Knicks will miss Lin during playoff push

March, 31, 2012
3/31/12
10:33
PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Information
ESPN.com
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Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
The Knicks will be without Jeremy Lin for at least the remainder of the regular season.
Jeremy Lin is going to have surgery on his left knee to repair a small tear in his meniscus and will miss six weeks, putting him on the shelf until at least the end of the regular season.

How will Lin's injury impact the New York Knicks?

The Knicks' season turned around once Lin started logging big minutes, beginning with his breakout game February 4 versus the Nets. The Knicks were just 8-15 prior to that contest, but since then have increased their offensive efficiency by nearly five points per 100 possessions, winning 18 of 29 games.

The Knicks were outscored by 16 points in their first 23 games as they won just eight times. In the last 29 games, starting with the February 4th game, the Knicks have outscored their opponents by 144 points, with Lin on court for most of the damage.

Lin had been one of the most important players for the Knicks during this surge. Since February 4, Lin has the second-best plus-minus on the team behind Tyson Chandler.

Lin also proved to be one of the most productive closers in the league. Among players with a minimum of 200 fourth quarter minutes played, only Chris Paul had a better PER than Lin.

However, the return of Carmelo Anthony to the lineup on February 20 hurt Lin’s production. His scoring average dropped by 10 points per game, and his shooting accuracy fell from 51 percent to 40 percent since Anthony came back.

Anthony may be the one Knick teammate who could benefit from Lin’s absence.

Anthony attempted nearly three more field goals and three more free throws per 36 minutes with Lin off the court, which translated to an additional five points per 36 minutes when not paired with Lin this season.

Statistical support for this story from NBA.com

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