recognized as a formidable offensive weapon. The fans will be demanding for “moar” Lin. Most of the headlines about the Honets are featuring Lin photos, don’t y’all notice? 🙂

        And I agree with you, Linfan123, that Kemba seems to be very supportive of Lin. Old habits die hard, but Kemba will learn to “be like Lin,” ha ha!

        Have a great day/evening everyone, wherever you are on the WEB!

        • JT

          MrPingPong, I have similar thoughts about Clifford. Although I am not happy with JLin’s minutes too, I do understand that it take a team of 14 players to win a championship. Cliff needs to bring every player up to their best level and play with good chemistry. Sometimes he needs to give a few more playing time to learn by taking away some from others… all for that end goal of playoff and championship.

          Will JLin’s game get whacked because of lesser playing time? Maybe, maybe not. Will others like Kemba, Batum and Lamb get better because of more playing time? Maybe, maybe not. Cliff needs to win the war and not every battle. Giving his troops some consistency and time to get better is not wrong. His every decision can be and will be second guessed by the whole fan base. Maybe he is not totally fair to JLin and me as a JLin fan but the team is starting to win and I do see some improvements with Lamb, Batum and team chemistry. I have to give the man some credit for making progress. I am just hoping he will give JLin his fair share at some point and not again let JLin be the casualty at the expense of improvement for others.

      • Thanks for the comment, linfan 123. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote here. I also have been very happy with Kemba as a teammate. I think a lot of Lin fans feel the same way. I definitely don’t see Lin starting at all this season, unless Kemba gets injured. That’s the only way Lin is starting, unfortunately. I also wish Lin would get more minutes, but I think Lin will be averaging 24 minutes, which is his lowest minutes average since Linsanity, which is insanity!

  • SoulJourner

    I’m sorry, but I disagree that Hornets are the best fit for Lin so far and neither is Clifford the better suited coach than the most recent B Scott and McHale. Not saying he is less suited to Lin, just that he ain’t no better than the previous two. The only coach that truly appreciates Lin and is willing to stand by their faith in him, is D’Anthony. History is black and white in this case.

    When it comes to Lin the Hornets are all lip service from Cliff’s ‘you can play alongside Kemba’ and Jordan’s ‘best summer acquisition’. The numbers don’t lie: whether it’s pay roll or playing time Lin is by far one of the most under-paid and under-utilized players on the roster. The only ‘big’ here may be Jordan’s ass kiss to score points with Asian fans, but people aren’t stupid.

    Lin, wise up. This ain’t the team for you and don’t buy into this ‘great fit’ shabang, unless you intend to solidify your NBA brand as the cheap backup point – which is what you are to the Hornets.

    • Thanks for the comment, SoulJourner. I agree with what you wrote. I’ve been less and less optimistic about Lin’s situation with Hornets as can be seen by how my articles and comments have trended negatively with regard to Lin’s situation in Hornets.

      It’s pretty clear now that Lin will get the fewest minutes he’s had since Linsanity and that Lin will close out fewer and fewer games. I think even Lin is starting to realize this. So, once again, hope Lin somehow gets better offers in the off-season, not just money-wise, but a starting role. Otherwise, Lin will be stuck in the back-up role. Just not sure which teams out there sees Lin as a starter after McHale and company have maligned Lin’s career.

      I was not at all surprised by Lin’s limited minutes in the Bulls game. This is going to be more and more of a common occurrence now that Lamb has taken Lin’s position in closing games and also now that the unit of Batum/Walker/Lin no longer look very effective, because Lin just ends up being stuck in the corner. It is what it is. Hope Lin somehow figures out a way to shine with limited minutes, which is going to be extremely difficult. It’s impossible to perform at a consistent level with limited minutes. I don’t care how good you are.

      One of the key reasons why superstars are consistent is that they have all the minutes to get into rhythm and smooth out patches where they’re struggling in any given game.

