“Yo Steve. Settle a bet. Who would you rather have right now. Felton or Lin?”
I stare at the text message longer than a stern Mike Woodson death stare directed at JR Smith before smacking my palm against my forehead and letting out a quick, disinterested sigh.
“Without a doubt Jer… ” I start typing before tilting my head back and giving it a second thought. Let me think this through before I get branded as some sort of anti-Knick Lin supporter who can’t admit that “Lin is certified trash“. After all, I am a Knicks fan, so I should support current Knicks. Lin is a Rocket now. I’d clearly be a Houston fan if I say anything positive about a Rocket. But no, that’s not how Knicks fans work. It’s 100% Knicks. All the time. Forever and always. Right? Right.
So… where do I even begin entertaining this comparison?
I guess I could start where any self-respecting basketball fan would: the statistics. Because after all, the stats sum up everything that happens on a basketball court in a nice, succinct package. Let’s take a look then. Per game averages through 3/21/13: (via NBA.com‘s lovable new stats site which is available to EVERYONE FOR FREE – isn’t the NBA the best?)
- Raymond Felton: 14.5 points, 5.7 assists, 41.6% FG, 35.2% 3PT, 78.4% FT, 2.9 rebounds (okay okay, I’ll round it up to 3 for you), 2.5 turnovers.
- Jeremy Lin: 13.2 points, 6.1 assists, 44.7% FG, 33.7% 3PT, 78.5% FT, 3.2 rebounds (okay okay, I’ll round it down to 3 for you), 2.9 turnovers.
At first glance, you might say, “Okay, so… ?” And I would agree with you.
On second glance, you might say “Well, they have nearly identical stats. The Knicks made the right choice letting the Asian go to Houston for that ‘ridiculous contract‘.” And again, I would agree with you.
BUT at third glace, and if you’re still reading, you might want to examine these plain ole’ stats a little deeper. Also, thank you for staying with me for this long and not switching over to Twitter or Instagram or checking up on your favorite net model and whatever she can balance on her bossoms.
Actually, hold on, Jill Martin is on my television screen. Be right back, folks.
Okay, sorry about that. I’m back now. As I was saying/typing…
What if we delve a tad deeper into Knicks Twitter’s favorite preseason topic of advanced metrics? I mean, anything to make a case for our favorite bulldog, right?
- Raymond Felton: 109.4 Offensive Rating, 104.6 Defensive Rating for a Net Rating of 4.9.
- Jeremy Lin: 106.3 Offensive Rating. 104.1 Defensive Rating for a Net Rating of 2.2.
(Oh yeah, for those who need clarification: OffRtg is how an approximation of how many points a player produces per 100 possessions, DefRtg is an approximation of how many points a player allows per 100 possessions, and NetRtg is the difference between the two.)
So, cool. Our best buddy Felton actually outperforms Lin here by a NetRtg of 2.7 points. Sweet Lord… LIN ACTUALLY IS CERTIFIED TRASH AFTER ALL
But Steve, what about their True Shooting Percentages, which takes into account three pointers and free throws, making it superior to the regular FG percentage stat???
Oh, I see you did your homework, you sexy whippersnapper you. Okay then, let us waddle on over and take a gander at those numbers.
- Raymond Felton: 49.1% TS. *coughthisisbadcough*
- Jeremy Lin: 54.1% TS.
YIKES. Okay, okay, remain calm here, Knicks faithful. We remember Jeremy Lin. Don’t we, Knicks fans? Mr. Dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-drive-into-an-impossible-layup-that-he-somehow-finishes-omg-I-hate-him!!! We remember that guy, right? The guy who gobbled up all those field goal attempts because Mike D’Antoni had no other choice but to let him? These numbers have to be skewed because Jeremy Lin has all the free reign in the world down there in Houston. RIGHT???
- Raymond Felton: 746 field goal attempts on the season.
- Jeremy Lin: 732 field goal attempts on the season.
