Jeremy Lin's Performance vs. Kings Is What We Should Expect Going Forward

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2012 in New York City. 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 Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The future of Jeremy Lin has been shown to us. And frankly, it is the Jeremy Lin that the New York Knicks will need to see going forward if they're going to be a factor in this year's playoffs.

Yes, in last night's game, Lin only managed 10 points against the Sacramento Kings, but who cares? He dished out 13 assists and, most importantly, the Knicks won easily, 100-85.

Yes, he had six turnovers—he needs to improve that aspect of his game, though thankfully it is something that should improve with more experience—but his style of play is infectious.

Seven Knicks, including Lin, finished with double-digit points, and the team finished with 25 total assists. And perhaps more importantly, they've proven that they can win games without needing a huge scoring night from Amar'e Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony, once he returns from injury.

That's because Lin has changed the dynamic of this team. For all of the shots he's previously taken, he's also gotten teammates involved and effectively run the point. That latter aspect of his game is the most important going forward.

How scary will this team be once Stoudemire and Anthony get going? We've already seen that Lin not only embraces the facilitator role but thrives in it—add two incredibly potent scorers to that mix, and this team seems like a scary proposition to face.

Lin will be called upon to be a scorer at times, and he'll answer the call, I'm sure. But where he will really help the Knicks is by spreading the ball around and orchestrating a more balanced offense. With Lin, coach Mike D'Antoni can finally run a pure form of his style of offense.

He seriously must feel like the luckiest coach in the world right now. Consider the following, from Ian Begley of ESPN:

"That's something we've been talking about all year—have spacing and move the ball," Amar'e Stoudemire said. "Right now we're all buying into it and it's contagious."

They're buying in thanks to Lin, who has given the Knicks a steady presence at the point. The Knicks were sorely missing that presence in the first six weeks of the season.

"This changes everything up," D'Antoni said. "The only reason we won [seven] in a row [is] we kind of found a way to shore up that spot."

And for all of the craze that Lin has created, something as simple as getting his teammates involved in the offense will be his greatest achievement going forward.

For all of the countless puns he's inspired, the Knicks are really only concerned with one pun moving forward:



Hit me up on Twitter—I'm #Linning.

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