Are Knicks better without Lin?

Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith primed to push Knicks to the next level

Updated: October 19, 2012, 6:24 PM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN the Magazine
KnicksNed Dishman/NBAE via Getty ImagesRay Felton hopes to have more chemistry with Carmelo Anthony than Jeremy Lin did.

Raymond Felton is back in the Big Apple and loving it. And with the last vestiges of "Linsanity" having dissipated, the New York Knicks' starting point guard said the team is in a better position -- point guard-wise -- than it was a year ago.

Felton said things will be much different this season for Lin. If you recall, Houston offered the overnight sensation $25 million over three years, so the Knicks passed. While Lin's 26-game run last season was spectacular, it will be a huge challenge for him to repeat that performance for the Rockets.

Felton was very complimentary of Jeremy Lin, saying Lin's run last season was "one of the best I've seen in a while.'' But he said Lin had better be ready this season, because he has a target on him.

"I'm happy for him; he's down in Houston starting in a new situation where the team is basically his,'' Felton said. "I hope he has a good season. But it's going to be tough. It's not as easy as people think it is, playing the point, knowing that people are coming at your head every night.

"It's going to be difficult," Felton added. "It's not going to be like it was last year when he made that run. It's going to be tough, because everybody's coming for you because you have that name. That's the difference this year -- every night as the main guy, every point guard in the league is going to be coming at you. So he's got to be prepared for that.''

Granted, it's only preseason, but so far Lin has not looked prepared.


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