This was the back page of the New York Post today. "Linsanity", as you might detect from the subtle symbolism therein, is dead. The puns, the deluge of merchandise, and the press conferences have all faded. Nevermind that the Post was one of the chief propagators of "Linsanity". It's dead now. TAKE OFF THAT SHIRT.
Not only is "Linsanity" dead, but the papers are reporting today that Jeremy Lin will have a significantly reduced role in New York's gameplan now that fun-hater Mike Woodson is in charge. The evidence, as far as I can tell, for that sentiment is as follows:
1. Via Marc Berman, Woodson said that Lin is in a "learning stage", asserted that Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony will get the shots down the stretch, and alluded to Red Holzman's restrictive approach toward rookies.
2. Via Berman again:
Lin was less enthusiastic. Lin said Woodson’s offense will be "challenging’’ for him, saying D’Antoni’s system was "perfect for me.’’
"We’re going to use more post-ups,’’ Lin said. "I don’t know what the shot distribution is going to be, but I think the way we get the shots will be different.’’
3. Via Howard Beck, a person "who has worked with Woodson" said this:
"Woody’s inclination would not be to play him," said a person who has worked with Woodson.
4. Lin had 6 points, 6 assists, and 6 turnovers in Woodson's coaching debut against the Blazers. SIGN OF THE BEAST.
Now, a few other things:
1. "Linsanity", to me, was the thing where all anybody talked about was Jeremy Lin and the entire planet was suddenly interested in the Knicks and Lin and friends kept it going by winning most of their games. That ended a while ago.
2. Even if you narrow your focus to the basketball court, Lin's usage rate during the "Linsanity" streak was about [mathmathmath] 34.7 and was down to about [mathmathmath] 28.5 in games after Carmelo Anthony returned, but before Mike D'Antoni departed. His usage of 23.0 in Woodson's debut was, however, his lowest since being named starter.
So, ya know, hold your horses. Lin's role on the team had already diminished since the return of Anthony, and I think we're getting ahead of ourselves to assume that he can't find a way to remain productive (though obviously not as productive as he was in early February) as part of a new system. One could even argue that Lin was asked to do too much before-- he's had a couple very bad games over the last week or two-- and that having less responsibility could help steady him. Either way, the sky-high hype of "Linsanity" seems to have (thankfully) dissipated, and a new offense might put less of the burden on his shoulders, but that doesn't mean Lin can't be a major contributor to a team under new coaching. Let's wait and see.
Of course, now that I've said all this, Mike Bibby will probably play 25 minutes tonight.
(Update: Check out fuhry's far superior Fanpost on the same subject.)