Knicks Outlast Mavs in J.R Smith’s Debut

On Sunday afternoon the New York Knicks took on the Dallas Mavericks, looking for a bounce back victory following

Feb. 19, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard J. R. Smith and point guard Jeremy Lin (17) react during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 104-97. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

their loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

Despite struggling on Friday against the Hornets, Jeremy Lin was huge once again against the Mavs. Lin dominated the game with his performance. When it was all said and done Lin’s final line was impressive—he scored 28 points, had 14 assists and even managed 5 steals—so good in fact, that we will over look his game-high 7 turnovers.

Lin’s performance was so noteworthy that Jason Kidd said after the game that Lin’s play reminded him of two-time MVP Steve Nash—not a bad comparison if you are Lin.

Without Lin on the floor, The Knicks were ineffective offensively and that was a big reason why the Knicks lead was not larger in the first half. When they brought Iman Shumpert of the bench the offense became stagnated, and it was difficult for them to score. This was particularly apparent in the second quarter when after Shumpert replaced Lin, the Knicks immediately went on a scoring drought of over 3 minutes.

Jeremy Lin aside, the Knicks did get some solid scoring efforts out of their supporting cast, including J.R Smith who was solid in his Knick debut. Smith scored 15 points in his debut, and Steve Novak added 14 included some key three-point shots late in the game.  Both players added a dimension to the Knicks’ game that they have not had for the majority of the season, thanks to their three point proficiency.

With the Knicks new found propensity for ball movement and efficient three-point shooting, much of what caused them to struggle early on in the season offensively has been fixed.  Will this trend persist when Carmelo Anthony returns? we may find out as early as tonight against the Nets.

Topics: Dallas Mavericks, J.R. Smith, Jeremy Lin, Knicks, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hronets, Steve Novak

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