NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Don’t call it a comeback.
No, really. Don’t. At least for Game 5, anyway.
Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson said Monday he’s “not counting on Jeremy Lin to play” in the team’s next must-win game against Miami.
“I’m going with this as if he’s not going to play,” Woodson said during a conference call with reporters.
Lin has been working out after surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee April 2. The Knicks said at the time he was expected to miss six weeks, meaning his season was likely over unless the Knicks reached the second round.
Though the team could use a healthy Lin down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, Woodson admitted the floor general is “not in great shape.”
“I think a lot of these professional teams have the best trainers, the best doctors to make that decision, and when a player comes to me and says, ‘Hey, Coach, I’m ready to get back out on the floor in uniform and play,’ then I’m going to play him,” he said. “I expect you to play at a high level even though you haven’t played. I expect you to play. If you tell me you’re ready to play, then I expect you to play. But it’s not my decision to make.”
The Knicks need point guard help after Baron Davis dislocated his right kneecap in Sunday’s 89-87 victory. But Woodson said he will not push Lin to play if he is not ready.
“Again, I’d love to have Jeremy out there on the floor in uniform,” Woodson said. “Don’t get me wrong, guys. Jeremy is a big piece of our team. But if the doctors say, ‘Mike, we’re taking a chance. He shouldn’t be out there playing,’ I can’t be that selfish and say, ‘Son, put on a uniform and play.’ I mean, I just can’t do that.”
Woodson said he expected veteran Mike Bibby to start at point guard on Wednesday, and pointed to Toney Douglas as a guy who could see action at the position.
“It’s my job to put the right pieces in place on the floor,” said Woodson.
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