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D’Antoni says he is sticking with Lin as starter, usually closer

Mar 5, 2012, 2:18 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin, Baron Davis,  J.R Smith AP

The buzz is out there — as “Linsanity” fades and reality comes into play, Baron Davis could steal the Knicks starting point guard spot from Jeremy Lin. That idea may have been bolstered Sunday when Rajon Rondo put up a triple-double on Lin, while Lin shot 1-for-7 in the overtime.

It’s not happening yet, coach Mike D’Antoni told Newsday. But on days Lin is cold Davis could start closing out games.

Mike D’Antoni said he’s sticking with Lin, but he didn’t rule out using Baron Davis at the end of games when Lin struggles like that. “Maybe,” he said. “We’ll see. I’m comfortable going with Jeremy. I think at the end of games, Jeremy finds a way to be positive, and he was.

“Jeremy’s going to finish games right now. He’s going to start games. And then we’ll see what happens as we go forward. But I’m comfortable with him.”

This is a case where D’Antoni should start Lin, then at the end of games play the hot hand. Some days that may well be Lin — and he was solid at the end of regulation Sunday — but other days that will be Davis. When Davis is on fire, he’s better than Lin (on the days he is hot he is as good a point guard as there is in the league). You just can’t count on that consistently.

  1. howmanyringsyourteamgot - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Now that Baron Davis has his name in the mix watch him promptly get injured again

    • hustleman23 - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Please tell me that my knicks are talking to the Suns for a Steve Nash trade. The knicks are a right now team who desperately need a PG who can effective run the ball club. I like Baron Davis as a back up. New Yorkers will hate me for this but I would trade Linn and Fields for Nash if possible.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:50 AM

        The Suns are not looking to trade Nash is the problem for the Knicks.

  2. lucidsportsfan - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Give it a little more time, as other star PG’s continue to abuse Lin, his job will become more and more in question

    • hustleman23 - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      My point exactly. Trade him now for Nash before his stock goes down. He is still developing. I think the Miami game took his mental edge. Linn hasn’t been the same since. He must learn to give the ball up early. Too many times he has dribbled from coast to coast with Melo or Smith out on the wing. You must get the ball to them earlier! They are excellent scorers and can work magic running the floor. They are unstoppable. Man for man, Talent wise, the Knicks have the most talented team in the east. We have yet to see the full wave of what they can do. We need STEVE NASH!

  3. cowhawkfan - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Yep, here goes the Carmelo Anthony effect. Lin suddenly can’t play? I hope the Knicks start playing Davis, then they’ll go right back to being the same crummy team they were at the beginning of the year. CA jacking up 20-25 shotst a game, Davis jacking up another 15-20. They will get their points, but the W-L record will reflect their true contributions.

  4. limonadamas - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    The media is so predictably ridiculous… Can we please stop overreacting to everything (in both directions) and just let the Knicks play and figure it out on their own? Please.

    If Pierce doesn’t make an incredible shot at the end of regulation (or if D’Antoni chose to foul, up three), then people would be singing Lin’s praises for his clutch 4th quarter. It was a tough loss for NYK, but they nearly stole one on the road in a tough environment. Plus, Rondo had a crazy game, which he’s done against the very best of competition in the past.

    Lin will be fine. He and his team are still figuring things out. He may not be an all-star level player yet, but he’s definitely earned the right to play in the league as an above average point guard. D’Antoni just needs to keep tinkering and the team needs to gel. At the very least, they’ll be fun to watch.

  5. geo59 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Lin is a good point guard. He still has a lot to learn. Too many forced drives that end up in turnovers. His passing needs work. But he’s a real court general who knows when to turn up the gas. Not sure if he should be starting over Davis, provided Davis stays healthy. What’s up with Bibby? The Knicks biggest problem is not their players. It’s their coach. D’Antoni is not providing enough coaching for this loaded team. Unless he can figure out how to use his three point guards, two 2-guards, and get Amare and Melo enough touches, he’s not doing his job. It’s on him to come up with the right offense and keep the defense intense. Go Knicks!!

  6. bknowledge - Mar 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    The stars are back and Lin-sanity is over. Everyone asked if the stars could fit in, and so far the answer is no.
    Because- Tyson, Amare, Melo have mid-range or short range games, defense packs the paint, preventing meaningful dribble penetration, and nobody to kick the ball out for the three. And, Amare and Melo aren’t good at getting back on D to prevent the fast break- they don’t balance the court.
    D’Antoni offense won’t work unless there are 3 high percentage deep shooters on court.
    I am not sure the high pick and roll works if small forward is an iso scorer. Amare is most like Karl Malone on offense- runs high pick and roll/pick and pop. Utah never played with a small forward with a mid-range game. They always played with a small forward who was a spot up shooter (during Stockton/Malone era).
    Imagine how good those Utah teams could have been if they had Tyson Chandler as their center instead of Greg Ostertag?
    Amare/Melo don’t complement each other. Both of their statistics are worse since they started playing together.
    Knicks are better off starting:

    Melo is a great all time type of isolation scorer. None of the guys like that play with pg’s. Not Jordan, not Kobe, Not Bird. Great iso scorers play with sg’s- guys that are excellent 3 point shooters/that move around on offense looking for the kick out. (Fisher, Kerr, Paxson, Hodges, even Dennis Johnson was a sg- he was the starting sg for Seattle when Seattle won championship).

  7. gummibearsarebadass - Mar 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    lin should stay as the stater, let him develop and learn more from the game . Im sure he will lower his turnovers has he keeps playing.

  8. KIR - Mar 5, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Miami exposed Lin. He can not handle pressure. Wait until the playoffs start and every team plays defense the entire game. It’s not going to be pretty for Lin.

  9. losangelasbasketball - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Notice how the linsanity guys arent commenting or thumbing down jeremy lin doubters anymore….apology accepted…

  10. ea2108 - Mar 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Funny how people are bashing J-Lin now that he’s adjusting to the Knicks’ real style of play. Everyone with a good understanding of NBA play knew that he’d have to defer to Melo & Amare upon their return. What he really did was indirectly change the culture and group dynamic of the team into making them believe they could win now as compared to the earlier part of the season.

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