Houston Rockets Introduce Jeremy Lin

Dahntay Jones says “Linsanity” was bigger because Lin was Knick


Dahntay Jones is not the first person to say this. Heck, Mark Cuban said it.

But the Mavericks swingman is the latest to say new cross-state rival Jeremy Lin would not have had the same hype last season if he hadn’t been playing in New York City. That the fire of “Linsanity” spread because the New York Media was the gasoline dumped on the blaze.

Via Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Sulia).

“I think he had a very good month (last year), but when anything goes down in New York City it’s a write-up about it,’’ Mavs guard Dahntay Jones said Sunday. “If it would have happened in Indiana I don’t think it would have been the same type of buzz, but he had a great string of games.

“If you do that in New York – New York wants to put somebody out there and to be proud of someone. It’s the media hub, so he did it at the right place at the right time.’’

As I’ve said before, the hype did get more intense more quickly because he was in New York, but he would have been a story and a draw anywhere. Part of that is his Asian heritage. It was the perfect storm of the Knicks were dreadful, then in comes Lin attacking on the pick-and-roll and finding shooters — and it worked, the Knicks were winning games. He was entertaining to watch. Mike D’Antoni was showing why you might want to give him a quality point guard to run his offense.

But really, the biggest reason Lin would still have been a big story is because he is an archetype. We love the underdog, and Lin was that — the overlooked, twice-cut guy who wouldn’t give up, kept pursuing his dream and once he got a chance exploded on the biggest stage. That’s a movie script. We eat that stuff up.

Plus, Lin put up better numbers in his first four starts — 28 points per game — than any first four games for a starter in NBA history. That would make noise in any market.

But yes, him being in New York helped start the legend. Now it is the next few years in Houston where that legacy will be defined. That is when we see if the Rockets made a good move with the poison pill offer sheet they gave (and Lin signed). Or if Lin’s fame is gone in a New York minute.

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.