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Monday, March 5, 2012
Could Baron close games over Lin?

By Ian Begley

Mike D'Antoni didn't dismiss the possibility after Sunday's overtime loss to the Celtics.

"Maybe. We'll see," the coach said, adding, "Jeremy’s going to finish games right now, he's gonna start games. And then we'll see what happens as we go forward. But I'm comfortable with him."

The question arose after Lin finished 1-for-7 in overtime. Davis did not play in the extra session.

It's relevant because Davis is a 13-year veteran and Lin has started just 13 NBA games.

As Davis continues to regain form after missing eight weeks with a back injury, this may be something D'Antoni goes to. Particularly if Lin fails to progress as quickly as he and the Knicks hope he will.

But based on what we saw Sunday, there's no overriding reason right now to replace Lin with Davis late in games.

In the fourth quarter, Lin entered with 7:16 to play after a Davis turnover -- his sixth of the game.

Lin had six points and an assist in the final 7:16 of regulation to help the Knicks get to overtime.

In the third quarter, Davis subbed for Lin with 4:28 to go. The veteran scored five points and had an assist. But Boston led by eight when Davis entered the game and led by eight at the end of the quarter.

So, no, there's no reason to sub Davis for Lin late in games right now. But it's something to keep an eye on.