I think that we all knew it was a matter of time before Jeremy Lin had a bad game. Why do I say that?…..because even players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kobe have bad games from time to time. Jeremy Lin has dominated the NBA for the past 10 games, and he was bound to have an off night. Now the question remains as to how he will bounce back. I’m betting that Lin will come back in a powerful way and get back to the form he’s shown over the past month.
What will the defenses do now? One thing that we saw in the Miami game is that Jeremy had problems against Mario Chalmers. Well, guess what? A lot of NBA point guards have a tough time against Chalmers. Mario Chalmers is one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA and it was a learning experience for Lin to go against not only Chalmers, but also Lebron and Dwayne Wade.
Nevertheless, look for NBA defenders to try to apply immense on ball defense against Lin to see how he responds. One thing Lin can do to counteract this is to use his body more as he brings the ball up. Towards the end of Sam Cassel’s career, Sam would literally bring the ball up the court by dribbling up the court and shoving his backside into the face of his defender. With Jeremy Lin being as physically strong as he his, this is something that Lin can do as well. Some coaches call this, “putting the defender on your hip.”
Hey, we knew it would happen. I’m predicting that Lin is going to bounce back in a majorly positive way.
But ultimately it is a huge compliment to Jeremy Lin that defenses are so keyed in on stopping him.
When I think of the New Jersey Nets I think of Jason Kidd. When I think of St. Joseph’s High School in Oakland, California I also think of Jason Kidd. My high school played against Jason Kidd twice growing up (I think we were 1-1), then he stayed in the Bay Area for college at UC Berkely. I have followed Jason very closely over the years and he is a class act all the way around.
After we beat the Nets tonight Mark Blount and I were talking about the job Jason does as a point guard for his team. Jason is just so fast pushing the basketball and he is a monster when it comes to rebounding. The fact that Kidd is the leading rebounder for the Nets shows you the kind of desire that he plays with. Blount was talking about how Jason’s knee is just finally starting to show the kind of full recovery from the mircro-fracture surgery he had a few years ago. “He’s been playing injured the past couple of years out there,” Blount was telling me. And tonight we saw his speed and his quickness with his knee at 100% once again.
All I can say is that Jason Kidd must be like the really expensive kind of French Cheese that gets better and better with age. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone of his age rebound the ball, or push the ball up the court the way he does. His play is a credit and an asset to the game of basketball at every level. He seems to get better, faster and stronger with each year that passes.
On a different note, I saw an old friend in Memphis two days ago–Jerry West. Jerry West drafted me as he was the General Manager of the Lakers at the time. When we walked in the FedEx forum in Memphis for shootaround, Jerry ducked in to say hello to KG and a few others. When I was talking to him, different people would stop by and say to him “What’s up logo?” I always knew that everyone considers Jerry West to be the person from which the NBA logo was fashioned, but I had never really heard anyone call him “LOGO” in L.A. It was pretty cool. To this day I will never forget the way that West mentored everyone on the team in Los Angeles. He would talk to us, build us up and spend time with us outside of basketball. I will always remember being invited over for dinner at the West’s home in the Bel-Air area. He gave me some pointers and a few thoughts on what I could do differently on the court to become a better player. When West took the Memphis job, Magic Johnson came out and commented publicly about how Jerry was always the first one to call or go over to the house of someone in the Lakers family when there was a death in the family, a sickness or a tragedy.