Saturday, February 04, 2012

Jeremy Lin breakthrough NBA game

Jeremy Lin led the Knicks tonight to a hard-fought win over the NJ Nets in MSG. The fans were chanting his name. Most impressive were Lin's hustle, lockdown defense against all-star point guard Deron Williams, and his strong point guard floor game. I thought Lin's point guard abilities were akin to Delonte West's combo guard game, yet he played like a lesser version of Rajon Rondo with an equally shaky jump shot but more willingness to score. (Before his rookie season with the Warriors, Lin compared his game to Goran Dragic's game with the Suns. ) Lin's line tonight against the Nets: 36 MIN, 10-19 FGM-A, 0-4 3PM-A, 5-7 FTM-A, 1 OREB, 4 DREB, 5 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 PF, +13 +/-, 25 PTS.

It all came together for Lin tonight. The Knicks were exhausted and deflated in its 3rd game in 3 nights, so the bench was going to get run. It was a must win for team morale and possibly the head coach's job. Mike D'Antoni was desperate for a point guard to run his point guard dependent system, and all the other candidates (Douglas, Bibby, Shumpert, Anthony at point forward) on the roster had failed, with Davis still in street clothes. The Nets are a bad team with poor defense, which allowed Lin to penetrate and finish, with an all-star point guard to measure Lin against. Lin schooled Williams on both ends of the court.

Lin may well have been auditioning tonight to stay a Knick for the rest of the season. Lin was signed on Dec 27 to a non-guaranteed contract, and non-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed next week, on Feb 10. Bench warmers on non-guaranteed contracts are usually released before the contract guarantee date.

It remains to be seen whether Lin can expand on tonight's success. Williams played off Lin tonight, unlike the game that made me doubt Lin could last in the NBA, where rookie Kings guard Isaiah Thomas smothered him.

Tonight, I'm a proud Taiwanese American. Lin surprised people in high school and college. Maybe he can succeed in the NBA, too. I'm looking forward to seeing what Lin does against the Jazz on Monday. The Jazz are a good team, unlike the Nets.



Eric

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