The choices: Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and … Jeremy Lin.
Somebody call Big Bird, because one of these things is not like the others.
Now, Lin has been a revelation for the New York Knicks over the last two and a half weeks … but putting him in a “best point guard” poll after a handful of games as a starter is just ludicrous, especially when you don’t include that guy wearing No. 8 across the river.
Yes, Deron Williams had last night’s game at Madison Square Garden circled on his calendar. Lin began his amazing run against Williams’ Nets just 16 days earlier and D-Will has been hearing and reading about Linsanity ever since. Hype like that will obviously get under the skin of a prideful All-Star.
Midway through the third quarter, as Williams was raining a career-high eight threes on the Knicks, I tweeted how his performance reminded me of Jason Kidd tearing up Stephon Marbury and the Knicks at the Garden in Kidd’s days with the Nets. With Kidd in uniform, New Jersey went 14-2 (including 2-0 in the playoffs) at MSG.
I wasn’t the only one who was thinking about Kidd last night, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! writes…
Some Nets officials were reminded of a trip across the Hudson River seven years ago with Jason Kidd. Back then, Stephon Marbury had sniffed over suggestions that Kidd was a superior player, and Marbury declared himself the best point guard in the NBA on the eve of a Nets-Knicks game. “You couldn’t even talk to Jason that day,” one official said. “Seven hours before the game, and J-Kidd was in a full rage. You knew what was coming that night.”
Last night, the Knicks knew what was coming. Steve Popper of The Record has the postgame quotes…
“It started on me,” Williams said. “We definitely had this one circled — the whole team did. I know I did. I had this on my mind. It started on me.
“I don’t watch SportsCenter, but I do see Twitter and every third tweet was about how Jeremy Lin destroys Deron Williams. I took offense to that. … I’m a competitor. So when somebody says they destroyed you, and you watch the tape and you don’t feel like you got destroyed, you circle those types of games.”
The Knicks saw it coming, too.
“No doubt,” Amar’e Stoudemire said.
“Of course,” Carmelo Anthony said. “We’re competitors. I know I would. I saw it in him at the captains’ meeting at halfcourt. You could just look at him and tell he was ready, ready for this game tonight.”
The Nets are 6 1/2 games behind the Knicks in the standings, but Williams made a statement about where he and Lin stand in the point guard hierarchy on Monday. And with Kris Humphries getting into it with Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and the Knicks’ fans, it’s clear that the standings don’t matter much when these two teams get together.
Now, imagine Dwight Howard joining Williams with the Nets next month or in July. The intensity felt every time the Nets and Knicks get together at the Garden and at Barclays Center in Brooklyn just might exceed this month’s Linsanity.