What does the future hold for New York Knicks star point guard Jeremy Lin and the “Linsanity” that follows him? All eyes are still zeroed in on the kid from Harvard -- who ascended from the end of the New York Knicks bench to a worldwide sensation in a breathtaking stretch of games that saw the team win seven games in a row and nine out of their last 12.
With the All-Star break in the rearview mirror, people are wondering whether or not Lin can keep up his amazing play and how the return of Carmelo Anthony and the acquisition of J.R. Smith will affect the team. But why wait for the real thing?
Red Bull USA decided to gaze into the virtual crystal ball that is the video game NBA 2K12 and simulate the rest of the season to find out how it will play out.
Jeremy Lin NBA 2K12 Mix
1. STATISTICS (SOMETIMES) DON'T LIE
The numbers Lin racked up in his first two weeks as a starter were downright superhuman -- 22.4 points and 8.8 assists in 12 games and he set an NBA record for most points scored in his first five career starts -- but his point and shooting percentage will tumble down to more reasonable levels, according to the NBA 2K12 sim.
On a positive note, he'll also cut down on his turnovers and average only 1.6 per game. But the statistics don’t tell the whole story -- Carmelo and Lin’s backup Baron Davis are both healthy and take on some of Lin’s shots and minutes, respectively.
Lin’s simulated stats for the second half:
15.2 points, 7.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 steals per game, 42% field goal shooting
2. ALL LIN DOES IS WIN
Lin’s numbers will suffer, but he’ll still succeed in the most important statistic -- winning games. In the 31 games left of the regular season, New York Knicks will go 21-10 and grab the number three seed currently occupied by the Indiana Pacers.
That includes another six-game winning streak in late March against Eastern Conference teams that include a couple of quality opponents in Atlanta and Orlando.
3. MORE BIG GAMES AHEAD
Lin won’t be the focal point of the offense in the second half of the season, but he’ll still enjoy a few huge games. In the simulated game against Philadelphia on March 11, Lin will play 40 minutes and nearly manage a triple- double with 22 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and only two turnovers.
He’ll also hit the game-winning shot on a floater over Sixers’ All-Star Andre Iguodala at the buzzer. On March 31 against Cleveland, Lin will finish the game with 31 points, three rebounds, nine assists and four steals.
4. THE KNICKS WILL FALL IN THE PLAYOFFS
It looks like the Celtics’ green jerseys are made of enough Kryptonite to stop the Linsanity as Boton will defeat New York in the first round of the playoffs.
The series will go the entire distance, as both teams split the first six games. But in the deciding seventh game in Madison Square Garden, Jeremy Lin will score only seven points on 2-for-11 shooting and the Celtics will win 96-85.
Lin’s simulated stats for the playoffs:
14.8 points, 8.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals per game, 39% field goal shooting
Lin says: “This is my contract year and I’m thinking I might want to see what I’m worth in the open market.”
5. FREE AGENT TO BE?
He’s signed with the Knicks for the remainder of the 2011-12 NBA season, but would Lin actually consider ditching the Big Apple after his magical year?
According to NBA 2K12’s player card for the point guard, Lin says: “This is my contract year and I’m thinking I might want to see what I’m worth in the open market.” Whether or not, Lin moves to a different team, he’s certain to get a bigger payday. He’s on the second year of a two-year contract and is only making $762,000 for the 2011-12 season, far short of the $5.2 million the average NBA point guard earned.
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