GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- In a Wednesday morning report, sources told ESPN NBA analyst Chris Broussard that Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony were not co-existing well on the court.
Here's what Broussard wrote:
"When Anthony first returned -- and it still appears to be the case -- Lin would bring the ball upcourt and try to run D'Antoni's system. When Anthony would abandon the offense, Lin would not pass him the ball, which irritated Anthony, sources said. So when Lin tried to talk to Anthony on the court, Anthony would turn his back to the point guard and tune him out. The two never had heated exchanges, though, and the players tried to come to a compromise, agreeing to run D'Antoni's system while also mixing in post-ups for Anthony."
But after Wednesday morning's shootaround at the Knicks' training facility, Lin said he and Anthony "were fine" and that "there are no problems" in terms of their relationship.
"He's always been really nice to me," Lin said. "He's always given me a lot of advice. Right now, we're actually learning to play with each other better in terms of chemistry. ... It's just we need to be able to use his strengths and to use it at the right time within the flow of the offense. And that's been a challenge for everyone in terms of, not just him, just finding the identity of the team in terms of how we're going to play."
The negative scrutiny Anthony has been getting is not completely fair. While he still slows down the Knicks' ball movement at times with his isolation play, one thing that's being overlooked is how Lin goes through stretches struggling against some of the best defenses in the league.
Defensive traps, especially, and increased pressure in the paint have led to Lin making more rushed passes and even some while leaving his feet too soon that become prey for transition opportunities. Case in point: On Sunday, Lin committed two turnovers in the second quarter, which sparked the Sixers on the fastbreak, and they finished with nine of those points in the period (compared to the Knicks' four).
Acting sooner rather than reacting too late to what's thrown at him will be an ongoing adjustment for Lin, and it won't happen this week or next, or even this season. It will happen over the next year or so as Lin continues to develop into a everyday point guard starter who is prepared to overcome any audible called by the defense. 18 games is definitely not enough time to handle those situations.
Lin has the potential, but we all know quarterbacks don't become Super Bowl MVPs after only one campaign at the helm. And those kinds of quarterbacks know their receivers' tendencies just as well as one of their family members. If Lin and Anthony are going to remain teammates this season and beyond, they'll have to see eye-to-eye -- even before the pass to a made basket is successfully executed.
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