Jeremy Lin Will Play In Game 5 Against the Heat if the Knicks Want to Stay Alive in the Series

Jeremy Lin may return to the Knicks this season, but it is going to take a first round win.
Jeremy Lin may return to the Knicks this season, but it is going to take a first round win. REUTERS

No NBA team has ever come back to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games.

The Knicks took the first step to wards making history on Sunday when they beat the Heat in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden. New York won behind a 41-point effort from Carmelo Anthony, and a double-double from Amare Stoudemire, despite playing with an injured left hand.

New York stayed alive in the series, but suffered yet another injury. Baron Davis dislocated his knee in the third quarter, and likely won't return to play against Miami. With Davis' injury, the Knicks have lost another guard for the postseason. Iman Shumpert tore his ACL in Game 1.

Mike Bibby took over for Davis, and did an admirable job, but the loss of Davis leaves a gaping hole in New York's lineup. Without Davis, Bibby and Toney Douglas will be forced to play point guard.

Mike Woodson has been hesitant to play Douglas since taking over as the team's head coach. Douglas hasn't play at all in the first four games of this series, and for good reason. After beginning the season as the team's starting point guard, Douglas struggled immensely, only shooting 32.4 percent from the field for the year.

If the Knicks have hopes of coming back to take the series from the Heat, they'll need to do it with a legitimate point guard. Toney Douglas has played poorly this season, and Bibby is well past his prime. Jeremy Lin is the only legitimate option the Knicks have left.

Lin hasn't played for five weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee. He hoped to return for Game 4, but still wasn't healthy enough to suit up. Lin has two more days to rest before the Knicks play the Heat in Game 5 on Wednesday. New York will need the point guard to beat Miami on their home court.

If New York doesn't have a point guard who can run their offense, Amare Stoudemire's production will greatly suffer. He's shown that he needs a good point guard to succeed. If Stoudemire can't play at a high level, the onus falls on Anthony to have another tremendous game. Miami has proven they can shut him down when he's the Knicks only scoring option.

It's unknown whether or not Lin will play in Game 5, but Woodson says he's planning as if Lin won't be ready. He'll work out the next two days and see if he's good to go by Wednesday.

According to Woodson, Lin is not in great shape. That's to be expected after sitting on the bench for over a month.

Even if Lin isn't 100 percent, the Knicks could desperately use him. Fifty or seventy-five percent of Lin is still better than a completely healthy combination of Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas.

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