The New York Knicks made easy work of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night (Feb. 15), spurred on by a fast start by Jeremy Lin again. Lin is starting to make it look almost too easy, as he helped teammates get open and ended up only needing to take 4 shots in the first half. He also had 9 assists by halftime to go along with just one turnover.
The 54-36 lead by New York after just two quarters really tells the whole story, as the team had the offense flowing while playing super defense at the other end of the court. What it allowed though, was a chance for coach Mike D'Antoni to rest Lin for a big part of the second half, saving his legs for games later on down the road.
This game turned into another great team win for the Knicks, pushing the current winning streak to seven games. Sure, it came against a Kings team that is now just 10-19 on the season, but these are games that the Knicks were not winning earlier in the season. In fact, the Knicks already lost a game against the Kings this season, showing that Lin has definitely made a huge difference in how the team plays basketball now.
The Knicks are now 15-15 on the season, finally creeping back up to a .500 overall record. As the teams near the halfway point of the 2011-12 season, it's good to see that this Knicks team still hasn't peaked. Winning in a blowout is certainly something that Knicks fans haven't been able to enjoy in a while, but with the return of Carmelo Anthony at the end of the week, hopefully this becomes a regular occurrence.
As for Lin, playing in just over 26 minutes on the night, he went 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-3 from the free throw line. He finished with only 10 points, his lowest scoring game since taking over the starting point guard role, but it was because his offense wasn't needed in this one. Lin also finished with 13 assists, 5 rebounds and 6 turnovers on the night. Maybe his best statistic though, was that the Knicks out-scored the Kings by 19 points when he was on the court.
The Knicks get a night off before hosting the New Orleans Hornets at Madison Square Garden Friday night (Feb. 17) at 8 p.m. ET.
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*Ryan Christopher DeVault is a fan of the New York Knicks that has followed the team since the days John Starks, Charles Oakley, and Anthony Mason instilled their defensive will on the rest of the league.