Best Article on Jeremy Lin’s Underrated Defense

I came upon an excellent article, Jeremy Lin’s Defense Far Better Than Reported that discusses Lin’s underrated defense very objectively. It’s a MUST READ, so that’s why I’m featuring this article in a post. It’s also an article that’s not written by a Lin fan. The writer actually admits that he himself was guilty of perceiving Lin as not a very good defender before he actually sat down and studied the data, as well as watched Lin’s games a little more closely.

I hope it gets more attention from the media, so I’m just doing my part to help promote it, because it speaks the truth of Lin’s defense in a way that’s also not off-putting. It would be great if more NBA “analyst” read this article so they can discuss Lin’s defense in an objective manner, rather than relying on their blind biases and unreliable perceptions.

This article also provides video, as well as stats to back up points made. I’m going to refrain from summarizing the article, because I think the author went through painstaking detail to build up his argument brick-by-brick, so it would do the article a disservice for me to summarize it in soundbites. The article also touches on points I’ve made in my videos about Lin’s defense:

 

 

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NOTE: On June 11, 2016 I switched the comments section to Disqus's platform. As a result, all comments from previous platform have disappeared from all articles.
  • MrPingPong

    Dunno why the author made an effort to review the film and data on Lin’s defense. Kudo to him for admitting “guilt” and posting his findings.

    Lin is now a better player than the Lin in 2012, on both ends of the floor. Ironically, the Rockets experience really did him a lot of good!

    Letzzzz Goooo JL7!

    • Edison999

      Letzzzzzz Gooooo JL17!

      • MrPingPong

        Touche! 🙂

        Though I think Lin still signs his name as JL7. 🙂

    • Lin has always been a good defender. Lin has gained some additional skills from having to play off the ball, but I think he could have gained those skills without severe damage to his reputation, etc. So I won’t go so far as to say that Rockets experience did him a lot of good. What I would say is that the skills he developed is the silver lining to a very depressing two years with the Toxic Rockets.

  • Dr. Gary Teng

    I seems the misperception that Lin was not good at defense was originated from McHale. He manufactured that myth and used it as a laughable excuse to replace Lin with Beverley as a starter.

    Shame!

    • Dr. Gary Teng

      It seems… Sorry.

    • I think it started during Linsanity, as I explained in my video “Reasons Jeremy Lin Doesn’t Get Enough Respect on Defense”. D’Antoni didn’t preach defense and so Lin played defense the way D’Antoni wanted Lin to play, which was a bad way to play defense. And on top of that, the media didn’t have much to criticize Lin on, so they chose to criticize him on defense, because defense is an area that most players need improvement on. But, you’re right in that the whole defense perception was exacerbated immensely by McHale’s manufacturing of the myth that Beverly is a supremely better defender than Lin so he can demote Lin.

      I do believe that Lin’s reputation as an excellent defender will come out this season, as that is a point of emphasis for Scott. The media is all about perception. So I think they’ll see Scott trusting Lin with defensive assignments and word will spread. So I think as long as Lin is healthy for the entire season, the myth that Lin is a defensive liability will be busted by the end of this coming season.

      • Steve Yen

        McFail definitely wanted to downplay Lin’s performance on court, both defense and offense, since he was the one waiving Lin on that Xmas eve.

        The Rocket’s owner forced Morey to sign back Lin after his explosive performance in Knicks Feb/2012, while Morey has a fantasy about himself being the NBA Moneyball genius. Morey apparently held grudge against Lin, so did McFail.

        They tried to demote Lin in any possible ways, even those might cause damages to the Rockets. Any one who had paid attension on Rockets’ games can’t overlook that fact.

        P. Beverly may be a likable person, but he is not a complete player. He being an elite defender is a myth. J. Harden is not a complete player either, his defense is a joke.

        The funny thing is that Lin is actually a cornerstone player for any playoff teams eagering to own, while James Harden and Patrick Beverly are playing like role players deserving 20 to 25 minutes.

        Lin is a good defender. Like Byrant Scott and the author emphasis, a point guard doesn’t have to be a good isolation 1-on-1 defender, he only needs to keep up. Lin’s quickness locked D Lillard the whole 4th Q in the playoffs game 6. I think that’s an outstanding performance for any point guards in this league.

