Jeremy Lin is looking to make a return to the New York Knicks lineup by Game Four against the Miami Heat, according to recent reports.
After a well-publicized knee surgery, the question of whether or not his potential return would be an added benefit or detriment looms over the heads of Knicks fans everywhere.
As a big fan of Linsanity (even more so with the recent video post for Stuyvesant High School, my alma mater), it would be exciting to see Lin suit up for his first postseason showing. The exhilaration and magnitude of his presence alone may cause a spark in these failing New York Knicks. At the very least, Lin's presence would certainly give hope to many Knicks fans.
Unfortunately, his impact won't be enough to beat the Heat this postseason.
Given his last outing against Miami, where Lin scored only eight points on one-of-11 shooting, his game was effectively shut down by the swarming Heat defense. He was only able to dish out three assists, while racking up eight turnovers. Lin was fully healthy and functional at the time, and had the momentum of Linsanity on his backside.
Lin's game is heavily dependent on his speed, quickness, and ability to cut into the paint around larger, slower players. While his aptitude in surveying the court is a big factor in his play, the Heat were able to neutralize this threat by using high traps and double teams. Given his recent surgery, Lin's other tools are effectively nullified, which will prevent him from slashing through the paint effectively enough to draw in defenses for that outward pass or sneaky layup. Short of a miraculous recovery, Lin may not be as effective on the floor as we've seen from him pre-surgery, with the added detriment of taking away minutes from potentially effective Baron Davis or Mike Bibby.
However, it's likely that all this questioning may be for naught. According to ESPN.com: "On Sunday, Lin noted that he felt "soreness" in his knee. He planned to stay off of it for the rest of the day and re-evaluate the knee on Monday. Lin seemed discouraged about the discomfort on Sunday, calling it a 'setback.'"
While adding Lin to the lineup would certainly cause some concern for the Heat defense by putting a potential third scoring option on the floor, his impact on this series might be minimal with his ailments.
Fortunately, this all remains to be seen. If Knicks fans' prayers are answered, a healthy and effective Lin could be on the court by May 6.