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Linsanity continues as Lin lifts Knicks over Mavericks

Feb 19, 2012, 4:17 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks Getty Images

And the show goes on.

The scouting report was supposed to be out on Jeremy Lin. After a Hornets defense confounded, frustrated and beat him down Friday night, the blueprint was supposed to be in place to stop the dynamic young Knicks star. Yeah, that paradigm is over. Lin lit up the Mavericks and their fourth-ranked in efficiency defense Sunday, scoring 28 points and 14 assists, with 4 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block in the Knicks’ 104-97 win over Dallas Sunday.

Lin looked refreshed by a break in the schedule, and was back to his pick-and-roll-trap-splitting ways. Shawn Marion couldn’t keep him on the edge, and he split the Mavericks. He hurt them with the floater, he drew fouls, and he kicked out to open shooters time and time again. The fact that his weapons stepped up for him helped a lot. J.R. Smith made an immediate impact, despite clearly having no clue what kind of offense the Knicks were running. And then there was Novak.

Steve Novak, a fringe player for years after a promising season in Houston just like Lin, knocked down 4-5 threes to give the Knicks a second-half boost after falling down double-digits. Novak’s understanding of timing in getting open in the corner opens up the offense so much, and it was pivotal in yet another game where Amar’e Stoudemire struggled.

The most underrated part of Lin’s performance may be defensively, where he absolutely victimized the Mavericks in the passing lanes. He created fast break opportunities and has become deadly in transition, making the right decision to score or dish nearly every time. If there was a downside, it was his seven turnovers, six in the second half, which are in part a product of his high usage (Lin played 46 minutes Sunday), in part a product of D’Antoni’s system, and in part a product of his inexperience. But if we’re going to evaluate Lin’s performance honestly, they need to be mentioned. In no way do they overshadow the way he took over the game in the biggest moments, though, nor take away from the incredible story as it continues to unfold.

For the Mavericks, it was a tough loss. They were on the wrong end of a number of questionable calls, and struggled to get their legs under them. Their biggest issue, honestly, though, was containing Lin. That may seem like the easy narrative, but the truth is that Lin stepped up against one of the best defensive teams in the league, the defending champions, and punished them over and over again.

Like, you know, this.

If there were any doubters left after this performance, they should probably come forward. Because it’s become impossible to deny just how good Jeremy Lin has been.

  1. papacrick - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    That kid can ball

    • connaniii - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      In this world of ours there are always those who will seek to repent upon the inevitable final tribulation; you three who still refuse to believe the kid can straightforward ball are still on time!

    • chargerdillon - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      Agree 100% watched this whole game. The Knicks basically went as Lin went. Lin gets hot, the whole team got hot. I notice when he stops becoming the focal point the team falls apart and the Mavericks go on big runs.

      Lin is probably the best thing going for the NBA right now as far as story and marketing. The way this team played they could be a serious contender RIGHT NOW, but I say right now without Melo being in the picture.

      It’s not that i dont like Melo but……the Knicks have a real team right now, I don’t know what happens when Melo comes back.

      • bklynfatpants - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

        I predict that when Melo comes back he gets with the program. The scrutiny will be intense, and he will be pegged as a ballhog the rest of his career if he does not make it work.

        However, I am a sadly hopeful Knick fan.

    • fcs34 - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      True that. He almost makes the NBA watchable.

  2. halfcourthero - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Lin-ing, winning and grinning… He saved the Knicks season 8 games ago… And now they are gonna be a force in the east… Turnovers aside he played an excellent floor game today. Carlsile should’ve forced him left and trapped big in the corner of the floor. When they trapped In the middle and the wing it allowed him to go around Marion most of the game. He killed them. I can’t wait to see him vs Mia… Guarantee u wade starts out on him lol

    • blueintown - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

      No doubt, the kid can ball, and he will continue to flourish in that system. But some of those turnovers are asinine. This was the first chance I’ve had to actually watch a whole game with him, and I just kind of assumed that some of those T.O.’s were system related (i.e. pushing the ball, getting shots off as quick as possible). But there was one today where he drove the lane, jumped, and literally just turned around and handed the ball to one of the Mavericks. He’s got to clean that stuff up. That’s not going to fly in the postseason.

  3. randygnyc - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Haha. An attractive lady at the game today held up a sign, “Jeremy Lin, I want you Lin-side me.” Omg, too funny.

    • derekjetersmansion - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      I’m stealing this, but it was a lot worse when she went to a San Francisco Giants game when Tim pitched.

  4. joj0420 - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    this nerds pussy rate is sky high right now

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Nerd? That’s right, go on making fun of his Ivy League credentials… who among you can even boast of getting an Ivy League diploma and be athletically gifted as well?

  5. steelerhypocrite - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Lin is having the same meteoric rise as Romo…I can’t wait to see the media turn on him as quickly as they did with Romo (but we all know the media will make excuses for him – the same way they do for Obama).

    • phaden27 - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      10/10 would get trolled again.

    • juanandonly24 - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      Wait a sec are you trying to cheat me again?

  6. md23rewlz - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    I don’t doubt Jeremy Lin so much as I doubt the New York Knicks, and especially the Knicks as a legit deep playoff team.

  7. allball23 - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Lin can ball, just has to work on turnovers but has the knicks playing good ball. Lin lin lin no matter what

    • connaniii - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      Didn´t you notice that besides the 7 turnovers he also had “five” steals; the kid simply plays on the verge! he maxs out!

