20 Second Timeout is the place to find the best analysis and commentary about the NBA.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jeremy Lin Skill Set Analysis

Our culture is now fueled by instant hype/superficial commentary and it disdains patient observation and thoughtful analysis, but rather than rushing to be the first to say something about "Linsanity" I much prefer to examine a meaningful sample size of games before drawing any definitive conclusions. There is no way to know yet if Jeremy Lin has the necessary mental, physical and emotional stamina to be a top notch starting point guard for an extended period of time; what we have seen in his brief run as New York's starting point guard is that he has supplied some elements that the Knicks desperately needed: effective dribble penetration, timely scoring and deft passing. However, Coach Mike D'Antoni's system tends to inflate any true point guard's statistics (the Knicks' problem prior to Lin's arrival was that they did not have a true point guard and were thus using converted point guards at that crucial position or else experimenting with Carmelo Anthony as a point forward); Steve Nash became a two-time MVP playing for D'Antoni and under D'Antoni's guidance Chris Duhon emerged from obscurity to rank 10th in the NBA in assists in 2009 before promptly dropping back into obscurity after leaving New York.

Lin is quick, unselfish and deceptively strong/athletic--but he is also turnover prone, erratic on defense and an unreliable shooter outside of the paint. Until the past week or so, Lin did not likely even appear on the opposing team's scouting report but now the "book" on him will surely be to force Lin to play in a crowd when he has the ball with a live dribble but to otherwise concede the outside shot and to attack him at the other end of the court.

No one predicted Jeremy Lin's sudden rise and no one knows how his story will play out moving forward--but the numbers he has posted so far are stunning and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain anything close to this level of productivity.

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by David Friedman @ 3:21 AM



At Saturday, February 18, 2012 3:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you think he'll do once Carmelo comes back? Carmelo says this is a dream come true but it's hard to break from what he's been doing for so long, which is isolation play, essentially stalling the offense.

At Saturday, February 18, 2012 5:12:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Carmelo has said many things at various points but what we have actually seen on the court is that his old team did not miss a beat without him while his new team fell apart upon his arrival and would not even be clinging to the eighth playoff spot in the weak East were it not for Lin's emergence. It will indeed be very interesting to see how the Anthony/Stoudemire/J.R. Smith established scoring trio meshes with Lin, Tyson Chandler and the rest of New York's roster. I am not sure what to expect other than I still think that lack of defense and lack of attention to detail will be New York's downfall in the long run. It is important to remember that the only good team the Knicks beat during the "Linning" streak was the Lakers and the Lakers are a horrible road team.

I suspect that Lin will turn out to at least be a solid NBA point guard but that he will not ultimately "save" the Knicks, at least in terms of elevating the Knicks to the status that so many pundits expected the team to enjoy after Tyson Chandler joined Anthony and Stoudemire. The Knicks will most likely remain at or near the bottom of the East playoff standings and will be eliminated in the first round.


Post a Comment

<< Home