Stack’s Stats: Linsane
Jeremy Lin’s amazing statistical performances and a Q+A with the Suns’ VP of Digital.
by Kyle Stack / @KyleStack
Yes, Lin-sanity is in full force and I’ll help put the story in perspective. I’m not sure what I have will advance Jeremy Lin’s story, but there is one statistic, in particular, that I want to document this week.
On the second page, you’ll find an extended Q+A with Jeramie McPeek. In addition to being a former writer for SLAM, McPeek runs the Phoenix Suns’ digital department. He’s been with the club since 1992 and has played a significant role in the Suns becoming one of the leaders of digital advancement in pro sports. The Suns’ home website was named top NBA team site by Sports Business Journal in 2002 and ’04 and was named Website of the Year by the NBA in ’07.
Check the interview with McPeek as we discuss what role he plays for the Suns, including how they evolve their social media channels.
The Main Dish
Embrace the storm or avoid it. That’s the choice we deal with on a regular basis, whether or not we’re aware of it. It doesn’t matter if the topic is sports, politics, weather (literally, storm, get it?) or any other subject important in our lives. There are times when a story is so prevalent that a choice must be made—embrace it or avoid it?
I’ve chosen to embrace Jeremy Lin’s story. It wasn’t really my preference initially, but I live in New York City. I have a bunch of friends who are Knicks fans. And then my favorite team, the Lakers, played the Knicks Friday night. There’s no way around it. Embrace the storm and appreciate what Lin is doing for the NBA. There’s no doubt Knicks fans appreciate what he is doing for their team.
His run of four straight games with at least 23 points and seven assists, all Knicks wins, isn’t unprecedented. But Knicks fans haven’t seen it done in awhile. The last time a Knicks player amassed those totals in at least four straight games was December 27-January 5, 2004-05 when, who else, Stephon Marbury ran off a string of great individual efforts. His five-game point/assist totals from that span went as follows: 34/7, 32/11, 31/8, 26/7, 28/8. The Knicks went 2-3 during that time frame.
Shift to current times and Lin’s totals are as follows: 25/7, 28/8, 23/10, 38/7 – all accomplished in Knicks victories. This is a different Knicks era. In many ways, Lin already represents the hope that exists for Knicks fans. (J.A. Adande recounted this very well in a recent column.) Marbury’s five-game streak came in the midst of an era Knicks fans just as soon forget.
Statistics don’t tell the whole story with Lin, but they go a long way into telling the lack of elite point guards to play for the Knicks the last several years. Raymond Felton did his thing in 2010-11 before getting shipped to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Marbury put up stats during his time, as did Jamal Crawford. But they were empty stats. Lin is putting up outstanding numbers while playing a significant part in the Knicks’ mini-resurgence. Now, the test will be to see how Lin fits in the team’s overall structure when Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony return to the lineup.
Fast Break Points
–Steve Novak scored 19 points in back-to-back contests, including five 3′s in each game, Feb. 6-8 versus the Jazz and Wizards. The last time he scored 15-plus points in back-to-back games Mar. 14-15 when he poured in 17 (5 3′s) and 21 points (7 3′s) for the Clippers against the Nuggets and Nets, respectively.
–Andrew Bynum had three points on 1-for-8 shooting against the Knicks February 10. The last time Bynum made just one field goal on at least eight field goal attempts was December 26, 2009, when he was 1-for-9 against the Kings. Merry Christmas.
–Ray Allen went 0-for-1 from three-point land February 10. That was the first time in his first 22 games this season that he didn’t make a three-pointer.
–Carmelo Anthony’s 22.3 points per game puts him in the League’s Top 10 despite his 39.9 percent shooting from the field. The last time a player finished in the Top 10 in points per game while shooting sub-40 percent was 2003-04. The culprit? ‘Melo’s sort-of-teammate, Baron Davis, who averaged 22.9 points for the Hornets on 39.5 percent shooting.
–You want to be reminded how productive LeBron James is? In only two of his first 26 games did he record either less than five rebounds or assists. He’s had at least five in one of those categories in every game and at least five in both in all but two of them. Take that, Jeremy Lin!
–Kevin Garnett took 23 shots, making only six, in Boston’s loss to the Lakers February 9. Those were the most field goal attempts he had taken since the 23 he put up February 8, 2009 against the Spurs. He had taken 20-plus shots only three times since the start of the 2009-10 season before the Thursday night Lakers battle.
–One more KG note: the last time he took at least 23 shots while making six or fewer of them was November 24, 1999. On that night, he was 4-for-24 from the field in a Minnesota loss to Portland.
–Dwight Howard notched his sixth 20-20 game February 8 against the Heat with 25 points and 24 ‘boards. That means I’m now obligated to tell you the most 20-20s he’s attained in a season. That would be nine times, which he did in 2008-09. It took him 74 games to do that; he had six through his first 26 contests this season.
–Kobe Bryant is a little more than 600 minutes away from becoming the 12th player in NBA history to record 50,000 combined minutes in the regular season and playoffs. Kobe (49,352) has only Hakeem (49,971) to pass before reaching the 50K club, which goes as follows: Kareem, Karl Malone, Wilt, Stockton, Elvin Hayes, Havlicek, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Robert Parish and Shaq.
NBA Schedule Quirk of the Week
(The team arguably most screwed for the next week)
Golden State Warriors – Five games in seven days.
Feb. 12 (vs. HOU), Feb. 13 (vs. PHO), Feb. 15 (vs. POR), Feb. 17 (@OKC), Feb. 18 (@MEM)
Insightful NBA Player Tweets of the Week
(Tweets unedited from how they were originally written)
Ronnie Brewer @RonnieBrewerJr
“And to those whose asked I’ve never ate 20 hotdogs in an hr thanks Will Ferrell for the lies lol”
Vernon Macklin @vernon_macklin
“I gotta find me a girl who don’t jus wanna smoke and drink and go out allll da time is that hard to look for?”
Pau Gasol @paugasol
“We, the Spanish sportsmen, don’t win by chance.. it’s true. Write down the keys of our success: talent, effort, perseverance and humility”