Knicks winning games, losing sleep

Steve Novak of the New York Knicks in

Steve Novak of the New York Knicks in action against the Detroit Pistons. (Jan. 31, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks don't just play in the city that never sleeps, they have become the team that has trouble sleeping.

All the excitement that Jeremy Lin has generated around New York and inside Madison Square Garden has given some Knicks players a rush of adrenaline that has stayed with them long after they leave the building.

"It's hard to sleep at night," Steve Novak said during a radio interview on WFAN Thursday. "We have a lot of guys who have trouble sleeping at night."

As a result, Novak, who has become a fan favorite with his sharpshooting, said the team met with a doctor before practice Thursday about their sleeping issues and how to correct them.

The Knicks were told to drink warm milk or herbal tea or count sheep or even change to firmer mattresses. The doctor, Novak said, gave the players relaxation CDs to help them unwind.

"We had a meeting today before practice with a doctor who talked about ways to help you sleep at night," Novak said. "It's like the energy, when we leave, it's like midnight, and you go home and we can't sleep. It's from the fans and the adrenaline. We're having trouble sleeping.

"We have relaxation CDs now that we're supposed to listen to. Whatever works. But I think we'll trade the sleep for now. We'll sleep later."

The crowd has been into games much more since Lin went from an end-of-the-bench player to the Knicks' starting point guard. During his meteoric rise, which has resulted in 10 wins in 13 games for the Knicks, there have been chants of "We want Lin!" and "M-V-P!" at the Garden.

Novak also felt the love during Wednesday's 17-point comeback victory over Cleveland. He hit five three-pointers in the second half and finished with 17 points. Late in the game, the crowd serenaded him with "We want No-vak!" chants for the first time.

"That was pretty cool," Novak said. "These fans are special. Anybody who goes to a game at the Garden knows that these fans are different. It was just cool to hear."

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