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Lin needs to handle ball like he handles stardom

Skeptics of Lin note the weakness of the Knicks' schedule since Linsanity began, with only two winning teams among the seven games. The schedule gets real rugged before the All-Star break, including nationally televised games against Dallas on Sunday and Miami on Thursday.

Dallas made LeBron James look ordinary in the NBA finals, so it might have a field day against an undrafted player. Jason Kidd, still one of the league's craftiest defenders, will probably have a few tricks for Lin.

Dallas owner Mark Cuban tried to attract Linsanity, bringing Lin in for summer league in 2010 and making him a guaranteed offer. But he said the California-born Lin preferred to play closer to home and eventually signed with the Golden State Warriors.

And Cuban, whose team has won six in a row, seems to be enjoying Lin's breakout just like his many fans from New York to Asia.

“It's great, it's great for the league, so you've got to love it,” Cuban said. “And Jeremy Lin is a great kid, so I'm happy for him.”

Lin seems so focused on his basketball that he refuses to get caught up in the hoopla surrounding him. He didn't know he was being added to the All-Star Rising Stars Challenge or even which team he ended up on — Shaq drafted him with the No. 3 pick for his squad — nor was he aware that Time Warner Cable and MSG network had settled a dispute to put Knicks games back on TV in New York, a breakthrough that was clearly in response for cries to see Lin play.

So his teammates know he will do what it takes to clean up the sloppy play that has led to six or more turnovers in five straight games.

“He has a great basketball life ahead of him and great knowledge for the game, so all those are very correctable and minor mistakes,” fellow point guard Baron Davis said.

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