Back to earth

As I predicted, Jeremy Lin came back to earth against the Timberwolves last night (8-24 shooting, 8 assists, 6 turnovers, three more bricks from three point range). I found the whole thing quite revealing, since the Wolves have their own marketable point guard (Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio), but he gets much less attention in a small market.

This is not to diminish Lin’s achievement. He has made the Knicks winners without their two best players. However, there are plenty of reasons to temper the enthusiasm. During his five game launch to stardom, Lin has three games with 8 assists or fewer and 6 turnovers or more. He’s shooting 3-17 from three point range. Let’s see if he can get those numbers in line before we get too excited.

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10 responses to “Back to earth

  1. You might’ve seen this post already http://hoopsanalyst.com/blog/?p=487 The high turnovers are something to expect, and I don’t see that going away, and his ability to hit NBA threes remains to be seen. The tightened NBA season, with less time for prep and such asymmetries in rest time, also must be a factor — is it any surprise he dominated the Lakers when they played Boston to OT the night before, and then he struggled at Minneapolis the next day? Also the packed schedule probably opens doors for a well-rested player to show up at midseason and perform well.

    All that said, it’s clear Lin is a legit NBA player and that he was overlooked, due to his race or school or whatever. It’s nice to see someone overcome these obstacles and succeed. He’s a fun player to watch. These are all reasons why he has a growing fan base — it’s not just about the media overselling him, as is the thrust of your brother’s post. A lot of the momentum for Lin grew from social networks without any help from the national media. He’ll still have a deservedly large fan base even if he turns out to be a league average point guard.

    • Thanks for the link DRDR – his table about small-college guards who have made it in the NBA isn’t very helpful (since we don’t know what small-college guards who didn’t make it look like), but he must be patting himself on the back for overrating Lin at the time.

      I agree, he’s playing well and saving a team’s season. He deserves the credit. But given the outlandish media response, I just have to fight back a little.

  2. I watched him win a state championship against power house mater dei, he’s a legit player, he should’ve gotten a free ride to a good college. That’s really the biggest travesty, however, the nba gave him a chance so he wasn’t over looked. There are a lot of players like him, 6’4 guard, somewhat athletic, shaky jumper, etc. A guard scoring 38 against the lakers is no big deal. Every guard scores against the lakers. In the next few games we will realize that he’s a role player.

    • Indeed, the immortal Jose Calderon also set his career high (30 points) against the Lakers today. Lin reminds me of Steve Nash with the way that he stutters through the lane and makes creative layups. The problem is he can’t shoot (as you note). His quick success is impressive though – not many guys play as confidently as him when they first get big minutes. He could be a decent starting point guard, probably nothing more.

  3. Time out .. so u guys give the excuse the lakers just had a back to back and thats why they under performed? So the knicks and Lin dont get that excuse also when they played Minny? Lin came from playing No minutes to playing almost the whole game. And regardless The lakers should of beat this team. Look at who the knicks are putting out there? What do u expect lin to do? To be someday like rose. See no knick fan thinks that way its all of U haters making these things up. We all know he cant put up those numbers for his career. He already out done him self considering where this is having to overcome. Nobody expected this not u not any analyst nobody. So get off ur high horse and stop the hating bro.

  4. Just to point out a couple of things, Raymond:

    – I think you’ve misread DRDR’s comment. In fact he does say that Lin’s struggles in Minnesota could be due to the back-to-back.

    – My post is not directed at Knicks fans per se, but more at everyone who’s saying Lin is the next Derrick Rose (clearly you are not one of those people, but there are many).

    – If you follow DRDR’s link above, you’ll see that someone did predict success for Lin. Also, I would argue that in any year, some undrafted/low-drafted player ends up having a surprising stretch like Lin, though his 5 game streak is probably one of the best. Identifying those players is difficult (they would be drafted higher if it was easy), but this is all irrelevant to the excessive hype he’s getting right now. I’m not sure why you

    – I think Lin is getting enough love to survive my “hating.”

  5. Well I disagree then. First of all I think You are paying too much attention to the minority of the fans that think hes better than rose. Look I know many many knick fans who dont even think that. They are just finally happy to see whats going on with the knicks. And yes Lin has been a big part of that success. And the whole story about this kid and how he got here is a good story and part of the reason we watch sports. I mean I kno ppl that think blake griffin is the best PF ever because the way he dunks. Am I going to pay attention to that? Or rose is better than MJ. Am I going to pay attention to that? To me I think its a NY thing obviously. When we have a player we like and gets media attention some small market person would make up things in their head and say “oh look they think hes the next MJ” and U guys go from there. Its ridiculous honestly

    And Yes he struggled against Minnesota , but I believe you are putting this guy in higher standards than knick fans are. There is no possible way a player not name lbj or kobe can keep this up. I know that and im sure many knick fans know that. He played out of his mind the past 4 games and surpassed expectations against the Lakers which was an amazing moment whether you think it or not. He struggled against minny yes , but what you have to like from the kid is that hes not scared at all out there. He missed like 11 shots , but he still kept on coming. Thats a good sign. That shows he has confidence. Most young players will let that effect them, but he still kept going at it.

  6. Raymond, none of my posts or comments project anything onto the Knicks fans. This is about the over-the-top nationwide and New York media response. I find it strange that you lump me in with the media; in fact, I’m on your side. I think he has some potential but he’s not a superstar, while most of the media (not me) is making him out to be more than he is. I’m not sure what you’re arguing with me about, since you’re saying the same thing. All of my posts have been complimentary while trying to temper the media enthusiasm.

    Also, you say, “There is no possible way a player not name lbj or kobe can keep this up.” In fact, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams’s season averages all come pretty close to Lin’s 5 game average. Among non-point guards, Love, Howard, Durant, and Aldridge also put up similar points every game.

  7. Raymond you don’t know anything about the NBA. Lin is one of many good guards. I give him credit because he’s in the NBA. The guard position is the hardest to make. The fact that he was invited to a NBA camp means he wasn’t overlooked. Taking a lot of shots doesn’t mean anything. Remember, he was a star in high school and probably college, so he’s going to have confidence. Arenas lit the nba up for a few years just because he was taking so many shots. I believe Jeremy Lin’s shooting percentage is in the 33% range, which doesn’t mean anything.

    Here is a list of guards that scorched the lakers:
    Jose Berra, Jose Calderon, aaron brooks, etc. These guys average around 11 pts, against the lakers they go for 20/30+. Teams are going to start playing defense against him and he’s going to have to learn how to set up his teammates and then he might have a long career. The media is just pumping him up so they can get viewership.

  8. Today after the Mavericks game my brother was switching channel and suddenly I saw the headlines of Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony.

    I was like, ‘Who is Jeremy Lin?’

    I had been on a trip for the last week without T.V. and my laptop so of course I wouldn’t have known of his existence.

    He responded, ‘Long story.’

    So I searched and watched a few videos here and there. He certainly is good. Actually, I have only seen highlights so I’ll have to wait and see in Tuesday game with Toronto.

    Although, the five games that NYK won did mainly come from pretty bad teams, except for the Lakers. It’s hard to say how far he can go but he is such a humble guy. I’m actually feeling sorry for him. All these media attention might not bring him good. It’s all good that they are winning but what if they lose like two games or so? I’m not jinxing but teams cannot ‘always’ win. I’m saying in the long run, with a lose or two (or more) will the media turn against him and call their own hype ‘overrated’?

    A quick hit to fame and a sudden hit to be blame might not be too good.

    Btw, nice to meet you. 😉

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