Yeah, we're in. We won't be using any puns pitched around his last name, as we had the chance to do in the preceding sentence, but we're more than happy jumping on board the Jeremy Lin bandwagon. Even if he only took it to the lowly Nets, the up and down Jazz, and the pathetic Wizards. And, via Get Banged On, we now have Lin (who put together a 23-point, 10-assist game in New York's win over Washington on Wednesday night) throwing down his first dunk of the season.
Even if it came against a Washington-brand of weak-side defense that would put the Rookie/Sophomore Game to shame:
The terrible defense hardly matters. This cat made the summer of 2010 tolerable with his Summer League play, and he's brightening up an otherwise-ridiculous (even by NBA standards) 2011-12 season with a string of games that seems appropriate, fleeting, and warming all at the same time. If things fall apart from here? Who gives a rip? And, despite smart proclamations pointing to his probable return to the mean and referencing the quality of opponents that he's faced thus far, this is a 6-3 point guard with athleticism and skill and a clear and clever outlook when it comes to attacking a defense.
This isn't to say the other point guards on the Knicks are selfish or dullards. They want to do what Jeremy Lin has done. They just haven't been able to. No shame in that. Every column thus far has pointed out how relate-able Lin appears to most NBA fans, and I think that's a bit off. We should relate most with those who couldn't cut it before he took over the starting point guard spot. Because we can't do what Jeremy Lin has done.
We'll let Les Carpenter take the next word on an 11-15 team that is currently ranked ninth in its conference, in his fantastic piece from ThePostGame:
Three weeks ago they sent Lin down to their D-League team in Erie, Pa. Had he not played well on Saturday, the guaranteed part of his contract might not have been picked up this week. He would have been out of the NBA. Now people are making signs, taping T-shirts and writing rap songs with his name.
As with many sensations, there is no making sense of all this. The Knicks were through with Lin just like the Golden State Warriors were through with him after last season. The NBA does not draft Taiwanese point guards from Harvard, and Lin certainly didn't fit what the Warriors wanted. They sent him to the D-League. When the Knicks put him on a plane to Erie in late January, Lin was terrified that last year was happening again, that his NBA dream was gone, that he was destined to be an interesting footnote in a long list of international firsts the league loves to tout as it lumbers toward world domination.
Lin, the NBA and the Knicks aren't quite there yet. But in a five-day span we've been afforded the pleasure of appreciating what NBA fans typically love to fawn over more than anything else.
We've been allowed to take in fantastic guard play. And as someone who was pushed over the edge watching Steve Nash dominate garbage play in this game, why not turn smitten? It might not last. It may not make much sense. But this would be a compelling story in Memphis, in Orlando, in Lebanon, in Berkeley. Don't be afraid to fall in love. It's February and it's cold and it's OK to look back in a few months and have fun with what seemed to make sense at the time.
New York, the city and the team, has something special to behold. For however long this lasts, don't hesitate for a second to enjoy every bit of it. New York, the city and the team, has earned as much.
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- Jeremy Lin