New York Knicks: Best and Worst Moments for Jeremy Lin and the Knicks in March
They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
After Linsanity prematurely bloomed in early February and the Knicks won seven straight—including a Lin-peak of 38 points in a defeat of the L.A. Lakers—a little frost swept in to remind Knicks fans of reality. New York finished the month 3-3.
March rolled in like a nor’easter and the Knicks found themselves pelted with losses, dropping their first six games of the month. In the tumult, Mike D’Antoni was swept away.
But the schedule relented and with Mike Woodson manning the front, the Knicks stormed back, subduing March and going 7-1.
Knicks Drop OT Thriller to Boston Celtics
New York opened the month with a loss to Boston. Final minutes back-and-forth ended when Paul Pierce’s three-point dagger with five seconds left sent the game into overtime.
Rajon Rondo went off for his fourth triple-double, including a career-high (and preposterous for a point guard) 17 rebounds.
Jeremy Lin had some moments, but his six turnovers and 6-for-16 shooting contributed to the loss.
Dallas Mavericks' Revenge
Lin shot even worse two nights later when he went just 4-for-13 for 14 points, a far cry from his 11-for-20 and 28 the last time the Knicks met the Mavericks—a game they won.
It was bittersweet for Tyson Chandler, who received his championship ring before the loss.
Knicks Lose Six in a Row
Mike D'Antoni Resigns (Was Canned)
During the losing streak, Knicks fans mutinied, chanting for coach Mike D’Antoni’s head. Unusually, James Dolan (and Carmelo Anthony?) gave the people what they wanted.
It was coming, but who wasn’t surprised when the news dropped the day of a game?
Mike Woodson's Knicks Bury the Blazers
Assistant coach/”defensive coordinator” Mike Woodson became interim coach, and in his first game at the helm, he steered the Knicks to a big-time blowout of the Portland Trail Blazers.
New York’s J.R. Smith and Steve Novak rained threes on the visitors, and the Garden crowd roared anew in the team’s 42-point shellacking.
Lin was reined in, pitching in six points in the new scheme, but he would emerge again.
Knicks Take Home-and-Home Against the Indiana Pacers
Woodson’s Knicks doubled their pleasure in their next two games, taking a back-to-back against the 25-16 Indiana Pacers.
Knicks Beat 76ers for Fifth Win in a Row
It was nice winning four in a row. After taking down Portland, Indiana twice and irritating nemesis Toronto in a game where Jeremy Lin had another double-double, New York was set to face Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia.
Jeremy Lin poured in 18, but it was Amar’e Stoudemire who took over the game, scoring 21 and hitting the important shots down the stretch—a rare sight, and likely the last time we’ll see that for a while.
Amar'e Stoudemire out Indefinitely
Bound to lose sometime, after the five-game win streak, the Knicks slept through a 17-point loss to the Toronto Raptors.
They came back and won the following night against the Detroit Pistons, but suffered an even bigger loss after the game.
Stoudemire, who’s clearly been nursing something all season long, was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back.
He’s out indefinitely. Word on possible surgery is coming down the pike.
Knicks Win Without Lin, Woodson Goes to 7-1
In a double whammy, not only was Stoudemire shelved for the Knicks next contest (and likely the year), but Jeremy Lin sat for the first time since it all began.
Lin is managing a knee injury.
But Carmelo Anthony took over in an important game, staving off the Knicks' primary postseason-berth competitor, the Milwaukee Bucks.
New York is now a not-very-comfortable two games up for the No. 8 seed.
Again, though, the injury bug has hit, and Anthony's groin is acting up again. He's listed as questionable heading into the Orlando game.
Conclusion: Tough Road Ahead
March was typical of how the Knicks have played all season: streaky, both good and bad.
They started the month soft, but came back strong. The coaching change has breathed a little life, and some hope, into the organization.
Problem is, that hope may not be realized for some time—probably not until next year.
Stoudemire and his 18 points and eight rebounds a game are gone. Lin and Anthony look like they might limp down the stretch, held down by nagging injuries.
April holds some challenges that the team must overcome to get into the playoffs: another game against the Pacers, a home-and-home against the Bulls, the Magic, Heat, the Celtics, the Clippers. I'm tired just writing that sentence.
Even if the Knicks make the postseason, there's no way they'll reach the sixth seed.
So brace yourself all, it's the Heat, Bulls or bust.