Jeremy Lin: Vote of Confidence from Mike Woodson Will Help Knicks' Rising Star
Jeremy Lin has one less thing to worry about as the point guard attempts to work his way back to full strength after a knee injury. New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said he'll be the team's starter, which should help Lin focus on getting healthy.
Woodson was appearing on ESPN Radio's Michael Kay Show when he confirmed the media darling will assume his role in the lineup next season (via the New York Post):
Right now, he is our starting point guard, without a doubt. I’ve always believed this: When a starter goes down he doesn’t lose his job because of an injury. You welcome him back with open arms when he gets healthy and you keep it moving.
Heading into the offseason, there were plenty of question marks about Lin's future. He's a restricted free agent and with so many point guards expected to hit the market, it wasn't even clear if Lin would remain in New York for the long term.
But Woodson sounded confident the team would be able to work out a new deal with him, taking a lot of pressure off the Harvard product's shoulders. If he needed to earn a new contract somewhere else, he probably would have rushed back.
Now that his coach has given him a vote of confidence, he can take a more cautious approach. That should allow him to get back to 100 percent before next season begins.
Lin averaged 15 points and six assists during his first season as a significant contributor in the NBA. He received his first significant playing time when Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire went down with injuries and immediately became an overnight sensation.
Will Lin improve next season?
Things were a little rocky when those two superstars both returned to the lineup, but that isn't a surprise. It takes time to develop on-court chemistry between players, something the Miami Heat figured out after bringing together their trio of big names.
One of the biggest concerns during that time was Lin's high number of turnovers. It's important to remember he was running an offense for the first time in his career, though. As he gains more experience and the game starts slowing down, his turnover rate will drop.
All told, something as simple as those encouraging comments from Woodson should do wonders for Lin's confidence level. He now knows the starting role will be waiting for him when training camp starts, and with the media circus also dying down, all he has to worry about is improving his game.
That should be music to his ears after a crazy season that featured more than its fair share of ups and downs for the young star.
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