The New York Knicks hold a two-and-a-half game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
Already without Amare Stoudemire, who is out 2-4 weeks due to a bulging disk in his back, the Knicks will now be without starting point guard Jeremy Lin after an MRI revealed a slight tear to the meniscus in his left knee.
He will have a minor surgical procedure that will sideline him for six weeks, a timetable that puts him out for the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.
If the current team standings hold up, the Knicks would play the Bulls in the first round.
The two teams also are set to meet twice this month in New York on April 8 and in Chicago April 10.
Lin had missed the past three games for New York when the announcement was made by the team before tip-off of Saturdays game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers.
We did everything we could, said Lin. Today was the one-week mark, and this morning I got on the court to see how I feel and the decision was made this morning. I cant run or cut so its pretty clear that I wont be able to help the team until I get this fixed. Its a six-week rehab process but I tend to heal quick so hopefully Ill be able to help the team this season.
The Knicks have gone 9-2 with new head coach Mike Woodson at the helm and are 3-1 without Lin in the lineup.
Lin, 23, averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 35 games this season.
Hes a restricted free agent this summer and after his play, starting in Jan., that helped save what had been a dismal season for the Knicks and in the process turned him into a global icon of Tim Tebow proportions its doubtful that New York doesnt match any offer he receives this summer.
Coaching in the NBA is hard, even if you are one of the best college basketball coaches in the nation. It is something that basketball fans—especially those in Chicago—are reminded of time and time again, and John Beilein is the latest in the line of NCAA-to-NBA head coaches to make a failed transition. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Beilein were parting ways after he resigned as head coach of the team. Charania later added that for the time being, Cleveland will be reassigning Beilein to an alternate role within the franchise.
Beilein's NBA coaching career lasted 54 games, 216 games less than current Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg, who lasted 270 games with the Bulls after leaving the Iowa State program in 2015. Beilen's struggles were similar to Hoiberg in the fact that they both struggled to transfer their college coaching styles to the NBA, where they would be dealing with grown men rather than young college students. During Hoiberg's tenure with the Bulls, Jimmy Butler infamously called him out, stating that the Bulls needed to be "coached a lot harder at times," and that incident looks a lot like the dispute between Cavs center Tristan Thompson and Beilein, which boiled over during a game this season.
There was also an incident this season in which Beilein mistakenly referred to his Cavaliers players as "thugs" in a film session, reportedly leading to the team intentionally playing songs with the word "thug" in it, further exacerbating an already difficult situation.
The big takeaway here is that there is a lot more than the X's and O's that goes into NBA coaching, and with player movement at an all-time high, college coaches are finding NBA roles more challenging than ever.
Beilein was one of the hottest coaching names in the business in 2019, coming off yet another successful season at the helm of the Michigan Wolverines, who were coming off of an Elite 8 appearance after making the National Title game the year before. Now Beilein is back out of NBA coaching, and the Bulls' rivals in Cleveland are now even more firmly entrenched in the rebuilding phase than they were before with relatively young (40 years old) J.B. Bickerstaff taking over.
Beilein has three years and $12 million left on his Cavaliers contract, and sources have told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski previously that the Cavaliers and Beilein have agreed on a deal to pay him a portion of his 2019-20 salary. It has not yet publicly been stated what Beilein's new title within the Cavaliers organization will be.
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One thing we know for sure about the 2020 NBA Draft: no team executives will be losing sleep on the eve of the lottery hoping to land the first or second pick like a year ago when the top prizes where generational power forward Zion Williamson and point guard extraordinaire Ja Morant.
Matter of fact, teams might prefer not to land one of the top three picks so they can pay less guaranteed money to a player who may not have a huge impact,
As we get closer to the start of conference tournaments around the country, no player has really distinguished himself as the clear cut No. 1 choice. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards gets credit for being available to play all season, but his poor shooting percentages from the field and the 3-point line for a bad college team hardly scream top overall pick.
Injuries and eligibility questions have kept a few of the top prospects off the court, so NBA executives will put more emphasis than ever on the information they gather during the draft combine and individual workouts.
Here’s a snapshot at where things stand in late February with our fourth mock draft.