Jeremy Lin wouldn’t be getting all this media attention if he was playing for a different team, but there are some perks of being a New York Knicks player. The Harvard sensation led the Knicks to their fifth straight win with his fifth straight 20 points performance, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98.
Lin didn’t have the most accurate of nights. Fatigue had something to do with it, coming off 39 minutes against the Lakers to stay on the court for another 39, but even if the field goal shooting wasn’t up to par with what he quickly has us expecting (8-24 from the field), Lin didn’t seem discouraged or less confident of his ability to carry the Knicks on his back, finishing with 20 points and 8 assists.
It’s been a dream week for Lin, averaging 26.8 points and 8 assists in the last five games, with the 38 against the Lakers obviously his crowning achievement on the short resume. Beating the (now) 13-15 Timberwolves, with a hyped up point guard of their own isn’t a lot easier than beating the Lakers these days.
Rubio himself couldn’t keep up with the opposing point guard, suffering from a bad shooting night (5-15), finishing with 12 points and 8 assists. Rick Adelman tried to go small ball with Rubio, Barea and Ridnour all in the lineup, supported by Love and Beasley. That just got the Wolves in deeper trouble, scoring only 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Love had a huge night, as he usually does against the Knicks, and usually does this season – 32 points and 21 rebounds, but could have used better choices from his head coach. D’Antoni, without Stoudemire (still on personal leave) or Anthony (injury), couldn’t rely on trying to mix things up. He had Lin, Fields and surprising contributions from Shumpert and Novak to carry him.
Lin has created a debate about the ability to distinguish talent, Sabremetrics (again), scouting necessities and qualities. Still, five very good games don’t make him an All-Star caliber point guard just yet, but with every passing game it looks more and more like someone should have started playing him much earlier.
And then there’s the Anthony question. Amar’e isn’t perceived as someone who’ll disrupt the Knicks’ chemistry. Anthony, who hasn’t been exactly at his best this season, is. His affect on Lin’s numbers and play, and even more importantly, the Knick’s win column, just might be the thing to end this crazy Linsanity thing going on.