Jeremy Lin added another important factor to his rapidly growing mythical status – clutch, with a game winning shot against the Toronto Raptors, with 0.9 seconds left on the clock, to give the New York Knicks a 90-87 win, their sixth in a row, with Lin, as usual, leading the way with 27 points.
In general it was night of point guards, with Jose Calderon leading the Raptors without Andrew Bargnani, scoring 25 points and dishing nine assists. Amar’e Stoudemire also made his return after dealing with the death of his brother, having a very good return with 21 points and nine rebounds. Above all, for obvious reasons, was Jeremy Lin.
He played 43 minutes in his fifth consecutive career start. He hasn’t played less than 36 since making himself known on February 4 against the Utah Jazz. Lin’s numbers since being discovered? Averaging 26.8 points and 8.5 assists, with his 11 against the Raptors a career high and his second double double of the season. Linsanity, into its second week, simply can’t be stopped.
With six straight wins in what can only be called the beginning of the Lin dynasty before ‘Melo makes his return, the Knicks are back in the playoff picture with a 14-15 record and suddenly, a scary looking team. If Carmelo Anthony does fit in to this very nice puzzle suddenly creates, as if by chance and luck and not by long term planning and actual talent observation.
The dreaded prophecies of the day Anthony returns to the lineup have been hovering around since the moment people understood what a gem the Knicks had stuck at the end of the bench all this time. It’s all quiet in the Anthony district right now, but it’s simply intriguing to see how well does he adjust to the new Alpha on the Knicks’ roster, who clearly flourishes with a different type of basketball to what Carmelo usually prefers and dictates on his team.
The first test, of seeing how well Lin meshes with Stoudemire, went by swimmingly. The Raptors aren’t the toughest of opponents, but a road win is a road win, even without Bargnani. Amar’e didn’t have the best of nights in terms of shooting, getting blocked 7 times and finishing with 8-22 from the field, but it’s clear the two can work together.
Lin’s turnovers were an issue, finishing with 8. He’s turned the ball over 30(!!) times in his five starts, with this being the second game of 8 turnovers by the 23 year old Point Guard, in his second NBA season. So far, it isn’t costing his team wins, which is the important factor, but bad habits and stats tend to catch up with you.