The Knicks brought their five game winning streak north of the border and took on the 9-21 Toronto Raptors last night. A game that New York was expected to run away with, ended up coming down to the final seconds. In almost scripted fashion the ball was in Jeremy Lin’s hands.
Like an assassin with ice water in his veins the crowd began to stand as he dribbled the ball while the seconds ticked down for the last shot. Lin then pulled up and hit the game winning three with .5 seconds on the clock as the road crowd was left feeling shocked and Knicks fans in the stands ecstatic.
Lin would finish with 27 points and 11 assists while playing 43 minutes. This will be something to look for if coach D’Antoni continues to play Lin this much. He has played a whopping 157 minutes in his past four starts including tonight. While Lin seems to be in good condition it will be interesting to see if his body can hold up with these minutes. We saw at the end of the Minnesota Timberwolves game this past Saturday that the large amount of minutes in consecutive days wore him down towards the end as he lost lift in his legs and looked gassed.
Amare Stoudemire also played solid, especially late, putting in 21 points and nine rebounds in his first game back after his brothers death.
An overlooked aspect of the game was Iman Shumpert’s incredible one on one defense on Jose Calderon down the stretch of the game. Shumpert was able to get Calderon out of his rhythm as he had 25 points and got a crucial steal that led to an easy dunk and eventually led to Lin’s winner.
Overall, Knicks fans should take a lot of positives out of the game last night but Lin’s turnover problems will be something to watch as he had eight in the win and six in both of the previous two games.