Linsanity made its return to Madison Square Garden, and against a Carmelo Anthony and Rasheed Wallace-less Knicks, Jeremy Lin’s Rockets took care of business. Their 109-96 win handed the Knicks their first home loss of the year, making them the last team to lose at home.
Lin came out to a mixed chorus of cheers and jeers, but it transitioned into all-out boos once the game started and he got the ball — not unlike LeBron James’ first few visits to the Garden after the summer of 2010. You can’t blame the Knicks contingent either, seeing as Lin dropped 22 points on 60 percent shooting and 8 assists in one of his strongest performances on the season. Though something tells me the Knicks should’ve seen it coming.
In a perfect world, Lin would have been raucously cheered by the Garden crowd, but thanks to a departure that can be summed up by, “Yeah, I’m totally sad I left the Knicks, but $25 million,” suspect sincerity gave way to cold hosts in Midtown Manhattan. Of course, this return came on the same day another New York team parted ways with an energizing, beloved figure touted just as much for his individual rise to fame as he was for his impact on his Big Apple team.
The comparisons between Lin and R.A. Dickey are eerily similar, save for the fact that Knicks are starting to compete in their league, while relevance still seems like a ways off for the Mets. If the Amazins come out on the other side after trading Dickey looking like half the team the Knicks are without Jeremy Lin, then it’s mission accomplished.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson acknowledged the fans’ universal support of Dickey, but said winning is what ultimately puts butts in seats. The Knicks have learned that the easy way, and despite not being able to figure out the Houston Rockets, the verdict is: The Garden does not miss Jeremy Lin. Not one bit.