New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s run on Broadway ended Wednesday after four years under the intense lights of the Big Apple. Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks responded to his departure with their best outing of the season routing the Portland Trail Blazers 121-79. The victory put an end to the Knicks’ eight-game losing streak and signaled the end of D’Antoni’s era at Madison Square Garden. Now that “seven-seconds-or-less” coach is gone (along with his free-flowing, high-up-tempo offense) and Mike Woodson is in (for now), will Jeremy Lin continue to emerge as a sensational guard or does this mean the death of Linsanity?
The story is one of subplots and subplots, building on top of each other as the days and weeks continue to ebb away. Lin said after Wednesday’s blowout win over Portland, that he’s probably seen six or seven different offensive systems over the past year and a half, including his time in the D-League. Unfortunately, he will have to make another adjustment under interim head coach Mike Woodson. Woodson is known to favor All-Star veterans over rookies and inexperienced players. Although, Lin is a popular attraction at Madison Square Garden, his admiration amongst his teammates may have dropped due to his recent high turnover rate and sloppy play. Lin had six points, six assists and six turnovers against the Blazers and Woodson won’t tolerate many mistakes. In fact, he may opt to sit the Knicks’ sensation and insert veteran point guard Baron Davis into the starting lineup. There’s no room for error and Lin understands that more than anyone.
The fascination with the undrafted guard out of Harvard probably won’t subside because the superstar-laden Knicks failed to live up to their high-expectations. But with a new brand of basketball being implemented and with Melo back at the forefront of the Knicks offense, the pressure on the Knicks hasn’t dissipated in D’Antoni’s exit. It has just shifted towards New York’s biggest stars. Will Linsanity be able to adapt? Or will he fade to black?