Something happened last night in Washington D.C. The New York Knicks took the court against the Washington Wizards where the point guard everyone focused on wasn’t the former number 1 overall pick and former NCAA National Player of the Year. Nor was it any of the Knicks three superstars, two of which weren’t even in attendance. No, the attention was on the Knicks newest and hottest commodity, the undrafted and sensational Jeremy Lin. The Knicks have won 3 straight games since Lin started earning major minutes but the recent victories isn’t the reason Jeremy Lin has everyone in New York gitty about the Knicks.
What was always exciting about the Knicks, even during the dark days of the Isiah era, was that they were fun to watch. Granted they’d probably end up losing but if you tuned in there was a good chance you’d get someone like Al Harrington going off for forty. Nate Robinson carrying the team to OT. Jamal Crawford breaking someone’s ankles. Or David Lee going board for board against Dwight Howard. This season though, not so much. The Melo experiment has been brutal to watch and even had me thankful for the Time Warner-MSG blackout dispute. There’ hasn’t been much chemistry and each loss has left everyone fans and players included, thinking this can’t any get worse. But for the first time this season Jeremy Lin is making the Knicks fun to watch. And it hasn’t just been fun for the fans but also his teammates who are loving playing with him. Tyson Chandler has been playing offense like no one knew he could. Landry Fields has found his pre-Melo form. Steve Novak is becoming a legitimate shooting threat. And Jarred Jefferies hasn’t seen this many passes coming his way since high school! But most importantly, the Knicks are out there smiling and having fun playing the game of basketball. Instead of game day seeming like a doomsday sentence there’s finally hope and excitement before a game. Last week I’d be treading tomorrows game against the Lakers but now I’m hoping Jeremy Lin can steal some shine from Kobe.
Melo will be out for 2-3 weeks and Amare returns Monday. I think this is perfect for the Knicks. A few games without their stars has done the team good. Throw in Amare and suddenly the teams looks like they did pre-Melo. A few games against weak opponents can only be beneficial for the the Knicks. And hopefully, and I’m really hoping, Melo can return to a squad that has worked out the basketball cobwebs and are ready to play some New York basketball.