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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks in action against the during their game at Madison Square Garden on March 16, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jeremy Lin

jeremy lin

Jeremy Lin Is Doing Just Fine

The New York Post declared "Linsanity" dead last week with a characteristically subtle back page graphic. With Mike D'Antoni gone and Mike Woodson assuming the head coaching responsibilities, Jeremy Lin and his pick-and-roll game were to be marginalized in favor of isolation offense that directed the ball into the hands of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and instructed everybody else to get the hell out of the way. No longer enabled by the patient, point guard-friendly D'Antoni, Lin's performance would fade, his minutes and usage would decrease, and he might not even be long for New York. The hype would dissipate, and we'd all move on to something else.

Now, the last part of that is mostly true. Especially now that the city is bracing for the possible arrival of a new attention magnet, "Linsanity" — the cultural phenomenon, that is — has more or less disappeared. Lin doesn't have to give press conferences after games anymore. You're not seeing his name mentioned much in non-sports media. We're not getting headlines (not even in the Post) about Lin's sleeping habits or what his high school guidance counselor thinks about him or how his sister had mixed feelings about some lasagna she ate. Even when he and the Knicks play well, it's no big deal. Lin had eighteen points and ten assists and dunked last night, and the Internet didn't explode.

And that's a pretty nice summary of where we are right now. Woodson, lo and behold, hasn't really directed the action away from Lin. He's getting Lin the ball in some different settings — most notably in catch-and-shoot situations from baseline inbound plays — but still running plenty of pick-and-roll and encouraging Lin to create in transition. It's only been four games — two of which were so lopsided that Lin and the rest of the starters played reserve-level minutes — but Lin has looked sharp as ever. Better, even. He's relying less on pull-up outside shots, reducing his turnovers, and participating in the team-wide surge of defensive effort. His numbers, meanwhile, still compare to those of of top-flight young point guards.

So, "Linsanity" may have duly perished, but Jeremy Lin appears to be alive and well. Instead of Lin being a D'Antoni-ball product and Woodson being a fun-squashing, point guard-stopper, it's looked so far like Lin is a pretty good basketball player and Woodson a pretty good coach. They're making each other look good, the Knicks are playing great basketball, and nobody particularly cares. It's kind of wonderful, really.

Photo: Al Bello/2012 Getty Images