Okay, well, whatever. A bulldog takes what a bulldog wants. And besides, this only means that Lin is more efficient at scoring the basketball, not passing the basketball, which is what a point guard is supposed to do anyway, right? Especially when you have Carmelo Honey Nut Cheerios Anthony on your team, right? Right.
- Raymond Felton: 23.3% Usage Rate, 28.1% Assist Rate.
- Jeremy Lin: 20.3% Usage Rate, 28.8% Assist Rate.
Um, all right. Usage Rate is an estimate of how many possessions a team involves a particular player (in this case, our favorite penguin Raymond Felton and the devil personified Jeremy Lin, respectively) while he(/she… RELAX WNBA FANS – ALL 7 OF YOU) is on the court. Assist Rate is an estimate of how many of said possessions a particular player notches an assist. SOOOOOO… Lin marginally gets more assists with less touches of the basketball. Meh, whatever. Doesn’t mean anything, right?
STEVE!!!@#!@$@# How does this affect their team’s records tho? Where is Houston in the rankings????
Honestly, I got kinda lazy, so check for yourselves. Yes, basketball is a team sport, but I believe the question at the top was “who would you rather prefer raymond felton or jeremy lin?” and not “who is the better team knicks or rockets?” Side note: For the sake of Knicks Twitter, I’ll ignore the fact that the Western Conference is slightly more competitive than the East.
Steve you moron, basketball is more than just numbers on a stat sheet. It’s about basketball fundmentalsandblahalahalahakahalahaskhfdsakdhf
Well, you’re right. Basketball games are not won on a nerd’s Excel spreadsheet, but instead on hardwood floors surrounded by paying customers. So let’s analyze this from a “basketball purists”‘s standpoint (please excuse the punctuation confusion on my behalf on those ironic air quotes).
Felton is a speedy point guard [footnote here: the point guard is essentially the quarterback orchestrating your coach's desired play set, because I <3 you and didn't want you to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen just for a measly footnote] with several shooters on his team. Lin is a speedy point guard with several thousand million shooters on his team. What would the coach most likely tell these speedy point guards to do? Well, I believe that, quite clearly, the answer is to penetrate the paint, draw the defense, and kick out to an open shooter, yes? ESPECIALLY when you (the point guard) are quite adept at finishing in the paint. Do you agree? Or am I just crazy?
ANYWAY, with what backdrop, I present to you these two lovely graphics:
OMG JEREMY LIN HAS SOOOOO MUCH MORE RED ON HIS SHOT CHART THAN FELTON. Yes, I know. And I cordially invite you to join me in analyzing this a little deeper (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID).
Drive and kick, that’s what we (both Raymond and Jeremy supporters alike) agree would be the best approach given our point guard and our teams’ talent. In “drive and kick” situations, where would you, the coach, prefer your point guard, a quick and decent finisher around the rim, get his shots when trying to draw defenders?
Yep! You’re right! In the paint around the rim! Give yourself a pat on the back for that one!
- Raymond Felton: 290 field goal attempts at the rim while making 49.7% of them.
- Jeremy Lin: 368 field goal attempts at the rim, making 53.8%.
WHATEVER, STEVE. AT LEAST FELTON DOESN’T CHUCK UP RANDOM THREES LIKE THAT OTHER MANIAC
- Raymond Felton: 210 three point attempts.
- Jeremy Lin: 205 three point attempts.
So, what you’re telling me is that, even though Felton is a less efficient scorer, less efficient passer, and probably not the smartest point guard, you would STILL prefer JEREMY EFFING LIN over the bulldog? What about Felton’s bulldog effort on defense? It’s not like he gets caught on picks and lets opposing point guards pirouette to the rim, while leaving his defensive stud of a center out to dry. Did you really want James Our Lawd And Savior Dolan to pay $30 million for an overrated and over-hyped point guard anyway??? Wow, you’re SUCH a Knicks hater. Go to Brooklyn bruh. You can’t hang with real Knicks fans. KNICKS FOR LYFE.
Well, sure. I guess I’m just #aggy
Peace out, y’all.