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No question now, Lin is for real

Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:13 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 5:39 pm
Jeremy Lin did it again Sunday, leading the Knicks to 104-97 win over Dallas. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

It is no longer a surprise. It is no longer unbelievable. It is no longer improbable. And that makes it no less fun to experience. The Jeremy Lin Experience is very, very real. 

Lin lead the the Knicks  to a 104-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks Sunday as Madison Square Garden was once again taken over by Linsanity. Lin finished with 28 points, 14 assists, 7 turnovers, and 5 steals against the 4th best defensive efficiency squad in the league, as he returned to his double-team-splitting, drive-and-dish-kicking, absolute takeover mode we saw through his first seven games and recovered from the Knicks' loss to the Hornets. He still turned the ball over at a high rate, but after 46 minutes and with that much usage, you have to expect some mistakes, and Lin more than made up for it with his efficiency (28 points on 20 shots), and five steals to convert opportunities for the Knicks. 

The Mavericks tried Shawn Marion on Lin, the same Matrix who shut down LeBron James in the Finals. They tried Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, hedging, trapping, rolling. Some of the traps worked. Dominique Jones put in good minutes on him. But Lin adjusted. That was the question with Lin, whether he could change his game to match how teams would attack him. He did, and made the Mavericks pay.

There isn't much you can say at this point that hasn't been said. But this was a statement game for Lin and the Knicks' belief in him as a legitimate starting point guard. Beating the Lakers with 38 points was his real arrival on the scene. Downing the Mavericks on national television after the Mavs are considered to be one of the best scouting teams in the league? That's putting his stamp on the league. Even if he did need to go right every time to do it (via GameTracker): 

Lin definitely got help from his teammates. J.R. Smith made his Knicks debut, and finished with 15 points. He slumped after a hot start, but also cherry picked a clinching bucket late to help bury the Mavs' last chance. More astonishing that Lin in this game may have been Steve Novak, another fringe player at the start of the season, absolutely lit up the Mavericks, working from the corner and hitting 4-5 threes. It was a pretty absurd shooting display on his way to 14 points off the bench. The Knicks' bench outscored Dallas' deep supporting unit by 10, 33-23.

Lin is a legitimate starter in the NBA. Right now, he's a legitimate star. It's possible he could fade, that he just caught the Mavericks (and Lakers and Raptors and Nets...) on a bad day. But the odds of that are now the same as any other great young player in this league. He's done it against the best competition, and he continues to improve as his team does. Mike D'Antoni has his point guard. The Knicks have a leader. And New York has a bonafide sensation worth getting behind.

The Jeremy Lin Experience is real.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 7:03 pm

No question now, Lin is for real

If any lottery pick had an instant winning impact on his team in his first NBA starts, putting up these kinds of historic numbers as a first time starter, turning the team record around and getting their fans instantly chanting "MVP," it'd be worth the hype. How many #1 overall picks in the Association have panned out like this out of the gate as a starter? This is not common. Add to this, the fact that we're talking about a non-draftee. A kid who was the California HS POY and wasn't offered a single D1 scholarship. A kid who was demoted to the D-League a month ago by his 3rd NBA team of the season after being waived twice already. Add NYC and MSG to the mix. Add the Knickerbockers who were spiralling to another lost season WITH Melo, Stat and Tyson on board. And oh yeah, he's got an Asian face that blows the doors off of every pre-conceived notion of The Establishment on what a D1 and NBA player is supposed to look like. Is Jeremy Lin worth the hype? Exponentially so. But is it hype any longer if you're really this good? Congrats to Lin. I'm glad he actually got a chance to shine. Congrats to the Knicks. It's like having a #1 draft pick drop in their laps from nowhere. It's like getting Chris Paul for the league minimum without giving up a thing. Lin's for real. His points are for real. His assists and steals are for real. And his impact on the Knicks record is for real.

Since: Jan 31, 2012
Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:59 pm

No question now, Lin is for real

The garden crowd is something else place was happening again.  Knicks are getting stronger and stronger I agree about Davis and Anthony coming back.

Since: Jul 5, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:59 pm

No question now, Lin is for real

Good Article Matt.  Yes, JLin is real but what is even better the Knicks have added Stat and JR Smith to the mix and the Knicks kept right on rolling.  I expect this to continue when Melo comes back this week.  JLin needs to get some extra rest but if Baron Davis is at all healthy he should be able to provide the rest that JLin needs.  Funny that a month ago the Knicks fans were saying just wait until BDiddy comes back and now he is probably going to be coming off the bench along with JR Smith.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:57 pm

No question now, Lin is for real

And they still have Melo coming back. The Knicks are a legit elite team in the NBA now on paper. There's a tough stretch coming up that started with the Mavs game today, once they are through this stretch we'll have an idea where they rank in the NBA. They could be a top 5 team afterwards or they might dip back down around 10ish, but that's about as low as you can expect them to go right now.

Since: Aug 27, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:55 pm

No question now, Lin is for real

Just wait until Melo and Baron Davis are back out there.  This team could be something else!  Go Knicks!

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