Jeremy Lin Scouting Report Busts Biased Myths on Lin

There’s so much biased, misinformation about Jeremy Lin that is spread by people who are very uncomfortable with having an Asian American NBA star. The scouting report is a great place to find some accurate information about Lin. Here’s an excerpt from the below scouting report for those who don’t want to read the entire thing:

The biggest myth about Lin is that he’s not a good defender. I’ve made a video to explain why this myth exists as well as a video to show how Lin is actually a highly underrated defender. Well, here’s an excerpt from Jeremy Lin’s scouting report on Lin’s defense: “On defense, Lin actually rates very well. After adjusting by position, Lin was 77th out of 430 NBA players by defensive RPM the past year, a very good mark; 82games also agrees with this idea, with the Rockets being nearly three points defensively with Lin on the court. nbawowy also agrees, with the Rockets being 0.01 points per possession better defensively with Lin on the court. Lin-based lineups defended layups better by nearly three percent, while defending threes better by 0.6%. These markers are not a fluke, given that Lin also played good team defense during the time of Linsanity.”

The Scouting Report also tells the truth of how Lin’s skills had been greatly diminished in Houston–something Lin fans have been screaming about to a deaf, ignorant Houston fan base and an intentionally blind/biased coach: “In Houston, he was operating under a clogged offense with alpha males who demand the ball like James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston. He didn’t fit that style, because he wasn’t a spot-up type or floor spacer, and at times he operates the same at-rim real estate as those two, which was why he had a net negative offensive rating. While he certainly did not play like a point guard whatsoever the past year, there is evidence favoring that with a higher usage rate. During that 35-game stretch of Linsanity in New York, Lin carried a top-four usage rate, which resulted in a top ten assist rate. He also sported a positive offensive rating, the only time he’s ever sported a positive rating here in the NBA. Granted, the sample space is smaller and he was playing uninhibited in former Laker coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, but there there appears to be a direct higher usage to higher efficiency and assist rate correlation with him. Lin needs an open floor, essentially, to tap into what was previously decent to good point guard ability. There is a possibility that he can combine a high usage scoring-passing combination, but it appears in particular a high usage is necessary for Lin to actually make a positive impact on the team’s offense.”

Here’s the overall summary on Jeremy Lin from the Scouting Report: “He’s still only age 25, and he is a two-way player who might have been suppressed somewhat in Houston’s alpha-male offense the past year. His offensive skill at the point guard–ability to draw fouls at will and finish–is a unique trait, and coupled with a very good mid-range shot, an improving long ball and possible point skills with a larger usage, there is a ton to like here. He also couples that with good defensive ratings on top of a precedence for thievery, defensive rebounding and shotblocking, with good size for the point.”

 

 

Jeremy Lin:
Position: PG
Height: 6′ 3”
Weight: 200
Age: 25
Contract: $14,898,938 (’14-’15), but due to Gilbert Arenas provision only $8,374,646 would count against the Lakers’ cap
Nickname: J-Lin
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 3
Previous Teams: Golden State, New York, Houston
Acquired: July ’14 trade with Houston Rockets (absorbed Jeremy’s contract along with 2015 Houston Rockets’ 1st round pick)

Lin has a very diversified offense–he takes roughly a third of his shots from three point range, mid-range and at the rim, so he’s comfortable utilizing the entire length of the court. That, above anything, differentiates him from many of the lower-level point and combo guards in the league. At his best, Lin is penetrating deep to the basket for layups, drawing bushels of fouls, swishing spot-up and self-created mid-range shots, and hitting the occasional three, providing a viable source of offense. He is also playing good team defense and preventing teams from hitting money shots (layups and threes). At his worst, Lin stops short of the basket, displaying tunnel vision and missing open teammates as he flings up runners or takes tough fadeaway shots, or starts turning the ball over incessantly. He would also stop rebounding.

Lin’s most unique asset is creating driving layups for himself: nearly 30% of his shots are driving layups, a rate in the fifth of all point guards, and he’s also adept at utilizing reverse layups. It’s also an excellent value play for him, because at 59.8%, he’s well into the top third in conversion rate, and he does an excellent job of drawing fouls and finishing through contact, with a foul-drawing rate of 0.38 (a top six mark for points, and in line with what he’s done career-wise). Another third of Lin’s shots were from mid-range, and he’s also an excellent value play here, with an above average percentage of 39.9%. Looking deeper, Lin in particular does well directly at the rim (63.2%) and from long mid-rangers (42.4%), his two hot-spots. In adapting to his hybrid guard role, Lin created his own shots at the rim roughly a third of the time, while his long mid-rangers were off a mix of assisted and self-created shots. Lin isn’t great from long range, but posts somewhat respectable percentages (35.8% this year, 34.3% career) and there’s definite hope given that he shoots a career 80.1% from the line on a large sample size.

