NEW YORK – The Knicks will have an update on Baron Davis later Monday, but it’s very safe to assume that Davis will not play again this season after suffering a dislocated patella in the third quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.
So now would be a great time for international sensation Jeremy Lin to return to action. Lin has been running up and down the floor in 3-on-3 games at the Knicks practice facility, and would be doing the same Monday and Tuesday before the Knicks travel to Miami for Game 5 on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, TNT). But Knicks coach Mike Woodson tempered expectations in a conference call with reporters Monday morning.
“I’m not counting Jeremy Lin playing,” Woodson said. “We’ve just got to continue where we’ve been, in terms of guys that are in uniform. And I’m not counting on him to play.”
Lin had surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee on Monday, April 2. At that time, the Knicks said he’d be out six weeks. And right now, we’re at the five-week mark. And as he did with Amar’e Stoudemire for Game 4, Woodson made it clear that the decision on Lin is out of his hands.
“I think it’s going to be up to the doctors and Jeremy to make that decision,” he said. “It won’t be my decision.”
Part of the problem is that Lin hasn’t been able to see any game-like action on the practice floor.
“If we had an opportunity to practice and that kid runs up and down, 5-on-5, and you can actually see him banging and cutting and moving and getting knocked on his ass, if we had time to do that, then I’d feel more comfortable,” Woodson said. “But we haven’t had a chance to practice at a high level, where you can do those things I mentioned. So I am a little apprehensive about him possibly coming back.”
Still, if Lin and the medical staff give the all-clear, Woodson won’t hesitate to throw Lin into the fire.
“If you’re ready to play, then I expect you to play,” Woodson said. “But it’s not my decision to make.”
Assuming Lin does not play Wednesday, Mike Bibby will start at point guard. And when Bibby is off the floor, it will likely be up to Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to bring the ball up the floor.
“When they go big, we can go big,” Woodson said. “We can play Melo or J.R. at the one. It’s something I thought about doing last night, but I never would have saw the big shot that Bibby hit if I had done that.”
Toney Douglas is sort of a point guard. He’s healthier than Davis or Lin, and not nearly as old as Bibby. But Douglas has played in just 12 of the Knicks’ 28 games since Woodson took over as coach and has shot just 32 percent this season.
Woodson said that Douglas could play Wednesday … if the Heat play rookie Norris Cole, who picked up just his second DNP of the season in Game 4. Otherwise, there’s just not a good matchup out there for the 6-foot-2 Douglas, especially when the Heat go big with LeBron James at point guard.
“It all depends on who they play,” Woodson said. “If they come in with Cole, that would be a better matchup for us, Toney on the ball with Cole bringing the ball up, speed against speed.”