Coming into last Saturday night’s game with the Nets, the Knicks have lost 11 of 13 games and have looked completely lost during that stretch. Most fans were wondering not if, but when Mike D’antoni was going to be canned. A team with aspirations of competing the likes of the Heat, Bulls and Celtics coming into the season, was in a must win situation against the Nets just too possibly save their coaches job. Mike D’antoni was running out of options at point guard, Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert were ineffective and couldn’t run the pick and roll and Mike Bibby is washed up, so on a whim D’antoni gave Jeremy Lin an opportunity, and boy did he run with it. Lin played 35 minutes against the Nets, scoring 25 points and dishing out 7 dimes, he came up huge in the 4th quarter making Deron Williams look bad on a few plays en route to a Knicks 99-92 victory over the hapless Nets.
Many people paid little attention to this in New York, because most people were mostly concerned with the Giants and the Super Bowl the following day. Monday rolled around, and Mike D’antoni gave Lin his first career starts against the Jazz, the Jazz are not the Nets they are a pretty good team in the West so this was a big test for the 23 year old Harvard grad. Lin didn’t disappoint against the Jazz as he scored a career high 28 points and had 8 assists, and he did all of this with no Amare (death in the family) and no Carmelo (injury) but none the less he lead the team to an impressive 99-88 victory over the Jazz. By Wednesday “Linsanity” was in full effect in New York, people were asking is he a flash in the pan? Is he the real thing? Only time would tell, but going up against John Wall would be a good barometer. The Wizards are not a good team at all, but any Knick road win is a good road win. Once again Lin shined scored 23 points and had 10 assists, for his first career double double. The Knicks won the game 107-93 over the Wizards, the shining moment of the game was when Lin split the defense and slammed down a dunk emphatically. New York was buzzing, Giants have just won the Super Bowl, the New York Rangers are in first place and the Knicks have won 3 in a row with a show down with the Lakers on Friday night.
Without Stat and Melo the Knicks were really going to struggle against the Lakers and their size, right? Apparently no task is too tall for Jeremy Lin, as he went off Friday night scoring 38 points and dishing out 7 assists against the Lakers helping the Knicks win their 4th in a row 92-85. Over this 4 game stretch with Lin in the lineup he’s averaged 22 points per game and 8 assists per game, and the most important stat the team is 4-0. This has been a great run by Jeremy Lin and I believe he can truly sustain it, but by biggest concern is how Stat and Melo play with him. I personally believe this makes both Stat and Melo’s lives a lot easier because Stat can now run pick and roll with Lin, and Melo can play off the ball and see a lot of open shots off of the penetration by Lin. If the entire team buys into the Linstant Offense theme this team can be really good and I am excited to see how far they can go.
One last thing, it’s nice to know we have a point guard now and we don’t have to rely on the return of Baron Davis.