Saturday, February 11, 2012

WWJD means What Would Jeremy Do?

Can I say a young man over ten years my junior has become my hero? Jeremy Lin's victories these last 4 games as the Knicks point guard have pulled tears of bursting pride from my eyes. His game against the Lakers last night was inspiring. Fellow Taiwanese American men are weighing in with the same ethnic-national pride in Lin's ascendancy. See Bryan Chu's, Danny Chau's, and Wong Chow Mein's posts.

The runner-up title to this post: The Jeremy Lin Experience.

Thoughts:

Jeremy Lin was born in 1988 in the Year of the Dragon.

Is there enough time for Lin to play his way onto Team USA?

Lin is clutch. He always seems gassed by the middle of the fourth quarter, then closes out games with impeccable clutch play. The Knicks should give the ball to Anthony to close out games only when Lin is being trapped.

Lin rises to the moment with indomitable competitiveness. At the start of the Lakers game, you could see in his eyes the laser focus and iron determination to beat the Lakers in a game his skeptics were predicting his unmasking as a fluke. He started out draining jumpers and building a double-digit lead for the Knicks. When the Lakers played him physically and ran size at him, Lin responded by raising his level of play. He carried the undermanned Knicks to victory over an elite opponent on national TV.

Where between Harvard and the D-League did Lin develop such a complete and sophisticated game? Lin plays like a veteran, has all the tools, and marshals them with Jason Kidd type floor sense. He's constantly moving to the right spot on the floor in every situation ahead of the gameplay, whether he's positioning himself so a rebounder can make an easier outlet pass or beating an opposing ball handler to a spot on defense.

Lin plays with a very American sense of toughness, flair, style, and swagger.

Next up: Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

When I am anxious and unsure of myself, I will ask myself, WWJD? Jeremy is fearless. If he can attack and win on his terms, maybe I can, too.

Lin and we, his fans, are riding a high right now, but realistically, he won't keep playing at what would be an all-time Hall of Fame pace. He's accomplished the first step of carving out an NBA career by showing enough flashes to prove he can be a NBA rotation player. Over the past week, Lin has shown off brilliant ability. But as teams continue to adjust to him, especially as he is the key to the Knicks winning right now, I expect his performance level will drop off until he finds his long-term level. I expect the next test will be whether Lin can bring the ball up and run the Knicks half-court offense while athletic aggressive guards press him all over the court. I predict he will settle into 15 PPG, 4 RPG, 7 APG, 1.5 SPG.

Eric

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