- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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After mulling it over for the afternoon, Mike D'Antoni decided to start Jeremy Lin at point guard on Monday against the Utah Jazz.
It will be Lin's first NBA start in 40 career games.
Lin exploded for 25 points and seven assists on Saturday against the Nets. He turned the ball over just once in 38 minutes.
D'Antoni isn't expecting a similar output against Utah.
"He just needs to run the team," said D'Antoni, who added that he isn't ready to name Lin his full-time starter.
Iman Shumpert will likely be the first guard off the bench and Toney Douglas would be a part of the second unit. That also means Mike Bibby is all but out of the rotation.
D'Antoni said earlier Monday that he likes that Lin has the feel of a "true point guard" -- something the Knicks have lacked for most of the season.
Prior to Lin's big night, the Knicks had ranked 24th in offensive efficiency, 26th in turnover percentage and 25th in assist percentage.
New York (9-15) had viewed veteran Baron Davis as the cure to its point guard problems. But Davis suffered a setback in his rehabilitation. He said before Monday's game that it was due to a right elbow infection.
So they turn to Lin, who was signed in late December after being cut in the preseason by Golden State and Houston.
"He runs the pick and roll which a lot of our offense is predicated on," D'Antoni said after Monday's shootaround. "He did a good job of finding open guys (on Saturday and) he took the right shots."
Something the coach hopes Lin can continue on Monday night.
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