Sick of Jeremy Lin yet? Hope not. Better get used to the kid – looks like he’s got staying power. The point guard from Harvard scored 20 points against Minnesota – including the game-winning free throw – and the Knicks won their fifth straight.
Feel free to diminish New York’s opponents during this streak – New Jersey, Utah, Washington, Lakers, Minnesota; there will only be one playoff team from that group – but I’ll counter that with the fact that they’re winning with an undrafted point guard, Bill Walker, Steve Novak, Jared Jefferies and a rookie (Iman Shumpert). Amare is expected back Tuesday in Toronto; Carmelo Anthony later in the week.
(If I’m Mike D’Antoni, I look at the schedule this week – at Toronto, home to Sacramento, vs. New Orleans – and I tell Melo to take the week off, no point in rushing back from injury. A week from today, the Knicks host the Mavericks on ABC, and I’d target that game for his return.)
Lin struggled a bit in his first NBA back-to-back (8-of-24 shooting, 1-for-12 in the 2nd half, six turnovers for the game) but at least he didn’t perform as poorly as Ricky Rubio down the stretch. My favorite rookie had two costly turnovers in the final minute. If you’re the type that likes to look ahead: Lin will face Jose Calderon, Tyreke Evans (yikes!) and Jarrett Jack this week. If they’re able to go 3-0, that’ll make the Knicks 16-15 heading into that nationally-televised Dallas game.
As ESPN has noted, Jeremy Lin has more points than any player in NBA history in their first four starts (109). Allen Iverson (101) previously held the record. [Ed. Since the merger in 1976.]