The problem with Lin is not really about what he is, but what he isn’t: one of the primary concerns is what position allows him to optimize his level of play while simultaneously elevating the team play. So far, the numbers paint his best position as shooting guard. If so, he lacks the next level athleticism to compensate for his lack of height: while his dunk rate (0.6%) is perfectly fine for a point guard, as a shooting guard that is a bottom quarter rate. Despite a diversified offense, Lin also lacks the next-level offensive skills: he is a face-up driver and does not utilize his sturdy frame for post-ups, having attempted zero hook shots this past year. He’s also not effective in the wonky shots: his points per play on runners, pull-up jumpers and in particular fadeaway and turnaround type shots are quite poor. Lin takes nearly a fifth of his shots in the in-between zones (4-15 feet), but only shoots 33.3% on runners and an abysmal 31.9% from no-man’s land.

The other issue is that Lin is not a pure point guard by any stretch: in adapting to the Rockets’ depth this past season, he took on a fairly mediocre usage rate. Despite that, his assist rate was bottom third among point guards this past season, and to add insult to injury, he had the fourth worst turnover rate. He had the worst combination of turnover rate and assist rate among points, for players who played over twenty minutes per game.

As a result, Jeremy’s offense was less than the sum of its parts this season–adjusted by position, real-plus minus puts him a subpar 231st in offensive effectiveness (out of 430 NBA players), which jibes with 82games’ assessment that the Rockets’ offense was three points worse with him on the court. Looking deeper, Jeremy played nearly two-thirds of his minutes as point guard, but really struggled to generate offense at that position. While his scoring rate was nearly four points less, his efficiency was nearly six percent worse, and even at point guard his assist rate and turnover rates were noticeably worse. Not surprisingly, Jeremy operates better as the de-facto shooting guard in a team’s five-man configurations, as he is not a true point.

Overall, on offense, Lin has a very interesting set of skills, as his ability to pair his constant finishing and foul drawing ability with a good mid-range jumper and foul shooting is appealing, on top of a diversified offense with respectable three point shooting. He has an excellent scoring base coming off the highest true shooting percentage of his career, and excellent guard penetration is something that is arguably harder to find than a guard who can shoot, so there is that level of appeal to his game.

At only age 25, there’s also that allure of what he did in the past, and whether he can recapture it: in Houston, he was operating under a clogged offense with alpha males who demand the ball like James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston. He didn’t fit that style, because he wasn’t a spot-up type or floor spacer, and at times he operates the same at-rim real estate as those two, which was why he had a net negative offensive rating. While he certainly did not play like a point guard whatsoever the past year, there is evidence favoring that with a higher usage rate. During that 35-game stretch of Linsanity in New York, Lin carried a top-four usage rate, which resulted in a top ten assist rate. He also sported a positive offensive rating, the only time he’s ever sported a positive rating here in the NBA. Granted, the sample space is smaller and he was playing uninhibited in former Laker coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, but there there appears to be a direct higher usage to higher efficiency and assist rate correlation with him. Lin needs an open floor, essentially, to tap into what was previously decent to good point guard ability. There is a possibility that he can combine a high usage scoring-passing combination, but it appears in particular a high usage is necessary for Lin to actually make a positive impact on the team’s offense. At the very least, he’s a very good bench scorer if he cannot hone in the passing to its prior levels. He could certainly also work on refining his ability to hit more complicated shots in the no-man’s zones, as well as further improving his long ball and cutting down his turnovers.

