5. Lin can shoot: Lin is making the big three point shots when the game is on the line and he’s shooting a respectable 72% from the free throw line in the last six games. But the intriguing statistic for me is the overall 50% from the field in the past six games. If you look at the NBA’s field goal percentage leaders, the vast majority of the top 50 – 100 players shooting at or above 50%, are big men like Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol. To shoot such a high field goal percentage as a point guard shows that Lin has a good combination of finishing at the rim and the ability to make shots from the perimeter. It’s not one or the other, but a combination of both.
To go a bit deeper into his shooting, Lin seems to shoot off the dribble better than catch and shoot especially from long range. Despite the fact that Lin’s 3 pt percentage is hovering at 25%,(over the past 6 games), he has shown that he can make a clutch 3pt. shot at the buzzer or convert on 3 pt. shots in the 4th quarter in general. Teams will probably start trying to go under on the pick and roll and force Lin to make more deep shots (which he needs to improve upon), or they might try to blitz him to force him into a decision under pressure and try to force turnovers.
4. Excellent Finisher: Part of being a finisher at the NBA level is physical strength. Another part is using the rim to shield shot blockers from swatting away the layup attempt. Lin combines the ability to muscle smaller point guards with his body inside, and then on the perimeter he is able to use his left hand and arm to kind of hook his man to get past. Kobe and Chris Weber used this technique a lot. When Lin reaches the shot blockers he finds a way to twist through them and use the backboard, rim, and creative spin on the ball to finish. Players like Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo are extremely gifted at this skill and Lin has showed that he has developed a similar feel. Even in the Toronto win, it was Lin who drove to the hoop late in the 4th quarter, drew the physical contact, and then created the 3 pt. play. [content_ads float=”right”]
3. Chemistry: Watching a players teammates either cheer for him or sit there stoic on the bench is a decent start to determining if the guy is liked. If you only judged by the explosion of enthusiasm and love that Lin’s teammates have for him when Lin mades a big shot or knocks down a free throw, you could easily determine that Lin combines talent with a locker room presence that unites the team. Whenever you can see genuine excitement and enthusiasm for a player, it’s a good long term sign of chemistry harmony. An NBA team is just like any other organization. Sometimes people resent the success of others and sometimes they celebrate it. The fact that Lin’s teammates are celebrating his success tells me in another way that Lin’s teammates love him. When you see how fired up Jared Jeffries and Renaldo Balkman are getting, you can see the respect that the team has for Jeremy Lin.
2. Ability to get into the paint: In the final seconds of the Toronto win, Jose Calderon (a very capable defender), is backing up on his heels, which shows the respect that Calderon has for Lin’s driving ability. That’s when Jeremy hits the huge 3-point shot to win the game. Lin’s ability to drive to the basket has created opportunities for himself and so many other players around him.
1. Talent and Toughness: At a recent press conference, Mike D’Antoni talked about both the “toughness” and the “mental toughness” of Lin. When Dwayne Wade was asked about Lin he commented on the fact that Lin “stayed ready” even when his name was not being called. To sit there on an NBA bench and maintain one’s conditioning before and after practice, to keep timing intact, and to keep shooting skills sharp is not an easy job. Lin not only clearly kept his toolkit up to date, but he had the toughness to come out and use it ruthlessly when the game has mattered most. And of course, Lin couldn’t be doing any of this without his immense talent level. Lin was born with special and unique basketball gifts (which he has also honed with hard work and long hours), which he showed to us in flashes as the opportunities came. Joe Lacob saw this ability and signed Lin to a two year deal with the Golden State Warrios. But the problem with the Warriors situation was that Lin was playing behind Steph Curry and Monta Ellis who are also both going to command minutes. The summer league refs, coaches and players saw Lin dominate a few games in obscure venues to the non-NBA world right after the draft a couple of years back. Despite these flashes of brilliance, Coach D’Antoni also noted that “everyone’s overlooked Lin for the past 20 years.” Now, most importantly, Jeremy Lin is doing what every coach tells players at the end of the bench. “When your name is called, Be ready.”