Could Baron Davis End Up Taking Jeremy Lin’s Starting Spot?
Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni won’t rule out bringing Mr. Linsanity off the bench, should Baron Davis outplay him over the course of the season. And Jeremy Lin isn’t the only current starter whose playing time isn’t guaranteed. Per the NY Post: “Can there be a point-guard controversy come April if backup Baron Davis continues to rise and Jeremy Lin’s game flattens out? It is no longer a ‘Linsane’ thought. Mike D’Antoni has always left open that possibility, and after the second unit’s superior play in the Knicks’ second-half bludgeoning of the Cavaliers, 120-103, Wednesday, their starting lineup as March begins could be different when the month ends. D’Antoni said Wednesday night the second unit dominated the first unit during scrimmages earlier this week. Davis confirmed a friendly rivalry is brewing between the super subs and the star-studded starting unit. That makes the Knicks (18-18) only the most dangerous .500 team in sports since the Giants were 7-7 in December. ‘That’s our job is to come out and practice and play with that energy and intensity,’ said Davis, who had eight assists and zero turnovers in 14-plus minutes. ‘It helps us. We’re not going to play against a better second unit than our first team. Every day in practice we are challenging them and we are kicking their butts.’ So will D’Antoni look into tinkering with the starting five, even bringing Lin off the bench? ‘It could [change],’ D’Antoni said. ‘I’m trying to find the right combos. But it’s got to be determined over time. It’s not going to be over one game. Not going to just throw people under the bus for one or two games. Over a length of time, if they prove they need to be out there, they’ll be out there.’ [...] ‘If we’re serious about doing something important in the postseason, everyone has to buy into playing less minutes and playing harder and really stepping up,’ D’Antoni said.”