Iona's Machado inspired by Linsanity

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
7:00
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks' hobbled and inconsistent point guard situation that escalated midway through the season gave Jeremy Lin a window of opportunity -- and he took full advantage of it.

Now, with Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis out long term, Mike Bibby an unrestricted free agent, and Toney Douglas with no defined role, potential undrafted to second-round point guards are getting an opportunity to prove their worth during workouts in New York.

Queens-born Scott Machado, who stayed local for high school (St. Benedict's Prep) and college (Iona), realized that when he visited the Knicks last week. And Lin's example has provided further motivation for Machado, who believes he can make an impact next season -- whether it's with the Knicks or another team.

"[Lin] does inspire me," Machado said Thursday at the Knicks' training facility. "He went to what, two different teams before he landed here? And just the opportunity that he got. This league is full of opportunities, and once you get that opportunity to show your skills, you gotta take advantage."

Not only did Lin suit up for several NBA teams before the Knicks, but he went to a college (Harvard) not known for developing draft prospects. That label is also on Machado because he played at Iona. In addition, GMs and scouts are not as attracted to point guards of his smaller size (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) and his average athleticism (he has a vertical leap in the low 30 inches), especially when the prototypes have become Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Both are 6-3 and nearly 200 pounds, can jump around 40 inches, and can score and pass in multiple ways.

But what Machado lacks in stature, he makes up for with his superior passing ability in the half court and transition. In fact, he led the nation this past season in assists per game (9.9). And he showed he can D up (1.6 steals per game) and improve his 3-point shot (32 percent as a junior to 40.4 percent as a senior), which rounds out his game.

Machado, who won the Haggerty Award as the New York area’s top college player, said he considers himself a top-three point guard in the 2012 class. When asked to envision what kind of floor general he would be in the league, he said, "Steve Nash, but that plays defense."

The Knicks outing marked Machado's fifth individual workout, following stops in Philadelphia, Boston, San Antonio and New Jersey. He will also be meeting with Washington and Golden State, and then he'll attend the main NBA draft combine in Chicago from June 7 to June 8.

Two other point guards the Knicks might have an interest in are Syracuse's Scoop Jardine and Xavier’s Tu Holloway, both of whom worked out for the team last week.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2