Will Jeremy Lin Come Back For Game 5?
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup between the New York Knicks and Miami Heat just ended. The Knicks staved off a possible Miami sweep at home and captured their first playoff win in 11 years. It was a back and forth game throughout it’s entirety, until the Knicks pulled off the 89-87 win. The fans were really into it and when Dwyane Wade missed the final shot to secure the Knicks win, the Madison Square Garden crowd erupted and cheered for a Knicks win that has finally happened again.
During the game, Knicks starting point guard Baron Davis went down with a gruesome knee injury. He was driving down the lane and twisted his knee very bad, to the point where after the play was over, you could notice a huge dent in his knee. All players from both benches turned away and went to their benches so they wouldn’t have to see Davis laying in agony. Davis was taken off the court on a stretcher and the Garden crowd gave him a standing ovation and players from both teams clapped for him and gave him a pat on the shoulder and head as he left the court. The diagnosis later on for Davis was a dislocated patella in his right knee. An MRI will be conducted tomorrow to confirm it.
This now brings me to ponder if Jeremy Lin will come back for the pivotal game five down in Miami on Wednesday. Lin has been going through team drills during practices recently and participating in 3-on-3’s. He had a long outside shot to play in game three and he didn’t. He came closer to playing in game four, but obviously didn’t. Now with an extra two days off before the next game, many people believe that with the point guard position depleted for the Knicks and Mike Bibby slated to start at the point in game five shows how badly the Knicks need Lin back. Lin’s camp is very optimistic that he’ll be able to play in game five, but it’s up to the coach’s decision to allow him to suit up and play. If Mike Woodson wants to give the Heat a run for their money and maybe even try to come back to win this series (I don’t think it’s likely), he should play Lin and have the best players at each position finally suit up together for the first time since mid-March. Shooting guard wouldn’t have it’s best guy playing since rookie Iman Shumpert is out with a torn ACL. Still, having Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler in the starting lineup would inject lots of energy into them and make the team so much better. As excited as I was to see Mike Bibby hit a clutch three pointer with under two minutes left today, I just don’t want to see him starting at point guard and playing major minutes for the rest of this series. I’m sure Lin wants to play and everyone in the Knicks organization wants him to play and I think he will.
How Lin looks the next two days in practices will really determine if Woodson thinks he looks good enough to play him in Game 5. Maybe Lin is what the Knicks need to pull off a major comeback on the Heat in this opening series. I honestly believe that the winner of this series will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, especially with Derrick Rose out in Chicago and Joakim Noah banged up. I do think it’ll be the Heat as I have them winning this series in six games. Anyway, if the Knicks are serious about winning in the playoffs, rather than just gear up for next year, they WILL start Jeremy Lin in game five and add depth to the guard position and try to give Miami a big scare in this opening series.