The funny thing is, Lin almost didn't get a chance with the Knicks.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni said on Tuesday that he was "afraid" to play the 23-year-old guard because the Knicks had fallen seven games under .500 just six weeks into the season, and he didn't know what to expect from Lin.
D'Antoni had seen "bits and pieces" of what Lin could do during team scrimmages, "but there were other things I questioned just because I didn't know.
And I was afraid to do anything. We're already in a little bit of a crisis and I just couldn't be, you know, pulling straws," the coach said.
Thing is, the Knicks (11-15) were in a crisis in large part because of poor point guard play. Entering the season, they'd hoped*Toney Douglas
could run the show with*Carmelo Anthony
*filling in as a part-time point forward. But that didn't work. So they were left holding their breath as*Baron Davis
*recovered from a herniated disk in his back. And the result was one mess of an offense.
Before Lin's breakout Saturday night, the Knicks were 24th in offensive efficiency, 24th in field goal percentage and 25th in assist percentage.
But Lin's ability to spread the floor, finish at the rim and run the pick-and-roll made those numbers seem like misprints.