Extra observations from a night some stars — not from Utah — were born in New York City:
But Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, Jared Jeffries, Bill Walker and Iman Shumpert — NBA players most people couldn’t pick out of a lineup (and most coaches haven’t) — sure did a number on the Jazz in the Knicks’ 99-88 win.
What next, a Broadway understudy winning a Tony award?
“I tell people this all the time, anybody in this league is in the top 1 or 1/10th of a percent of players in the world,” said Jazz guard Raja Bell, who had to make a name for himself out of Florida International. “They’re here for a reason. It might not be the ones highlighted on SportsCenter every night, but they’re fully capable, and they showed it tonight.”
Even so, it was remarkable how the Jazz got outhustled and outplayed by a starless group, which deserved credit for filling in for the missing Amar’e Stoudemire (brother’s death) and Carmelo Anthony (strained groin six minutes in).
Lin’s 28-point, eight-assist performance was especially fun for the Madison Square Garden fans to watch.
“These guys can play, and they have pride in it,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “When they get an opportunity to play, they make the most of their minutes and they stuck it to us.”
POINT 2: Bell believes NBA coaches will not only watch what Lin did to Utah’s defense, but they’ll try to use it against the Jazz.
“We could not figure out how to guard him on pick-and-roll,” Bell said. “I fully expect people are going to see that tape and put us in a lot of pick-and-roll, so it’s going to be our challenge to figure out how we’re going to guard it effectively, because tonight I think they exposed us.”
Corbin didn’t like how Lin was able to get between the two Jazz defenders, giving him options.
“He was splitting the pick-and-rolls, which we don’t allow guys to do,” Corbin said. “On a normal basis, we don’t allow as much as we did tonight. He was just able to keep the ball in his hands and get down the lane and make plays for himself and his teammates.”
Maybe that’s what a Harvard education will get you.
POINT 3: The Jazz are one of the most-penalized team in the NBA (27th), so it wasn’t too surprising they were whistled for 31 fouls.
The weird part?
Nine fouls came on the offensive end of the floor.
Devin Harris, Paul Millsap and C.J. Miles were each called for two offensive fouls, while Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter had one apiece.
Novak credited the defense of 7-1 Tyson Chandler, Landry Fields and Jeffries.
“They do those intangible things,” he said. “They take the charges. Tyson with his defense … we don’t ever have to double, which is huge in this league.”