A little more than 6 weeks ago the entire basketball universe was going Lin-Sane over the NBA’s newest hoops sensation Jeremy Lin. His meteoric rise from undrafted point guard out of Harvard, to being released by Golden State and scooped up by New York, then stepping into supertardom as the Knicks starter at the point has been well publicized.
While his path to the NBA has been both inspirational and rather unique to say the least, his inspired play has undoubtedly ignited a fire under the rest of the New York Knickerbockers roster and has the fans thinking that their hometown NY team can make some noise this post-season.
But those Playoff hopes may have taken a serious hit over the past week as Lin has been sidelined since March 26th with what is being called a torn meniscus in his right knee which will require surgery. The recovery time for the injury is being reported as at least 6 weeks, meaning essentially Jeremy Lin’s magical season may very well be over.
With fellow superstar Amare Stoudemire out with a bulging dic*, or rather bulging disk in his back, a banged up Carmelo Anthony has taken up the slack offensively, averaging nearly 25 ppg over the past 4 games. Despite all of the recent injury woes, the Knicks have gone 9-2 under new head coach Mike Woodson and have made a serious push towards locking down one of the final Eastern Conference Playoff spots with 15 games remaining.
The Knicks currently hold down the #8 spot in the East if the Playoffs began today, but remain only 3 games behind the suddenly slumping Sixers and first place Celtics for Atlantic Division supremecy. The ideal situation would be to continue their recent winning ways to overtake both Boston and Philly, earning them a much coveted higher seed come postseason as playing a first round series against Atlanta or Indiana is a much better proposition than facing either Chicago or Miami as a #7 or #8 seed.
Luckily for Knicks fans, Coach Woodson still has some valuable reserves like Baron Davis and Mike Bibby to run the point, along with JR Smith, rookie Iman Shumpert, and Steve Novak off the bench to help to continue their winning ways heading down the stretch. Let’s also not forget about starters Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields that have been as solid as anyone in the Knicks line-up.
The injury may have more serious consequences going forward after the season for Lin as he will be a free agent. Jeremy has definitely established himself as a legitimate NBA caliber talent, but do the Knicks resign Lin as a back-up or the starter? Do they let him walk with the improved play of Baron Davis? Will other teams now balk at signing Lin to a multi-year deal now that his knee broke down under starters minutes? As always, it will be an interesting remainder of the regular season and off-season in New York.
How big of an impact will the loss of Lin affect the Knicks?
Check out Jeremy Lin’s Top 10 Moments of 2012:
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.