Should Jeremy Lin play in Game 5?
KNICKS NEED LIN -- BUT SHOULDN'T EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM HIM
First things first: We shouldn't expect much from Jeremy Lin even if he plays in Game 5.
He hasn't set foot on an NBA floor in over six weeks and he's been working out for only nine days.
So Lin isn't going to play 40 minutes in Wednesday's Game 5 in Miami.
But that doesn't mean the Knicks don't need him.
It's just the opposite, in fact.
Bibby hit a few big shots on Sunday, but he can't be counted on to play 48 minutes -- or anywhere close to it.
Douglas has shown again and again that he just isn't comfortable running the Knicks' offense.
But those options aren't ideal.
The best-case scenario is the one in which Lin suits up and gives the Knicks 10-15 solid minutes in Game 5.
Of course, you're risking the possibility that Lin reinjures his surgically repaired left knee.
But Lin has done well in rehab. He's felt some expected soreness in his knee after scrimmages. But he's said that his conditioning has been solid.
"My wind is better than I thought," he said on Thursday, "I was surprised."
Now it's time for Lin to surprise the Knicks and suit up on Wednesday.
BEST OF THE BEST
Yes. It's likely the Knicks will make Mike Woodson their head coach for the next few seasons. But if Phil Jackson shows even a sliver of interest regarding the position, the team has to jump on the opportunity and make it a priority to land him.
Jackson is simply the greatest living basketball coach.
Out of the past 21 NBA championships, Phil Jackson won 11 of them, and he did it by facilitating a team offense that forced two of the game's greatest players, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, to sacrifice shots and become more willing passers -- a skill they always had, but a mindset they didn't.
That offense was the Triangle, which made all five players on the court scoring threats, and Jackson engineered the state of mind. The Zen Master is known to have an effective psychological and motivational style.
The Knicks built a strong reputation this past season on defense, but their offense didn't have enough creativity and balance. Too often, it was the Carmelo Anthony isolation show. Melo and Amare Stoudemire haven't figured out how to play off one another. They need a system that fosters that.
The Triangle would allow them to create a better tandem. Melo could occupy the low post (like Bryant) and Amare could man the high post (like Pau Gasol) for an effective two-man game playing to their strengths. Also, Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert would be able to better utilize their scoring ability. Every one of the Knicks' potential starters next season has offensive talent, but they need to be encouraged more to play together using screens, cutting and passing. Jackson can facilitate that. He knows how to get buy-in.
Jackson can also demand accountability on defense, just like Woodson has done. While Woodson is a great defensive-minded coach, only a few in the business are known for orchestrating offensive and defensive schemes that bring out the best in their players. Currently, Gregg Popovich and Tom Thibodeau are the best. But the best of the best is Phil Jackson. That's why he should be the leading candidate.