- (Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks starting point guard, will be forced to miss Wednesday's game due to an ongoing knee injury. With increased injuries to starting forwards Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony the team is using its tribulations as motivation.
Lin, 23-year-old Asian-American, has been forced to sit out of two games because of a sore left knee. While interim head coach Mike Woodson said Lin would sit out Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic, third seed in the Eastern Conference, he was unsure of how much time the rookie starting guard would need to heal.
"He's just going through the treatment process and he could be day to day," Woodson said. "How long that is I have no idea."
Still, Lin told the press that his team was capable of getting their job done without him on Wednesday night.
"The guys have been working all season so they'll be ready. We've had guys missing before and have been OK," Lin said. "That's the beauty of depth and we have some. Hopefully now we can show it more than ever."
Guards Iman Shumpert, Baron Davis, Mike Bibby and Tony Douglas will be a part of the depth that will fill Lin's position during his absence for what he blamed on "wear and tear, mostly."
Although starting forward Anthony injured his groin during Monday's win against Milwaukee, he chose to play against the Magic on Wednesday where talks of him taking over Stoudemire's power forward position took place amid Landry Fields shifting from two guard to Anthony's small forward spot.
Woodson also said he planned to utilize the team's three-point shooter Steve Novak more with the absence of Stoudemire, who would be benched between two and four weeks due to a back injury.
With injuries to Lin, Anthony, Jeffries and Stoudemire, head coach Mike Woodson expressed some concern. Still Woodson, said the team is looking forward after regaining their .500 percentage and pulling further ahead of the Bucks to secure a number eight playoff spot.
"We can't look back. We've got to continue to play and try to win games," Woodon said when injuries looked to be plaguing the team after the team's win on Monday night. "But having Amar'e out, I don't want guys to feel like they can't step in and make offensive plays but what has got to be a given is our defense. (If) we do that we will put ourselves in the position to win games."
Despite the team's challenges, backup forward Novak said the team's bench players were ready to prove themselves to the world and the multiple team injuries would give them the opportunity to do so.
"Earlier in the year I know a lot of people had a question about our depth . . . but then when guys were out before, we showed we can do the job," Novak said. "When we've had guys out, it was huge for our team's growth the way guys responded and played, and just getting the opportunity to be out there more. This is once again one of those times where guys need to step up and fill those roles."