Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks

Linsanity continues as Lin lifts Knicks over Mavericks


And the show goes on.

The scouting report was supposed to be out on Jeremy Lin. After a Hornets defense confounded, frustrated and beat him down Friday night, the blueprint was supposed to be in place to stop the dynamic young Knicks star. Yeah, that paradigm is over. Lin lit up the Mavericks and their fourth-ranked in efficiency defense Sunday, scoring 28 points and 14 assists, with 4 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block in the Knicks’ 104-97 win over Dallas Sunday.

Lin looked refreshed by a break in the schedule, and was back to his pick-and-roll-trap-splitting ways. Shawn Marion couldn’t keep him on the edge, and he split the Mavericks. He hurt them with the floater, he drew fouls, and he kicked out to open shooters time and time again. The fact that his weapons stepped up for him helped a lot. J.R. Smith made an immediate impact, despite clearly having no clue what kind of offense the Knicks were running. And then there was Novak.

Steve Novak, a fringe player for years after a promising season in Houston just like Lin, knocked down 4-5 threes to give the Knicks a second-half boost after falling down double-digits. Novak’s understanding of timing in getting open in the corner opens up the offense so much, and it was pivotal in yet another game where Amar’e Stoudemire struggled.

The most underrated part of Lin’s performance may be defensively, where he absolutely victimized the Mavericks in the passing lanes. He created fast break opportunities and has become deadly in transition, making the right decision to score or dish nearly every time. If there was a downside, it was his seven turnovers, six in the second half, which are in part a product of his high usage (Lin played 46 minutes Sunday), in part a product of D’Antoni’s system, and in part a product of his inexperience. But if we’re going to evaluate Lin’s performance honestly, they need to be mentioned. In no way do they overshadow the way he took over the game in the biggest moments, though, nor take away from the incredible story as it continues to unfold.

For the Mavericks, it was a tough loss. They were on the wrong end of a number of questionable calls, and struggled to get their legs under them. Their biggest issue, honestly, though, was containing Lin. That may seem like the easy narrative, but the truth is that Lin stepped up against one of the best defensive teams in the league, the defending champions, and punished them over and over again.

Like, you know, this.

If there were any doubters left after this performance, they should probably come forward. Because it’s become impossible to deny just how good Jeremy Lin has been.

Kristaps Porzingis grew up a Kobe fan. Still is one.


When you hear player comparisons for Knicks rookie, the most common is Dirk Nowitzki — a European big with ridiculous shooting range and potential to embarrass anyone.

So did he grow up idolizing Dirk? Not so much.

Rather, like many of his generation, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, he told Mike Francesa of WFAN.

“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”

There is an entire generation of NBA players — and just fans — who would say the same thing.

In the interview, Porzingis laments his missed shots and turnovers, he thinks he can be a lot better. That is exactly what you want out of a rookie. It’s a huge adjustment playing at the NBA level, the speed of the game and IQ is a leap from Europe (or college). Recognizing the challenge is part of it.

There’s a lot to like in Porzingis. He could be special (we don’t know yet, we see only the potential). But idolizing Kobe — and if you understand the work he put in, the passion for the game — can be a good start.

(Hat tip NBA reddit)

Warriors’ interim coach Luke Walton’s car stolen

Luke Walton

If you’re looking for a “when are things going to go wrong for the Warriors” moment, we have one for you. But it may not be what you had hoped for.

Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton — the guy on the sidelines for the 15 (soon to be 16) game winning streak — had his car stolen during a crime spree, reports NBCBayArea.com.

One of the cars stolen during an Oakland Hills crime spree belongs to Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said late Monday.

Walton’s Mercedes Benz was stolen Tuesday by two suspects, who police believe are also responsible for a violent attack on a 75-year-old woman outside her home on Thursday. The suspects also took the woman’s car during the attack, according to police.

Yikes. That’s serious.

I’m sure Steve Kerr has like 14 cars, he can loan one to Walton.

Pacers guard George Hill returns Tuesday against Wizards

Paul George, Marcus Morris
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Pacers guard George Hill returned to the lineup Tuesday night against Washington after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.

Hill is averaging 14 points and just under 37 minutes in 10 games this season. He was on the bench in case of emergency in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee.

Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday Hill’s infection had improved “to the point where he’s fine to play,” but would keep an eye out for fatigue after an 11-day layoff.

Hassan Whiteside on intentional fouls: “It’s not working, so keep fouling me”

Hassan Whiteside

Remember how Adam Silver was preaching that the league didn’t want to change the intentional foul rule — the hack-a-Shaq strategy — because it was really about two players (DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard) and a handful of others now and then. The fact that it’s not basketball didn’t matter.

Well, it’s not just two — Miami’s Hassan Whiteside has gotten the treatment this season. He’s a 53.4 percent free throw shooter this season.

And he says bring it on. From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:

“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “Foul me so I can get a double-double and we can win. It’s not working, so keep fouling me.”

He’s even smart at not getting fouled.

Whiteside also is liking that teams are looking at their options against the best defense in the NBA — yes, Miami at 94 points allowed per 100 possessions, is the best defense in the NBA right now — and deciding to attack Whiteside.

“There’s teams that’s out there that say ‘Stay away from Hassan,’ and there’s teams that say, ‘We don’t care if Hassan’s down there. Attack Hassan.’ I love them teams that do that. God bless them coaches. I love them teams.”

Whiteside is not as great a defender as the block totals would indicate — if he doesn’t see a block in it, his rotations can be a bit slow. One scout recently called him a selfish defender to me recently, suggesting he is in it for the numbers, not the sacrifices needed for an elite defense. True or not, the Heat have an elite defense and Whiteside is at the heart of it.

And if the strategy is to try to exploit him, Whiteside plans to make people pay.