Ugly and Gusty, Jeremy and the Knicks pulled it off again

My New York Knicks are back. The real knicks. The blue-collar, gut-it-out, fighting to the last second, die trying Knicks. The real Knicks basketball is back.

It’s not only about a 90-87 victory over the Raptors, it’s much more than that. It’s the team spirit of stepping on to the battle field together, sweat together, shout together, shed tears together, and share the outcome together. Nothing personal is superior to team achievement. Leaving it all out and the court, and we wake up the next morning to fight for another day.

It’s been too long, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. The Ewing-Starks-Oak days, the Camby-Spre-Houston-LJ days, there were stored too long in the history to remind how a Knicks team should look like. Or maybe people chose to keep it in the past, because the present reality would has been too miserable to bear.

Now the ancient God of Knickerbockers can rest at ease. After the grinding game against the Timberwolves and today where the Knicks trailed to the Raptors throughout the game and in double digit deficit majority of the time, the team gutted it back again with hustling second-chance plays, physical defense, and the bigger than ever will. Which led to this…

By all means, Jeremy Lin was having a tough night. Along with his glamorous 27 points and 11 assists, he also committed 8 turnovers, matching a career high. However, this is also exactly what makes tonight that much more special, because the victory was built on a team effort. Tyson’s post D and rebounds, Stat’s buckets around the hoop, Shump’s D on Jose, Landry the ultimate glue, Jared Jefferies’ leadership, along with many others. Shutting down the Raptors to 12 points in the 4th quarter is plenty to show for it. I should also salute Mike D’Antoni’s trust in his players, that very last play where he didn’t call a timeout and just let the players sorted things out on their own, was the art of coaching.

Tonight was also a statistics night, as Lin is turning his story into Linstory.

MOST POINTS IN FIRST FIVE STARTS – PLAYERS WHO BEGAN CAREER SINCE 1976-77 SEASON

Season
Jeremy Lin 136 2011-12
Shaquille O’Neal 129 1992-93
Freeman Williams 125 1981-82
Jerry Stackhouse 124 1995-96
Dominique Wilkins 124 1982-83
* Source: Elias Sports Bureau

Nevertheless, personal records only show how much of a talent that Jeremy is or could be. My personal favorite stat line is still this, kudos to NBA.com Notebook once more…

THE STAT: 12 points. That is the total points the Raptors scored in the fourth quarter and that’s exactly how many points Lin scored in the fourth quarter. Lin was plagued with turnovers throughout the night (8) but peaked at precisely the right time.

Yes. Team work. The New York Knicks Basketball has returned.

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