- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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There's no question that Felton, through nine games, has been an upgrade over Lin.
Still, Felton wins a head-to-head comparison to Lin by a landslide right now.
"There’s no doubt it's an upgrade," a veteran Eastern Conference scout said earlier this week. "Last season, it seemed like everything was a little out of control (under Lin) ... Now, Felton's knocking down shots, getting to the rim and making all the right passes. It seems like he's a perfect fit for this team."
It's a hot topic of conversation as Lin faces the Knicks for the first time on Friday night in Houston.
Felton's statistics prior to the Knicks loss to Dallas on Wednesday actually compare favorably to Lin's during his incredible "Linsanity" run last February:
Statistical comparison: Lin vs. Felton
Of course, Felton alone can't take credit the Knicks' team statistics. Kidd and Prigioni (Kidd more than Prigioni) have had an influence on the offense's output.
But the individual numbers are telling.
"I think it's absolutely an upgrade," a Western Conference scout familiar with both guards said of Felton vs. Lin earlier this week. "I think Raymond Felton is a legitimate starter, he's a legitimate shooter, he's faster, he's quicker, he's a better decision maker."
Adds another scout: "I know Raymond Felton's had inconsistencies but I would say that it's definitely an upgrade, because of how he fits in with that roster."
Lin is averaging 10 points, 6.3 assists and 2.8 turnovers in 33 minutes for the 5-7 Rockets. He's shooting just 33 percent from the field, including an unsightly 22.9 percent from beyond the arc. He's struggled mightily in the past five games, averaging 7 points, six assists and three turnovers on 27.5 percent shooting.
Felton, whom the Knicks acquired in a trade over the summer shortly before deciding not to match Houston's "poison pill" offer sheet to Lin, has put up solid numbers.
He's averaging 15.7 points, 6.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game and shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc.
One scout who didn't believe the Felton acquisition was a great idea when the Knicks made the trade over the summer admits, "I've had to put my foot in my mouth on that one. I was wrong, he's been great."
Lin himself acknowledges that Felton's been a near-perfect fit for the Knicks.
"I think he is a great fit for them," Lin said. "I think he's really good. I think he came back really motivated this year and he's playing really well. He deserves a lot of the credit."
Question: Are you happy with the Knicks decision to let Lin walk and bring in Felton?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Statistical assistance courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information's Keith Hawkins
2dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer