Jeremy Lin, the author of that amazing run before the All-Star break for the New York Knicks, is about to get another dose of NBA reality. The changing of the guard has begun within New York's coaching staff and in that could come some changes as to how they use Lin and the point position.
With former coach Mike D'Antoni's 'speedball' system, Lin thrived on penetration and fast movement. With that system, an average talent like Lin was able to thrive as the main focus of the offense. But, as is the way, this irked the two main stars on the team, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and that resulted in a lack of chemistry and a team on the outside looking in playoff wide.
Exit D'Antoni and enter new interim coach Mike Woodson and you have a brisk change in the atmosphere around the clubhouse and on the court. Woodson, unlike D'Antoni, believes more in veterans and star power than a specific system. In his offense, which has the approval of his top guys, it's all about the veterans, and trusting the big money players to get it done when it matters most.
“It’s everybody’s ballclub." Woodson said. “But I want everyone to know that when it comes [crunch] time and I got to get a big shot, I’m going to Melo and Amar’e and guys who have done it. A lot of these guys are young and still trying to figure it out. Those guys have been around the block a number of times and have done it. They’ll be go-to guys coming down the stretch.’’
With this new system being implemented, it's likely that Lin will be lost in the shuffle. While currently the starting point guard, vets like Baron Davis and Mike Bibby will be sure to get more playing time and quite possibly, will supplant Lin in the starting role. Woodson believes that every player, experienced or not, has a role to play on his team. It's just that the guys with less experience needs to sit and learn before they get thrown on the court.
“I remember playing for a great coach in Red Holzman,’’ Woodson said. “He taught me rookies were to sit, listen and learn. He taught me a valuable lesson way back when. I listened and learned a lot as a rookie.’’
For now, Lin is riding the coattails of 'Linsanity', but without some major improvement on his hand, it's going to unfortunately be back to the pine for America's latest media fad.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS