Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rumor : Jeremy Lin's minutes could be limited under new coach

Source : New York Daily News

Jeremy Lin’s days as a starting point guard could be numbered.

When Mike D'Antoni walked away from the Knicks he may have taken Linsanity with him, as the role in the offense will change dramatically under new head coach Mike Woodson.

The feeling among the Knicks, and around the NBA for that matter, is that Baron Davis is better suited to run Mike Woodson's offense and that the veteran point guard could replace Lin within two weeks.

"Again, Jeremy's in a learning stage and everybody is as far as I'm concerned with me being the head coach," Woodson said following his first practice since replacing D'Antoni. "They've got to know what I'm about and that I'm thinking, especially the point guards that play.

"They've got to know what I want and they've got to know the players around them and who's feeling what during the course of the game. And be able to distribute the ball and still be able to do their thing as well."

In D'Antoni's point guard-centric offense, the ball was in Lin's hands as the Knicks ran countless pick-and-rolls. Woodson prefers to run isolation and post-up plays which will feature Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.

"I just think he's going to utilize his leading scorers, myself and Carmelo," Stoudemire said. "He's going to utilize us and take advantage of every opportunity out there on the court. We've been profound scorers all our careers, so he's going to make sure he takes at advantage of that."

The Knicks are 10-9 with Lin as a starter and is expected to make his 20th start tonight against the Indiana Pacers. Lin was working with the first unit at Thursday's practice in Greenburgh, N.Y.

Lin flourished in D'Antoni's system and led them to seven straight wins in February. However, his production tailed off as his popularity grew. Lin suddenly became a marked man and has been badly outplayed by Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker and Lou Williams during losses to the Nets, Celtics, Spurs and Sixers respectively.

"I mean, I love D'Antoni's system," Lin said on Wednesday. "It was perfect for me. But I had never been in D'Antoni's system until this year. I played in another system prior to this year. So, it's like going back to what I was doing before and stuff like that."
D'Antoni's fallout with Anthony was accelerated when the former coach made it clear that he wanted to Lin to be the focal point of the offense. Anthony admittedly struggled to adjust to a lesser role. Woodson, however, intends to lean heavily on his two proven All Stars.

"It's everybody's ballclub," Woodson said after practice Thursday. "I want everybody to feel comfortable. When I put a guy in the game, he's got a shot. I want him to feel comfortable about making that shot. But I want everybody to know, when it comes to nut-cutting time and I've got a big shot, I'm going to Melo and Amar'e and guys that have done it."

Woodson has already established a repoire with Davis and he also coached Mike Bibby in Atlanta. Lin is only in his second year and Woodson may have inadvertently been referring to Lin when he remembered something his first Knicks coach, Red Holzman, told him.

"He taught me that rookies were to sit and listen and learn," Woodson said. "That taught me a valuable lesson I think way back when."

Even if Davis eventually starts, Lin will still be part of the rotation. He's earned those minutes but Lin can sense that in the ever changing world of Madison Square Garden, more change is coming.

"We're going to use more post-ups," Lin said. "I don't know if the shot distribution is going to be any different. I think the way that we get the shots is going to be different."

Lin and D'Antoni grew close over their short time together and on the second year point guard from Harvard texted his former coach on Wednesday and said it was "sad, very sad, to see him go."

"He told me to stay aggressive and keep working hard," Lin added. "A lot of things he had been preaching to me about during the year."

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment