Cameron Larkin .com

Lin-pressive, Again

The Broadway show starring Jeremy Lin once again wowed the crowds when the Mavericks rolled into Madison Square Garden to take on the NBA’s hottest player in Lin and an in-form Knicks outfit.

This was Lin’s best game yet.

Some may say that is a big call as he did drop 38 points on the Kobe-led Lakers in addition to dishing out seven assists and gathering four rebounds.

Against Dallas, Lin was everywhere and recorded his fourth double-double of his career. The 6’3’’ PG finished with 28 points – going 11-20 from the field, 3-6 behind the three-line and 50 percent from the free-throw line. The Harvard University grad had a career-high 14 dimes, four rebounds, five steals, one block and seven turnovers. Lin played in 46 of the 48 minutes in the 104-97 win over the Mavs.

This is why this was Lin’s best game of his NBA career. His awesome performance was against the reining champions and guarded by one the best guards in the business, Jason Kidd. Kidd was the first player to Lin after the match – a great display of how much respect Dallas and the league has for this young man. J-Kidd spent several seconds whispering in Lin’s ear.

Dallas are .635 this season – that is the best team that the Knicks have played. The Los Angeles Lakers next best at .600. the remaining teams that notched up losses against the Knicks are New Jersey (.281), Utah (.517), Washington (.226), Minnesota (.484), Toronto (.281) and Sacramento (.333).

Eight wins from the past nine games – three teams of which are over .500. The loss during the run was against New Orleans (.233).

Just after the Dallas game, I tweeted to NBA and New York fans that they should get used to hearing, “#Lin drives, pops out to Novak for threeeee…”

Steve Novak hit four three-pointers in the final period, all of which had ‘Lin-volvement’. Lin was instrumental and he fed, as he has done for several games now, off the roaring Madison Square Garden crowd that included the ever present Spike Lee wearing Lin’s Palo Alto high school jersey. The Knicks came from 12 behind in the third quarter that comprised of several high quality stoppages. New York outscored the Mavs 32-22 in the fourth.

The win was just the third time over the past 20 meetings against Dallas. To make the victory even sweeter, they did it without the injured Carmelo Anthony.

Lin is controlled yet at the same time goes full-steam ahead. Against Dallas he committed seven turnovers which continued another run for him that is he has lost the ball six or more times in six consecutive games. However, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t fussed.

Two additional indicators of how important Lin has become are the fans at MSG and the big MO – momentum.

What I noticed when watching the game live was that after Lin was subbed out for a rest at the end of the first quarter, a quarter that the Knicks won 32-20 after going on a 17-0 run, New York lost all momentum. Dallas dropped seven straight that forced D’Antoni to call a time out.

When Lin is on the court, everything goes right (most of the time) for the Knicks and the crowd plays a major part in their performance each night when at home.

Looking ahead to the Knicks remaining games in February, they play New Jersey followed by Atlanta, both at home, then Miami away and then back home to MSG to battle against Cleveland.

A true test for both Lin and the Knicks will be at the start of March. New York will be on the road taking on Boston, Dallas and San Antonio and finishing the road trip in Milwaukee prior to playing Philadelphia at home then the reigning MVP Derrick Rose and his Bulls in Chicago. All this is eight nights.

Interesting note:

Jeremy Lin commenced his NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks summer league team in 2010.

Early glimpses of Lin’s ability:

Lin played here and there in 28 games in 2010/11 and despite playing low minutes, he performed admirably when on the court – check out his game against the Portland Trailblazers when Lin was in a Golden State Warriors uniform on Wednesday 13 April 2011. Lin scored 12 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes.

After being cut by the Warriors and signed by the Knicks, Lin, in just his sixth time getting court-time with his new team played just six minutes in an away game against Charlotte. Lin was 100 per cent from the field and from the free-throw line, finishing with eight points, four dimes, two rebounds and one block – impressive!

Three games later, Lin contributed nine points, six assists, three boards and a steal in the 13 point loss to Houston.

The next night, Lin again played six minutes. Again he was 100 percent from the field and two-from-three at the free-throw line. Lin scored four points and dished off four assists.

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