        • CH

          During/After Linsanity, he said, “We should have kept [Jeremy Lin]. Did not know he was this good,” Morey wrote on his official Twitter account on Thursday. “Anyone who says they knew misleading U.”

          In a separate tweet, Morey praised Lin, writing “Finally, really happy for [Lin]. Very hard working, nice, & humble. He has a great, great future.”

          Looking forward to hearing what he will say this time when Lin explodes in LA.

        • I know that it may sound like a delusional LOF thing to say, but I do sincerely believe that Lin is a cornerstone to build a team around. If a team is sincere about winning, then Lin is your man to build a team around, because Lin is all about winning and he makes any 4 guys on the team better. He proved this during Linsanity, when he was allowed free reign to play his game. Here’s a post I wrote that discusses how could actually be the MVP of any team:

          http://www.jeremylintel.com/2013/12/05/is-jeremy-lin-the-most-valuable-player-to-pretty-much-any-team/

          Here’s a video speaking to this point, as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtQGQjQ-rGo

          Yeah, Lin held Lillard scoreless in the 4th quarter, then McHale took him out to make his point that Beverley is the superior defender to Lin, thinking that the game was already won so McHale no longer needed Lin. Then we all know what happened. I wrote about this in detail here if interested: http://www.jeremylintel.com/2014/05/03/rocketss-season-ends-with-mchales-irrational-benching-of-lin-very-fitting/

  • Purple Blood

    “ Lin’s quickness locked D Lillard the whole 4th Q in the playoffs game 6. I think that’s an outstanding performance for any point guards in this league.´´
    ___
    This is an excellent observation, as well as being a positive harbinger for our Lakers. Give `em hell JL7! [borrowed that! 😉 ]
    ___
    BTW, I got here via your post on SS&R`just the other day.
    Thanks for the insight into what Laker fans across the globe hope will be a very good, & for me, long-lasting relationship with JL7 and the Purple & Gold.
    I´ll be looking forward to new posts!

    • Awesome to have you here, Purple Blood!

      I love the Lakers fan base and fan sites. Welcome change from that of the Rockets. I rarely visited Rockets fan sites when Lin was in Houston, because they didn’t appear to be welcoming of Lin fans and I felt they didn’t even bother to try to understand Lin’s game. It’s been a very different experience with the Lakers and I do hope Lin could be a Lakers for life or close to it. This feels like home for Lin and it is the most ideal situation imaginable for Lin’s career.

      • Purple Blood

        Thanks for the warm welcome!
        It´s true that all us Lakers supporters are crazy, hard-core, never-say-die fanatics of our beloved Purple & Gold! It is very true as well (as you mentioned) that there are a LOT of savvy, open-minded Laker followers. (It´s simple really, we love the sport).
        As for me, a Laker fan since Magic mesmerized me during the `79/`80 season, I´m more on the `fan´ side than the x´s and o´s, or financial insight side. That´s one of the reasons your comment at SS&R attracted my attention; not onlywas the post well-written but it also made evident this site´s JL7´s fandom!! Good stuff.
        If you haven´t yet, check out my favorite Lakers site:
        Forum Blue and Gold; it´s a first-rate blog. You´ll find some VERY good posts and of course articles too.(Mr.PingPong – great name!- may have referenced it in the post below).
        Hope all of you here will enjoy it as much as I have.
        Give `em hell this season JL7!
        (Mamba and JL7 together is quite an enticing thought to me!)
        Go Byron!
        Go Lakers!!

        • Steve Yen

          The Lakers’ fans are awesome. You have class and put the success of the TEAM before that of an individual superstar. You support your players, give them repect even when they are one foot out of the league. Bobe Bryant’ 2-year-4500M and Steve Nash’s last year 9M show the Lakers have class and be grateful. Were I a player, I’d play for LA.

          People in Houston are like a group of high-school kids. Sabotaging a decent person in their class , pointing fingers to him whenever any bad thing happens and fawning on the selfish arrogant coach’s favorite. Grow UP!! Houston, you have a problem on your Rockets now.

        • MrPingPong

          Thanks Purple Blood for telling us about the Forum Blue & Gold site. Some serious BB discussions there for sure. The posters are quite civil and knowledgeable.

