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Jeremy Lin: How His Play Has Made the New York Knicks Better

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Fans of Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks hold up signs during the first half of the Knicks and Washington Wizards game at Verizon Center on February 8, 2012 in Washington, DC.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Chris HerbertContributor IIIFebruary 8, 2012

Jeremy Lin has gone from zero to hero this past week.

Following two great games against the New Jersey Nets and the Utah Jazz, we still weren't sure if the Harvard-grad point guard was worth all the hype.

After the New York Knicks game tonight against the Washington Wizards, it’s safe to say that Lin is for real.

With Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony out of the starting lineup, the Knicks made mincemeat of the Wizards, winning 107-93.

And, Lin's amazing play continued. In his second consecutive start for the Knicks, Lin produced 23 points on nine of 14 shooting, and he had 10 assists in almost 36 minutes.

What makes Lin a good point guard is his decision making. After failed attempts at playing the point by natural two guards Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert, Lin has stepped in and made the offense fun to watch.

With Lin in the starting lineup, center Tyson Chandler had a great game. He scored 25 points, had 11 boards and looked unstoppable against Wizards center JaVale McGee.

Other players who benefited from Lin’s play-making ability were Steve Novak and Landry Fields, who scored 19 and 16 points, respectively.

The high level of Lin's play comes from his high basketball IQ. When setting up the offense, Lin looks first to distribute the ball down low or see who is open, allowing everyone on the Knicks roster to play in their natural positions and roles.

Another key skill Lin has in his arsenal is his scoring ability. He aims the ball nicely off the glass when taking a jumper, and he is not afraid to attack the basket when he needs to.

He showed his driving ability numerous times in the second half, including a nice dunk in the third quarter that completely changed the momentum of the game.

While some critics may argue that he has played well against inferior teams, Lin has still made the Knicks an absolutely better basketball team—even without Anthony and Stoudemire. When those two stars return, there’s a possibility that the Knicks could be a legitimate playoff team in the Eastern Conference.

While Linsanity is a huge storyline in the NBA right now, the next few games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors will demonstrate if Lin and the Knicks can continue to perform at a high level.

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