      • ashley

        When asked why signing with the Hornets, Lin said coach Clifford understands his game. Now it’s obvious the coach not only doesn’t appreciate his game but also doesn’t trust him at all–Clifford only trusts Kemba as PG–and Lamb and Batum as SG–hence being very stingy with Lin’s playing time.

        Too bad in this game, shortly after Lin checked in, the team began falling behind, which I think was the main reason he got yanked. The first unit did seem to do a better job keeping up with the Bulls, likely due to the fact that they had gotten enough time to warm up. I’m not sure if playing Lin today at the end would pull off a win, like what happened in the Knicks’ game; I just wish he had been given a fair chance to try–his performance in the 4Q so far should have earned him more trust.

        I didn’t like it when Lin signed with the Hornets at an awfully low price, and it turned out Lin really was too naive. The logic is simple and clear: they could afford not to play him since they nearly have nothing to lose–financially. At this point, we’d hope Lin tries his best in his limited playing time, but I won’t be surprised even if Lin kind of gives up or stops playing that hard for a deceiving coach.

        • SoulJourner

          @ashley: totally agree.

          • old & in the way

            I agree with Ashley, Souljourner and JLintel. Steve Clifford is a fraud in the sense that he says one thing and then does another. He is a duplicitous hypocrite. So is Michael Jordan. I have no allegiance to the Charlotte Hornets. My allegiance is to Jeremy Lin. In Charlotte Jeremy Lin is underpaid, under-appreciated and under-utilized. He is the only player on the Charlotte Hornets roster who has demonstrated dramatically that he can make players around him perform at a higher level than they otherwise would when he is allowed to run an offense. He is a very good defender. He is quick, fast and vibrantly energetic. He is not being allowed to do any of the things in Charlotte by Steve Clifford that he has demonstrated he can do. The Charlotte program is not a winning program and will not become one without significant changes in the front office and coaching staff. Therefore based on what I have seen in these first nine regular season games I hope Jeremy picks up his option to sign with another team next year. The problem is that the bias against him in the NBA is so strong and seemingly universal that it is not clear that any team will give him the chance to excel and be the starting point guard. All he needs as we have all stated many times is the opportunity to succeed. He is not getting that opportunity in Charlotte and it seems safe to say will not get it in Charlotte at any time in the future unless someone is injured. In spite of what people say about his “body language” I don’t see how Jeremy Lin can be happy or satisfied playing 17 minutes in a game in which only one of his teammates was playing any better than he was. The only person in the regular rotation whose minutes were cut last night was Jeremy Lin. This is nothing new to any of us. Jeremy has always been a team player and has never let his “body language” betray his team first attitude even in fucking Los Angeles. So all this talk of “body language” seems irrelevant to me. The Jeremy Lin that I think I know can not possibly be happy or satisfied playing 17 minutes on a 4-5 team, can he? I think not. So F the Charlotte Hornets and move on next year to hopefully something better if there is something better out there in the grand old racist toxic NBA culture. The NBA in my view with the possible exception of the Golden State Warriors is a goddamn bag of shit. It is ironic perhaps that it has taken a Chinese-American athlete to fully expose it for the smoke-and-mirrors nonsense and bullshit that it has become or perhaps always has been. Either way I love Jeremy Lin but more and more I hate the NBA. And that’s the real truth.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Ditto old’s comments. The NBA is a circus catering to the lowest common fan denominator. It is not basketball, it is not about team, it is not even about winning. Charlotte had a winning style in the preseason and then changed! This is stupid. There must be more to this than stupidity. The on going story of JL is beyond basketball and interesting in and of itself. When JL is gone then I am too. I would have bought NBA TV package just to watch JL but not now because he will not play. I almost did last year just to watch the Lakers but waited and glad I did because we all know how that turned out. We can only hope that D’Antoni is hired somewhere (Brooklyn?) and signs JL. THAT will be interesting. In the meantime it is no wonder the Hornets are never on TV.

  • MrPingPong

    I was able to watch the first half of the Chicago game but not the second half.

    Lin’s shot attempts were short from what I saw. There were two notable “near assists” for Lin: one to Hawe who just did not expect Lin’s pass and missed an easy layup right under the basket and another one to Lamb who was fouled by Noah on his way to the basket after receiving a pass from Lin who just stole the ball from Snell. Somehow things did not go well for Lin in the beginning and he was given no chance to turn things around. It was very frustrating to watch. I am sure Lin was even more frustrated than we were as fans in that game.

    As said by our Philosopher, it is extremely difficult to be consistent if you are not given consistent significant minutes to play, no matter how good you are. Lin is faced with an impossible task. But you know what, this is nothing new to Lin. He always has to prove himself over and over again, game after game after game… He will give 100% again and again, no matter how badly he is treated, no matter how people marginalize himself. That the way he is. Lin is the embodiment of the indomitable human spirit. This young man’s heart is as big, as pure and as tough as anyone’s heart! I love this guy! 🙂

    Portland is next! Letzzz Gooo JL7!

    • ashley

      Mr. PingPong, I always feel guilty of making negative comments and I’ll always await your positive message. As a Lin fan, we should keep up our spirits hoping for the better and best for him because we know he’ll always fight back!

      • MrPingPong

        Guilty as charged, Ashley! 🙂

        Let me get you in on a little secret though, Ashley: in real life I’m just a grumpy old man like any other grumpy old man in the world! 😉

        Have a great day over there in the Far East! 🙂

        • old & in the way

          Ashley lives in the far east? I thought she said once that she lived in North America and not the far east. Am I wrong? Care to reveal Ashley which continent you live on? Or which country? Ashley seems Americanized to me just going by her posts but I can’t tell. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area as does Chirico. Mr. PingPong lives in Houston, Gary Teng lives in Los Angeles and JLintel lives in Portland but that’s all I know. It is interesting to know where people live as it tells you a little bit about where they might be coming from figuratively speaking or psychologically speaking or culturally speaking. Not trying to pry…rather just curious.

          • ashley

            Hi, Mr. Old, this is Ashley from Taiwan. I remember stating I’m not a native English speaker, likely before your posting here. To be frank, I often feel a bit awkward exchanging ideas with proficient native writers like you about a sport I know very little of. Nevertheless, it’s been a great experience and I’m thankful for whatever responses you’ve made.

        • ashley

          Thanks, Mr. PingPong. We all can get grumpy at times, but being able to stay optimistic is a great attribute and talent to have. Have a nice weekend!

          • old & in the way

            Dear Ashley:

            Your English is very, very acceptable and very good for someone who is not a native English speaker. I request that you not feel uncomfortable exchanging views with me in English as I have a very positive impression of you as a fellow human. It is highly unlikely that I would ever form a negative impression of you based solely on your use of the English language. I often feel inadequate because I can only speak and use one language and in California I am surrounded by people are multi-lingual. I can use English and “pig-Latin” but that it is so I am in no position to criticize anyone who is bi-lingual or multi-lingual and would not ever think of doing so. And a very good day to you in Taiwan.

  • Ace Pagoda

    JL should give it another few games,5 or so. If things don’t change do it the NBA way and demand a trade. Now the question is who could he go to to revive the franchise? A team with some assets, no forseeable future and nothing to lose to where they would have to let him play. JL has always made his team mates better than they were or could be i.e. the NY Knicks. How about Brooklyn? They don’t have much to trade back but judging from how much they value JL they should not ask for much

    • old & in the way

      Jeremy Lin the starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nets could be very, very interesting so…yeah! Demand a damn trade Jeremy. It’s not his style but we can dream. Or demand to be traded to Golden State a team that would appreciate a selfless, team-oriented point guard to supplement Steph Curry and the other players they already have. But ideally I want Jeremy to be a starting point guard so Brooklyn would be my first choice for him. He needs to start on a team that appreciates him and will utilize him rather than suffocate him on the bench. Good idea, Ace.

