Lin Stays Hot – The Knicks Do Not
Lazy.Lethargic. Sloppy. Losers. That describes the Knicks loss to the inept New Orleans Hornetts Friday night at the Garden 89-85. The Knicks were a turnover waiting to happen
including an NBA high 9 by Jeremy Lin. Lin did try to lead a spirited comeback by NY in the 4th quarter but like the team itself it fell short.
Lin led the Knicks with 26 points but took the blame afterwards for the sloppy and sleepy effort. "Everyone wants to give me credit for the last 7 wins then I definitely deserve this 1 on my shoulders and so that's fine with me" was Lin's strongest comment after the ballgame.
Truth be told while Lin's ball handling wasn't good, the Knicks interior defense was as problematic. The Hornets who ran their modest win streak to 3 time and again had easy buckets at the bucket. New Orleans pulled Tyson Chandler from the hoop and that led to easy pickins for them to feast on. Amare Staudemire who is rounding into shape after missing a week after the death of his brother was rather immobile from 5 feet in. His stat sheet might look good at 26pts and 12 rebounds but he cleary didn't have the extra zip to contest a number of shots from close.
The Hornets who led from wire to wire almost gave back all of a 12 point lead in the 4th quarter but Trevor Ariza, Gustavo Avon, and Marco Belinelli all had solid if not spectacul games. Ariza poured in 25 points and Belinelli hit a lucky bank 3 point shots that deflated NY late in the 4th!
The Knicks had their 7 game winning streak halted. It gets tougher when the defending champion Dallas Mavericks make their lone MSG appearance Sunday in a 1pm matinee match. The Knicks hope to have either or both Carmelo Anthony or new aquisition J.R. Smith in the lineup. Smith when he does play will be making his return to the NBA after a work stoppage deal with a team in China came to an end.