Even worse, the top two stars would later find out that they would not be able to play after the win over the Nets after the back-to-back-to-back. Both stars were going to miss at least a week each and the Knicks had no point guard to run the offense.
However, in that Nets game, Jeremy Lin stepped in and dominated.
Since then, Lin hasn't lost a game while playing extended minutes, and all the hype has been about Lin.
Lin has played phenomenal right now, but the Knicks are playing as a team, which they didn't do before.
The Knicks were down all night, in Amar'e Stoudemire's return after missing the last four games due to a death in his family.
Down by as much as 17 with Tyson Chandler in foul trouble, the Knicks role players played unbelievable to get the Knicks back with in reach. The Knicks went on a 13-1 run at the end of the game to defeat the subpar Toronto Raptors.
Jeremy Lin couldn't buy a stop on Jose Calderon, who had 25 points in the first three quarters. That's when the Knicks made a switch. They decided to put the aggressive, lockdown defender Iman Shumpert on Calderon, who wouldn't score one point the entire fourth quarter.
Iman Shumpert had a crucial steal on Calderon late in the fourth to put the Knicks within one bucket after his nice finish at the rim. Stopping the Raptors to only 12 points in the last quarter was key to the Knicks comeback win.
Jared Jeffries, who saw less time due to Amar'e Stoudemire's return, has shown great leadership qualities as the veteran on the team and is very vocal on and off the court.
When Jeffries was asked last night about Lin's performance, you could tell he was all Lin!
“He continues to impress every night,” Jeffries said. “Every game he plays better, he does more and more to help us win basketball games. You can’t ask any more of a kid coming into this situation.”
With the absence of Carmelo Anthony, Steve Novak has gotten many more minutes, and is hitting the three-ball the Knicks brought him there to do, along with Bill Walker.
Landry Fields plays his heart out every night and probably has the best chemistry with Jeremy Lin. Fields had eight points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, an all-around great performance from the role player.
The ball movement and the talking on the court had just begun for the Knicks, and what do you know? The Knicks are winning. The chemistry has gotten much better, everyone is smiling and every single player believes each and every night that they will come out on top.
“It’s not because of me, it’s because we’re coming together as a team,” Lin said, according to the Washington Post. “We started making these steps earlier but we were still losing close games and so obviously it wasn’t fun. But when you win, that solves a lot of problems. We’ve been winning and we’ve been playing together.”
Lin's three point shot might have been a season changer. Linsanity continues and the Knicks love it!
Chandler was going to come up for a high screen but “he waved me off,” Chandler said smiling. “I thought he let too much time run off the clock. I kept saying, 'Shoot it, shoot it'.”
When Calderon took a step back, Lin did shoot it and it when in as every single player was still in shock.
“Somehow,” Iman Shumpert said, “we were going to win with Linsanity.”
Winning is what fans want to see, but playoffs is what fans dream of, especially Knicks fans.
“Are we in the playoffs now?” coach Mike D’Antoni joked.