Jeremy Lin’s wish that excitement about the Knicks as a team would overshadow "Linsanity" took a big step toward fruition this evening as the Knicks downed the Cavs, 120-103, thanks to a dynamic second half with a well-rounded team highlight reel.
Steve Novak continues to launch threes with Aaron Rodgers-like precision. He had lots of opportunity to pull out his derivative Discount Double-Check move since he was 5-for-8 from downtown.
As for "Linsanity" getting drowned out by fervor about a total team effort, imagine this scenario: While Lin was dribbling the ball on a drive, the crowd was chanting “We want Novak,” who was getting a breather on the bench at the time.
That is not to say that Lin was disappointing anyone tonight. He had 19 points, 13 assists and only one turnover. The most dramatic Lin play of the evening came appropriately on an assist: a lob to Shumpert who skied for a two-handed dunk.
Still, Baron Davis’ perfect toss to a streaking J.R. Smith for a reverse slam was even better. Davis has his groove back: He marched down the court with newfound swag while dishing out eight assists.
The play of the night, though, likely won’t get any highlight reel action on top-10 lists this evening, but it was the most telling of the season.
Tyson Chandler ran out on a double team all the way to half court, closing out like an agile point guard and tipping the ball toward the sidelines.
The Knicks have lots of fun tape to watch tonight, but if they meditate on that tireless defensive effort from Chandler, we may have ourselves a bona fide playoff team in the making.
Like Novak, these Knicks could go deep.