      • old & in the way

        I just checked the Nets roster. Their starting point guard is Jarret Jack who is a pretty decent player as I recall. He played for Golden State three years ago off the bench and played real well. I was surprised that the Warriors didn’t keep him. Lionel Hollins is the Nets coach. He played on those great Bill Walton Portland teams back in the late 70’s that won one championship and then the year after winning it all they started 50-10 before Walton went down with a season-ending injury. He was a starter on that team at guard. I can’t remember if he was a point guard or a shooting guard although those designations weren’t much used yet back then. I think he was a good defender but it is hard for me to remember specifics from that far back on a team that I didn’t really follow too closely. He has a good reputation as a coach although that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I like him but I don’t really know that much about him. I wonder though if he would start Jeremy over Jarret Jack. I think Jeremy is the better player but again that doesn’t necessarily mean much and as we all know especially where Jeremy Lin is concerned. But it is an intriguing idea nevertheless. I definitely want Jeremy playing on a team where he is the starting point guard and is appreciated and utilized in an intelligent manner and given the freedom to play through his mistakes and is given a free rein to enable his teammates to play at a higher level than they otherwise would as he did with the Knicks during Linsanity. If that’s Brooklay, then goddamn it…let’s do it!!! Jack’s salary though is 6.5mil/yr. so they couldn’t trade them straight across for each other. But maybe something could be worked out involving other players. It would be nice to see Jeremy in a Brooklyn uniform and starting at point guard.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I mentioned Brooklyn because a. they are desperate and have nowhere to go, similar to where the Knicks were before Insanity b. they are in a big market competing with the Knicks and it would be nice to stick it to NY on a regular basis c. I just read an article outlining that while BKN has given away its future in its draft picks, it has $49 million to spend next year in cap space d. the article mentioned cutting Jack to save money so apparently he is not expendable and they are not wedded to him d. Hollins has no future in BKN especially if he intends to build a slow, set-it-up team like with Memphis, so hire D’Antoni and tell him and Billy Knight to build a Phoenix-type team with their money which would be exciting for the franchise (better yet get a new GM to replace Knight). A big problem though is their star is Brook Lopez, he with suspect feet and too slow to function in a high speed game. So trade him for the right personnel. D’antoni would have been great in LA with the right roster and would have had JL coming the next year but something is toxic in LA. JL to Golden State is no good because they have Curry and Shaun Livingston and don’t need help at all. Got to go somewhere where team ball is desired and build around that. D’antoni seems to be shunned like JL. Don’t know why since he is the architect of modern pro ball style that winning teams are emulating now, including Charlotte Thought he would get the Denver job and JL would have followed him there. Look at all the players he made into stars. Michael Jordan seems to be building the style of a loser owner similar to Donald Sterling (drafting that guy from Gonzaga?). Playing and owning are not the same. The thing that stands out the most during Linsanity was not only JL individual accomplishments but great the whole TEAM became. Can you recall who else was on that team? That is the point, the team was great, the game was fun. When the NBA caught on and focused on stopping Lin is when weakness showed by exposing the lack of other talented players…and also the return of Melo. Charlotte might have just enough talent for a team offense but Kemba Walker does not have the game to be the director.

    • That Nets idea is definitely something I’ve also been thinking about, Ace. I don’t know much about their Russian owner, but I always thought it would be very intriguing for the Nets to get Lin and D’Antoni from purely a business standpoint to make a loud statement and really take over as THE NEW YORK TEAM. I think if I was the Nets owner, I’d make that move purely for marketing purposes, since they need something to make a statement and the Knicks are the most vulverable they’ve been in the history of the franchise. The Nets have a real opportunity to steal the Knicks’s fan base and bringing Jeremy Lin back to New York would do the job, especially since an article came out that Lin’s agent actually reached out to the Knicks in the off-season and the Knicks weren’t interested. I think Lin still has a huge fan base in NYC, so bringing him to the Nets would really increase the Nets’s popularity. I know Jay-Z, who’s a small but very visible owner prides himself on being a savvy business man. So if I were Jay-Z and I wanted to show that I’m a good business man, figure out a way to re-unite Lin and D’Antoni on my team.

