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Knicks Vs. Timberwolves: New York Visits Minnesota Matching Up Ricky Rubio Vs. Jeremy Lin

Point guard matchup highlights a game Minnesota needs to win.

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Imaginative rookie point guard Ricky Rubio has made quite a splash with his play for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, but fellow rookie Jeremy Lin has drained the pool with his debut as the starting point guard for the New York Knicks this week.

Lin has started the last three games, all wins for the Knicks if you haven't noticed, averaging 29.7 points per game including a big-time performance last night at Madison Square Garden where Lin finished with 38 points and 7 assists after finishing off Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers 92-85. Lin's 89 points are the most by any player since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976-77 (yes, ANY player).

The Knicks great play fueled by Lin's emergence has made up for the absence of Carmelo Anthony (groin injury) and Amare Stoudemire (bereavement). The Timberwolves should benefit from that lack of fire power for the Knicks in their effort to slow down Lin and earn a much needed win.

After winning three in a row, the Wolves have lost their last two games so they will be more interested in improving their level of play than they will with the opponent visiting the Target Center. Kevin Love and company will need to maintain that focus because between Lin and the New York media there will be plenty of distractions leading up to the opening tip.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. For all your news and analysis needs on the NBA, SB Nation's main NBA hub has you covered at SBNation.com/NBA.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.