<
>

Lin unwilling to play with knee at 85 percent

Jeremy Lin tried to get his surgically repaired left knee healthy enough to return to the team's series against the Heat, but he said Wednesday that the knee never felt more than 85 percent strong.

Last week, the 23-year-old Lin held out hope that he could possibly play in Game 5 on Wednesday night. But the fact that his knee isn't 100 percent is the primary reason why he has been ruled out of action.

"When I worked out, I was probably going 80-85 percent and I just figured in a week I might be 100 percent," Lin said after Knicks shootaround on Wednesday. "... I think to get from 85 percent to 100 percent takes more time than I would have thought."

Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson said on Tuesday that Lin would be out for the series, and later clarified to say that he doubts Lin could play if the series reached a seventh game.

"I don't think so. ... He wants to play, but again, if he's not ready there's not a whole lot can be done," Woodson said. "He's just not physically ready to play. I'm sure he'll step up to the plate and say, 'Hey, I'm ready when the time comes.' But right now, he's out."

The Heat lead the Knicks 3-1 in the best-of-seven series after losing Game 4 Sunday in New York. If New York climbs all the way back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series (something no other NBA team has done), Lin believes he could return for the postseason's second round.

Click here for the full story.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.