New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin (17) celebrates his dunk during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards.
If there's a rude awakening coming, it is going to have to wait a little longer.
The Knicks continued to live in a Linsane asylum on Wednesday night in Washington, beating the Wizards 107-93 behind 23 points and 10 assists from the man whose career got strapped to a rocket three games ago.
Jeremy Lin has taken his chance to play and turned it into a cultural phenomenon.
Lin had his issues on Wednesday night as John Wall lit him up on defense and sent him to the bench with two fouls and a cut chin in the first half. But Lin kept working, kept the Knicks moving forward without their two stars and, late in the third, made a play that turned a close game into a rout.
It was 70-66 when Lin faced off against Wall at the top of the offensive zone and Wall, following a scouting report that was true against Utah on Monday, overplayed what looked like a move into the lane with the right hand. But Lin crossed over, leaving Wall in the dust and then drove through the lane for an uncontested dunk.
Washington's spirit seemed broken at that point as the Knicks just kept on extending their lead from then on. By the time it was over, Lin was being cheered lustily by a road audience and you could almost hear the NBA's marketing arm teleconferencing about how to best exploit the biggest thing to happen in this season so far.
Yes, they were playing a terrible Wizards team. Yes, there will likely be tougher days ahead, perhaps even when they face off against the Lakers on Friday night.
It is unavoidable that what goes up must eventually come down, something that's true of everyone in sports from the greatest player who has ever lived to a point guard from Harvard who defies just about everything we take as fact.
That's not a part of the story right now, though.
If you can't take these three games and allow yourself to marvel at what you've seen, then you're really missing the point. Something this unexpected, this improbable, has to be celebrated because, at heart, it has everything to do with why we watch sports.
For something that is supposed to be a diversion, life as a sports fan can be awfully short on fun a good portion of the time. Even when teams win games, you need only flip on WFAN or go on the Internet to find people pulling their hair out about what went wrong, how the refs cheated them or some other negative slant on a triumphant moment.
Fun wasn't really part of the equation for Knicks fans this year, unless you consider staying up late at night and dreaming about Baron Davis' herniated disc to be a real hoot. Things felt bleaker than they did at almost any point in the last 10 years which, given the last 10 years, is really saying something.
The Knicks don't feel so bleak all of a sudden and they aren't short on fun. Not only are they a blast to watch, but the team is obviously enjoying itself as much or more than any team in recent history.
There are certainly people trying to do that as well as people trying to say that this is just New York making too much of things because we are a hype machine without parallel, to which you can only ask if people are paying attention. Not just to Lin, although he tells plenty of the story all by himself, but to a team that is actually emitting joy on the court.
If they were, they'd appreciate how special these last three games have been and how it really doesn't matter what comes next when you're living in the basketball moment.