Monday, May 7, 2012

Will Jeremy Lin return for Game 5?

ESPN NY is reporting, that the Knicks aren't expecting Jeremy Lin to return for Wednesday's Game 5 against the Miami Heat. Lin is currently in the final week of his projected 4-6 week recovery period following knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. It was hoped that he might be able to return by this point. But he is still having pain in the knee and may not be quite ready to return.

New York is missing Lin more than ever after current starter Baron Davis suffered a nasty injury during the third quarter of last Sunday's game. Davis dislocated his knee cap, which could mean an end to his season.

This leaves New York looking towards its remaining bench point guards: Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas. Bibby has seen an increase in minutes so far this post season (most of them coming as a result of Iman Shumpert's torn ACL), and but Douglas hasn't seen any on-court since the regular season. On the bright side, Bibby was impressive after Davis left, and helped push the Knicks over the top with a big three during the final minute of play. However it is questionable how many minutes the veteran point guard can handle, and how much the duo will be able contribute.

The Knicks could really use Lin's ability to penetrate and move the ball. Offensive stagnation has been a problem for the team and Bibby/Douglas aren't exactly the most prolific ball handlers. But if Lin can't play, then Mike Woodson will be forced to stick them into the rotation. Carmelo Anthony might also play a little bit more as a point forward to make up for their short comings.

The Knicks making any type of come back is a long shot whether Lin returns or not. But like Lin, the Knicks have to take the remainder of the playoffs on a game by game basis.

What can Bibby and Douglas bring to the team chemistry?

I think the best thing that Bibby and Douglas can bring is three-point shooting. Davis has been a solid point guard thus far in the first round but he's has been shooting poorly from beyond the arc. With Bibby on the floor, he can go to the corner and really help spread the floor especially when other shooters like Steve Novak and J.R. Smith are also out. This can help open the paint and hopefully make it easier for Stoudemire and Anthony to get solid looks at the rim.

Better spacing will mean a ton for the Knicks pitiful playoff offense. But as much as they need spacing, they could also use a miracle if they want to come back in this series. Perhaps the best candidate for this holy undertaking is the saintly Jeremy Lin who is know for sparking winning streaks.

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