12:45 pm Jul. 18, 2012
The Knicks don't have Jeremy Lin anymore, but they do have ... Raymond Felton.
Felton is likely to be the starter on opening night. The 6'1" point guard was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats. After five indifferent seasons in Charlotte, Felton was signed by the Knicks as a free agent.
Under Mike D'Antoni, Felton overcame the fact that he came to training camp out of shape and managed to play the best half-season of his life. It wasn't Linsanity, but Felton posted numbers over 54 games that were, for the only extended period in his career, slightly better than league average.
When the Knicks traded Felton to Denver in the deal for Carmelo Anthony, Felton regressed immediately for half a season. Then, signed to a one-year, make-good deal in Portland last year, Felton played terribly, not coming close to average, with the kind of game that turned the notoriously tolerant Portland fans against him.
The Knicks have him signed to play for the next three years.
Felton will presumably be backed up by Jason Kidd, who is almost certainly heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame for his storied career. But for Kidd, 39, is way past his best. He was statistically weaker than Felton even as Felton was getting run out of Portland.
Maybe the Knicks will get unexpectedly strong play at point guard from Pablo Prigioni, the Argentine player who has yet to play in the N.B.A. He's a pass-first guard with a good reputation overseas. But he is also 35 years old with no N.B.A. track record.
Prigioni's agent described Prigioni as a potentially good mentor to Lin.
That was only a week ago. But those were the days.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
In a story that should sound very familiar to you by now, the Mets got good starting pitching from Jon Niese, managed two late comebacks to take leads over the Nationals, only to have the bullpen blow it each time in a 5-4, 10 inning loss.
The Mets elected not to rush Matt Harvey, their 23-year-old pitching prospect who is the future, to start Saturday's game against the Dodgers. Instead, Dillon Gee's replacement, for now, is Miguel Batista.
CC Sabathia returned, looking fresher for the time off, in a 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays.
Kris Humphries signed for two years, $24 million, not because Humphires is worth 12 million a year in the abstract, but because that's what N.B.A. teams do, particularly over-the-salary-cap teams with limited options, with the valuable players they can retain. Most N.B.A. teams, anyway.
The Red Bulls will face the Chicago Fire at 1 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, and it will be hot.