      This off-season should be an interesting one for Lin. The good thing is that I don’t think there will be too many PGs who will be in free agency, so the competition for PGs shouldn’t be too bad. This means that Lin may get more considerations than he would if this wasn’t the case. Also, the cap increases pretty dramatically, so Lin will be able to take advantage of that, as well. It’s hard to say at this point where there will be an opening for a starting PG. I’ll wait until the end of the season to think about all this.

      I think the ideal scenario is for Lin to somehow perform extremely well with the limited minutes he has and Walker suffers, making it very clear that Lin should be the Hornets’s starting PG. Lin gets more and more playing time as the season continues and by the end of the season, the Front Office decides that they want Lin as their starting PG of the future and decide to trade Walker in the off-season. That’s my dream scenario, because I do think the Hornets players are pretty unselfish and I think coach Clifford will do right by Lin if Lin has the backing of the Front Office. Coach Clifford also plays a style of basketball that I think is more team-oriented and very suitable for Lin if Lin is the starting PG and is treated the way Kemba is treated now. In other words, if Lin was in Kemba’s role now, that would be the ideal scenario for Lin. The Hornets have pretty good players, but no big superstar egos. That’s a good team makeup for Lin. So that’s why I think this Hornets team is ideal for Lin if Lin is in the role of Kemba. Of course, my dream scenario is very unrealistic, which is why it’s a dream. 🙂

      Anyway, I’m more optimistic about this off-season for Lin than I was this past off-season. I know Lin is tired of moving from team to team, but I really hope he finds another team where he can be the starting PG and be given the keys to the offense. That is when Lin is at his best.

      • old & in the way

        Yes, Lin needs to be in control of the offense!!!

    • old & in the way

      I have long wanted a Lin-D’Antoni reunion. I, too, do not understand why MDA has not been rehired to fill any of the coaching vacancies that have come up during the past two seasons. He is an excellent coach in many regards. Certainly Steve Nash’s career would not have been as productive as it were without MDA. And D’Antoni is the only NBA head coach who has ever allowed Jeremy Lin to freely run an offense and the results were truly transcendental to put it mildly. A MDA and Jeremy Lin reunion could be as pivotal as the “marriage” of Steve Kerr and Steph Curry. I like your scenario by which both Lin and MDA wind up in Brooklyn together. It is just a dream but my…what a dream!!!!!!!!!!!

      • old & in the way

        Somehow I screwed up the placement of my last two comments. The first short one was intended for JLintel. And the second slightly longer one was intended for Ace Pagoda. Sorry for the sloppiness.

  • Chirico

    I can’t agree with you guys more.

    Thanks for all of your posts. Some of you have given up hope for hornets but I will wait til may be 20~25 games then swip my hammer of justice on Jlin’s hornets journey.

  • Ace Pagoda

    On that same website is this article but about Ty Lawson and the problems with Houston and James Harden ( This is exactly what is wrong with “star ball” is that a team is not a team but dependent on a “star” in this case James Harden. This is exactly what happened to JL in Houston yet Houston rode this to an early playoff elimination. Harden does not make his team better. JL does and is much more enjoyable to watch because all players have a chance to exhibit their skills. However from a business sales standpoint in today’s celebrity saturated culture the NBA feels it is necessary to make and sell a celebrity. Golden State (and TV) is now doing the same thing with Curry, and though Curry is definitely a star he has an outstanding supporting cast behind him but little is heard of the other players now, not like last year with Klay Thompson and others. Charlotte does not have the talent of a GS but they do have the makings of a very good team and they have someone with a history of directing a team effort. I do not see many Charlotte games but I read the box scores and compare to Charlotte’s opponents. It was pretty well a given that Batum was going to go off against is former team and fortunately he hit his shots, but if had not been on his shot he could have shot them out of the win. Plus you have to consider their weak opponent, Portland and that they were playing at home. Then throw in the emotional element of the Paris terrorist attacks and Batum being French. Made for TV. So I discount this game.
    The “star” system is why I have no interest in the NBA as it is a sport for the celebrity obsessed and has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator consumer. I no longer watch ML baseball or NFL football because they are like soap operas now. I truly believe JL is a unique commodity in the NBA like Steve Nash and Magic Johnson were and Lebron James is because they tried and do make their teams better.

