Jeremy, so far, is looking exactly how I expected him to look from the clips I’ve seen of him, as well as things I’ve read about him in the summer. I don’t remember if last night was the first time he attempted a three pointer this preseason. Regardless, I’m feeling very confident about my prediction that he’d shoot 40%+ from three point this season, which I made before preseason even started.
If I might be so bold, I think this Jeremy Lin actually looks even better than the Jeremy Lin during Linsanity. I know, It’s only just been three preseason games, so I’m really getting way ahead of myself here. But this is exactly what I expected from Jeremy this season. It’s why I’m calling it Linsanity 2.0. Of course, Lin is not going to average big stats, since he’s playing alongside two superstars and is the number three or four option on the team. But Linsanity is really not so much about the stats as it is about the style and the attitude. Lin’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s playing loose and aggressive. He’s having fun and helping his team win games and his teammates look even better. That’s what Linsanity is all about. I think if he can average 14.5+ points and 5.5+ assists this season as a third or fourth option (and possibly 6th man), playing alongside a
ball hog ball-dominant guard, he’s doing very well. This is what I’m expecting out of Lin this season. To me, these stats translate into All-Star numbers if Lin is the number one or two option on a team. There’s no way to prove this, but I have no doubt in my mind that Lin would be averaging 20+ points and 8+ assists on any other team that doesn’t have two superstars this season. So on any other team, people would see Linsanity 2.0 manifested in stats, as well. But most people are incapable of thinking in these terms. They’re not able to look at things in context. But this is a whole other discussion.
Anyway, getting back to last night’s game. As opposed to last season, whenever Lin shot a three, I had confidence that it’d go in. It looks good leaving his hand and his stroke is smooth. Lin’s first basket, as well as the Rockets’s first basket was a three point at the top of the key.
This is a shot that Lin rarely made last season and even during Linsanity (except for the famous shot that helped the Knicks come from behind to beat the Raptors). Last night, the shot hit nothing but net. Looked so good, man. The crowd must have gone crazy. It turns out that was just an indication of what was to come the rest of the night. Lin did let up, out of not wanting to hog the spotlight, in the second half. I think he felt a little self-conscious in the second half and didn’t want to seem like he was trying to have a big game in front of his adopted hometown. I did sense him just laying back a lot in the second half. Could have had an even more explosive night if he didn’t concern himself over those things and just went all out. I think if it was a regular season game, he may have stayed aggressive.
Lin’s stat line for the night:
- 34:52 minutes (Finally played more minutes than Beverley. I think McHale realized that he might not leave Taiwan alive if he benched Lin);
- An efficient 6 of 8 field goal (3 of 4 from three point)
- 4 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers
And, of course, there was this nasty block:
Man, Danny Granger must have said something about Lin’s mom! Lin also had an alley-oop from half court to Parsons. This is something Lin did consistently in NYC, but I don’t think he even did it once last season. Lin is one of the best at these half-court alley-oops ( I still remember the one he did as a Knicks that was beyond half court. That was just ridiculous.). The crowd must have loved that, because they’re big fans of Parsons, as well. After an entire season with Asik, Lin seems to have forgotten how to ally-oop. So I’m glad to see that he’s getting it back, because I expect to see more of this this season–especially if he plays with Howard.
Other notable performances of the night include Garcia and Cassipi. I also thought DMo did a much better job defensively. Garcia was one of the guys that I kept screaming for McHale to play over Delfino. I’m so glad we got rid of Delfino. I know I’m in the minority in that opinion, but I loved Garcia the first time I saw him as a Rocket. He can not only hit threes, he can also defend very well and he’s also a good leader for this young squad. Garcia hit 5 of 8 from three point. And the announcer said that Garcia stared at McHale after hitting one of his 5 threes. I’m not sure what that’s about. Probably some sort of inside joke. Maybe McHale wasn’t expecting him to do very well coming out of an injury. I don’t know.
One very positive sign for the Rockets is that Cassapi is showing that what he’s done so far in this preseason might be for real. If so, he’s exactly what we need for this team. I think with Cassapi and Garcia, Lin isn’t needed to play sixth man and Beverly did show signs of improvement on his play-making. Beverley actually did the best job of distributing the ball than I’ve seen from him ever. He ended with 5 assists in 22:28 minutes. But it’s not just the stats. It’s the way he played. He actually looked like a distributor. If he continues to improve that aspect of his game, then Lin doesn’t need to be the Sixth man, because I think Beverley can handle the offense with guys like Garcia and Cassapi to help him out. Beverley looks like he worked really hard over the summer.
On a side note, Brooks didn’t play last night. I think it’s looking more and more like he won’t be making the team, which is a shame, because I think Brooks still got some game left in him. Also, Harden is still doing way too many unnecessary ISOs. I have a feeling I’ll be complaining a lot about this again this season. I think the coaching staff is trying to figure out a way to tell him to stop doing this without hurting his ego. We’ll see how it goes. It’s so clear to me that his ISOs are hurting the team and are completely unnecessary, so you think it should be obvious to the coaching staff. Anyway, we’ll save this discussion for another time.
Hope you all got to catch the game. The first half was a hell of a show, by Lin.
Here’s more highlights of the night:
High kiss off the glass, again, something he did a lot in NYC, but rarely did last season:
I mean, it was just one continuous highlight reel for Lin last night, which included his obligatory steal+slam move:
Lin’s third three. He was 3 of 3 from three point after hitting this three:
Here’s the ovation for Lin towards the end: