Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Could it be Copeland-sanity?
By Ian Begley
First things first: There will probably never be another Jeremy Lin.
Several factors came together during Lin's rise to prominence, making his fascinating story -- and the "Linsanity" phenomenon -- nearly impossible to duplicate.
But that's not to say that someone can't emerge from the end of the Knicks bench to surprise people.
Based on the preseason, the best candidate to do so is 6-foot-8 forward Chris Copeland, a 28-year-old rookie who spent the past five seasons playing in Europe.
Coming into the preseason, many assumed there would be a tight competition for the 15th spot on the roster. The Knicks, who seemingly needed depth at every position, had six players under non-guaranteed contracts vying for that final job.
But a few games into the preseason, it was clear that Copeland had earned the roster spot.
Copeland averaged 15 points in 25 minutes and flashed his versatility, playing both forward spots and spending some time at center. He showed that he can knock down an outside shot and seemed more and more comfortable with every minute he spent on an NBA floor.
He also showed that he needs to work on his defense and rebounding and be a bit more careful with the ball. But he clearly has potential.
"I think I can help out at every position," Copeland said before it was clear that he was going to make the roster. "I have played every position except point guard at some point. So I think (Mike Woodson) can use me wherever he would like to."
The way things are lined up, Copeland has a chance to make a significant impact on this team right away.
With Amar'e Stoudemire out for six to eight weeks following a surgical procedure on his left knee, the Knicks have a void at power forward. They hope Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace can carry the load, but Copeland will get an opportunity to do so as well.
Will he make a Linsanity-type impact? Probably not.
But can he surprise some people by playing well and earning a regular rotation spot? Absolutely.