Knicks Don’t Need Lin’s Heroics To Dominate Kings

Published on: 16th February, 2012


kids with Lin jerseys
Knicks Don't Need Lin's Heroics To Dominate Kings  | read this item

Related News

New York — Tonight was not one of those nights heroics or extraordinary statistics were necessary from the Knicks new on-court and media sensation, Jeremy Lin. In playing a Sacramento Kings club that came into New York with a 10-18 record, the Knicks were not exactly expecting Kobe and the Lakers, redux. Not by a long shot.

As it turned out, it was more like DeMarcus “The Scowl” Cousins and his disjointed teammates running into a Knicks offensive buzz saw that ran as smoothly as it has all season on its way to an easy 100-85 win over the Kings in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score might indicate.

Lin, averaging 27 points and almost 9 assists in the first six starts of his NBA career, scored just 10 points, taking only six shots and hitting on four but he was masterful running Mike D’Antoni’s pick and roll offense against Keith Smart’s overmatched team.

Lin was especially efficient in the first half when the Knicks outscored the Kings, 54-36. He dished out nine of his career-high 13 assists (he seems to be setting career marks in every succeeding start, doesn’t he?) in those first 24 minutes. 

In a perfect example of how Lin has developed a knack for taking what the defense gives him, he recognized how Sacramento decided to double-team him more frequently and play him more physically, hoping Lin would show some chinks in his armor. Instead, the Taiwanese-American boy wonder easily hit the open man on his dribble-drives to the basket or swung the ball across the court to open teammates for easy jump shots. It led to seven Knicks scoring in double figures, led by Landry Fields’ 15.

“The crowd was electric tonight and we need to feed off of that,” said Fields. “It’s great right now. Games like last night (a buzzer beating win in Toronto) and tonight brings us even closer together.”

The win brought the Knicks record to the .500 level (15-15) for the first time since the earliest part of the season, in January. It’s their high water mark, so far, but you get the feeling this team is ready to put it into overdrive for the rest of this season.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Tyson Chandler. “This is a team that everybody was kind of giving up on at the beginning of the season. We knew it was going to be difficult; we were a team that was kind of thrown together and didn’t have a training camp or many practices. It’s just about being patient and we’ve gotten some help from this little guy that came along and gave us a little boost.”

Chandler actually did say “little boost” but what he probably meant to say was, “he saved our season, our coachs’ job, and the total embarrassment of having one of the highest payrolls in the NBA but having one of the worst records in the league.”

As for Lin, his big adventure has only just begun so each game provides a new learning experience.

“I think I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “Every coverage is going to be a little different. Obviously, it’s got to be something I have to work on because my turnovers (six, tonight) are sky high right now. I just need to keep looking at film, keep picking and choosing my spots, and building chemistry with the other guys, especially Amar’e (Stoudemire) as we’re transitioning with him coming back from his time off.”

Stoudemire finished with just 11 points and five rebounds but the other Knicks scorers picked up the slack. In addition to Fields’ 15 points, Bill Walker scored 14, and Steve Novak continued his reign of three-point shots, hitting three of eight on his way to 14 points, and Iman Shumpert chipped in with 11, along with very tough defense against the Kings’ guards, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton.

Readers Comments