    • GT

      Dear Philosopher King,

      I am so happy to see that you finally experienced your “come to Jesus moment” by realizing that in the NBA talent is not everything, politics IS!~~~

      During the last quarter of the Hornets vs Knicks game, in that short 12-minute period Lin scored 8 points (4/5) and had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 critical steals (my numbers might be off by +/- 1.) That phenomenal performance far exceeded what he ever did during even the height of Linsanity.

      But the Very next game of Hornets vs Bulls, Lin was securely chained to the Gatorade bucket during the last 7 minutes of the last quarter and forced to painfully watch his beloved team lost that very winnable game!

      WHY??? The answer is rather simple — coach Clifford’s two balls are tightly gripped by his two top dogs for the time being. (Remember that one of his Big Alpha Dog was viciously barking at him on court during the Hornets vs Mavericks game?!)

      However, coach Clifford seems to be a very decent and smart person. I still have half-full confidence on him and I baldly predict that within two months he will set Lin free.

      Who knows?! Miracle does happen every once in a blue moon. Right?! 🙂

  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans and non Lin fans, just making conversation here…

    First off, ‘good to hear from DGT! Actually miracles happen a lot when it comes to JL7, I think! 😉 Just the mere fact that he is still kicking and playing in spite of all the s..t being dumped on him is a miracle to me.

    It’s game day today for Lin and the Hornets. The Knicks are ready for revenge. They are a surprise team this year, in my own opinion. Zinger, their #1 pick, is fun to watch and will only get better as the season progresses, IMOO. Again, the official Knicks site makes no mention of Lin in the game preview. But Knicks fans love Lin and eagerly await the return of Linsanity.

    From what I’ve read, PJ is out due to a quad injury. So Cliff will move Marvin to #3 and inserts Cody in as a 4. I think Marv can defend Melo alright. It will be interesting to see the matchup between Cody and Zinger tonight. Lamb strained his left shoulder in the Blazers game and probably will play fewer minutes. So Lin may get more playing time, coming off the bench as usual. I hope that Lamb can play, because Lin seems to mesh with Lamb well. The Lin/Lamb show is now the talk of town. We shall see.

    As I’ve been saying all along, an 82-game season is a marathon. Just take a look around the league, star and non-star players are getting hurt left and right. Playing fewer minutes at this point in time for Lin, though not good for Lin’s stats, may be a blessing in disguise for it lessens the chance for injury. The key is to stay healthy and go hard the second half of the season when all the contending teams are making a push for the playoffs.

    My Ouija board won’t tell me anything about tonight’s game besides “Linsanity Baby!” 🙂

    Letzzz Gooo JL7!

    • GT

      Dear Professor MrPingPong,

      Although I hate your Ouija board (because it gets too much spotlight all the time), I have to admit that do like its prediction for tonight’s game. 🙂

      BTW: I also baldly predict that ColdBrick will be sent to the junk yard for good before the end of this year.

      • old & in the way

        No doubt to that coldbrick junk heap and welcome back my satirical genius friend. Your humor has been missed.

        • GT

          Dear old & in the way,

          Thanks deeply for your compliments. You make my Week!~~~ 🙂

          Walker played 37:59 minutes tonight as THE PG but had only 1 (uno, one) assist. How anyone on the planet can explain and/or justify this to me???

          Just as Lin was doing great during the first half of the 2nd quarter and Hornets led Knicks by 8 points, Walker was re-inserted to take over as the primary ball handler and ever since then Hornets went downhill and lost yet another very winnable game. 🙁

          After watching scene like this repeatedly, I gradually lose my sense of humor and turn into an angry middle-aged man! 🙁

          • MrPingPong

            Yep DGT, you and I were seeing the same thing. Lin thinks Cliff understands his game, but in reality Cliff doesn’t. The way Cliff played Lin for 14 min straight in each of the halves is unhealthy and unsustainable. Lin owns New York and he should be directing traffic and running the floor. But no. Too bad.

            Crazy LoF like myself will just have to move on to the next game, and the next, and the next…

            The Nets are next. They won tonight beating the mighty Hawks! My Ouija board warns me not to watch the game tomorrow. So I won’t watch it.

            Still, letzzz gooo JL7!

          • old & in the way

            Yes, 1 assist in 38 minutes was it? Clifford is as clueless as all the others except for MDA. This shit is turning me into an angry old-age man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MrPingPong

    In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the latest video with Lin talking basketball with the Fung brothers:

    • GT

      Dear Professor MrPingPong,

      I had played basketball for many years myself. From my own personal experience, all it takes is just ONE extremely selfish teammate to mess up the chemistry of the whole team.

      Screw Walker!~~

      But I have not completely given up my hope on coach Clifford. At present, it’s mighty hard for him to justify of putting a 12-million franchise player on the bench and letting a 2-million newcomer as the starter.

      Good thing takes time. I will give him tow more months to prove that he is not a moron. Time will tell, time will tell…

      • GT

        Dear Professor MrPingPong,

        BTW: To insert Lin on court when there are less than 3 minutes left during the 1st and 3rd quarters makes absolutely no sense to me either.

      • old & in the way

        You may be smarter than I am, GT, but I’m ready to call Clifford a moron right now.

        • GT

          Dear old & in the way,

          I am by no means smarter than you, I am just more gullible. 🙁

          Clifford has 13 dogs need to be fed during each game and he has only limited amount of dog chows available. So he has to ration the food according to packing order.

          It is still early in season so it is hard to figure out what Clifford’s true intention is toward Lin. Please be a little more patient.

          Have a great day and enjoy the game this afternoon. 🙂

          • old & in the way

            Dear GT:

            I know all about pecking orders having been pecked to near extinction more than once during my long and labored existence on this planet. I shall try to be more patient but I am fairly certain that if we haven’t seen a spark of intellectual acumen come from Coachie by now we are probably not going to get any in the future. I could, of course, be very wrong so I will try for now to abide by your advice. However, tonight’s game did nothing to change my outlook. Jeremy got 4 assists during the very short period of time he was allowed to play the point. But most of the time he was playing out of position away from the ball and at times hardly touched it. Kind of like a pantomime…b-ball without a ball. It reminds me of sandlot football…go deep and I’ll fake it to you but I ain’t never going to actually throw it to you ever and you can count on that. You call yourself gullible which I would never call you but I shall call myself very, very cynical and especially where Jeremy and the NBA are concerned. But thanks for the encouragement or at least the attempt. Ciao for now, my friend and it is nice to have you back on this forum after your long sabbatical. It wasn’t the same without your clever quips. Mr. PingPong is very clever but the more clever people here the better. Know what I mean? It gets lonely living in America, the land of showroom dummies if you get my blunt drift and I think you probably will.

  • GT

    Dear old & in the way,

    You, as well as many other friends on the website (e.g., Professor MrPingPong, Philosopher King, Ashley, Chirico, etc.) are always so friendly and supportive to me. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    Justice delayed is better than justice denied.

    The abrupt firing of McFail even caught me by surprise. I came so early in this new NBA season, yet it came two years too late. Anyway, it sends a clear signal to the whole world that McFail is an incompetent and clueless imbecile.

    As a half-decent gentleman, I know that I am not suppose to derive pleasure from other’s misery and suffering. So, upon hearing this exciting news, I did not shoot any fire crackers in my backyard or hosted a gala party in my living room. In stead, I just silently popped a bottle of champagne in my kitchen and bitterly swallowed two dozens of the blue pills in my bed room…

    “… O Wind,
    If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
    Ode to the West Wind by Percy B. Shelley

    As those moronic NBA coaches who had abused Lin in the past were twisted in the wind one by one (first Woodson, then McFail), I am pretty sure that nowadays Byron (the ass-sucker) Scott is constantly putting his finger in the air instead of his tongue in his alpha dog’s asshole…