Meet the Knicks' unlikely new star

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Meet the Knicks' unlikely new star

From Comcast SportsNet
GREENBURGH, New York (AP) -- Linsanity has taken over Madison Square Garden, and even Magic Johnson was captivated watching the New York Knicks' newest star. The only guy who doesn't seem impressed is Jeremy Lin. The new point guard refuses to get his own place to live, just in case the NBA team decides to cut him this week before his contract becomes guaranteed. He takes no satisfaction in proving he wasn't a one-hit wonder, because he could be "like a two-time wonder." And no, the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent doesn't consider himself all that smart, regardless of that Harvard education. "That's a stereotype," Lin said on Tuesday. "(Former Golden State teammate) David Lee would be the first to tell you, he always calls me the dumbest smart guy he knows. Depends on who you ask I guess." Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni knew Lin was intelligent. What he didn't know was whether Lin could play in the NBA, and for a while he was hesitant to find out. The Knicks struggled at the start of the season, and even though D'Antoni had seen glimpses from Lin, he worried this wasn't the time to turn to a guy who just recently was sent to the NBA Development League. "I was afraid to do anything, we're already in a little bit of a crisis and I just can't be, you know, pulling straws, just trying something, a whim. Other players would be looking at me like You crazy?' if it didn't work," D'Antoni said. "Now he just kept showing stuff a little bit, a little bit. When he got one opportunity, he took advantage of it." Lin scored 25 points last Saturday -- after crashing at teammate Landry Fields' place because his brother, with whom he normally stays, had company. He then scored a career-best 28 on Monday in his first NBA start, a victory over Utah as "Linsanity" was trending on Twitter in New York. "The excitement he has caused in the Garden, man, I hadn't seen that in a long time. The way he can penetrate, and can get in that lane, and either shoot it or dish it, has really made them a better basketball team," said Johnson, the Hall of Famer who watched both games. "When they started chanting last night MVP!' I fell out. It was really wonderful for the young man. When you get a spark a like this, especially in a season like this, this could carry them for a long time because they needed something to happen positive. Everything has been really negative." D'Antoni had already gone through three point guards this season while waiting for Baron Davis to become available. Despite having All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks struggled to score because they couldn't find anyone to properly run D'Antoni's pick-and-roll offense. The coach said it wasn't that difficult, but it takes some intelligence, something the economics major has plenty of along with some overlooked physical gifts. "First of all, he has really good speed. He gets into the lane, he gets by people," D'Antoni said. "But he has pace in the sense of setting the guy up, sensing where the openings are, and it's hard to teach. Some guys have it. You can teach certain aspects of it and get him better, but they have to be able to read and stuff, and he can do that." Lin wasn't selected in the 2010 draft and was eventually signed by the Golden State Warriors, not far from where he starred for Palo Alto High School. He split last season between the Warriors and the D-League, then was waived before this season. Houston claimed him but cut him two weeks later, and the Knicks claimed him, with D'Antoni recalling being impressed after seeing Lin work out a year earlier. It seems unlikely he'll be hitting the market again anytime soon, but Lin won't risk it. Contracts become guaranteed for the rest of the season if a player is still on the roster on Friday, so he'll wait for that before checking out the local real estate market. Even though he outplayed an All-Star in the New Jersey's Deron Williams on Saturday, he knows he can be the one looking bad on Wednesday against Washington by John Wall's speed. "The minute as athletes you get complacent, that's when trouble comes," Lin said. "So I'm just trying to stay ready." Lin is a natural draw in New York, where Stoudemire said fans love the underdog. But it's not the box office appeal that matters to his teammates, who saw a promising season slipping away because they had nobody to get them the ball. Lin's done that, and the Knicks might need another big effort on Wednesday, with both Anthony and Stoudemire expected to miss the game. But Lin guided the Knicks past Utah without them on Monday, a surprising victory over a winning team. Not as surprising as the undrafted Ivy Leaguer becoming the most important player on an NBA team. "You never know who can step up. It only takes one guy to step up and all of a sudden everything turns and I think that's the way we're feeling around here now," center Tyson Chandler said. "Jeremy stepped up and put guys back in their natural positions and all of a sudden our offense is flowing."

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

The Trilogy has arrived.

The Warriors. The Cavaliers. Facing each other in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive postseason. The series begins June 1 with Game 1 at Oracle Arena.

With a 135-102 victory over the Celtics Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs advance to face a Warriors team riding the wave created by being the first club in NBA history to start the postseason with 12 straight wins.

With the teams splitting the first two Finals, the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavs prevailing last June, this one is to break the tie.

In the meantime, both teams have done some significant retooling.

The Warriors last summer added four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, along with veterans JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West.

Though LeBron James remains the hub of the Cavs, the team made several in-season changes, most notably adding veterans Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

The Warriors came into the playoffs having earned the No. 1 overall seed by virtue of their NBA-best 67-15 record. They’re 27-1 since March 11, having ended the regular season by winning 15 of their last 16 games before taking out Portland, Utah and San Antonio in four games each to reach The Finals.

The Cavaliers (51-31) held the top seed in the East for most of the season before staggering over the final six weeks, going 9-12 over their final 21 games, including four consecutive losses to end the season.

Cleveland seems to have recovered from its late-season slump, sweeping Indiana and Toronto in the first two rounds before ousting the Celtics in five.

The Warriors and Cavs split two games in the regular season, each team winning on its home floor. Cleveland took a 109-108 decision on Christmas Day, while the Warriors came back for a 126-91 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Oakland.

The NBA Finals schedule can be seen below. 

Game 1 – Thu  June  1  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 2 – Sun  June  4  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM  

Game 3 – Wed  June  7  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 4 – Fri  June  9  Golden State at Cleveland             6:00PM  

Game 5 * Mon  June 12  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 6 * Thu  June 15  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 7 * Sun  June 18  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM    

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

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USATSI

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend his son Darren’s graduation.

Baker said he will rejoin Washington when it begins a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, near Baker’s offseason home. Bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties against the Padres.

Baker’s son Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. He’s committed to play college baseball at Cal.

As a 3-year-old bat boy, Darren was rescued from a potential home plate collision by J.T. Snow in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between Baker’s Giants and the Angels.