Coach not counting on Lin for Game 5

Updated: 2012-05-09 08:02

By Associated Press in New York (China Daily)

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Linsanity turned the season around for the Knicks once, and they are even more desperate for help now.

Moreover, Mike Woodson isn't expecting it.

The interim coach said on Monday he wasn't counting on Jeremy Lin to play on Wednesday when his short-handed Knicks visit Miami for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.

 Coach not counting on Lin for Game 5
New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin (left) watches from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NBA game against the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in Miami on April 30. [Lynne Sladky / Associated Press]

"I'm going at this as if he's not going to play. That's how it's been here for the last month, month and a half, and that's how I'm preparing," Woodson said during a conference call.

Woodson also knows Baron Davis won't be available after the veteran guard tore ligaments in his right knee.

Lin became the biggest story in the NBA in February when he went from undrafted benchwarmer out of Harvard to starring point guard who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated two weeks in a row. A quicker-than-expected return from knee surgery would be heavily hyped with the Knicks down two point guards and facing elimination against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat. But Lin just may not be ready to attempt it.

"I've watched him shoot and run up and down. He's not in great shape and you know as well as I know that playoff basketball, you've got to be at an all-time high, and he hasn't played in a while," Woodson said. "So I don't know if that's going to be a determining factor with the doctors, and the fact that he hasn't played. I can say, yes, he looks good, but again, does he feel good? Do the doctors think it's enough time based on the injury that he's had to get him out on the floor? I can't make that decision."

Davis and Iman Shumpert have been lost to knee injuries during this series, leaving only 33-year-old Mike Bibby and seldom-used Toney Douglas at the point guard spot. Lin is close, but Woodson said only the player and the team's medical staff would determine when he can get back on the court.