By Zach Crizer
No end in sight for Linsanity, but this man saw it first
If you don’t know who Jeremy Lin is, well, you probably just stepped off a plane from Antarctica, so go Google him or read Andrew Reilly’s column in today’s CT. For everyone else, the continued Linsanity is no surprise to one man who predicted Lin would be a sleeper NBA star while the unlikely New York Knicks hero was still at Harvard.
Check out Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay’s look at a basketball numbers guru who was crazy about Lin before the Linsanity ever began.
In other news, the ongoing derby for established NBA players returning for China is currently focusing on streaky scorer J.R. Smith. The swingman is expected to provide valuable points off the bench to a contender. At least 5 teams appear to be showing interest.
But of course he favors the Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks. Smith’s production could be a very real boost for any team. It is important to note the Clippers already nabbed one player returning from China — frontcourt agitator Kenyon Martin. Another major target, former Nugget and Knick Wilson Chandler, has said he plans to rejoin Denver when his Chinese team’s season concludes.
Spurs roll into sneaky winning streak
Don’t look now, but the ever-present San Antonio Spurs are at it again. The franchise that won the NBA Finals to conclude the last lockout-shortened season (1998-99) is still a serious Western conference contender under coach Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs beat the Raptors to extend their winning streak to nine games. While they have been settled right in the upper half of the league all year, the Spurs recent surge has been powered by point guard Tony Parker. The veteran Frenchman has suddenly exploded into a dominant scorer. He filled up the stat sheet with 34 points and 14 assists last night, just a week after a 42-point performance helped him land Western Conference Player of the Week honors.
San Antonio is also getting a boost from Manu Ginobili, who has now played three games since returning from a freak hand injury suffered earlier this season.