Linsanity meet the Big Three.
The New York Knicks and their sensational point guard, Jeremy Lin, are headed to South Beach on Thursday night to take on LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the first matchup since Lin took over New York City, and let’s face it, the NBA.
The Knicks (17-17) are looking to leap over the .500 mark before the All-Star break this weekend as they prepare for a second half that they hope will mirror the past couple of weeks with Lin leading the charge.
The last time the Knicks met the Heat on the hardwood, they were a completely different team. Lin was still warming the bench, Carmelo Anthony was out and Toney Douglas was starting at point guard. Oh, and they threw up an astounding 43 three-pointers in the 99-89 loss to Miami.
“We’re going down there to win,” Anthony said after the Knicks laugher over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night. “Miami is playing great basketball right now. One of the hottest teams, if not the hottest team in the NBA.”
There’s been more hype leading up to this regular season game than any game this season. Perhaps a once little known 23-year-old point guard out of Harvard has something to do with that.
The Knicks are 9-2 since Lin was inserted into the lineup against the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4, but the Heat present a much more difficult challenge than some of the teams they faced the past two weeks.
The Heat are sure to throw a bunch of defenders at Lin, including Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade and James.
And Miami is bringing its own hot streak into the game. They’ve won seven straight games and are 9-1 in their last 10. During their seven-game winning streak the Heat managed to win every game by more than 10 points.
So the Knicks aren’t the only team rolling into Thursday’s anticipated matchup with some confidence.