<
>

Woodson: 'Jeremy Lin thing is behind us'

HOUSTON -- When it comes to Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have moved on.

"My thing is this: It was a good run, but we went in a different direction. We went out, we fielded guys like (Jason) Kidd and Raymond (Felton) and Pablo (Prigioni), guys we felt can help us and they’ve been great for us," head coach Mike Woodson said on Friday.

"The Jeremy Lin thing is behind us and we’ve moved on in another direction. We wish Jeremy nothing but the best here in Houston, until he plays us."

The Knicks will face Lin and the Rockets on Friday for the first time since they opted not to match Houston's 3-year, $25.1 million offer sheet over the summer.

New York traded for Felton and signed Kidd to replace Lin -- and so far, things have worked out pretty well.

The Knicks are 8-2, have the top offensive unit in the NBA (based on points per 100 possessions) and average a league-low 10.7 turnovers per game.

The Rockets, on the other hand, have stumbled to a 5-7 record and Lin has had trouble shooting (33 percent from the field, 22.9 percent on 3-point attempts).

Woodson spoke for the first time Friday about the Knicks decision to let Lin walk over the summer.

"That's a business decision. I don’t think it was difficult," the coach said. "We just decided to go in a different direction.

"My focus ain’t been on Jeremy Lin," he added. "It’s been on the guys that I coach. That’s behind me."

Lin himself admitted that Felton has been a great fit for the Knicks -- while he has been 'exposed' with the Rockets.

"I'm not really too big on comparisons," he said on Thursday. "I just know for me that I've been exposed a lot early in this season and I have a lot to work on."

One veteran Western Conference scout believes that Lin is starting to show his true ceiling as a player, which is as a borderline starter -- not an NBA All-Star.

"He's a below average shooter, he's still only a guy that drives in one direction (to his right), he's an average athlete and he's a below average decision-maker," the scout said. "I think he's starting to settle into frankly kind of what he is ... I think the fair expectation for Jeremy is he's going to be a starter on a (mediocre) team and he's going to be backup on a very good team."

FRENEMIES: Lin still has plenty of friends on the Knicks, including Tyson Chandler. But don't expect Chandler to go soft on Lin once he takes the floor tonight.

"Once we're on the court, that goes out the window. I don't have friends on other teams, I wear a Knicks jersey and that's it," Chandler said. "I've been that way my entire career. You don't wear my jersey and for 48 minutes we're enemies."

TURKEY DAY AT CAMBY'S: The Knicks had Thanksgiving Dinner as a team on Thursday and then headed to Marcus Camby's Houston home to watch football and play dominoes.

"Football and dominoes and a lot of good food," Camby said. "Great times."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.