Jeremy Lin: 5 Reasons Knee Injury Spells End to Linsanity
ESPN is reporting that Jeremy Lin will have surgery on a slightly torn meniscus next week, which means he will miss the next six weeks of the season.
While that most likely means that Lin will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season and any potential playoff series the Knicks may earn, it more importantly signifies the end to what we call Linsanity.
Lin will return to the Knicks next season, and he might very well rebound from this injury/surgery and return to being a productive point guard, but there's no way around the fact that this injury signifies the end of Linsanity in more ways than one.
Ahead are five reasons why Lin's partially torn meniscus and subsequent surgery are the end to one of the most memorable emergences in NBA history, better known as...Linsanity.
Linsanity Was Already on Its Last Leg
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Ever since returning from the All-Star break, Linsanity had lost some steam, as the Knicks lost six of their first seven after the break.
Lin was turning the ball over more, he was failing to score at the rate that he once did and he wasn't nearly as efficient as the Knicks needed him to be.
Just as Linsanity appeared to be over, as the Knicks had worked their way out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, sitting at 18-4 overall. Mike Woodson took over as head coach and restored some of the excitement and energy back that Linsanity had lost.
Right when it seemed that Linsanity was ready to take center stage again, Lin went down with a left injury. The fact that he's going to have to sit out the rest of the season, completely derails the Linsanity hype train. Linsanity is over, and it isn't something that can't be re-created again.
The Knicks Can Win Without Jeremy Lin
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Even without Lin and Amare Stoudemire, who could miss up to four weeks with a bulging disk in his lower back, the Knicks still have a legitimate amount of talent.
With Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields, the Knicks still have an intimidating and potentially productive starting unit, and it's not unreasonable to think that the Knicks could still make the playoffs and win games without Lin and Stoudemire.
Remember when Anthony was out in Denver?
He managed to will that team, which somewhat mirrors this Knicks team without Lin, to deep runs in the Western Conference playoffs. If 'Melo wants to build his legacy, he needs to do just that with the Knicks in the next few months.
While the Knicks aren't a "better" team without Lin, they aren't necessarily that much worse off either, as Shumpert has what it takes to help the Knicks faithful forget about Lin relatively quickly.
The Knicks are currently 3-1 without Lin, and if they keep winning without him, the hype around his importance as the point guard for the Knicks will quickly continue to fade away.
Iman Shumpert Might Be a More Explosive Point Guard Than Lin
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
With Lin on the bench for the next six weeks, that means that Shumpert, assuming he can stay healthy, will get a serious increase in minutes at point guard, and that's a good thing for New York.
Shumpert, who weighs in at 6'5'' and 225 pounds, will bring an increased physicality and tenacity to the point guard position that Lin couldn't bring. If Shumpert uses his size and strength to his advantage he can help Knicks fans forget about Lin, and remember why they were so excited about drafting him this past summer.
Shumpert is currently averaging 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, and as that production increases, Linsanity will decrease and ultimately vanish from the Big Apple.
If Shumpert can take over and run the point like he did a few nights ago against both Atlanta and Orlando, when he scored 25 points both nights, there's no doubt that the attention Linsanity got will shift to being fixated on Shumpert.
Carmelo Anthony Will Steal Spotlight with Lin on the Bench
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
WIth Lin on the bench for the rest of the season and Stoudemire out for a few weeks, the offensive focus will shift squarely onto the shoulders of Anthony.
While 'Melo has been inconsistent over the past few weeks, there's no doubt that he's capable of carrying the offensive load by himself, much like he did when he was with the Denver Nuggets.
'Melo is currently averaging 20.7 points per game, and he will certainly have to increase that production if the Knicks are going to win without Lin. If he is able to increase that production and carry the Knicks to an appearance in the playoffs, with the odds against him, he will easily steal the spotlight from Linsanity.
New York fans are some of the most loyal fans in the NBA, but they are also very quick to shift their focus to who's hot at the moment on their team. Over the next six weeks, that player will be 'Melo.
As 'Melo's play increases and the Knicks continue to win games, Knicks fans will quickly forget about the Linsanity that got them where they're at now, and focus more on the productive play of Anthony.
Even Losing Without Lin Will Put an Immediate End to Linsanity
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Just for the sake of this argument, let's say that the Knicks go on to lose 80 percent of their final games without Lin.
Losing all of those games and missing out on the 2012 playoffs will put an end to Linsanity, because missing the postseason will mean major upheaval in the Big Apple.
With roster adjustments, free-agent signings and a potential coaching change, the focal point in New York will be on the Knicks as a franchise, rather than the Linsanity of this season.
Finishing the season on the bench is a lose-lose situation for Lin, as he won't be able to be a part of a potential Knicks playoff run, and it will put an end to the focus that was placed on him this season.
No matter if the Knicks win the rest of their games or lose the rest of their games, there's no changing the fact that Lin's surgery marks an end to one of the most memorable emergences in the history of the NBA.
While that's somewhat sad, it's probably the best thing for the Knicks as they can just focus on their play on the court, and not on the media circus surrounding the hype we once knew as Linsanity.