New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony Out 1-2 Weeks, Jeremy Lin Takes Lead Role – Sports – AllMediaNY
7 Feb 2012 04:56 PM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: With Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks will need their role players to step up. (Image Source: FrankHyatt.com)
If the new York Knickerbockers are going to build on their modest two-game winning streak, they may be leaning heavily on their new point guard Jeremy Lin, as star forward and leading scorer Carmelo Anthony is expected to miss one-to-weeks with a strained groin.
Anthony suffered the injury in the first quarter of Monday night’s victory over the Utah Jazz after scoring two points in 5:47 of play. he was injured while making an alley-oop pass to center Tyson Chandler.
This is not the first injury suffered by the former Syracuse star this season, as Anthony has played through a sprained right ankle, as well as injuries to his right thumb and left wrist, missing a total of three games.
Since coming back from his ankle injury Anthony has struggled to find his stroke from the field. Expect Anthony to wait until he is fully healed before returning to duty. The rest will probably do his wrist and ankle some good as well.
“[That’s] if you’re looking for a silver lining,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “That won’t make me sleep better at night, but that does sound good to me.”
The Knicks offense managed just fine against the Jazz scoring 99 points in their 11-point victory, despite the fact they were also without All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who was mourning the loss of his brother. Stoudemire’s older brother was killed Monday morning in a car accident. It is unclear when STAT will return.
Lin scored a career-high 28 points, two days after setting a new best with 25 points in the Knicks’ win over the new Jersey Nets on Saturday night. Lin also dished out eight assists against the Jazz, but needs to do a better job of protecting the basketball, as he also had eight turnovers.
“Jeremy kind of settles everything and puts everything in perspective and we can build on that,” D’Antoni said. “It’s the second game. I don’t want to get too far ahead, but I am excited, he does give us a semblance of a team that can move the ball and get good shots.”
What Lin gives the ‘Bockers is a true point guard. It’s understandable why D’Antoni quipped that he plans to ride Lin “like Secretariat”. he is their best passer, as we’ve painfully learned through the first 25 games, Tony Douglas (in case you didn’t already know) and rookie Iman Shumpert are not point guards. they may be able to fill in at the point in a pinch, but the more either handles the lead guard role, the more they are exposed.
Lin may fall to the same ailment, as the Harvard man has benefited from no tape on him as a Knick, limited advanced scouting reports and let’s be honest… the opposition has probably underestimated what he can.
While the wait for Baron Davis drags on, Lin gives the Knicks the best option at point guard.
In addition to his ability to distribute the rock, Lin has done his best work attacking the rim. in the last two games, the point guard has been able to get to the tin whenever he wants and he’s stronger around the basket than one might think, typically finishing with a lay up, drawing a foul or both.
According to a column by Tim Smith in the new York Daily News, D’Antoni’s scouting report of Lin two years ago was that he couldn’t shoot, play defense or finish, mitigating his good speed. so far we’ve seen Lin prove he can in fact finish in the NBA, even if for just two games.
If nothing else, Lin has given us some fun headlines: “just Lin Baby,” “Lin-ing” and “Linsanity.”
New York’s next game is Wednesday night at Washington, followed by a visit from Los Angeles Lakers on Friday before they hit the road again for trips to Minnesota and Toronto. they return to play the Sacramento Kings next Wednesday for their fifth game in eight nights.
The Knicks (10-15) currently stand as the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference and in third place in the Atlantic Division, trailing the first-place Philadelphia 76ers by eight games and the Boston Celtics by four games.
Follow Daniel Mogollon on Twitter @SportsMasterDan. Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of American. he is also a voter for both the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Awards.
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