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No Lin no problem for Knicks?


No Lin no problem for Knicks?

In probably one of the more surprising moves of the off-season, the New York Knicks stopped the Linsanity and opted to let last season's wonder kid Jeremy Lin go to Houston after the Rockets offered the guard a 3-year, 25 million dollar deal which the Knicks did not match.

Lin literally came out of nowhere to be the poster boy of the sports world last winter as he exploded onto the scene, leading the Knicks back to prominence in what had been a sluggish start for the team. Lin averaged 18 points a game in 25 starts and had several memorable moments, including a game-winning three-pointer at Toronto in January and a 38-points spree in a home win over the L.A. Lakers.

Undrafted out of Harvard, Lin was just trying to hang on to an NBA roster in his second season in the league and he made the most of his opportunity in New York with the point-guard-starved Knicks. Lin scored 25 points in his first-ever NBA start last February and helped the Knicks reel off seven straight wins. Lin broke defenders down off the dribble, stepped out and hit jumpers, and was also able to dish the ball,averaging6 assists in 35 games.

Lin missed the final month of the season and the playoffs with a knee injury but it was thought management would re-sign the restricted free agent to play for New York after bringing back the buzz to Madison Square Garden, even with starsCarmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire already in the fold. The Knicks, though, decided to let Lin walk after the Rockets offered a back-loadedguaranteedcontract that New York was not willing to match.

Without Lin, the Knicks will rely on veteran guards Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton next season. Despite being 39 years old, Kidd got a three-year contract with the Knicks while Felton also received a three-year deal. Kidd is coming off a season in which he averaged only 6 points and 5 assists in Dallas. Felton, who has struggled with his fitness, put up 11 points and 6 assists for the Blazers last season.

Going forward and with Lin out of the picture, this team is clearly Carmelo Anthony's. The all-star forward will be entering his second full season in New York and it's expected that he would guide the Knicks past the first round of the playoffs, a place they bowed out of the last two years. Anthony averaged 22 points a game in 2011-12 but he will need forward Amare Stoudemire also to be a big contributor.

Stoudemire, the 100-million man, averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds this past season but his slicing of his hand punching a fire extinguisher after a playoff loss to Miami last spring will hang over him until he can help the Knicks go farther in the post-season.

The defensive player of the year in the NBA, Tyson Chandler, returns at center for the Knicks. Chandler posted 11 points and 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game last year. The Knicks brought back veteran Marcus Camby to back up Chandler.

The Knicks said goodbye to energy forward Landry Fields, but also added Corey Brewer who comes over from Chicago. New York also re-signed long-range specialist Steve Novak.

We shall see if the Knicks' decision to let Lin go pays off or backfires but a lot will depend on whether Anthony and Stoudemire can take their games and the team to the next level in the playoffs.

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.


Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."


Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!