Written by: Arun Chikyarappa (@arunKnows) & Coach Nick
Second-year guard Jeremy Lin is the talk of the NBA as he has come from almost nowhere to lead the New York Knicks to five-straight wins. In those games, Lin averaged 26 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and two steals. These are remarkable numbers for anyone but especially for a player who wasn’t on an NBA roster eight weeks ago.
Jeremy Lin is a 6-3 point guard from Palo Alto, CA. He played four years of college basketball at Harvard University and signed with the Golden State Warriors as an undrafted free agent in 2010. With the Warriors Lin averaged 2.6 points in 14 games while playing only 9 minutes/game. After being cut by the Warriors, and a brief stint with the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks signed Lin on December 24th.
Image Credit: Chris Chambers/ Getty Images
Lin has flourished with the Knicks as Head Coach Mike D’Antoni has been able to return to the high paced, pick and roll motion offense he made famous with Steve Nash and the Phoenix Sun. Like Nash, Lin excels at making the right decisions after utilizing a high ball screen. What’s impressive about Lin is that he shows how simple, and successful, basketball can be by just making good decisions.
Think of Lin as a quarterback going through his offensive progressions as he reads what the defense is doing. If they trap the high screen, the screener slips the screen and Lin hits him in stride. If the defense sags, Lin can turn the corner with a full head of steam towards the hoop. If a help defender rotates, he has an uncanny knack for hitting the open shooter on the weakside. If there’s no rotation, he pulls up for an open mid-range jumper or penetrates for a layup. Read and react, it’s that simple.
Jeremy Lin is a legitimate NBA player who should be in the NBA for many years. He’s athletic, makes great decisions and is improving his perimeter shooting. What makes this scenario more fascinating is not just how opponents will adjust to his scoring and assist outburst. His team will also have to adjust when they add the two biggest components they have: Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. With the offense humming along at a more efficient clip, and with Jeremy Lin’s energy and enthusiasm lighting up Madison Square Garden, Melo will have to shift his focus to being more of a catch and shoot threat – something he did to devastating effect in Denver.
And with both Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire setting those ball screens for Jeremy Lin, it creates a two headed monster that opponents will have extreme difficulty stopping. While Jeremy Lin may not be the piece that gets the Knicks a championship, his play can certainly vault them to the upper division of the Eastern Conference.