The New York Knicks have played a lot of ugly basketball this year, but new starting point guard Jeremy Lin’s mix of slash-and-dish, slash-and-finish play evokes superlatives of beauty even in other languages—in Spanish, his play has been "Lin-dissima"—and from the looks of his contribution to a New York Knicks 107-93 win over the Washington Wizards, that gorgeous play is here to stay.
Just ask Tyson Chandler, who has been on the receiving end of a number of pitch-perfect lobs. When he’s not lofting those beauties for Chandler rim-rockers, Lin is finishing off an ambidextrous mix of lefty and righty layups after leaving defenders woozy with a head-scratching set of hesitation dribbles.
For anyone who thought the former D-league-playing, couch-crashing, NBA vagabond was some overhyped, two-game fluke, his second consecutive start and third straight evening of impressive play at both ends of the floor is compelling (although still early) evidence to the contrary.
The 23-year-old Lin finished with 23 points and 10 assists against the Wizards, his third 20-plus game in three evenings of play.
He’s not just playing pretty; he’s playing gritty.
For much of the evening, Lin wore a droopy band-aid under his chin, the product of an early collision with John Wall. He also needed some quick cut-man work for a wound on his shoulder.
Somehow, though, I doubt Lin is feeling much pain right now.
That infectious smile seems to emerge almost despite Lin’s efforts to look serious on the court. It is as if he can’t help but revel in his improbable rise to point-guard excellence, and he has the once-lowly Knicks grinning from ear to ear.
After a peripatetic, unspectacular journey through the NBA, it looks like Jeremy Lin has emerged as one of the top playmakers in the league.
Time will tell, but he has elevated his game so quickly and consistently that it is clear that Lin is not waiting for anyone to make up their minds about him.
Check that smile out. He knows he's here to stay.
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