So the big news today is that Lin is ranked #100 by ESPN. A lot of Lin fans are happy about this and I can completely understand that, because Sports Illustrated, which only ranks the top 100 players, didn’t even have Lin in their ranking. So kudos to ESPN for at least putting Lin in the top 100 and also for ranking Lin ahead of Beverly, who’s ranked at #103 (I think they must have missed a zero there at the end). So kudos again to ESPN for not being completely brainwashed by McHale’s deranged brain. Although, Beverley has no business of being anywhere within any orders of magnitude of Lin in the rankings.
As for me, I see these rankings and all I can think of is how shortsighted analysts are, which is totally to be expected. So I’m not surprised at all by this and ESPN’s ranking for Lin is much better than I would have expected from analysts, since I expect very little from analysts–especially when it comes to Lin. So, again, way to go ESPN! Not bad for a couple of half-blind dudes sitting in a room hunting and pecking on one keyboard.
In fact, if ESPN had ranked Lin much higher, like say in the 75 range, I would have been shocked, even though they would have been more right. I mean, can you imagine one of the half-blind analysts in the room even conceiving of the idea that Lin could be in the top 75? He would be laughed out of the room and have the door slammed in his face. This is why analysts rarely say anything interesting. They’re too afraid of sounding “stupid”, so they all end up saying and believing the same things, which is all the conventional stuff. They also spread themselves pretty thin, having to look at all players, so they tend to only get the surface level stuff on each player not named LeBron, Kobe, etc. (that being said, they’re also going to get egg on their face on Kobe). As a result, fans get very mediocre analysis and it’s only the rare occasion or the rare few who offer anything worth digesting.
(Lin is a special case, because he is very popular, so there is actually a lot of attention (and, thus, information) on Lin. so analysts can’t use the same excuse on Lin about “being spread thin”. It’s just that analysts focus on all the wrong things when it comes to Lin due to them being Lin doubters.)
These rankings are supposed to PREDICT what the players will do for the upcoming season. These analysts, as usual, don’t really think too deeply about things and just take things at face value. They looked at Lin’s stats last season (probably willfully ignoring the fact that he was benched) and came up with their ranking based off of that. What these analysts fail to grasp is context. Context is very important. The context in Houston is very different from the context Lin will be playing in in LA. So, as usual, these analysts will have egg all over their faces when Lin does what I expect Lin to do, which is average 18+ points and 7+ assists, as long as Lin averages 32+ minutes a game (don’t forget that caveat). Even in Houston, Lin managed to average 16.2 points and 5.2 assists when playing 30+ minutes per game. Without Melo/Harden, Lin averages 22.7/7.7, so I think 18+/7+ is well within the realm of reality. We’ll see. These are obviously all-star numbers. Wait. Did I just call Lin an All-Star? Oops.
In conclusion, ESPN analysts are idiots, but not total idiots.