Another day, another win for Jeremy Lin ’10 and his New York Knicks. This time the victim was the Atlanta Hawks—who stood three and a half games above the Knicks in Eastern Conference standings entering the matchup.
In this game, Lin wasn’t called on for some last-second heroics or even to take over his team’s offense. Instead, the Knicks presented a balanced front, resulting their top three scorers being separated by only two points—Lin, as is now customary, led the group with 17 points, nine assists, and two steals. Accordingly, the final score was anything but close. New York took care of the Hawks, 99-82, enabling Lin to rest for a majority of the fourth quarter.
The most important stat of the game however may have been the Harvard alum’s turnovers. Tallying seven on Sunday night against the Dallas Mavericks, Lin managed to commit only four on Wednesday against the Hawks, a number far better than his season average.
Wednesday’s matchup also marked the second game since Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup from a groin injury. The question for many Knicks fans surrounding his return was simple: could he and Lin—currently the Knicks’ two highest scorers—work together? On Tuesday night Anthony tweeted his response to this, stating: “Comin together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”. And, after a quick retweet from Lin, it was clear that the two players think alike. Following Wednesday’s game when both Knicks’ stars played decently individually, but also cohesively, head coach Mike D’Antoni asserted.
“I’ve heard a lot about ‘Melo has to fit in’ or ‘Jeremy has to fit in.’ No you don’t,” D’Antoni said. “You attack and we’ll adjust things. The better players you have on the court, that’s the better it can be. It’s up to us to figure out how they can work cohesively as a unit.
On Thursday night Lin and Co. head south to Miami to take on Lebron James and the Heat. James, no stranger to NBA hype, cited Lin’s play as a reason for Miami fans to tune into the game.
“It could be one of the most watched games we've had in a long time…with what Jeremy Lin is doing."
The stage is set, the Heat is ready, and now, after Wednesday night’s win, Anthony and Lin are finally set to take on a nationally televised game—together.