Jeremy Lin's bandwagon is getting mighty crowded after the Harvard grad outscored Kobe Bryant 38-34 in a 92-85 win for the Knicks over the Lakers tonight. HoopsWorld writer Alex Kennedy tweets that the locker room chatter suggests Lin, a restricted free-agent at season's end, could get a contract on par with Wesley Matthews, who inked a five-year, $34MM contract with the Blazers after his impressive rookie season in Utah. But as Brian Cronin of KnickerBlogger.net points out, Lin will be limited to receiving the full mid-level exception. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the mid-level exception is four years, starting at $5MM a year with annual raises of 4.5%.
Notes from elsewhere in the Atlantic Division:
- Peter Vecsey of the New York Post delved into the past to reveal how the Nets nearly drafted Bryant in 1996.
- Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni believes Lin and Carmelo Anthony will fit together just fine when Melo returns from injury, reports Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday. The coach believes it will be similar to the way Chauncey Billups and Anthony meshed with both the Nuggets and the Knicks.
- The Nets made a $12,000 investment in DeShawn Stevenson's knees. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports that the team paid for Stevenson to get the same blood-spinning treatment Kobe Bryant received. Stephenson, who paid for the other half of the $24,000 procedure, says his arthritic knees feel as healthy as they have since 2004. Stephenson also said that Knicks point guard Baron Davis had the same treatment as well.
- Brook Lopez, who's been out since training camp with a broken foot, is on his way back for the Nets. He's set to practice this week, Andy Vasquez writes on NorthJersey.com.
- James Johnson tells Raptors announcer Matt Devlin that the absense of Andrea Bargnani, who could be out until after the All-Star Break, is affecting the play of the rest of the team. His comments are at the four-minute mark of this video on Raptors.com.