Knicks find their missing 'Lin'k

Kathy Kmonicek/AP Photo

Jeremy Lin is New York's newest star after his recent impressive play.

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has made quite an impression in the last two games.

Lin had a career high 28 points and eight assists in a win over the Utah Jazz. He scored 32 points in his first nine games of the season, but has 53 points (and a lot of fan support) in his last two games.

Lin was very effective handling, protecting, and shooting the ball on the pick-and-roll, making half of his 10 baskets on pick-and-rolls.

In both this game and the win over the New Jersey Nets that earned him a starting spot, Lin was 5-for-8 when shooting on pick-and-rolls, and in each game he twice converted 3-point plays by getting fouled on his dribble-drives.

Additionally, Lin has been better than Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni thought he would be on the defensive end. Lin’s man is 5-for-18 from the field in the last two games.

In the category of fun with small sample sizes, Lin is the Knicks leader in two advanced stats- John Hollinger’s PER, and Basketball-Reference.com’s Win Shares per 48 minutes, both of which measure a player’s overall value to his team.

The one thing to be wary of- Lin had eight turnovers in Monday’s win, tied for the third-most by anyone in a game this season.

Kobe passes Shaq

When Would Kobe Pass The Rest?
Assuming He Averages 25 PPG

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant passed Shaquille O’Neal into fifth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Bryant now has 28,601 points after scoring 28 on Monday.

The chart on the right shows the four players that Bryant has left to catch if he hopes to become the NBA’s all-time scorer.

Bryant had a rough second half in this game, going just 2-for-12 from the field.

Bryant entered the game averaging a league-best 7.3 points per game in the fourth quarter, but he went just 1-for-10 from the field in the loss.

Howard, Bynum, Cousins statistically linked together

Dwight Howard had his second game of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds this season in the Orlando Magic’s overtime loss against the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s one of five players with multiple 30/10 games, along with Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and LeBron James.

In defeat, Lakers center Andrew Bynum joined Howard as the only players with multiple 20/20 games this season. Howard leads with five.

Also, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had his fourth game this season with at least 19 rebounds. The only player with more such games this season is Howard, who now has six.

Plus-Minus Note of the Night

The Houston Rockets got good contributions from their bench in a 99-90 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Courtney Lee, Jeff Adrien, Patrick Patterson, and Chase Budinger all were plus-9 or better.

Lee and Adrien were each plus-15. Lee’s plus-minus was one shy of his best such effort this season. Adrien’s was one shy of his career best, and his second positive plus-minus in eight games played this season.