The New York Knicks are battling for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and will face an aging but still hungry Boston Celtics squad that is also .500 on Sunday at TD Garden, as Linsanity comes to Beantown.
It's no secret Jeremy Lin has been a big reason the Knicks have won 10 of their last 13 games, as the burgeoning point guard put on a show in February, averaging 20.9 points per game, and 8.4 assists, but he should be tested in New England.
When the Knicks travel to Boston, Lin will likely be harassed by Rajon Rondo, who is known for pesky defense, and is capable of going on a scoring run of his own. This season, Rondo is averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game.
Rondo also might be playing with a chip on his shoulder as the Celtics' All-Star has been the subject of multiple trade rumors. It's unclear if Rondo would prefer to move on, or stay with the club that he's spent his entire professional career with.
The 26-year-old is also coming off a triple-double performance in a home game on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Rondo hit seven-of-13 shots for 15 points, and added 10 assists and 11 rebounds.
Last season, Rondo finished second in the NBA in steals, and if he isn't defending Lin, expect taller and hard-nosed guard Ray Allen to mark the Knicks' playmaker.
In other words, Lin may have his work cut out for him on the road this weekend.
But the Harvard grad is coming off a solid effort himself. Lin hit six-of-12 shots for 19 points in a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, and also contributed 13 assists and five rebounds. With the expection of a poor performance against the Miami Heat, Lin has yet to cool off.
Lin faced the Celtics on Feb. 3, and played just seven minutes. The following game was against the New Jersey Nets, when Linsanity was born.
The Knicks head into the game with three days rest, while the Celtics will be playing in back-to-back games. While the Celtics prepare for Lin, the 23-year-old will be preparing for them. Lin is a diligent student of the game, and it has shown in his solid handling of the most mentally demanding position in basketball.
It might be interesting to see how Lin handles himself against a usually animated Boston crowd, and against a tenacious defender like Rondo.