Jeremy Lin is the biggest Surprise of this NBA Season
By: Jaamal Braithwaite
NBA fans have gone Linsane (Ok, no more punch-Lin-es… Yea I know that one was a reach.) over the tremendous story of the New York Knicks second year guard, Jeremy Lin. Since being inserted into the Knicks starting lineup they have gone 4-0, and 5 in a row in this incredible run from Lin. Jeremy Lin has averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 steals.
Despite my bias being a Knicks fan, this is no fluke, Jeremy Lin is for real. No greater evidence of this than Lin coming up big late against Kobe and the Lakers in the Garden. He didn’t back down from the challenge of going head to head with Kobe in the fourth quarter. Kobe score had 14 points in the fourth, and Lin answered with 11 of his own. Who would of thought Jeremy Lin would outperform Kobe on basketball’s biggest stage. Yet thats what he did, Lin had 38 pts (13-12),4 reb,7 ast, 2 stl compared to Kobe’s 34 pts (11-29) and 10 reb.
Why Lin will continue to succeed:
The biggest thing that stands out to me is his ball handling skills. Lin does a great job keeping the defense moving with his ability to keep his dribble. All though he needs to work on going to the left, he can still keep that dribble alive. Lin is also deceptively quick, changing gears to get past defenders.
Then of course there is the most obvious part of his game, his passing ability. He makes everybody around him better. Take for example Steve Novak. Novak averaged 15.5 points in the last four games, when has only averaged 3.7 points per game prior to Lin taking over point guard duties. Lin has also maximized the abilities of offensively challenged, Jared Jeffries who scored 8.6 pts ppg,almost 4 more than his season average (4.8)
The thing that I think that will keep Lin in this league is his size. He is 6’3 and 200 lbs, making him able to guard some of the bigger point guards in the league. His size also means that he can absorb contact and still put up a shoot. That’s why he has been so successful finishing at the basket, as well as getting to the line. Lin got to the line 8.4 times per game. Now lets compare that to someone who knows how to get to the line, LeBron James (9.6 FTA ppg this season). In his last 5 games LeBron has got to the line 9.6 times per game.
Now I’m not saying that Jeremy Lin is now a lock as an All-Star for years to come. He does have some areas he needs to improve. I would love to see him keep his turnovers down, Lin has made 4.6 ppg in the last 5 games. Yet he is a young player that will continue to learn and improve. He looks at game film during halftime, he will definitely learn from mistakes.
I’m not worried that chemistry will be disrupted with the return of Carmelo Anthony. Lin is an unselfish player and I’m sure he will keep Melo happy, by making it easier for him to score. I don’t want to hear this nonsense of Melo holding on to the ball. Melo doesn’t always need the ball, people forget he has played with Chauncey Billups. A point guard who had the ball in his hands almost every possession. As long as they are winning Melo will go along with the program.