Opening Tip: Should Jeremy Lin start?

Every weekday morning throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Should Jeremy Lin start Monday night against the Jazz?

There's no more burning question than this one right now. My colleague, Ian Begley, who's at Knicks' shootaround this morning at the team's training facility, could be answering it a little later this morning.

After Lin had the best game as a Knicks starting point guard this season, even more than what Baron Davis will able to contribute for at least the first two weeks after he returns, that may be overwhelming enough to start him. The guy is hot, and the Knicks need to feel hot. They've only had a two-games-or-more winning streak once this season. Just once.

After Lin tallied 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds against the Nets, Mike D'Antoni said he would seriously consider moving him up.

"We probably will, but we'll look," he said.

Starting Lin, too, will fuel the Knicks and the crowd right from the jump, and that's important. They need an additional spark because they've been coming out a bit flat after the opening tip. They've been one of the worst teams in the league to start games, and in their past three, they lost the first-quarter scoring margin by an average of 4.3 points. On Saturday night, they went down 10 points to the Nets, the sixth-worst defensive team in the league. When Lin checked in, the deficit decreased.

If D'Antoni does decide to go with Lin, it will, of course, be a tough decision. While his offensive numbers have been inconsistent, Iman Shumpert has proven in just the first 24 games of the season that he's one of the best defensive point guards in the league. He's currently averaging 1.95 steals per game, the eighth-best mark in the league. D'Antoni applauded Lin's defense on Deron Williams, but just like his offensive breakout, his overall performance lasted all of just one game.

Even D'Antoni, who didn't rush Shumpert into the starter role to replace Toney Douglas, said everyone needed to put things into perspective.

"Again, it is one game. Let’s not get too excited," he said.

Do you think Lin should start Monday night against the Jazz? Leave us your comments below.

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