MIAMI (WFAN/AP) — When Jeremy Lin went down with a knee injury, Iman Shumpert stepped up for the Knicks.
Previously thought to be unavailable for the opening round, Lin could be called on to step up — again — and spark New York. The point guard said Sunday he’s hoping for a possible return for Game 4 against Miami.
“I think I’m gonna evaluate it at the end of the week and see,” Lin said. “Hopefully I’ll feel good by then.”
Lin practiced Sunday, one day after the Heat rolled past the Knicks by 33 points in Game 1 of the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series. New York coach Mike Woodson said Lin — the guard who became an overnight sensation this season by putting up dazzling numbers in February — may not be ready to return.
And even if he is, Lin would likely be limited in his minutes.
“He won’t be in basketball shape,” said Woodson. “My job is to gauge him … make sure he’s giving us solid minutes within the short minutes that he plays.”
Forward Carmelo Anthony doesn’t want Lin to hurry back and put himself at risk of re-injury.
“We don’t want him to rush it,” said Anthony. “I’ve seen situations like that before. That’s something we do not want.”
Without Lin and now without Shumpert, who will be lost for up to eight months after tearing a ligament in his left knee on Saturday, the Knicks will have to do some scrambling to get ready for Game 2 in Miami on Monday night.
“It’s a big blow,” Woodson said. “But again, that’s the whole beauty about having a pretty solid basketball team. Someone else has to step up now. He won’t be back this season. It’s what it is and we’ve got to keep it moving.”
Lin acknowledged Sunday that it’s tough to sit out — but added that there’s really no other option right now, even now that the Knicks are down another guard.
“I think when I can take a hit and when I can cut at full speed and not think about it,” he said, “I’ll be ready.”
Do you think the Knicks should rush Lin back against the Heat? Sound off below!
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