- (Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks starting point guard, and his team may be desperate for a win on Monday night after two weekend games broke the team's winning streak and left some players injured.
The Knicks will face the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, the team trailing only one and a half games behind Lin's team in the 2011-2012 playoff run. Although the Knicks currently hold down the last playoff spot in the East with the number eight seed, the team recognized the urgency of beating the Bucks on Monday night after losing to the team twice this season.
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks forward who has been having trouble securing his shot in a Lin-led offense lately, spoke to the press about the importance of the game over the weekend.
"It's a real big game for us, going up against them, fighting for that 8th spot," Anthony said. "We want to continue the way we've been playing, but as far as that game goes, it's a very big game for us. We need that game and we're going to do everything in our power to get it."
Although the Knicks have won six out of seven games under new coach Mike Woodson thus far, their starting point guard seems to be struggling with his turnovers. In a 101-79 win against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, Lin, 23, was forced to sit on the bench with a hurt knee, after seven turnovers and only three assists.
Woodson said he would talk to Lin and the team's backup point veteran guard Baron Davis about eliminating those turnovers in the future.
"From a basketball standpoint, the turnovers, it's just ridiculous," Woodson told the press after his team beat Detroit. "I think we're just too nonchalant with the basketball and not reading it. So we'll go back and break this game tape down and kind of show Jeremy and Baron (Davis) where the mistakes are being made and hopefully they can correct them."
Although Lin admitted that he did not "take good care of the basketball," the Harvard graduate appeared on NBA's latest episode of "One on One with Ahmad Rashad" to discuss adjusting to the NBA game and eliminating turnovers.
"At some point in time I'm going to adjust. I'm going to realize that doesn't work, this doesn't work," Lin said. "How am I going to eliminate bad tendencies, bad habits? Good things will happen, obviously bad things too. I just need to make sure that I change my approach."
With injuries to the back of starting power forward Amare Stoudemire and Lin's sore knee, the team's approach is to pull ahead of the Bucks who are close behind them in the playoffs.
Tyson Chandler, Knicks center who won an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks last season, confirmed the importance of the game.
"It's a huge game. Both teams know what's at stake," Chandler said. "We have an opportunity to move (another) game ahead of them. So it's huge. We have to make sure we get rest (Sunday), come in with focus and make sure we get this next game."
Lin agreed with his teammate.
"Obviously, a very, very big game, right up there with our game against Philly," Lin said. "We need to make sure we come out there and do the same and if we can get that one, I think we'll be in a good position."
The Knicks will face the Bucks Monday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.