HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Here we go again.
The first time it was Linsanity and all of the madness the arrival of a true global icon (Jeremy Lin) brought to the New York Knicks (along handfuls of wins) during his breakout moment last month. There was a seven-game win streak wrapped into a cosmic stretch that saw the Knicks go from a struggling outfit to a potential postseason matchup nightmare for anyone unlucky enough to draw them in the playoffs.
Then the bottom fell out.
Now comes Woodsanity … well, it might be wise to hold off on that one for at least a few more days. But the Knicks are definitely at it again. They’re 4-0 under interim coach Mike Woodson, who took over after Mike D’Antoni departed the premises last week.
The Knicks aren’t just playing well since Woodson took over … they’re playing great. They are playing like the team folks expected them to be when Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and the rest of the Knicks’ talented roster had everyone whipped into a frenzy heading into All-Star weekend.
The balanced offensive effort combined with a heightened attention to detail on defense has them back in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference — and they’re rising. New Yorkers see a lot that they like out of the Woodson-led Knicks, as Tim Smith of the New York Daily News points out:
Oh what fun it is for these resurgent Knicks, who have totally bought into Woodson’s system and philosophy. There is nothing Linsane about what’s going on.
“The spirit of the team, the energy of the team, we’re sacrificing, we’re buying in,” Lin said. “Using each other and individual shot attempts may be going down for specific people, whether it’s me or Melo or Amar’e. But then everyone else is getting more shots and the shots are easier. We’re able to keep the defense honest by using all five guys all the time.”
After Mike D’Antoni resigned one week ago as coach, everyone thought Lin would be taking a seat on the bench. With veteran point guard Baron Davis nursing a sore hamstring, Lin has maintained his spot in the lineup and seems to be settling into the job of running the team. He played much more under control and in the flow of the offense against the Raptors, committing just three turnovers.
“I just tried to be aggressive,” Lin said. “I’m not sure how many shots I took but I was trying to put pressure on the defense, and if it was open, it was open. I got some easy ones from other people looking for me. Melo, Landry (Fields) , those guys hit me with a couple of passes where I was open.”