New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin walks up the court against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York

Jason Terry is not a member of the Jeremy Lin fan club


Sunday may have changed his mind. That is when Jeremy Lin put up 28 points and 14 assists in leading the Knicks past the Mavericks. That included six points and six assists in the fourth quarter when the Knicks took over the game.

Going into that game, Jason Terry was not as impressed as the rest of us.

He saw the 45 in the seven games before that, the fact Lin turns the ball over on 21.6 percent of his possessions used and said his previous coaches wouldn’t have tolerated it. That he would have been benched. Here is what Terry told the Star-Telegram before the game Sunday.

“I’ve been a point guard in this league and (45 turnovers in seven games) would have gotten me on the bench real fast,” Terry said….

“He’s in (Knicks coach Mike) D’Antoni’s system, and any player that plays a guard position in D’Antoni’s system has opportunities to be able to put up good numbers, and I think that’s what he’s been able to do,” Terry said. “The ball’s in your hands a lot and you’re going to have turnovers….

“I think it’s a lot of hype right now,” Terry said. “Is he going to be a good player in the future? If he continues to work, he will. But given the opportunity, he’s taken advantage of it. But everybody’s making a lot out of just the seven games he’s played.”

Terry is right in that Lin has benefitted from the D’Antoni system. Lin has been the perfect fit for the Knicks and that system — he pushes the tempo, sees the court well, plays smart off the pick and roll, plays to his strengths (he goes right) and he’s confidently knocking down outside shots. Is he turning the ball over more than you’d like? Sure. But in his MVP seasons Steve Nash turned the ball over 17 and 20 percent of his possessions — D’Antoni asks a lot of his point guard and tolerates mistakes if other things are going well.

But, as Terry said, Lin has grabbed the advantage given him with both hands.

Other coaches looked at Lin and focused on what he can’t do — his outside shot was shaky, he’s not strong going left — and not what he can do. D’Antoni may have been forced to give him a chance more out of circumstance than desire. But the fact is he does fit.

And after that game Sunday, you would think Terry would be a believer. His response then was that Lin “was a tough kid.”

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.