This time last year, every Knicks fan along with the entire country was experiencing “Linsanity”. The emergence of Jeremy Lin had every single fan of the New York Knicks salivating, and had erased any uncertainty over who should be the Knicks point guard of the future. However, last summer, on July 14th, the Knicks acquired both Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas from the Portland Trailblazers in a sing-and-trade deal. Even though I myself was glad to see two ex-Knicks return to the Garden, it left many fans wondering what the future would hold for Lin. As it turned out, the Knicks failed to match the offer that the Houston Rockets made to Lin, and as the say, “the rest is history.”
As you can recall, in Felton’s first go-round with the Knicks back in the 10-11 season, Felton was just about as good as any option the Knicks would have at the point guard position. In the 54 games that Felton played in a Knick uniform in that season, prior to being traded to Denver, Felton averaged 17.1 ppg along with an astounding 9 apg. This year, mired by an injury to his pinkie finger which kept him out for 12 games, Felton’s numbers have dropped a bit. In the 38 games that he’s played this year, Felton is averaging 14.9 ppg while averaging 6.3 apg.
However, this year with Felton, it’s not all just about the stats, it’s about how much better of a team the Knicks are when Felton is on the floor. In the 38 games that Felton has played in this year, The knicks are an impressive 26-12. In the 12 games that he’s missed, they’ve been just a mediocre 6-6. Quite frankly, that’s the only stat you need. Yes, Felton’s averages have gone down a bit since the first time he joined the Knicks, but the ball movement is exceptionally better when he is running the show.
One stat that does jump out at me so far this year with Felton, is his turnovers. The Knicks have shown that they can make a commitment to taking care of the ball this year, averaging the fewest amount of turnovers in the entire league at just 11.6 a game. A lot of that can be attributed to the fact that Felton is averaging just 2.4 TO a game. In his 10-11 campaign with the Knicks, Felton averaged 3.3 TO a game, while as a team they averaged nearly 14 turnovers a game. While it may not seem like a huge difference, turnovers often tend to be a big problem for many teams in the league, and can ultimately lead to many teams’ demise.
Through the first half of the season, Felton is currently in the top 10 in the league in the turnover department. Knicks fans can also breath a sye of relief in knowing that, yes, Felton is doing better than Jeremy Lin’s 2.9 turnovers a game, along with having a higher scoring and assist average as well.
The point is, everybody and anybody knows that the Knicks live and die by Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks go as he goes. However, the truth of the matter is, without Raymond Felton, the Knicks just aren’t the same team. The ball movement, the penetration, and overall team continuety is much better when Felton is on the floor. With the start of the second half of the Knicks season coming up soon, let’s all just hope Felton can stay healthy, and the Knicks success can continue along the way.