Is Coach Scott Playing Mind Games to Benefit BOTH Lin and Price?

I had a productive discussion with , who I sincerely think is one of the most perceptive sports media people out there, and it got me thinking of an alternative interpretation to Coach Scott’s odd behavior/statements regarding Lin/Price. In my previous article, I proposed that his odd comments may be because he’s playing “media games”, but for whatever reason I didn’t touch on the fact that he could also be playing mind games. I’m actually really surprised by my own omission of this alternative explanation, because I’m very interested in mind games and it’s usually pretty top of mind for me. Admittedly, I may have been too “blinded” to this alternative explanation due to my anger at the whole disturbing notion of it all. Fortunately, brought it up to me with the following tweet:

Robyn Tweet to me about Scott Mind Games

When Coach Scott was hired and all the way up to until very recently, Scott has been enthusiastically positive about Jeremy Lin (and it appeared to be genuine), as I’ve discussed in previous articles. He also appeared to have a good understanding of Lin’s game. There is one comment in particular about Lin that Scott continues to reiterate that I’d like to highlight here. One thing that Scott has said over and over about Lin is that Lin is going to have a chip on his shoulder, because he lost his starting spot in Houston. And Scott sees this as a very positive thing.

An alternative interpretation to the odd pivot that Scott has made about Lin could be that Scott wants to keep this chip on Lin’s shoulder as much as he can until Lin becomes the starter. (I think Scott actually wants to keep this chip on Lin’s shoulder permanently, but it may just take on different forms once (if) Lin becomes the starter. But that’s probably another discussion.)

But the fact that Scott wants to keep a chip on Lin’s shoulder could possibly explain him praising Lin less and less in post game interviews and him echoing some of the same things McHale said last season. Now, it’s debatable whether or not this is a good way to motivate Lin, but I think it may fit Scott’s personality, being old-school and hard-nosed.

One evidence why it could be a good tactic is Lin played extremely well versus Sacramento and I have no doubt in my mind Lin was thinking that he was playing for his starting job. I can tell from Lin’s post game interview that he was very annoyed that he has to fight for his starting job again. It was the least happy I’d seen him in LA and he was ALL business.

Lin played like he did back in NYC (when he was fighting for his career), except more polished, skilled and composed. But I guess you can argue that Lin would have played just as well if he didn’t think he was fighting for his job (since he felt he needed to step things up without Kobe on the floor). I guess we’ll never know. But the fact to me is that Lin did feel like he was fighting for his starting job in the game versus the Kings. Whether or not this is what motivated him to play the way he did is up for debate.

Anyway, so if I was to go into Scott’s mind, he’s thinking that his task is to keep the chip on Lin’s shoulder and at the same time bolster Price’s confidence, who’s a journeyman point guard for which no one has much expectations. Luckily for Scott, he can accomplish both tasks simultaneously with what he has been saying very recently to the media.

Anyway, just proposing an alternative explanation for Scott’s odd behavior. I’m not saying I buy into this alternative explanation myself (nor am I saying I don’t buy into this alternative explanation), But I thought I’d throw it out there to see what you all think. That being said, this explanation does kind of help piece things together nicely for me. Everything kind of all fits. Like how Scott was very enthusiastic about Lin and appeared to understand Lin’s game early on and has suddenly cooled on Lin as of late. And it also goes along with the idea that Scott doesn’t appear to be an ignorant person. In fact, I had been very happy about the way Scott thinks, up until these very recent comments about Lin/Price.

I think, at least, with time we may be able to piece things together retrospectively and figure out if Scott is a Lin doubter or if he’s just playing mind games which he thinks will motivate both Lin and Price.

Right now, I think Scott has to start Lin on opening day due to the circumstances with Price. Now, if Price is healthy again and Scott goes back to starting Price, then it is very clear that Scott is a Jeremy Lin doubter. If he sticks with Jeremy Lin, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was not a Lin doubterย (at the very point in time when he expressed conflict about Lin/Price). To figure that out would take more nuanced investigation and we may never figure it out. But I sense that that is not important to Lin fans, as long as he’s willing to change his mind from being a Lin doubter to being a Lin believer. At the very least, we’ll know in real-time whether or not Scott is a Jeremy Lin doubter as the season moves along. And, for Lin fans, that’s what’s important, anyway.