      • bklynfatpants - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:07 PM

        The overlooked stat is that prior to Lin starting the Knicks averaged 16.8 turnovers per game. The last 9 games that Lin has started they have maintained 16.8 turnovers per game. Overall, this is last or next to last in the league. However, the difference is that they are winning. So although, Lin is viewed as having so many turnovers it is no more than the Knicks were having previously. Meanwhile their defensive efficiency has gone way up. So, they turn it over like before, but now they make defensive stops and Lin is a major contributor to that.

      • mlblogsbig3bosox - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM

        @bklynfatpants: Yeah, but you’re just stating what I’ve been trying to say all along. Haven’t you thought about the fact that if he decreases his turnover rate, the Knicks would be a hell of a team. If they’re getting the wins now, imagine how it would be then.

  8. asublimeday - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I’m impressed, but to win in the east he has to get past Rose, who will not only out-score him but will out-defend him as well.

    • njsteeler - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      asublineday…, he might out-score him but he’ll have too. The Bulls are an amazing defensive team, but the Knicks now have so many weapons on offense, and a true PG to direct D’Antoni’s offense. If it comes together, and they continue to gain in confidence they could be a problem come playoff time. The key in my opinion is BDiddy, and his health. Today’s game against the Mavs showed that they need a quality back-up to take over when Lin needs a breather. If Baron can stay healthy, I think he will embrace this roll. The depth is ridiculous right now. All they need to do is continue to play together, and they will be successful.

    • theghostofwillisreed - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      how about making sure rose can stay on the court before worrying about the knicks.

    • connaniii - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Like John Wall did, right?

  9. 6thsense79 - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    The Knicks are actually kind of deep now. With JR Smith able to light it up off the bench and a Carmelo, one of the best scorers in the league comming back, I expect this team to be able to play with just about any team in the east. I still don’t think they can beat Chicago or Miami in a 7 game series but it wouldn’t be joke like it was last year.

    • limonadamas - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      Let’s hope D’Antoni utilizes that depth.. Historically, he’s been notorious for running his players into the ground, regardless of the situation. His rotations usually go only 8 deep. The Knicks are going to be legitimately 10 deep if Baron comes back healthy:

      Starters: Lin, Fields, Melo, Amare, Chandler
      Bench: Baron, JR, Jeffries, Novak, Shump
      Buried on the bench: Douglas, Walker

      That looks like a championship quality roster (on paper, at least)… How did this come together so quickly?

  10. isujames - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    If this is the real knicks team,the east has gotten a lot more interesting/competitive.

  11. 00maltliquor - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    I gotta amit, this Lin kid is balling out of control, like a legit NBA superstar! It’s amazing to watch. He is easily, for me at least, one of the most exciting players to watch ball right now. You know what else I find funny… C. Anthony+A. Stoudemire+ T. Chandler= $49,845,543 J.Lin= $762,195

    That’s amazing considering the Knickerbockers were toast before they started Lin. They have no money to spend on another star player to help them out and they had him all along in thier own backyard.

    Lin- 28 pts., 14 ast., 4 reb., 5 stl., 1 blk. …$11,548 paid for the day
    Stoudemire & Chandler- 25 pts., 1 ast., 17 reb., 0 stl., 3 blk. …$474,629 paid for the day

    • theghostofwillisreed - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      chandler doesn’t get paid to score. nice try, though. he does the dirty work and every mavs fan can understand that.

      amare is having a tough season but he is always coming back from dealing with his brother’s death. everyone grieves differently and athletes are not robots no matter how much you think they are.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        Trust me, Chandler has been one of my favorite players since his Dominguez Dons days, I well aware of what his game is and what he’s getting paid (too much) to do. I was just stating that they paid alllllll that money to put a losing team on the floor until Lin’s low budget ass got in the mix to fix everything. That’s all. And Amare’s brother just died, how does that explain the stinker of a season he’s been having before that?

  12. gv1221 - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    I have been denying Lin because I simply do not like the Knicks but the kid can ball and he is freakin tenacious but those turnovers will be a big problem against the heat and the bulls. Super excited for the game on Thursday the Internet is gonna explode.

  13. pitolove124 - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Steelerhypocrite You’re a tool – thought I’d remind you…Romo was never on a run like Lin – we’ve never seen anyone come out of nowhere in any sport and take over the way this kid has. You can think about that while another underdog runs the country for another 4 years dick-rider…

  14. tn16 - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    There’s no chink in the armor of the knicks

  15. ima9er4life - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Funny thing bout these comments, Lin said himself he ain’t want all dis media covering him 247. He said the team deserves more spotlight than him. This cat hella humble, how can people hate…..oh yea, people dat think they race is the shit….lil ass boys

  16. ima9er4life - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Humble ass dude thi

  17. modellforprez - Feb 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    anyone think he got off the couch yet!!!

  18. nc1965 - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    What’s all the hype about Lin?

    I’m looking for the next Jordan not someone who makes shots when no one playing defense. He drives to the basket with lanes so wide a truck could drive through it. Everyone knows that the NBA has abandoned defense.

    We need to get out of being politically correct just to appease another country for profit.

    Just like Jesus Jr. (Tim Tebow) Lin is just hyped up mediocre player. That’s all.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      This hype is because he is putting up record numbers — he has scored 200 points as a starter and had more assists than Magic Johnson and a host of other greats did in their first eight starts. He’s playing at an amazing level. It’s not all marketing.

  19. nc1965 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I don’t think that we give the NBA justice by hyping up a player that can’t even dunk.

    I’m looking for another Jordan not some PR player for china to make profits.

    Lin is just a mediocre player.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      For the record, he can dunk and has done it twice in games, including Sunday.

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