On defense, Lin actually rates very well. After adjusting by position, Lin was 77th out of 430 NBA players by defensive RPM the past year, a very good mark; 82games also agrees with this idea, with the Rockets being nearly three points defensively with Lin on the court. nbawowy also agrees, with the Rockets being 0.01 points per possession better defensively with Lin on the court. Lin-based lineups defended layups better by nearly three percent, while defending threes better by 0.6%. These markers are not a fluke, given that Lin also played good team defense during the time of Linsanity. Lin is also an excellent shotblocker by position (7th out of 63 point guards), continuing excellent rates that were seen in college and illustrating his savvy in leveraging his height to make up for lack of length. Still, Lin’s imposed-athletic markers really, really tailed off this past season, with a defensive rebound rate in the bottom fifth of all NBA point guards. Lin put up excellent rebounding numbers in college and had put up a top 15 rebound rate in New York. After years of top-notch thievery in college and in his first three years in the league, Lin was also in the bottom third in steal rate this past year, but this might normalize back to its past levels, and considering the very good defense he might have played more contain-level defense the past year.

Lin was better defending point guards than shooting guards, holding down their scoring rate by nearly five points while reducing the efficiency by nearly ten percent, and in general he allows opposing guards to score. The ideal scenario to prevent crossmatching, and optimizing Lin, would create an offense centralized around him to allow him to play point guard at a reasonable level, so he can defend point guards well while being a positive on the team’s offense. Lin appears to really, really elevate his game on all facets when he has the ball in his hands, and this even extends to rebounding and stealing the ball. A Lin at past year’s level would require crossmatching–a SG offensively, and a PG defensively.

Overall, Lin is a very useful player–while he’s definitely overpaid at $15 million this year due to the poison pill contract the Rockets gave him, there is at least some rationale for giving him a large amount of money in the first place. He’s still only age 25, and he is a two-way player who might have been suppressed somewhat in Houston’s alpha-male offense the past year. His offensive skill at the point guard–ability to draw fouls at will and finish–is a unique trait, and coupled with a very good mid-range shot, an improving long ball and possible point skills with a larger usage, there is a ton to like here. He also couples that with good defensive ratings on top of a precedence for thievery, defensive rebounding and shotblocking, with good size for the point. He is also a good locker room presence, a true professional, and a marketing magnet, especially in Los Angeles where there is a sizeable Asian population. Lin has a real penchant for turnovers and can stand to improve his in-between shots, both of which are real sources of frustration, but few players even have a diversified offensive game in their arsenal, and he’s taking those shots in an attempt to grow into them. At the worst, he’s putting up very good scoring and defending off-the-bench value, but he might be more than that as a rock-solid starter if he rediscovers the passing ability.

 

 

 

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  • MrPingPong

    Where does this Scout Report come from, Philosopher? McMorey?

    πŸ™‚

  • Whether or not this is the Laker’s report on Lin, it is one of the best, well analyzed and unbiased report I’ve ever read. Some of it is surprising, for instance, I thought his point generation was better than that though his “finish at the rim” is much higher than his Hate Fans understand and, as suspected, he is a much better defender overall than given credit. Beverly is considered a better defender on the perimeter (even by Lin) but both are light years better than Harden, a fact that seems uniquely ignored by Lin’s detractors and Harden’s fans. Lin’s assist ratios will certainly track higher and his 3 point % will also improve, given his work ethic and the access to Kobe and Nash that he will have in the season to come. NO ONE in Houston knew how to make him a better point guard and his role in the offense varied from one game to the next with a quick hook by McHale. This had to make him a little tentative in his play on both sides of the ball, in that he was not afforded the time to get the “feel of the game” or the “rhythm of the offense” as the Rox offense often consisted of Harden taking the ball and keeping it for 15 seconds then creating his own shot or driving and passing off to a shooter off rhythm and with the clock winding down fast. It is possible that Lin won’t fit the Laker’s O well either and, despite his many skills, may not find an offense that will taylor itself to his strengths simply because of conflicting needs by other players, some of whom are more established of who offer offensive options the exclude Lin (e.g. Howard posting up in the 6th game of the recent playoffs). It is possible that he is far better than his detractors believe but may not find a place that will cater to his greatest skills and may exit the league a bit frustrated. However, that would not be the first time it has happened to an immensely talented baller.

    • Love the detailed and thoughtful comments, Douglas! Hope to see more of your insights here.

  • MrPingPong

    Now that the World Cup is over, I will have some spare time to scour around Lalers fan sites. There are so many of them. All of them seem to be run by very knowledgeable BB fans. Wow! I am having fun!

    • So far, I’ve found: http://www.lakersnation.com/, and http://lakeshowlife.com/

      If you find any other good ones, let me know! Yeah, I’ve found the Lakers fan sites to be very refreshing. I’m so glad to be rid of all the Rockets fan sites. They always leave me with a grimy feeling (as well as a feeling of wanting to bash someone’s teeth in).

