While the incredible emergence of New York’s Jeremy Lin has
taken the country by storm, many are wondering how this overnight
success story will coexist with Carmelo Anthony upon his
That question may not be answered just yet.
Lin and Anthony had been hoping to be in the starting lineup
together as the host Knicks go for an eighth straight win Friday
night against the lowly New Orleans Hornets, but Anthony is
considered doubtful due to his strained right groin.
Lin’s story has been well documented since he came off the bench
to score a game-high 25 points in a 99-92 win over New Jersey on
Feb. 4. Unheard of by most of the nation prior to that performance,
the former Harvard star has guided the Knicks (15-15) to seven
straight victories and into eighth place in the Eastern
While Lin has become a household name and New York is relevant
again in the basketball world, there is some concern about how
Anthony will fit in with a team that has suddenly developed
chemistry in his absence.
Anthony was in the starting lineup for Lin’s first start Feb. 6
against Utah, but left because of his injury after playing less
than six minutes and hasn’t suited up since. There’s still a chance
he’ll face New Orleans, but he may be more likely to return Sunday
Before the rise of Linsanity, New York’s offense went through
Anthony, and he didn’t hesitate to fire up shots. The five-time
All-Star is fourth in the NBA in field-goal attempts per game at
18.8 but is shooting 39.9 percent, the sixth-worst mark in the
league among qualifying players.
Lin became the team’s primary scorer in Anthony’s absence,
averaging 27.2 points and 19.6 shots in his first five starts, but
proved Wednesday he doesn’t need to score for New York to be
After totaling 136 points in his first five starts – the most by
any player since the NBA merged with the ABA in 1976 – Lin finished
with 10 points and a career-best 13 assists in an easy 100-85 win
over Sacramento. He sat out the fourth quarter after playing just
26 minutes – 10 fewer than in any other game since joining the
“As a point guard, my field-goal attempts have been really high
and I don’t think that’s necessarily good,” Lin said. “I think it’s
more of my job to distribute and get people in rhythm.”
Landry Fields had team highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds for
the Knicks, who put seven players in double figures in scoring for
the first time since April 5, 2009, at Toronto. Amare Stoudemire
had 11 points in 27 minutes after finishing with 21 and nine
rebounds in Tuesday’s 90-87 win at Toronto, his first game back
after sitting out four following the death of his brother.
Stoudemire combined for 58 points on 61.0 percent shooting in
two games – both Knicks wins – against the Hornets last season.
Anthony aided the second one with 22 points after arriving from
New Orleans (6-23) arrives in New York having won back-to-back
games after winning just two of its previous 25. The Hornets
defeated Milwaukee 92-89 on Wednesday despite dressing only 10
players and being without several key contributors.
Marco Belinelli made a career-high six 3-pointers and had a
season-high 22 points for New Orleans, which is again expected to
be without Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry and Eric Gordon
– all sidelined with knee problems.
“We’re a fighting team,” coach Monty Williams said. “We have a
little bit of grit about us. It’s too bad you don’t have a stat for
heart and intensity because we’d be at the top of the league.”
The Hornets have lost six straight games to the Knicks since a
118-110 victory April 4, 2008.