Linsanity continues as Lin lifts Knicks over Mavericks

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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.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.

Carmelo Anthony leaves without speaking to media, will probably get fined

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Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.

It didn’t get any better last night.

Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Anthony today:

I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.

The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.

Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.

In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.

I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.

It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.

Grizzlies fan absolutely owns kids halftime scrimmage (video)

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The Grizzlies lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games, a 25-point drubbing at home against the Heat, last night.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Memphis.

This young fan – while playing in the halftime scrimmage – stopped his dribble, stepped on the ball, whipped off his youth jersey to reveal a Marc Gasol jersey, flexed, re-started his dribbled then drove for a basket.

Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation:

The Grizzlies don’t deserve this hero.