No Carmelo Anthony and/or Amar'e Stoudemire is proving to be no problem for the New York Knicks.
In fact, the team is playing its best basketball of the season without its two All-NBA members. One man has stepped up to seamlessly connect all the dots on the court for the Knicks, and that of course is Jeremy Lin.
Lin continued his marvelous play in Washington as he led the team yet again to another victory, their third in a row. Defeating the Wizards by a score of 107-93 not only came down to great fluidity on offense, but also Lin's astounding aggression on the court.
The young guard simply gets it. Lin runs Coach Mike D'Antoni's offense like a true floor general, finding teammates in the right spots and elevating their games. He's the man all of New York City has been waiting for, because his ability to control the tempo and play intelligently has uplifted the Knicks higher than ever before this season.
Posting the first double-double of his career, Lin finished with an electrifying 23 points and a flashy 10 assists. Not only was he able to keep up the pace, matched up with John Wall, but Lin found his supporting cast of players again and again for easy buckets.
Tyson Chandler continued to see his offense surge, excelling at the pick and roll with Lin the entire game as he powered home 25 points of his own. In addition, Steve Novak once again was a pleasant surprise, pouring in 19 points, hitting five shots from long-range. Novak's sudden spark off the bench should further prove that if the members of the Knicks continue to be set up within the ease of the offense, good things will come.
Speaking of good things, Landry Fields added 16 points just hours after being named to the Rising Stars Challenge game during NBA All-Star Weekend for the second consecutive year. Iman Shumpert, who many fans felt was snubbed by not getting selected for the game himself, provided a boost off the bench with a rather efficient 17 points.
It's clear that the key to any success of Coach D'Antoni's offense is having a point guard who can effectively move the ball. Jeremy Lin is rapidly cementing his place as savior in that regard for the Knicks, finding his teammates when they're open and driving through the lane to score himself when they are not.
One thing worth noting about Lin's performance, is the amount of minutes he played in the contest. Seemingly getting some rest tonight, Lin was spelled by Mike Bibby off the bench.
Coach D'Antoni turned to the veteran guard after keeping him on the bench over the last week, instead sitting struggling guard Toney Douglas the entire game. Bibby shot 0-6 from the field, including 0-4 from downtown, but did allow Lin's minutes played to be limited to 35.
As the Knicks relish the electrifying momentum surrounding the team and their three game winning streak, they will come back home to the Garden charged for what will surely be a tough matchup against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Friday.