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  • Here’s my crazy theory.

    My theory is that they wanted to give Nash the start and when and he was not feeling up to par that left a big question mark for that position. of course lin should start. right? well you could put jlin in that position immediately, but then where would that have left things for Nash the legacy upon his possible return? could you imagine Nash coming back to the starting role after lin has already won over the lakers fans as starting PG? they would not be happy. not to mention the possible discourse in the locker room that would have to be dealt with. Not to mention how Nash would feel if he became lin’s backup after being one of the most highly touted PGs in history? so instead you put the neutral PG in that position, because no one is really gonna care if he does not start. and if Nash had been able to come back for his starting role, you still have people questioning him starting over lin. but you have less issues. I think the question now may be when to announce lin as starter if that is their plan.

    either way it’s more politics.

    • Very Interesting, because I’ve also thought about this theory as well privately. But it was a little too nuanced to discuss it publicly, so I kept it to myself. Ha ha.

      But I’m glad you posted it, because that is definitely a valid theory and I understand what you mean completely (all of it, your whole rational makes 100% sense to me, cause I’ve thought those same things)! This is definitely a very plausible theory, since Scott has a lot of respect for Nash and wants Nash to start basically no matter what.

      • I was going to bring it up but I felt bad for nash after the announcement that he was not coming back. I mean I do feel bad for these top players who are forced to leave before getting a ring.

        also I am kinda tired of guessing what the issues are.

        but I will say this. at the end of the day people are going to be people and to ignore the human aspect of things would be leaving out a large component, because it is real.

        my biggest problem with new coach is that you have a team that is unfamiliar with each other and instead of playing your best players together you are wasting time with politics.

        Initially I was good with him, but I hope this is not an indicator of things to come.

      • Chirico

        I disagree with this theory. With all due respect to Nash, his present health state does not allow him to play starter minutes. We all wish him well and hopefully can come back to play fir Lakers but even if he did , most likely he would not and should not play starter minutes. A much much better arrangement, for both lakers and Jeremy Lin’s development is to start him right now. Otherwise, it indicates lakers are just using Lin as a band aid to stop the bleeding this season. Such a short tern and near sighted thought.

        In addition, Jeremy Lin is a great fit with Kobe as of this season. He will be sharing the load of carrying the team and help Kobe to last longer without steal spotlight too much due to Lin’s personality , unlike someone who claims to wanting to be the next Kobe(huh? The next ball hog? J/K).
        ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Not sure if i was clear, but I understand Nash is out for the season. my theory is based on the idea that he could have possibly come back before his announcement. I never thought he would play starter minutes this season, but rather just be a starter.

          and of course I think lin is a better fit and better pg than any other pg’s on the team.

          • You were crystal clear to me about this. I understand everything you said 100%.

        • Well, I, of course, disagree with the strategy of the theory. That’s a different discussion. But I think Tina was just trying to guess what Scott was thinking and proposing a theory based on Scott’s thinking. So that’s what I agree with is Tina’s theory to explain Scott’s thinking.

          • Chirico

            Yes, it quite clear to me now. Tina. Thanks.

            It could be one of the possible reason which led to Price started over JLin.

            However, if that’s the case, I still consider it was a foolish decision. Jeremy Lin should be allowed to use this chance to play more with starters while BS is fully aware of the high probability that Nash may not be able to play starter minutes or play this season.

            This would be the ideal back plan at that point of time.

            If BS still can not figure this out in three weeks regarding to who should start between Price and Lin ( I know, I keep using three stoke rule, haha), then if I were Lakers management, I would fire BS.

  • erguy

    this is from my post on jeremylin.net.

    if you watch Lin’s post game after the kings loss, he looks completely stunned and lost. i think scott tore him a new one for the defense of mccollum on the last play. even though clearly reggie evans threw lin down, lin did not get up right away to get back on mccollum. clarkson should have switched on mccolum when lin went down.

    in scott’s post game he said he felt the Lin led lakers were playing scared, playing not to lose instead of playing to win in those last minutes.

    here’s the play

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/vide

    and here’s lin’s post game

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/vide

    scott’s post game

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/vide

    • I saw all of these things and heard all of the interviews, etc., but I don’t have the same interpretation as you. Doesn’t mean that I’m right, though.

