We’re deep into the one-year anniversary when Jeremy Lin went on his magical run with the New York Knicks. So what comes to mind when you hear the word “Linsanity” today?
Let me help you answer that – it’s the game winner vs. Toronto. If not, then it’s the 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on national TV. Alright, maybe the most memorable was Lin’s break out game against Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets, or perhaps it was his dunk against John Wall.
All very valid memories, but as a self-proclaimed Linsanity expert, I’m here to tell you that the phenomenon was more than just a few plays and gaudy stats. Here are 10 lesser-known plays that helped to form Linsanity (in no particular order).
Jeremy Lin hits the three over Dirk Nowitzki During the game against the Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki ended up on Lin after switch. Lin recognized that he had the German big man on him and waved everyone off, as if wasn’t his eighth start of his career, so he could take the all-star one-on-one. Madison Square Garden was swollen with excitement as Lin swaggered. Lin would hit the three to the delight of the New York crowd. It was only three points, but it felt like a 10-point play.
Jeremy Lin’s spin move on Derek Fisher Earlier in the game, Lin drove on Fisher without much success. Fisher, at one point, smiled, implying that he had Lin’s number. This made Lin’s move on Fisher all the more satisfying. Coming down the court, Lin jerked to the right before spinning on Fisher, putting up a shot slightly off-balance (and barely missed being blocked by Matt Barnes), before laying it up. Crowd goes crazy. Lakers timeout.
Jeremy Lin hits the double-pump and is fouled against the Utah Jazz In his first start of the season, Lin continued his magic with this fast break flip shot against the Utah Jazz. With the Knicks up two in the fourth, Lin threw a one-handed bounce pass to Iman Shumpert on a fast break. Shumpert then dropped it back to Lin. who gathered himself, initiated contact with C.J. Miles and hit the flip shot off the window. Watch Landry Fields as he follows the trajectory of the ball and yells “AND ONE!” followed by the roar of Madison Square Garden.
Jeremy Lin’s three pointer as shot clock expires (via Tyson Chandler tapback) This shot all but sealed the game against the Jazz. With the Knicks up six, Tyson Chandler tapped out a missed shot by Iman Shumpert which landed directly in Jeremy Lin’s hands with two seconds remaining on the shot clock. What’s the chance of that happening? Aware of the shot clock, Lin sent up a high-arcing three as fast as he could. Swish. 96-87 Knicks with just under 2 minutes remaining.
Jeremy Lin’s big three against the Lakers Another big Jeremy Lin shot. Another delirious Madison Square Garden crowd. Off a broken play and a Jared Jeffries offensive rebound, Jeremy Lin found himself standing in front of the Lakers bench. He got the ball from Jeffries, shuffled behind the three, and shot… Knicks go up 14. Lakers timeout. Madness at the Garden.
Jeremy Lin’s layup + foul against Amir Johnson Everyone has seen the buzzer beater against the Raptors, but the play that preceded that was just as important. Attacking the rim against Amir Johnson, who had already blocked five shots at that point, Lin fearlessly went at the 6-9 forward/center and still had the balance and strength to put the shot softly into the basket. Check out Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert’s reaction to the shot.
Jeremy Lin hits long jumper over Pau Gasol Off a pick and roll, Lin found NBA All-Star Pau Gasol switched onto him. Lin stepped back, sizing up Gasol before knocking down a long jumper just inside the three. One of the many special moments in this nationally televised game against the Lakers.
Jeremy Lin Switches Hands vs. Utah Jazz With the Knicks up seven with less than five minutes to go, Lin drove left (YES HE DID!) against Al Jefferson. As he lifted off his right foot, it looked as if Lin was going to go up with his left hand, but instead he switched to his right hand for the up and under. And one. Knicks up nine.
Jeremy Lin’s big three against Dallas Mavericks With Knicks up just 2 points with three minutes remaining, AND Shawn Marion guarding him. Lin measured the ‘Matrix’ up, rose up, and hit the long three to the delight of Madison Square Garden and Hubie Brown, who pleads Lin to have mercy on him “Stop it. Stop it!”
Jeremy Lin steal and dunk vs Dallas Mavericks The angst-ridden Lamar Odom of the Dallas Mavericks all but handed the ball the Jeremy Lin, but the fact that it was Jeremy Lin again, in the right place at the right time, to intercept the terrible pass. Knicks go into fourth down three with a lot of momentum, and a noisy New York crowd.
It wasn’t just the stats, Linsanity was also partly because of the swagger and Lin’s ability to come up big when it mattered most – and only taking those opportunities when they presented themselves.
During those two weeks, Lin always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Always hit the shot when it was needed most. It wasn’t just a couple plays that defined “Linsanity,” but dozens of plays – some just happened to be more memorable than others.