Jeremy Lin is the newest darling of New York sports. His two straight head-scratching, uplifting and potentially season-saving performances have earned him a great nickname and social media meme (Linsanity), and some of the first positive press the New York Knicks (10-15) have seen this season. Eventually, Lin won't keep putting the Knicks' on his back and dominating his NBA opposition. But with the Knicks severely shorthanded when they visit the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, is it too much to ask Lin for one more?
Amazingly, after a whirlwind couple of days for Lin, he finds himself as perhaps the Knicks' most important player at the very moment. Carmelo Anthony was declared yesterday to be out for 1-2 weeks with a strained groin, and Amare Stoudemire is understandably out for the game while he continues to grieve with his family in Florida upon the passing of his older brother on Monday. With Anthony leaving the Knicks' last game on Monday against the Jazz after just six minutes, the Knicks had to patch together a lineup -- a lineup that will likely resurface on Wednesday. Lin will earn his second career start, while Jared Jeffries will replace Stoudemire again. Who comes in for Anthony is up for discussion; it could be Iman Shumpert, Bill Walker, or even Steve Novak.
The Knicks and Wizards (5-20) have met once prior this season, also in Washington on Jan. 6, a last-second win for New York. On Monday, the Wizards snapped a four game losing streak in beating the Toronto Raptors in overtime after blowing an 18-point 3rd quarter lead. Interim coach Randy Wittman took over for Flip Saunders, who was fired on Jan. 24, and the Wizards' modest 3-5 record since then actually marks an improvement.
The Knicks are trying to win three straight games for the first time in nearly a month, and are also trying to snap a four-game road winless streak. Aside from hosting the Los Angeles Lakers in their next game on Friday, New York has a fairly favorable schedule upcoming. They are in a position where they have to keep beating teams they should, even if they are shorthanded as they are tonight. That might be a tough position to put Lin in after just two good games, but it's one he finds himself in nonetheless.