Why Jeremy Lin is good

Couple things first.

I take back half of what I said about Mike D’Antoni needing to be fired.  His defense is better than I thought, as long as his guys are playing smart.  He’s able to use guys like Landry and Jeffries to shut down all stars, as long as they know when to help and when to switch.  His offense is also stellar, granted he has a guard who knows how to run the pick and roll.  Why he waited so long to go to an actual point guard is another question. But now that he has an actual pg, the ball movement is a lot of fun to watch and the floor spacing is great.

Second, I was wrong in my post about Lin not being able to finish or be a scoring threat.  The guy can finish and even if he doesn’t, the fouls he draws makes up for the bricks.  And the guy is not a sharpshooter and his form needs work, but once he gets going, he can hit them.  And if he bricks 3’s, he’s smart enough to look for other shots closer to the basket instead of chucking.

Now, back to the topic – here’s why he’s good.  The guy runs the pick and roll like a genius.

1:01 – Humphries hedges off the screen.  Lin catches the roller (Jefferies) with a bounce pass

1:08 – Lin uses a Chandler screen to beat Farmar with a floater

1:30 – Chandler screen, Sheldon Williams hedges, Lin catches the roller with an alley oop

2:21 – Deron Williams thinks Lin is gonna try to lose him on the pick and gets ready to fight through the pick. Instead Lin drives away from the pick and blows right past him

3:06 – STAT pick, Lin notices D-Will is going under the screen.  So he has STAT set up a second pick.  When D-Will goes under the pick again, Lin punishes him by shooting a jumper

3:50 – Lin does the same thing to Farmar.  Farmar goes under the screen (even though he’s like 10 feet in front of Lin), so Lin uses the space to get inside the key and shoot a jumper

4:55 – Chandler pick, big man hedges, Lin splits the hedge and gets to the hole.

5:50 – Another head fake on Deron, driving away from the screen to the hole

0:51 – This is funny.  Lin brings the ball down while reading the defense.  Lin notices the weak D on the strong side, changes speed to make the strong side D hesitate.  Once they hesitate, Lin drives to the basket.  Defense collapses, including Kanter who abandons Chandler.  Lin lobs it to Chandler.

1:14 – Chandler pick, Kanter hedges off the screen, Lin lobs it to Chandler again

1:36 – This one is funny too.  Jefferies pick, Kanter hedges, Lin uses Kanter to block off Devin Harris and actually makes Harris run into him (lol).  Kanter is slow and fouls him.  And the best part, even if Kanter had played good D and Lin had no shot, the roller (Jefferies) is still wide open

2:24 – Again Lin drives away from the screen, and scores.

3:17 – Jefferies screen, Jefferson hedges, Lin finds the roller again.  So much good stuff happens every time the defense stops guarding the roller.

3:29 – Jefferies screen, Jefferson hedges, Lin splits the hedge, fuckin draws everybody into the paint, and kicks it out to Novak

4:25 – Jefferies pick, Jefferson hedges again, Lin splits the hedge again because I think by now he realizes Jefferson is slow as fuck.  Millsap is almost in position to guard the paint.  Instead he watches and is like, oh he’s not gonna make it through…. oh wait he did WOW!  By then it’s too late

5:42 – At this point of the game, the Jazz thought he couldn’t go left and tried to block off his right.  Kanter hedges and stops him but then remembers those Chandler lobs and goes back to D up Chandler.  Lin changes speeds but sees Kanter running away, leaving an open lane, so Lin drives left past Earl Watson to the hole

6:00 – Chandler pick.  Harris and Jefferson switch.  Lin attacks Jefferson and gets a sick finish.  I think by this time he realizes he can blow by Jefferson every time.  So he does

In general, I think it’s safe to say that Lin will make the right play once he initiates the pick and roll.  He’ll drive if he beats his defender.  If the screener defender hedges, he can pass the rock to the roll man using a myriad of bounce passes, lobs, and alley oops.  If he knows he has an advantage over the screener defender, he’ll attack him and draw the foul.  If his defender goes under the screen, he’ll pull up for a jumper.  If the defender goes over the screen and is too slow, he’ll beat him on the drive.  And he can keep the defense guessing with hesitation moves, quick drives to his right away from the screen, quick kick outs to the open man, and the ability to capitalize dynamically on defensive mistakes.

So how do you stop Lin?

  1. Get a quick defender who can stay in front of him and anticipate the screen better so he can go over it
  2. Get a defender who can play close physical defense on him to try and force him to lose his handle.
  3. Trap him before he can get in position to initiate a pick and roll and force a turnover or pass.
  4. Make him use his left hand on the dribble and on his layups.  Most of his missed layups come from either his weaker hand or overcompensating for the weak hand by using the right hand at a bad angle

Far as Mike Brown needing to be fired though, I’m not taking that back.  The guy is clueless.

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