Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Jeremy Lin returns to Toronto without the Linsanity!
Jeremy Lin still is big in Toronto, but apparently not as big.
Last time the Knicks played here, he was on the front page of newspapers, a video board outside the Air Canada Centre and there was a morning press conference where some Asian outlets presented him with gifts.
This morning, he wasn’t on front of newspapers or on the video board, and he spoke at his locker at the same time that coach Mike Woodson was speaking.
Inevitably, it’s going to have to get to the point where Lin is just a basketball player and it seems that’s finally happening.
The last time the Knicks were here, Lin also added to his legend by draining the game-winning three in the closing seconds and being showered with cheers from most of the fans in the building.
Lin said that moment ranks “right there at the top” of his NBA memories.
“I think we had a game the next day so I had to forget about it quick and move on,” Lin said. “I was just thankful to God for that and thankful to my teammates for their help during the game and keeping it close.
“I remember during that game Shump playing great defense on Calderon and giving us a chance down the stretch. So a lot of other people contributing. I got the last shot, but there were a lot of other things that happened before that.”
Lin and the Knicks hope they can add another positive memory here tonight when they go for their sixth straight win – all since Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni – and climb back to .500 for the first time since Feb. 29.
The Knicks begin the day in eighth place, 1 ½ games up on Milwaukee, and within striking distance of the Atlantic Division lead.
They’re three games behind Philadelphia and 2 ½ in back of second-place Boston.
They play each other tonight so the Knicks have a chance to gain ground – if the win.
“I want guys to be accountable for what they do on and off the court at this point,” Woodson said. “We’re fighting right now to stay afloat and stay in the playoff hunt. You just can’t have any slippage right now.”
Jared Jeffries will have an MRI on his right knee tomorrow morning. He’s out tonight and said he won’t play against the Pistons tomorrow.