Starting 5: Tempering “Linsanity”, scary good Heat, & Perk the point guard


Every morning, we’ll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  Let’s not get too Linsane here

Let’s start with what everyone is talking about.  The Jeremy Lin saga gets kicked up a notch.


It’s an amazing story.  What he did last night was unreal.  And man, am I enjoying every second of it. 


This is where we in the media can get a little too carried away.  Because a game winner like this tends to cause some glossing over of certain things.  In the first half, Lin was much more pedestrian.  He also finished the game with eight turnovers.  And the biggest play of the game prior to the game winner was provided by Iman Shumpert, who came up with a steal and dunk to cut the Raptors lead to three in the waning minutes.  

That’s all stuff that needs to be said because while Jeremy Lin provided the heroics with a drive/foul/free throw to tie it and then that shot to win, it was a team win.  And what I, as a pure basketball don’t want to see, is the Tebowing of Jeremy Lin.  Tebow, while being part of some amazing endings, was the beneficiary of a LOT of excellent team play by the Denver Broncos.  But the hype was all about Tebow, and a good portion of that credit that was due his teammates never got there. 

I never want the Jeremy Lin story to end.  It’s too brilliant.  He captured that crowd like Rocky when he beat Ivan Drago.  And I never want to be a part of the machine that kills the story before it has to end.

2:  Starting to Heat up

I’m not trying to sound alarmist here, but the Miami Heat seem to be reaching that “scary good” level again.  

The Heat went into Indiana last night and just decimated the Pacers.  105-90 is nowhere near what this actual final score should have been.  The Heat became the first team in 33 years to win three straight games on the road, and not a single one of these games was nearly close.  They beat Atlanta, currently the 4th seed, by 30.  They beat Milwaukee, a team that had beaten them twice, by 18 and then last night’s game, which at one point featured a more than 30 point spread. 

The Heat’s biggest enemy at this point might be themselves (overused cliche’! DRINK!).  Their own boredom might be the thing that derails them before another team does.  It’s still early and a lot can happen in this crazy season, but if the Heat play like this in the playoffs… watch out.


Kendrick Perkins flashes the passes.  First, he gets the steal, runs point, and tosses the oop to Westbrook


And then he drops the behind-the-back dime

Nicolas Batum posterizes Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee

4:  Line of the Night – Nick Young: 35 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists

Nick Young does one thing and one thing only:  He puts the ball in the basket.  Sometimes he’s better at it than others.  In all honesty, he’s a lot better at heaving the ball at the basket than he is at actually putting it IN the basket.  But last night, the man with the 42.3% in his FG column this season made 12 of 17 shots to lead Washington to a huge 124-109 win IN Portland.  It’s a big win for the Wizards, but it’s a devastating loss for the Blazers, who also lost LaMarcus Aldridge to a sprained ankle.  After a hot start that had Portland atop the Western Conference, the Blazers are now just one game above .500 and clinging to that 8th spot. 

And, of course, my favorite thing about this line… zero assists.  

Keep chuckin’, Nick!

5:  You can quote me on that

“I’m just glad it went like this so we can calm the Linsanity down”
     Mike D’Antoni, after Jeremy Lin’s game winner in Toronto

Its crazy! I’m watching Linsanity hoping every shot goes in. Hope I never grow up.
     –Steve Nash, via Twitter 

“No consideration coming back. This is definitely my last year.”
     -Ben Wallace