      • MrPingPong

        There’s also lakersuniverse.com and clublakers.com.
        BTW, these ads for JL7’s Rockets jerseys gotta go, Philosopher! πŸ™‚

        • Thanks for the links. Good point about the ads. I’m terrible at updating ads on this site…

  • James
  • MrPingPong

    Found this article on our Philosopher’s favorite GM:

    https://medium.com/the-cauldron/the-man-who-sold-the-world-3df16d8b754a

    • OMG! That’s one of the best articles I’ve read. So insightful and enlightening. i have to admit, I bought into the myth of Morey, but after witnessing him for two seasons–especially this off-season, Morey has been exposed as a fraud. I’m not familiar with this writer or this site, but this is one of the most intelligent articles and the best one on Morey. Anyone who cares about the Rockets should read it. I find, especially interesting the collusion (not explicitly) between Morey and publications like Grantland to perpetuate the myth of Morey, because they all want to sound smart and how that bleeds into their worship of Harden, as well. Very very insightful stuff. The only thing I disagree with the author on is that he has the populist perception of Anthony Robbins. πŸ™‚ I can tell the writer doesn’t know much about Anthony Robbins in how he use Robbins as an analogy to Morey. But i understand it, because I felt that same way about Robbins in the past. Anyway, great stuff. Thanks for sharing, MrPingPong!

      • jeff

        Morey = Money Ball. But why is he constantly shooting for superstars? I didn’t see Brad Pitt do that in the movie πŸ™‚

        • Yeah, it turns out that Morey is just a clueless “superstar” fucker, just like McHale. Total fraud. He should go into PR, since that seems to be his strength. Have no idea why Les doesn’t fire him and McHale. Both these fools don’t deserve their jobs.

  • Ed

    Very interesting! Not so much as informed as you, I am wondering these basic things, “how do you make Lin not step on that three point line as he has so many times when shooting threes?” He takes a habitual extra step with his right leg. “How do you make him fall less when driving to the basket?” I think he falls intentionally to get the foul sometimes. He has to learn to drive to left as well as the right. And maybe he shouldn’t drive too much because his game is becoming predictable (I think the playoffs proved that). He has to mix it up.

    • Lin probably leads the league long twos. I don’t know how to stop Lin from stepping on the three-point line. I think him falling down when driving has a lot to do with him going full steam to the hoop. This sometimes causes him to land without control and sometimes he’s going full steam, trying to draw a foul and often, Lin gets hammered but doesn’t get the whistle. For a certain stretch in Lin’s career, it was disturbing how many times he got hammered and the refs didn’t blow the whistle. It felt like I was watching some corny underdog movie with racist undertones. So some of the reasons Lin falls down is under his control, others are not. I’d say it’s about 50/50. I would say that it’s something he needs to work on, but if he works on that too much, then he may become a less hyper-aggressive person and possibly turn into very different player. So that’s a tough one. I think if you’re playing the way Lin plays, you’re bound to fall down a lot. But, yeah, it’s not good for your longevity, as Dwyane Wade knows all too well. I’m sure this is something his personal coaches are aware of and so these are not things I need to worry about.

      I do agree that Lin’s drives are somewhat predictable and rely heavily on his quick first step. That being said, Lin is one of the most effective drivers in the NBA. I say if he can add more moves to his game, it would be a bonus. But I wouldn’t say that’s something he needs to work on. I also didn’t see the connection between the predictability of his drives and the playoffs. To me, Lin was very effective in the playoffs against the Blazers. He was the reason for them winning the games that they did win. Here are a couple articles on that:

      http://www.jeremylintel.com/2014/05/03/rocketss-season-ends-with-mchales-irrational-benching-of-lin-very-fitting/

      http://www.jeremylintel.com/2014/04/30/lin-gets-to-be-floor-general-rockets-take-care-of-business-in-game-5-to-stay-alive-vs-blazers/

      If it weren’t for Lin, Rockets would have been swept by the Blazers.

      I do understand what you mean by Lin having to mix it up. But from an overall picture standpoint, Lin does have a lot of ways he can score on you. He can shoot the three, he can drive, he can shoot mid-range jumpers, he can stop short in the key for a short jumper, etc. He does need to add turn-arounds and post up moves and work on his floaters, etc. But I think because Lin can score in a lot of ways, he’s tough to guard. Overall, Lin’s time in Houston is a total black whole to me.