          For what it’s worth, I learnt about Magic from a Michigan State college kid way back when. This kid was raving about a freshman BB player nicknamed Magic who would help win the NCAA. I scoffed at the guy at the time. But then of course I got to watch Bird against Magic in the NCAA final. I was stunned and mesmerized by both players.

  • MrPingPong

    Yep, I enjoy visiting the Lakers fan sites too. These fan sites speak volumes of the Lakers fan base. They are BB savvy, open-minded and quite rational.

    Living in Houston and having attended quite a few Rockets home games, I can attest that there are quite a few Lakers fans in Houston. At one Rockets-Lakers game, I was surrounded by people wearing Purple & Gold cheering very loudly for their team.

    Can’t wait to watch Lin and the Lakers play in Houston this coming season! Tickets will be hard to come by! 🙂

    • So you still haven’t had any luck convincing your wife to move to LA, MrPingPong?! 🙂

      • MrPingPong

        ‘Working on it!
        🙂
        There is a 2-year long waiting list for Lakers season tickets, ya know!
        🙁

        • Ha ha. Yeah, that’s the pain of being in a big market. I was in NYC, so I know all about long waiting lists for….everything.

  • Fallen

    Hey JLintel,

    I am a big fan of your work and am very appreciative of your effort to back Lin. Might I suggest posting some of your enlightening arguments on /r/Lakers or /r/JeremyLinFans on reddit? I think a lot of people will greatly appreciate it as do I and the many other users on your website and subscribers to your youtube channel. Again, great work man. Keep it up and i’ll be awaiting your updates on your site.

    • Thank you very much, Fallen. I would greatly appreciate you, as well as, anyone sharing my work on any site. I’d like to share my work on Reddit, but I haven’t gotten around creating an account on Reddit.

      I do my best to share my articles, but between keeping up with this blog and twitter, as well as the occasional YouTube videos + my life (ha ha), I don’t always have time to go onto the fan sites and forums to spread the word about my articles. So I hope readers of this site, as well as my Twitter friends help me out in spreading the word. My main goal is to dispel people’s perceptions, so they discover objective truth. That’s a lot of why I write about Lin, since he’s a fascinating subject in this regard. I also delve into subjects that I don’t think is common in most sports writing. Subjects that I hope add value, even if you’re not a basketball junkie.

  • Fallen

    Also do you have any insights on ESPN’s NBA Real Plus-Minus ratings? I was debating a man on reddit about Lin and Beverly’s comparable defensive stats and he argued with this.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/DRPM/position/1

    I was wondering if you could do a piece on this and enlighten the rest of us on this subject. Thanks again brotha. Much love from here in sunny California!

    • I’m not well-versed in ESPN’s NBA Real Plus-Minus ratings, but I’m sure some readers of this blog are. In fact, Yami Sifu, who also writes on this blog occasionally, wrote an excellent piece on this very subject: http://www.jeremylintel.com/2014/04/13/espns-new-stat-real-plus-minus-flawed-for-evaluating-jeremy-lins-effectiveness/

      By the way, I don’t know if you know this, but I have an open invitation for anyone to write articles on this blog (more info on this is on the Sidebar at the very top).

      I hope that article helps you out.

      In general though, I’m not too big on stats. To me, it’s a necessary evil. But I think people can find stats to support pretty much any claim. What is more important to me is the objective truth. This article on Lin’s defense to me is not just about stats. It’s a clearly laid out argument that is not just about someone cherry picking one stat or a few stats to prove their point. It’s about speaking the truth, not winning an argument. Even the author admitted to changing his mind about Lin after looking through the data and scrutinizing Lin’s games. So this is not some article from someone who is desperately trying to prove a point just to win an argument so he can be right. This is someone who is sincerely seeking the objective truth.

      That guy on reddit that you’re debating is just trying to win an argument so he can be right, so he cherry picked one piece of data to support his claims. People HATE being wrong. It’s the downfall of being a human being. It’s very very tough to admit when we’re wrong, but the people who readily admit when they’re wrong are the ones who will experience the most growth and the ones who have the widest perspective. It’s a good thing you now have this article, as well as my videos to show this man the objective truth. It’s up to him to decide whether or not he chooses to grow from this new information, or just remain closing down to new information, because he simply just wants to be write, rather than figure out WHAT’s right.

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