Who'da thought that the eyes of the basketball world would all be focused on a rookie point guard at the Target Center tonight--and it wouldn't be Ricky Rubio? No, suddenly, the fickle basketball world has found a new darlin', a new hero. His name is Jeremy Lin, and a week ago nobody had ever heard of the guy. He was averaging 4 points per game as a back-up point for the New York Knicks.
But the Knicks were mired in an unexpected rut. I mean, these guys paid billions for Carmelo Anthony, and they were supposed to be on their way back to respectability. But it wasn't happening. They were 7-15, but more to the point, they'd lost 11 of their last 13 and were going nowhere with another rookie, Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech, at the point.
So, in went Lin. And now, less than a week later, he's a folk hero, the 4th most searched term on Google--not sports term, but search term of any kind. And the Knicks are now 5-0 with him in the starting lineup after tonight's 100-98 win over the Timberwolves.
The Wolves led most of the way, or to put it another way, the Knicks led 4-2 and 38-37, and that was it, until taking a 95-94 lead on a Shumpert FG at 1:21. Kevin Love put the Wolves back on top with 2 FT after an offensive board, and then Rubio made it a 3-point game with a driving lay-up. Steve Novak hit a 3 to tie it up at :36. Rubio, who had 0 turnovers to that point, then turned it over on 2 consecutive possessions, and the Knicks hit 1-of-2 FT each time. Minnesota got the ball back with less than 2 seconds remaining, and that was all she wrote.
For the night, Lin scored 20 points, but needed 24 FGA (he was 8/24 or 33 percent) to do it, and added 8 assists and 3 steals. Rubio matched the 8 assists and 3 steals, as well as the 33 FG percentage, but scored just 12 points. On the other hand, Rubio had just 2 turnovers while Lin had 6 turnovers and 4 blocked shots against. Still, meeting #1 goes to Lin.
For the season, it's hard to compare as Rubio has been playing regularly since game #5 or 6, while Lin has started, how, 5 games. But, be that as it may, the season records look like this.
Lin 11 points, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 54 FG percent, 20 percent on 3s
Rubio 11 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers. 3 steals, 37 FG percentage, 33 percent on 3s
And so the Player of the Day is...
Reid Travis of DeLaSalle scored 36 points in a 71-62 win over Minnehaha.
Coach of the Day...
is shared by Moorhead State coaches Chad Walthall of the men and Karla Nelson of the women, each of whom won at Bemidji State in a total of 4 OT. The men won 84-77 in a single OT, while the women won 95-93 in 3OT for their 7th straight win.