Linsanity 2.0 Unlikely on Wednesday Night

Mike Woodson isn't expecting Jeremy Lin's return in Game Five

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    The Clark Kent vibe might not tip off a superhero future.

    These are desperate times at point guard for the New York Knicks.

    Baron Davis's knee blew apart on Sunday afternoon, Iman Shumpert's knee did the same in Game One and Mike Bibby -- with all due respect to Sunday's two big 3s -- is as up to the task of keeping up with the Heat as he was when he played with them last year. They are scanning the skies for a hero to bring them back to a raucous Garden for Game Six.

    Wait, what's that? Is that Jeremy Lin's music?

    Alas, it is not. Mike Woodson said Monday that he isn't counting on Jeremy Lin returning to play in Game Five after six weeks on the sideline after surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

    The pros of a Lin return are glaringly obvious. The team needs people to play minutes at point guard, so long as they aren't named Toney Douglas because he clearly isn't ever getting minutes if he isn't getting them now.

    Even if Lin could only play 10-12 minutes, it would help the Knicks deal with the fact that Bibby is the best point guard currently on the team. If it didn't work, you probably don't lose much from your other option but you're not in any position to give up any boost that's being offered.

    It's easy to say that there's no point in bringing Lin back because the Knicks will lose the series anyway, but it's not much of an argument against playing him. You take your best shot and playing Lin if he's healthy is part of that.

    If there's doubt that he's 100 percent up to it, there's not much to be gained by pushing it. Lin would jeopardize his free agency and the Knicks would jeopardize losing the one point guard they might actually want back on the team this season.

    Linsanity saved the Knicks once, but there will have to be another hero this time. There's not much need to guess who will be playing Hero Ball.

    Woodson said that he anticipates using Carmelo Anthony at the point at times when Bibby is out of the game. That didn't work out so well when Mike D'Antoni tried it, but it might be a better option than using J.R. Smith there (another Woodson suggestion on Monday) instead of Anthony.

    Neither choice offers much of a hope that the Knicks will flash a ton of ball movement on Wednesday night, but the good news is that isn't all that much different than the usual offense. The ball's probably ending up in Anthony and Smith's hands, anyway, so you might as well just start it there.

    Desperate times, right?

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.