The Jeremy Lin experience ended late on the evening of July 17th, when it leaked that the Knicks weren't going to match the "poison pill" contract offer he had signed with the Rockets. Although $25 million for three years was widely regarded as an excessive amount for a player who had started only 25 NBA games, the working theory was that because Lin had gone back to the Rockets in search of an offer that would be more onerous for the Knicks, petulant owner-scion James Dolan refused to match the offer out of spite. And so Linsanity went the way of a blackout or a city-crippling snowstorm: something the city will never forget, but something that was only temporary. Still, it was awesome:

With the Knicks atop the Eastern Conference at 18-5, it's clear their decision to let Lin walk—whether made for basketball reasons or personal ones—was correct. Here's why:

  • Jeremy Lin is an offensive player, not a defensive one. The Knicks currently sport the league's second best offense and seventeenth best defense. There's really only room for improvement on one end, and Lin can't give help them there. The point guards they brought in to replace him—Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton—are both better defenders than he is. Lin is such a bad defender that he has ceded fourth quarter minutes to Toney Douglas—yes, that Toney Douglas—this season. And even on the offensive end Lin hasn't been great—he's averaging just eleven points a game to Felton's 16.3.

  • There are a couple of reasons the Knicks' offense is so good. First, they move the ball. Lin is a willing passer but he isn't a ball mover. He's a classic inefficient dribbler, often dribbling in one place for three or four seconds while he plans his next move. His assist numbers might look similar to Felton's (6.1 per game to 6.8) but once you factor in pace (the Rockets play faster than any other team in the league, the Knicks are 23rd) the similarity fades. And ball movement is contagious—guards Felton and Kidd set the tone for the entire team and now superstar scorer Carmelo Anthony is willing to make the extra pass.

  • Another reason the Knicks offense is so efficient is the way they execute the pick-and-roll with Felton and Tyson Chandler. That leads to dunks for Chandler and open three point looks for everyone else. Lin was comfortable playing in the pick-and-roll but his first instinct was to try and turn the corner and attempt to finish at the rim regardless of who was there—which led to a lot of cool and-ones and facial bandages. It also led to a lot of desperate flailing layups. It's the threat of the pass to Chandler that opens the Knicks offense up. And we haven't seen what Felton can do in the pick-and-roll with Amar'e Stoudemire this season, although we know from Ray's first stint in New York he can do a lot.

  • Felton's contributing to the Knicks killer shooting from three at a 40% clip while Lin's shooting just 31% from downtown:

  • We don't have to watch this ever again:

    Jeremy Lin is a very inexperienced NBA player, so it isn't entirely fair to compare him to seven-year vet Raymond Felton. And Lin is improving: surprisingly, taking care of the ball is one area where he wouldn't hurt the Knicks. Lin was a turnover machine during his time in New York but he's gotten much better there, averaging 2.7 turnovers a game to Felton's 2.4. He's also been forced to adjust to playing with James Harden (a player who also likes to operate with the ball in his hands); he had a nice 38-point outing against the Spurs last week. But with Carmelo Anthony in the prime of his career, there was no sense in waiting to find out what Lin might become. The Knicks clearly made the right decision in letting Lin go.

    That doesn't mean Linsanity isn't still helping the Knicks from afar. Said Kobe Bryant after losing at the Garden last week: "I think last year was very tough for [Melo] because he was criticized a lot for shooting and for playing the way that he likes to play. Then the whole Linsanity thing happened, and everybody said, 'Well, they win better without Melo' and all this nonsense. You guys [the media] are guilty of it. You guys really put the hammer on him. And as a result, he kind of got a little gun-shy and a little self-conscious about things."

    Anyone who's watched the Knicks this season knows how Carmelo Anthony channeled his frustration. And as exciting as Linsanity was, May playoff games at MSG will be a whole lot better.

    You can follow Jonathan Fishner on Twitter @therealkingfish, and check out his blog The Real King Fish.