New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is going to have arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a slight tear in his meniscus. No word on whether his doctor will be able to remove the nail in Linsanity’s coffin as well.
Lin had missed the last three Knicks games with a “sore knee,” but it was obviously found to be much worse at the end of last week.
In hindsight, it was always likely Linsanity was going to officially end this way. He was pretty much destined for martyr status from the start, ending up a symbol of Knicks fans’ continued frustration with their franchise. I’d be more sympathetic, but I’m a Padres fan. So yeah.
It started for Lin when he blew up and everyone was worried Carmelo Anthony’s return from injury would screw up the weird magic the Knicks had going. The Knicks are 10-10 since his return February 20, so nothing really changed there since they were basically mediocre during Linsanity’s high points too. But ‘Melo’s return did cause some of the chemistry problems Knicks fans were afraid of.
Then-head coach Mark D’Antoni resigned after the team ended a six-game losing streak, and the team immediately hired Mike Woodson, late of the Atlanta Hawks, to replace him. This wouldn’t have been a huge deal except it was in D’Antoni’s system that Lin flourished. The iso-heavy, defensive-minded Woodson was never going to let Lin keep being the wild creator and scorer he had been for the team. By this point, Linsanity was already on life support and headed for the Shakespearean conclusion we’re at now.
At that point in mid-March, the team was already reeling from on-court chemistry issues anyway. Anthony scored over 20 points in five of the six consecutive games they lost in early March. When they subsequently won six of their next seven, Anthony didn’t score 20 points once. The numbers are virtually identical for Amare Stoudemire, though he did top 20 a couple of times during the winning streak.
Lin’s numbers, however, have been remarkably consistent throughout his whole rise to stardom, even during the losing streak in March. His minutes have not been consistent since D’Antoni resigned. Lin played only 24 and 26 minutes respectively in his last two games before the injury while Baron Davis’s minutes jumped as Woodson was having them split time. I realize Lin has major turnover problems, but I have a hard time seeing a situation in which it is really important to get Baron Davis on the court.
Now Lin is hurt and that’s the fairly poetic end of Linsanity, such as it is at this point. The hype died a while ago, and now no one is going to notice again for at least six weeks. If Lin comes back from the injury and the Knicks somehow make the playoffs with him playing a major role, his legacy will be assured. However, it’s much more likely that we won’t see anything like that crazy February again.