‘Hart On Hoops’
By Sean Hartnett
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‘The Jeremy Lin Show’ now has the momentum of a runaway train. 38 points, count em’… 38!
Fans at Madison Square Garden could not bring themselves to sit down during the fourth quarter. Those fortunate enough to be in attendance watched in awe as the sensational point guard worked his magic against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. In the first half, Lin outplayed Bryant but Kobe came alive in the second half.
We’ve seen Kobe do it one-thousand times before, let him back into the game at your peril but that wasn’t the case on Friday night. The night belonged completely to Jeremy Lin as he out-dueled Bryant and inspired the Knicks to a 92-85 victory.
Could he handle the physicality driving through the lane against Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol? Could he hit consistent shots from the outside? All the questions were answered… emphatically! Lin spun, twisted and contorted himself to the basket as the Lakers appeared helpless.
Maybe they should’ve done their homework.
Bryant and Lakers’ head coach Mike Brown admitted before the game that they were unaware of ‘Linsanity.’ Kobe spoke to reporters after the Lakers’ overtime victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. He even laughed at a reporter who compared Lin to an 18-year old Bryant.
“No idea, I know who he is, but I don’t really know what’s going on with that. I don’t even know what he has done. I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I’ll take a look at it tonight though.”
Well Kobe, you now know firsthand what Lin is about and the entire nation is now aware of ‘The Jeremy Lin Show.’ Whenever Bryant tried to rally the Lakers, Lin was there to out-do the Lakers’ legend and future NBA Hall-of-Famer.
Once Lin left the bench and stepped onto the court in the 4th quarter, the Knicks went on a 6-0 run. Bryant and his teammates were no match for Lin who on one possession took on the entire Lakers’ defense, brushing past them strongly to the hoop to ignite the Garden faithful.
He’s electrified fans and transformed the Knicks from underachievers into an unselfish group that plays together and has won four straight games. It is a story that has taken hold of the nation, if not the world in this instant news society we live in today.
Knicks’ head coach Mike D’Antoni himself couldn’t believe how quickly Lin has adapted to NBA stardom.
D’Antoni explained to reporters post-game, “You don’t see many guys play like that in their whole career. What he’s doing is amazing. He answered a lot of questions tonight. Can he make an outside shot? Can he pull the trigger in a big moment? He hit two threes that broke the game open.”
He continued, “This is a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve never seen it. To go unnoticed that long, that’s hard to do.”
What’s Lin’s secret? Just hard work and paying his dues, apparently. He told reporters post-game, “I go out every time and play as hard as I can. That’s it.”
How about that Harvard education? Lin intelligently ran across the key to take a late charge that fouled-out Matt Barnes. It was a key defensive play with 41 seconds remaining that helped ensure the Knicks’ victory.
What can he do for an encore on Saturday night against Ricky Rubio? It’ll be must-see TV when the Knicks tip-off against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 8PM.
Fans are likely in for a very entertaining match-up as two of the league’s most dazzling point guards will be pitted against one another. Who will come out ahead? You’ll have to tune in and see but one thing is for sure, ‘Linsanity’ is for real.
Knicks fans… What’s next for Jeremy Lin? Is his best still yet to come? Share your thoughts below and send your tweets to: @HartnettWFAN.