Cavaliers-Knicks Preview

Jeremy Lin’s rise to stardom continues to captivate. Lin thinks

the rest of the resurgent New York Knicks deserve some

attention.

Lin and the Knicks emerge from the All-Star break Wednesday

night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lin has quickly become perhaps the biggest story of the NBA

season, emerging from obscurity to spark the Knicks as their new

point guard. He’s averaged 22.6 points and 8.7 assists during a 9-3

run that has New York (17-18) looking more like the playoff team it

expected to be at the start of the season.

The Knicks are tied with Boston for seventh in the East, and

trail Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia by four games.

Lin, a reserve for Golden State last season who was cut twice in

December before landing in New York, thinks there’s much more to

the Knicks’ turnaround.

“I mean, we’re unbelievably talented and you look on the

headlines, you look on ESPN, you see ‘Lin this’ and ‘Lin that,'” he

said. “But we may be the deepest team in the NBA, so I think we

should start talking about that as well.”

Even with that depth, New York could use more production from

its stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Anthony is averaging 15.0 points and shooting 38.3 percent in

three games after missing seven with a groin injury, while

Stoudemire’s 17.5 points per game represent a 7.8 drop from last

season.

While Anthony scored 19 points for the Eastern Conference in

Sunday’s All-Star game, Stoudemire was resting and believes he’s

primed for a strong second half.

“It’s going to be great. Every second half of the year, I have a

tendency to turn it up because you know how important it is,”

Stoudemire said. “After the All-Star break, getting that momentum

going to the postseason is always very, very key. You’re playing at

your best going into the postseason, so it’s going to be an

incredible second half of the year for me.”

New York will try to bounce back after losing its final game

before the break, 102-88 at conference-leading Miami on Thursday as

Lin managed eight points and three assists while turning the ball

over eight times.

“He’ll have a learning curve and there will be nights where he

won’t look good, but I think he’s a very good player and we’re

going to ride him and he’ll just keep getting better,” coach Mike

D’Antoni said.

The Knicks have dropped 12 of their last 13 meetings with the

Cavaliers (13-19), including a 91-81 defeat at Cleveland on Jan.

25, a game in which Lin didn’t get off the bench. Stoudemire had 19

points and 14 rebounds, while Anthony finished with 15 points.

The Cavaliers finished 4-5 on their season-high nine-game

homestand, which concluded Tuesday with an 86-83 loss to the

Celtics. They avoided a scare when Kyrie Irving returned from a

bruised elbow that sidelined him late in the second quarter.

“I just hit my elbow on the floor,” said Irving, who scored 19

of his 24 points in the second half. “Once I got back (to the

locker room) I felt much better. There was nothing funny about it

(hitting his funny bone). It was my first almost-injury in the

NBA.”

Irving, the first overall selection from last summer’s NBA

draft, scored just seven while making 1 of 7 from the field against

the Knicks last month.