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Given a chance, Lin becomes New York's newest star

By Brian Mahoney

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 7 2012 3:30 p.m. MST

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 Friday, so he'll wait for that before checking out the local real estate market. Even though he outplayed an All-Star in the Nets' Deron Williams on Saturday, he knows he can be the one looking bad Wednesday at Washington against 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."

The first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, 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 Wednesday, with both Anthony and Stoudemire expected to miss the game. But Lin guided the Knicks past Utah without them 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."

Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

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