Lin's been so good that if he keeps up his stellar play while leading a dysfunctional New York squad to more victories, he could very well be a dark horse in this year's NBA MVP race.
The last three games have been Lin's coming out party, as the 6'3" point guard has collected 25.3 points on 58 percent shooting, 8.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds a game. What's more impressive about these stats is Lin played without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire the past two contests.
These absences could spell doom for a struggling Knicks team, but Lin has taken over the slack and has New York on a winning track.
Before Lin saw significant floor time, the Knicks were a paltry 8-15 and rapidly falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Then Lin came in and has made Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive system work extremely well.
Lin is not going to keep up scoring 25 points a night, but if the Harvard grad pulls off 15 points and seven to eight assists the rest of the way, it's conceivable he will be a possible MVP candidate.
Here is Lin's competition.
Kevin Durant has the Oklahoma City Thunder atop the NBA record wise, though he isn't leading the league in scoring and is an average defender at best. Plus, voters will look at him having point guard Russell Westbrook as a sidekick.
The Minnesota Timberwolves missing the playoffs would cost star Kevin Love the MVP as well.
Lin does have Anthony and STAT as teammates, but both have struggled this year. His real value will show through if he could squeeze the most out of the Knicks' two stars and get the Knicks atop the Atlantic Division.
Stoudemire has struggled with his offensive game since Carmelo came to the Big Apple from the Denver Nuggets. Lin needs to make sure Stoudemire can average closer to his 25.3 points from 2010-11 than the 18.2 he collects now.
Lin can relieve the ball-handling pressure D'Antoni placed on Melo since the Knicks were thin at the 1-guard spot. Without worrying about facilitating the offense, Carmelo could concentrate more on shooting efficiently.
The key for Lin's MVP candidacy is threefold. If he can continue playing at a high level, get Carmelo and Stoudemire to play well with each other on the hardwood and lead the Knicks to a division title, Lin will be a top contender for the award.
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