Woodson: Lin is our starting point guard
June, 4, 2012
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
For the full radio interview, click here.
On ESPN New York's "The Michael Kay Show" on Monday afternoon, Mike Woodson was asked if Jeremy Lin would be the starting point guard.
"Without a doubt," the new head coach said.
"When a key guy goes down, our starter goes down, he doesn't lose his starting job because of an injury. You welcome him back with open arms when he gets healthy, and you keep it moving. That's what we're going to do when we get him signed. We'll get him back into uniform and get him ready for practice and throw the ball in his hands and say, 'Let's go.'"
Lin is a restricted free agent and can sign a new contract with the Knicks starting July 1. Woodson said he will watch Lin participate with the USA Men's Select Team in Las Vegas in early July, when they scrimmage the national squad. Then, Woodson will travel to London to support Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler at the Olympics.
Regarding Anthony, Chandler and their Big Three teammate, Amare Stoudemire, Woodson said all three of them can "absolutely" co-exist next season -- and it's up to him to make that come together.
"You've got a legitimate center who can defend and rebound and block shots and score a little bit for you in Tyson. You've got Amare, who can score and rebound, and you've got Melo, who can deliver the knockout punch," he said. "It's going to be up to me to put it together, and I think I can.
"I think [training] camp is going to be very pivotal for our ballclub, that we're all on the same page when we step foot on that floor. And all the supporting cast has got to be ready to go because Melo, Tyson and Amare can't do it by themselves. It's going to take a total team effort."
Woodson said the most important thing for the team in the offseason -- besides re-signing Lin, Landry Fields, Steve Novak and J.R. Smith (and potentially up to two free agents) -- is staying healthy.
"I like the team that we ended with, but it's gotta be a healthy team," he said. "That's what's important. Injuries I thought played a role in how we played, but the team never quit and I was very, very excited and happy about how we played."
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