Vinsanity is no match for Linsanity.
The New York Knicks rebounded quickly from their loss to the New Orleans Hornets by taking out the defending world heavyweight champion Dallas Mavericks. Once again, without Carmelo Anthony, Jeremy Lin and company walked off the court victorious.
Tweets of the Day
And on that note, Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock asked this question:
"Do u let Melo come back and ruin this?"
The National Post’s Bruce Arthur reacted to the Knicks' second-half rally, or, explained how others were reacting:
"Steve Novak does the championship belt, and Jeremy Lin flashes the celebratory tongue, and every nerd basketball player in the world cheers."
And Antrel Rolle of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants repped his city:
"NY seems like the place to be right now. Seems to be the place where heart and toughness is in the air. We Will Not Be Denied. NY All IN!!"
Down late in the third quarter, Lin cut the Mavs' lead to a one-possession game with a momentum-swinging steal and slam.
Grades for the Knicks' Key Players
Jeremy Lin: A
The only reason Lin doesn't receive an A+ is because he turned the ball over seven times.
He stuffed the stat sheet with 28 points, 14 assists, five steals, four boards and a block. Lin even hit a trio of three-pointers, including one in Dirk Nowitzki's face.
His most impressive number of the day, though: Lin played an eye-opening 46 minutes.
All of the question marks surrounding his carelessness with the basketball are unfortunately overshadowing his impressive ability in crunch time.
Amar’e Stoudemire: D
And a D is merciful.
Stoudemire had a horrible outing. He finished the contest with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, along with seven rebounds.
However, his -18 +/- ratio stands out the most. Sure, Nowitzki is a brutal matchup, but Amar'e must play better if the Knicks plan on consistently knocking off top competition.
J.R. Smith: B+
Smith didn't exactly have an efficient MSG debut, but that doesn't mean it wasn't effective.
While he went just 6-of-16 from the floor, Smith's 15 points off the bench were a huge key to the Knicks' victory, and his +21 +/- ratio led all players on each side.
Grades for the Mavericks' Key Players
Dirk Nowitzki: A
Dirk carried the Mavs all game long. His output of 34 points while shooting 4-of-5 from downtown single-handedly gave Dallas a chance to come away with the win on the road.
No one helped him out much at all, though.
Jason Terry: C-
Lack of help was an issue because The Jet failed to jumpstart.
Terry scored just 13 points, going 5-of-13 from the field and 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. His six assists and seven boards were positives, but the Mavs don't need a triple-double effort from Terry to win basketball games—they need a ton of scoring.
Deciding Factor: Bench Play
New York’s bench outscored the Mavs' 33-23. Steve Novak hit four three-pointers, and Jared Jeffries added seven boards while playing excellent defense.
For Dallas, Lamar Odom continues to embarrass himself, as he finished the game with two points in 20 minutes of action. And Brandon Wright's -25 +/- ratio is a complete joke.
Game MVP: Jeremy Lin
Really, who else would it be?
Lin did it again, proving that the magic will indeed last. New York jumped out to an early lead, but were then buried by the Mavericks. Lin then helped ignite the Knicks' comeback by making play after play down the stretch.
Lin's heart on the floor is just as vital to the Knicks' success as his penetrating ability.
According to ESPN, it was only the fifth time in the last 15 years that a player recorded at least 28 points, 14 dimes and five steals in a single game. Career wise, though, Lin has recorded more points and assists in his first eight starts than Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. He also has over twice as many points as John Stockton had.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.Follow him on Twitter.