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Name: Jim MonaghanHeight: 5'8"Weight: 150
Prior to joining WDHA, Jim spent a number of years as part of the New York/New Jersey sports media corps covering the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Devils and Rangers. Jim has over 25 years of experience coaching and playing baseball. He spent two years in baseball management with the Newark Bears. and coached the Don Bosco Prep freshman baseball team to back-to-back Bergen County championships for the only time in the school's history. He's also an instructor with Professional Baseball Instruction in Bergen County.
Unless you're into college basketball, or REALLY into the NBA, there's a better-than-even chance that up until the last couple of weeks, you probably knew little or nothing about Jeremy Lin who, in the space of 5 games, has managed to inject life into the New York Knicks.
It's not as if he hasn't garnered attention in the past. Lin had a stellar high school career in California. He attracted some attention from colleges, but most teams interested in him wanted him as a walk-on. In his sophomore year at Harvard, he played well enough to be named to the All-Ivy League Second Team. He would elevate his game to All Ivy-League First Team status in his junior and senior years at Harvard.
Upon graduating, he was invited to a number of NBA team workouts but would ultimately go undrafted. He eventually signed with Golden State but played only sparingly and was shuttled back and forth between the NBA and its Development League before being cut by the Warriors. After a brief stint with Houston he was claimed off waivers by the Knicks; as recently as January 20th, he was playing for New York's entry in the D-League.
Since being brought up to the Knicks recently, he's played in 5 games, all of which were won by the Knicks. In four starts, he's scored 109 points and he's the first NBA player with at least 20 points and seven assists in his first four starts. TV ratings are up, MSG stock is up, his jersey is the #1 selling shirt among current NBA players. He no longer has to sleep on his brother's couch. In short, it's "Lin-sanity" (and that's the last time I'll use that phrase. Promise.).
His unlikely success story has led to a plethora of questions. Is he for real? Can he keep this up? What happens when the Knicks' walking wounded start coming back? Can Carmelo Anthony adjust his game (not to mention his attitude) to fit in with Lin's skill set? What happens when the league starts to adjust to him?
While we wait for the answers to those questions, one thing is blatantly obvious - people still care about pro basketball (the media frenzy in Toronto where the Knicks are playing tonight is insane) and closer to home, people still care about the Knicks. Madison Square Garden hasn't sounded this loud for a Knicks game in years, and there's a very good chance that this 5-game winning streak led by Jeremy Lin's scoring antics saved head coach Mike D'Antoni's job.
Thanks to the NBA lockout, the league is cramming 66 games into just 126 days. As the Knicks approach the mid-point of the regular season, they hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference just 2.5 games behind the Boston Celtics. They still give up too many points (D'Antoni teams have never been known for their defensive prowess), and staying healthy is going to weigh heavily on every team, but the Knicks apparently have found a player in Lin who can shoot, and knows how to run the D'Antoni offense.
Enjoy it while it's here.
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