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Linsanity stops now ...

... And six more patently false statements about the NBA.

Originally Published: October 16, 2012
By Jordan Brenner | ESPN The Magazine

LEBRON JAMES IS A CHOKER. At this time last year, the masses thought this to be an unassailable truth. Well, one virtuoso championship run later and LeBron is a choker no more. This season, it shouldn't take such a definitive moment -- or the entire playoffs -- to short-circuit the latest misguided mantras. You may have your opinions, but we've got the facts, stats and analytics to change your mind about Jeremy Lin, Olympic hangovers, the creaky Spurs and more.

1. Jeremy Lin was a flash in the pan.

Twenty-six games. That's the extent of Jeremy Lin's brilliance. And it's the primary reason critics scoffed at the three-year, $25 million contract the Rockets gave him this past summer.

But just focus on his production during that seven-week run. The Knicks point guard averaged 18.5 ppg, 7.7 apg, 3.7 rpg and 2.0 spg while shooting 44.9 percent. Maybe Lin's stats were inflated by Mike D'Antoni's system or by some mystical force, but using history as a guide, those raw results are telling.

Since 1973-74, when steals became an official stat, only 24 players have matched Lin's numbers over any 26-game stretch. The worst of the HOF-studded list (see below) is Ricky Sobers, and he averaged 13.3 ppg and 4.3 apg over an 11-year career.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey admits his mistake in cutting Lin last preseason. "The evidence is overwhelming that he's way closer to being a significantly good player than not," Morey says. "He's comfortably worth the investment."

And if it turns out that Morey is wrong again? Well, based on the statistical company Lin keeps, the point guard will still go down in history.

Players who have matched Jeremy Lin's statistical output over a 26-game span:
Larry Bird, Mookie Blaylock, Stephen Curry, Baron Davis, Clyde Drexler, Sleepy Floyd, Walt Frazier, Penny Hardaway, Tim Hardaway, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Michael Jordan, Jason Kidd, Fat Lever, Chris Paul, Gary Payton, Micheal Ray Richardson, Pooh Richardson, Ricky Sobers, Rod Strickland, Isiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade.

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