The 13-15 New York Knicks will take Linsanity on the road as they travel north of the border to take on the 9-20 Toronto Raptors. Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is the biggest thing in the NBA currently, and he will look to keep his incredible hot streak alive on Tuesday night.
Since Lin first started to receive big minutes five games ago, the Knicks are undefeated, despite being without star forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire for much of that run.
Lin has more points in his first four career starts than any player since the merger, though, and he'll have help on Tuesday with the return of Stoudemire.
The Raptors have struggled this season, but that was to be expected. They have a nice stable of promising, young players, but they have been unable to put it all together so far. Quelling Linsanity will be no easy task, especially with leading scorer Andrea Bargnani on the shelf.
New York is hoping to continue its fantastic run after a slow start to the season, while Toronto is just trying to get on track. All eyes will be on the Air Canada Centre as basketball fans eagerly anticipate what Lin will do next.
Where: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When: Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. EST
Watch: MSG (New York) and TSN (Toronto)
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Betting Line: New York (-5)
Knicks Key Injuries (According to CBS Sports)
Out: PG Baron Davis (back), C Josh Harrellson (wrist)
Doubtful: SF Carmelo Anthony (groin)
Raptors Key Injuries (According to CBS Sports)
Out: C Andrea Bargnani (calf)
Questionable: PG Jerryd Bayless (ankle)
What They're Saying
With star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire returning to the lineup after grieving his brother's death, the Knicks' offensive attack figures to get even more potent.
Stoudemire ran the pick-and-roll offense effectively under head coach Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix with Steve Nash as his point guard, and thinks that he can replicate his success with Jeremy Lin running things, according to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.
I see similarities in their games, Stoudemire said after yesterday’s practice. Lin, he’s finding guys out there, he’s playing totally unselfish, he’s taking what the defense gives him and he’s studying.
That’s what you want from your point guard, a guy who wants to be that facilitator and get guys involved and get guys open shots and pass the ball right on the numbers where they can catch and shoot...It’s what we’ve been talking about all year, and it’s finally happened.
Most Important Player to Watch: PG Jeremy Lin
What, you were expecting Linas Kleiza?
Jeremy Lin is unquestionably the biggest thing in sports right now, and he has earned that distinction. He has admittedly excelled in a small sample size, but his dominance simply can't be overlooked.
Not only is he averaging nearly 27 points per game over his last five contests, but he has been an excellent pick-and-roll facilitator as well, with an average of eight assists per game during that time span.
Just like Steve Nash in Phoenix, the entire offense is running through Lin right now. It's a major departure from what was happening before, as Carmelo Anthony was being relied upon to hold the ball for the majority of the possession.
Anthony is currently out of action with a groin injury, but the offense is much more complete with Lin running the show. He should continue to dominate against a Toronto team that probably won't put up much resistance.
Key Matchup: Raptors Bigs vs. Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire
The Knicks have managed to get by as of late without Carmelo Anthony or Amar'e Stoudemire, but the return of Stoudemire should be a huge boost. Lin has had most of the offensive burden placed on his shoulders, but he has done an excellent job of getting center Tyson Chandler involved, as he has had plenty of open dunk opportunities since Lin took the starting reins.
When you add Stoudemire into the mix, it makes it that much more difficult for opposing defenses to defend the paint. It isn't possible to double both Chandler and Stoudemire, so one of them is likely to come up big.
The Raptors are likely to have trouble on the interior, as they'll be counting on the likes of Amir Johnson, Ed Davis and Aaron Gray to neutralize Chandler and Stoudemire. With that in mind, Toronto is incredibly overmatched in this contest.
Knicks 103, Raptors 87