      I’m sure he’s working on a lot of these things this summer. I think he’ll have a great season with the Lakers as long as he remains healthy. That’s the biggest key for Lin’s success.

  • cosmotaichi

    I see an excellent point raised by this article–the alpha males affected Jeremy’s performance. Actually, at least half of the problem is Lin’s own. If you remember, he had the similar difficulty in NY when Carmelo returned. He needs to know that it reflects a deep psychological weakness–Assertiveness problem. People who have assertiveness problem (I believe most Asian Americans do) tends to became submissive when a dominant alpha male is present. Jeremy should train himself to become more assertive individual. He should become very clear about his strength, weakness, believes, values and land himself firmly on them. Being assertive will make him more natural, spontaneous and automatic. Through playing the game, he will become more assertive person in his life journey.

    • Douglas L Hom

      Sorry, can’t agree her; especially with the “at least half” assessment. Lin never had the “idiosyncratic credit (the social term)” to lead. One either is granted the mantle of leadership or he/she has to assume it. to assume it one must possess, in spades, those traits that allow others to cede leadership to you. Lin never was in such a position to act as leader, nor does it seem as if he wanted it. If one must assume leadership, then one must grasp it with full commitment. Half-assed attempts will only lead to failure and ridicule. He is very comfortable with witnessing for Christ but you can’t easily lead a pro team with religion and Asians are often taught inherently to fear “loss of face” more than they seek positions of influence. JLin can and will be assertive if the circumstances warrant it but he is working and living in a “star directed” world and it is those known to be “stars,” the one you can count on at crunch time, the ones everyone looks to for leadership and performance when all else is falling apart. Lin has never had that entire set of clubs in the bag and “trying to it driver distance with a 9 iron” only looks ridiculous.

    • Forthelin

      Lin was plenty assertive in NY when he told Melo he won’t pass to him unless he runs the plays. D’Antoni backed him then. Institutionally, people are usually assertive when they feel they will be supported; otherwise, it can be a foolish risk. If you mean Lin should be personally assertive, then that advice should probably be best left to those who know him personally.

  • MrPingPong

    Hello, Lin fans/non-fans! Just making conversation here…

    So what’s up with the Lakers coach search?
    The folks at Silverscreenandroll do not seem to like Byron Scott that much.
    The folks at Lakersground seem frustrated and unhappy with the FO inaction.
    There must be some internal disagreement between the Buss siblings.
    From what I’ve read about Kupchak, he seems like a really savvy NBA manager who actually played in the NBA, but he is only an employee of the Buss family and cannot make the final decision, I don’t think.
    Here is an article about Kupchak, in case you are curious:
    http://projects.latimes.com/lakers/player/mitch-kupchak/

    In the mean time, Lin seems to have a great time in Taiwan! D’Antoni is still his favorite coach, as he has said in various interviews! πŸ™‚

    Have a great afternoon/evening/night/morning wherever you are on this WEB!

    • Forthelin

      The Laker coaching situation seems extremely awkward. They interviewed Byron Scott three times and haven’t hired him. That’s as loud a “We’re looking for someone better” proclamation as you can get. Scott can’t be feeling too good right now. I am feeling uneasy about this situation.

      • MrPingPong

        The Lakers have been keeping an amazingly tight lip on their coach search. My guess is the coach announcement will be shocker, just like when they announced their Lin catch! πŸ™‚

      • I think they’re trying to see if the can get Doc Rivers. That’s probably the hold up right now. But I’m also hoping that they’re in talks with George Karl, who’s an excellent coach and also a Lin supporter. I’m rooting for George Karl, but Byron Scott would be good, too. Doc Rivers is a great coach, but I have no idea how he feels about Lin and I’m concerned he may bring along Chris Paul or Rajan Rondo at some point. So that’s my main concern with Doc Rivers. Yeah, Scott can’t be feeling too good about all of this.

  • ashley

    This time in Taiwan, Lin got asked again whether he has a girlfriend. The answer is the same and he flatly responded that he wouldn’t have time to develop such a relationship since his sole focus is the training and the next season. Apparently, he was clearly aware of the pressure and the high expectations of him, knowing that his performance next season would be critical to his NBA career. Too bad that two years after Linsanity, he still has to prove what he is capable of. Hopefully he’ll be given full opportunity to do it.