      We’ll never know for sure, but I don’t think Scott tore Lin a new one for defense. I feel like you’ve been “McHaled” to use @drbrucehirsch’s term, which he coined this morning on Twitter with our conversation with @robinlundberg.

      Not every coach is an asshole and a piece of shit like McHale. Scott has said that he wants his players to play through mistakes, etc. And I think Scott was more referring to the rookies, etc. (not Lin) when he talked about playing scared. And I totally agree with Scott’s comments about “playing not to lose”. And I thought it was an astute observation by Scott. It’s one of the reasons why I like him as a coach, because he does seem smart.

      Those guys weren’t playing scared, but they were definitely playing not to lose. They felt they had a comfortable lead and were just cruising, trying to not lose the lead, rather than trying to WIN the game. That’s a mindset thing.

      Anyway, I have a lot to say about this, cause you just opened up a bunch of stuff for me to talk about, but I won’t, cause lack of time.

      Thanks for your comment, though. Appreciate it!

    • MrPingPong

      I re-watched the last 6 minutes of the game starting from when Lin came back in.

      Lin was sure aggressive, attacking the basket, drawing defenders and passing the ball to the open man. Unfortunately, the open man happened to be Sacre. Three times in a row Sacre got the ball from Lin and clunked! This reminds me of when Lin was with the Rockets and kept passing the ball to stone hand Asik. At least Asik was a great rim protector. Sacre, I don’t know what to think of him. Mitch keeps him around as some sort of comic relief, I think.

      And yes, Lin was clearly pushed off by Evans on that last play. I can only hope that Lin will get more calls going his way during the regular season.

      Lin sure did not look and sound happy at all in the postgame interview. Nobody wants to lose, even it’s a preseason game. He said all the right thing about preparing himself for the first RS game though: maintain the same aggressive mindset and get the body ready!

      Letzzz Goooo, JL17!

  • Chirico

    Yes, like you said , we will know in real time. I assume Price should recover in three weeks.

    JlIntel , here I just want to share another really good misguide thought that I found about why Lin belongs to 2nd unit. I think we’ve not considered the circumstance that Lin has been playing with two ball dominant guards. Some of these well-meaning people claimed that it best for Lin if he just leads the 2nd unit while this ball domanent player leads the 1st unit. So Lin , in this set up, can be free to do his thing.

    To me this looks like the perfect example of the not so well-meaning but insidious effort to bury JLINs bball career.

    Regardless how good Kobe was, he can not carry Lakers all by himself, meaning he can not and should not be the primary ball handler for the starting unit. We already know hero ball do not win MORE games as they appear on the surface.

    • Thanks, Chirico, but I did actually cover the “ball-dominant” theory in my “Thought Experiment” article: “Kobe is a ball-dominant guard, so it makes more sense for Lin to be with the second unit.”

      • With Lin, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. So there’s definitely plenty of seemingly well-meaning reasons to relegate Lin to the bench.

        • Chirico

          No problem. JLintel

          Good discussion!

  • Dr. Gary Teng

    To me, I am withholding my judgment about Scott’s wisdom and coaching ability and will give him the benefit of doubt for two more days.

    For the upcoming season opener of Lakers vs. (the rotten and rock-bottom) Rockets:

    1. If Price is perfectly healthy and Scott starts Lin — Hallelujah!

    2. If Price is anything but perfectly healthy and Scott starts Lin — Still can’t tell a sh-t about Scott’s heart.

    3. If Scott starts any John Doe but Lin — It’s deja vu all over again and I will give him hell!

    • Well, looks like it’s #2 so far, so we’ll have to see. Only time will tell. But at least time will DEFINITELY tell in this case.

      • Chirico

        Yes, Dr. Teng Nothing is for sure except His time is running out! I give him three weeks. After that, hit a Home run or strike out!

        • Dr. Gary Teng

          Dear Chirico,

          Good news: One thing is for sure now — Lin will start for the season opening night of Lakers vs. Rockets on this coming Tuesday.

          http://www.lakersnation.com/jeremy-lin-to-start-at-point-guard-opening-night-vs-rockets/2014/10/26/

          Lets have our fingers crossed for Lin and hope that Scott will keep on making the right decision.

          • Yeah, I saw this news, that’s why it’s still #2 at this point. Only time will tell if this can turn out to be #1, according to your scenario you laid out, Dr. Teng.

          • Chirico

            Thanks for the news, Dr. Teng.

  • In Coach Scott’s (latest interview: http://www.nba.com/lakers/vide… Scott appears to be back to his old self in being positive on Lin, again, so this “mind games” theory may be developing some momentum.

    In the interview, Scott clearly understands Lin and clearly wants Lin to be Lin. Says he wants Lin to “be the catalyst and the leader of the team on the offensive end.”

    • Chirico

      Sounds great to me. Now show us what you really mean. Learn from mistake.

    • To take this idea of the “mind games” theory a bit further…

      To me, if this “mind games” theory turns out to be true, then this actually means that Scott really believes strongly in Lin, more so than he did if he didn’t play the “mind games”. I know this sounds counter intuitive, but hear me out.

      Again, it’s debatable whether or not Scott’s mind games strategy is an effective one for Lin. So that’s not what I’m getting at here. That’s another discussion. For this, all that matters is that Scott thinks “mind games” is a good strategy, if he is using that strategy.

      So for Scott to play “mind games” with Lin, it tells me that he strongly believes in Lin and wants to push Lin. But, more importantly, that he wants Lin to play Lin’s aggressive game similar to what Lin did back in NYC. In Scott’s mind, these “mind games” will motivate Lin to play like he did back in NYC. Again, it’s debatable whether or not this is an effective strategy, but if Scott thinks it is, then that says he wants Lin to be Lin.

      I’m not saying that Scott wouldn’t feel this way if he wasn’t playing these mind games. But I just think if he did play these “mind games” then he feels this even stronger than he would if he didn’t. I know this sounds totally confusing. But I’m too lazy to lay this out more clearly.

      To me, if Scott is playing these “mind games”, he’s essentially pushing Lin to play very aggressively, even with Kobe on the court. If he didn’t play these “mind games” then it’s kind of saying that he’s happy with where Lin is at, because he doesn’t want Lin to take the ball away from Kobe. Just wants Lin to play within himself. This is a very nuanced point, so I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of breaking it down. May re-visit this later in a post.

      • Seriously?

        It seems to me that what most Lin/Laker fans miss is that Scott is an ‘Old School’ coach and one of the tenets of that ‘Old School’ philosophy is to tell someone, that has the potential to do well, that they can’t.

        I don’t know Lin personally but from what I’ve read, he falls into that category of people that once you tell they can’t do something, they will do their damnest to prove you wrong.

        That’s all that’s going on here IMO.

        • Yep. That’s why I proposed this alternative explanation. In time we will all know for sure what’s going on. It’s all speculation at this point.

          Thanks for visiting here. I really appreciate it!

  • Bob space

    Occam’s razor. Scott said he started price because Lin was coming off of injury. He doesn’t strike me as dumb, manipulative, or a liar so at this point I’ll take him at his word. I could be wrong and he definitely could be mchale’d but at this point I’ll just go off what we know..

    Also…his teammates magic, worthy have both said Lin should be starter. LA media (ESPN 710) want him to be starter. 90% of laker fans want him to be starter. Yeah I’ll bet money that Lin will be the starter.

    • Now, do I look like the Occam’s Razor type? Ha ha. Just kidding.

      Yeah, only time will tell. In the meantime, it’s fun to speculate. At least for me.

      I don’t really see playing “mind games” as being manipulative or liar per se if you’re a coach. Just another tool in your tool belt to motivate players.

      • bob space

        haha meant no disrespect. it certainly is possible he is playing mind games. I personally just go with something simple in this situation.

        • Oh. I was just trying to make a joke. But now I have to explain it, so it’s not gonna be any funny (not that it was, to begin with). Haha.

          Anyway, my attempt at humor is to say that, since I view myself to be a complex human being, I’m probably not the type that would buy into Occam’s Razor. But I was just kidding. Occam’s Razor is definitely very valid. We’ll just have to see. I hope it’s the “mind games” thing, though, because that would be positive for Lin. If it’s Occam’s Razor, then we maybe headed for something similar to Houston, but still better.

  • MrPingPong

    I think BS is playing Jedi mind game on McHale by repeating the same dumb thing McHale said last season to the press. BS is just making fun of McHale, folks! It’s Showtime 2! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ha ha! Yep. Scott’s just making fun of McHale to psych McHale out for their Tuesday meeting. You figured it out, MrPingPong!

  • RL

    Well, firstly, I wanted to say that compared to jeremylin.net, folks here seem to have more rational and productive discussions. It’s refreshing!!

    I personally don’t quite buy into this theory of Byron playing mind games. Instead, I kinda think Bryon simply has doubts about Jeremy being starter material. However, I certainly hope I am wrong and you are right; Jeremy needs a coach that has faith in him.

    To me, Scott, just like McHale, seems like a straight shooter who will call it the way he sees it. Mind games seem something more associated with folks like Phil Jackson or even Kobe. If there is any truth to this hypothesis, I would not be surprised if Kobe had a hand in it. Kobe thrives on having a chip on his shoulder; and it’s a common tenancy for folks to project the way they see the world onto others. I can kinda see Kobe discussing with Bryon and suggesting Bryon to do this …. That’s not to say I believe this alternative hypothesis; it just seem more believable than the original one. Like I mentioned, I just don’t think Bryon really believes in Jeremy just yet. There are a few reasons that leads me to think this way.

    Firstly, I feel Jeremy does not give people a strong positive perception. By that, I mean he does not give perception of being confident or fearless; he does not give perception that he plays good defense. People praise his penetration to the hoop, but that’s about it. In reality, so many of us who watch every one of his games notice he is actually a good defender, a good floor general, and has great basketball IQ,. Whether he feels confident himself or not, I cannot tell. But I dare say most commentators, bloggers and coaches would probably not say Jeremy exudes confidence. He seems overly burdened by his own criticism much of the time.

    Secondly, I feel Jeremy’s mistakes tend to be more of the egregious kind, those that coaches tend to remember, those coaches tend to hate (e.g. driving into a crowd without a plan, jumping in the air with no one to pass to… etc). I recently came across a extremely interesting Ted talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgRlrBl-7Yg&list=PL4LXRA_D0I2tNKJNAOsVO-VYJrUFzmDqz&index=9), in which a Nobel laureate essentially explain how people tend to remember things by the highlights/endings, and those memory drive their decisions. So what would Bryon remember about Lin’s performance in the Sacramento game? Lin’s missed free throw comes first to mind. Oh yea, Lin also jumped in the air with no place to go and threw a bad pass, AGAIN. You know, the one that led to Wayne’s concussion!! Of course, Lin also had strong drives to the basket, played rather good defense, and orchestrated the team nicely with several great assists … but those all seem like a blur. If I didn’t re-watched the game on my DVR, I can’t say that I would remember many of his good plays. Let’s see, what do I remember about the Portland pre-season game? He was solid except I recall being very pissed when he had dumb turnovers to begin each half. What about Lin’s playoff performance last year? I know he had a couple good games but don’t remember much about what he did well .. I sure recall he had the ball knocked out of his hands in the last seconds of the 4th game, leading to a Portland 3 to push the game to over-time, leading to a Houston loss …. My point is, even though Jeremy doesn’t necessary have more TO than other guards, he has worse ones. Those TO that tends to linger in people’s minds.

    Thirdly, with the stereotype that Asian-American are less athletic, I feel Jeremy has to do more than typical NBA players to earn the same amount of respect, but can loose the respect more easily. This is not me complaining about racial prejudice; rather, I think it’s the simple fact that such stereotype exist and it’s human nature to go along with stereotypes subconsciously rather than fight it consciously.

    I’ve watched pretty much every game Lin played in since Linsanity. Each time I record the game on my DVR, and often re-play each of his good plays at least once. Like many Lin fans, I am very vested in his game, really really want him to do well, and relish in his moments of success. It’s thru such examination, and some faith, that I believe Lin can be great and certainly worthy of starting. However, I am not sure coach Scott shares the same faith in Lin as we do.

    • Thank you so much for your very thoughtful and insightful comment, RL! Thanks also for noticing that the comments here are more productive than elsewhere. I’m also very very happy about this and I try, as much as I can, to keep it that way. I’m all for disagreements and I think it’s healthy, as long as we do it in a respectful manner.

      I, myself, am not sold on this “mind games” theory, even though I proposed it. Just threw it out there to see what people think.

      You have so many great insights in this comment, insights that I wholeheartedly agree with. So there’s not much more I can say, except, I’d love to see you here again. Not only that, I’d love it if you would be interested in writing articles on here sometime. I have an open invitation for anyone to write articles on here. Here’s the link: http://www.jeremylintel.com/2014/04/02/jeremylintel-com-where-jeremy-lin-fans-truly-get-a-voice/

      • RL

        Thanks. I don’t post much due to the lack of time. Will post when I can. Definitely will try to read this site more often.

    • RL, I thought I’d point out that in the the game vs. Rockets last night, Lin had made a lot of “egregious” mistakes, as you so astutely pointed out in your comments. Mistakes that would linger in a coach’s mind.

  • ashley

    I have glanced over the comments above and disagree with both “Nash-might-return” and “mind-game” theories because they’re simply so far-fetched. I think despite Scott’s recognition of Lin’s strengths, he still favors Price and even said something like “Since Price was injured and may not come back 100%, I’ll probably go with Jeremy,” which you may hear through the following link:
    http://jlinnation.com/forum/jeremy-lin/game-1-lakers-vs-rockets-tues-oct-28th/#p132

    So even though Jeremy jokingly said he’s staring because he’s healthy, he spoke the hurtful truth. We’ve been wondering why–was Scott being stupid, biased, or racist? One thing I’m sure is he’s quite obstinate and favors the so called “veterans.” Or like RL said, he doesn’t fully believe in Jeremy yet, and that might have to do with the “not-so-positive” perceptions people have about Jeremy.

    But here I want to point out that Jeremy’s good plays tremendously outnumbered his blunders, and those who use those blunders to form their perceptions of Lin are being unfair or even biased, which has been an egregious trait of Lin haters. Tell me, which superstars haven’t made mistakes in games? And why Lin haters only singled him out while ignoring those superstars? Maybe some would say Lin tends to make more or his mistakes seem worse like the one in the 4th playoff game against Portland? But that’s because he was the most tenacious player on the team–he chased his opponent around, he went after every loose ball, he hustled and got rebounds–and that’s what happened in that game! Because he played the hardest, he unfortunately blundered and got the blame! It’s like “the more you do, the more wrong you get!” But I believe Lin fans always know better. Perceptions could be tricky when it comes to Jeremy. To me, he’s so unique that stands out in every game when he plays his brand of basketball, and so do his poor plays, which can be unfairly used against him.

    I’ve written this post in a hurry–got to go to work–and am sorry about the lengthy text. For now, I just hope even the Lakers can’t win games, Lin will still show his best and hand out better stats than the previous two seasons.

    • Hey ashley,

      I definitely go back and forth with the “mind games” theory. One the one hand it does piece everything together well for me. But on the other hand, it just seems far fetched that a coach would do something like that). So in this sense it does seem far fetched to me, as well.

      However, if you do believe in the “mind games” theory, then Scott still favoring price goes right along with the “mind sets” theory. Scott is going to keep that chip on Lin’s shoulder as much as possible–certainly at this stage of the game for sure. So Scott’s comments about Lin starting because Price is injured doesn’t take away from the “mind games” theory.

      But, of course, Occamโ€™s Razor says, it is what it looks like. If that’s the case, then, yeah, it’s very concerning. However, I have no doubt that things won’t be as worse as in Houston. Because Scott does appear to let Lin do his thing. At least that was the case vs. Kings. We’ll see how it plays out when Lin plays with Kobe.

      For me, I’m just going to wait and see how it all shakes out and reserve judgement for now. It’ll all answer itself in time, so there’s no need to really anticipate what’s going to happen, because it’ll all be clear soon enough–especially once Nick Young returns. If you were to put a deadline on things, than that would be the deadline for me.

      As for your other comments, I hear you on them, as well. That’s just the stuff that Lin’s been dealing with his whole life. It’s just the way it is. Hopefully, it makes him even that much tougher. Of course, it would be great if he didn’t have to deal with them in the first place.

    • MrPingPong

      Hello Ashley! So you don’t buy my version of mind game theory either? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a great day at work, wherever you are on this WEB!

      • ashley

        Haha, sorry, Mr. PingPong. I don’t think Bryon would think Jeremy needs a mind game to be motivated. I doubt he’s that smart or tricky, not to mention It could be risky for himself as well as for Jeremy. So far, he’s already been doubted due to his favor to Price–not so smart, is he?

  • MrPingPong

    Switching topic somewhat here, if you have some time to burn before the much anticipated first regular season game, check out the links from post #80 on this page:

    http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=40831669#p40831669

    You get to relive the birth of Linsanity from the point of view of Knicks fans on Realgm. At that point in time, there were obviously many many Lin doubters. One Knicks fan by the moniker ITGM posted the following (see post #10):

    http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=30269189#p30269189

    After a few Linsanity games, he became a Lin convert and made a Youtube video to praise Lin. (I can’t seem to locate that video).

    The moral of the story is: Lin doubters beware, Linsanity is contagious, resistance is futile!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for allowing me to take a walk down memory lane with your usual investigative journalism, MrPingPong!

      One of the posters on the game thread vs. THAT Linsanity Lakers game predicted career highs for Lin before the game #70 here: http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1159487&start=60

      Always awesome to see people being open-minded enough to completely change their mind about something.

      Yes, join us, Doubters. Be on the right side of history! Haha.

    • The reactions to Lin’s spin move on Fisher is pretty awesome to re-live starting here: http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1159487&start=1140

      It goes on for pages…some are really hilarious.

    • Here’s a pretty interesting nugget from the Linsanity Lakers game thread: http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1159487&start=1820

      Post #1833 by your ITGM guy.

      @AlexKennedyNBA
      Alex Kennedy
      Immediately after Magic-Hawks game ends, ATL players were asking for Jeremy Lin updates. They all started yelling when told he has 22 and 5.

      @AlexKennedyNBA
      Alex Kennedy
      Hawks players are glued to the TV in the locker room, watching Jeremy Lin.

    • And here are the reactions for the three Lin calmly nailed over Gasol. Starts: http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1159487&start=2220

      And goes on for pages.

      • I love this reaction:

        “yellow mamba sign…….racist…but whatever lets go lin!”

      • And this one: “Man crush. All homo. Don’t even care.”

    • I went through the game thread for the Linsanity game vs. Lakers. And it feels even more unbelievable that Lin single-handedly beat Kobe/Gasol/Bynum. He really did it by himself, by making his teammates look as good as they possibly could. Although there were plenty of comments complaining about basically every Knick, except Lin. That team he played with really sucked, but Lin was able to make something out of nothing much. Still can’t believe he beat the Lakers and played the way he did on that game. A lot of posters kept asking “is this real life?” Linsanity definitely felt like a movie.

      Lakers fans could be in for a great time this season if Lin is allowed to play his game, start and play big minutes. Hollywood. How appropriate. Lin’s game is made for this town!

  • pip

    I certainly subscribe to the theory that there are some mind games being played here to motivate Lin. History suggests lots of coaches play mind games. Pop used to yell at Parker a lot to toughen him up. He yelled at Duncan to set an example for the other players. Duncan was smart enough to recognise this and to his credit he took no offense. Coaches put up bulletin board material to motivate their players. Jordan punched Kerr in the face and when Kerr did not back down Jordan gained new respect for his mental toughness. I believe Scott knows that Lin’s mental makeup is tough enough to treat him this way to get the best out of him. The list goes on and on.

    It has been stated many times Lin does not play his best unless the game is on the line. There was an article about the Harvard recruiter who watched Lin the first time and his team was cruising and Lin was a mess. The second time Lin’s team played a much tougher opponent and Lin really shined. So Scott is well aware of the buttons he needs to push to get the best from Lin.

