On Saturday night, Jeremy Lin made not only his fifth career start, but his fifth start in seven days. Just one night after putting up 38 points in a showcase victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Garden, Lin and his New York Knicks teammates had to play an away game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
While Lin was not at his best, he led his team in minutes with 39 and hit a game-clinching free throw to give the Knicks a 100-98 victory. He was solid in the first half, putting up 15 points, but he appeared to tire in the second half. Lin finished with 20 points on the night on a below average 8-24 shooting. He was 0-3 from behind the arc.
Lin did well to provide for his teammates once again with eight assists, but also turned the ball over six times. The T'Wolves did a good job in the second half of stopping him from driving to his right and forcing him to his left, where he isn't nearly as strong. Both teams looked absolutely gassed in the fourth quarter, so Lin's struggles were understandable; the Timberwolves scored just 11 points in the fourth.
While his line of 20 points, eight assists, six rebounds, three steals and six turnovers isn't exactly world-beating stuff, it's not bad for a young point guard making his fifth career start, and fifth start in seven days. In those five starts and seven days, he's played 195 minutes, and it's understandable that he was gassed for the last 15-20 of those.
If this is Lin coming back to earth and playing at the level we can expect to see him play at for the foreseeable future, he's still a solid NBA point guard who is exceeding expectations. However, based on his body language late in the game, it appeared that his play was more the product of fatigue and an off night than him getting found out.