    Lin has shown he does not shy away from criticism and plays better when he is empowered. With the amount of time he has had the ball in his hands, despite being only a back up, that Scott is empowering him. Kobe being in his ear always, is empowering him.

    I think McHale tried the same strategy but the reason he failed was he did not follow it up with the empowerment. Instead he vacillated and jerked him around. As a result Lin became confused on his role. I do think Scott is smarter in this regard.

    Everything that I see points to Lin as starter irregardless of Price’s injury. I cannot accept that Scott would not see something so obvious. So that is why the mental games theory is so attractive. This and the fact that Houston probably doesn’t know who to plan for, well now they do.

    • I’m happy to see this comment, pip. I really hope you’re right, because I really hope this “mind games” theory is the correct assessment of Scott’s behavior. If it is, then it is actually a big positive for Lin fans, as I went over in a previous comment. It’s actually more positive if Scott is playing “mind games” with Lin than if he wasn’t. Again, I explained this in a previous comment.

      As for McHale, I’ll have to respecfully strongly disagree with you that McHale had the same strategy. McHale has been a Lin doubter from the get-go. I go over this in detail here if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPStYh4Zxj8

      Unlike McHale, I don’t get the sense that Scott is a Lin doubter at all, except for very recent comments. So that’s why, for me, the “mind games” theory makes the puzzle pieces fit better than the “Occam’s Razor” theory. Thanks for your comment!

  • MrPingPong

    Hello (crazy) Lin fans/non-fans, just making conversation here…

    It’s the season’s premiere for Showtime 2.0 and another chapter of The Jeremy Lin Story, folks. I ventured over the DreamShake to see what they have to say about tonight’s game and found a warning to Lakers fans about LOFs in the form of a flow chart. For some reason, the hate still runs deep over there. Sad story!

    On the Lakers side, SilverscreenAndRoll in previewing tonight’s game only mentions Lin once as part of the trade made with the Rockets. The focus is obviously on Kobe and his health. The Rockets are 100% healthy and a better team on paper with two superstars going against one aging and coming-back-from-injuries Kobe Bryant. For that reason, realistic Lakers fans on various websites are quite reserved about their team’s chance tonight.

    Well, Lakers fans, don’t forget we’ve got Lin this time. This Lin is two seasons better than the one that lit up the Lakers in New York some two years ago. Kobe and Lin are NBA players of the highest BB IQ. They will undoubtedly find ways to work together, share the load, carry the team and win! We saw glimpse of that in the preseason Sun’s game, didn’t we?

    Kobe and Lin will boss! Lakers will upset the Rockets tonight! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I wouldn’t consider beating the Rockets upsetting, MrPingPong. Haha.

      In all seriousness, if the trio of Kobe/Lin/Davis perform to their potential, Lakers will win easily. I haven’t paid attention to the Rockets, so admittedly, I might be mis-informed, but I just have no confidence in what they can do due to McHale. I’m pretty sure they’ll miss the playoffs, just based on that alone! I also don’t see Harden as a superstar who is about the team (and winning), which is key to winning. He’s all about himself and that’s detrimental to winning.

      Since I’ve been “McHaled,” I can’t even get myself to see ANYTHING Rockets-related, so I won’t venture onto any KluKlutchFans-type sites. They’re all the same over there. Haha.

      It’ll even be difficult for me to watch Rockets players and their jersey in tonight’s game–especially Ball Hargen and McFale! That’s how much I’ve been “McHaled” (hm…maybe we should change it to “McFaled”. I still like “McHaled”, but either way). That whole organization, some of their players, their media, KluKlutch fan sites, and most of their fans make me want to vomit.

      Lin needs to have a big night in order to continue to be competitive for the starting spot. Price, of course, could suck and would still be considered for the starting spot. But Lin has to play at an all-star level to keep his starting spot. And he has to do so, while Price is still injured, so Scott will have a lot of pressure to keep Lin as the starter. So these next few games will be critical for Lin.

      • MrPingPong

        Of course, beating the Rockets is not upsetting, Philosopher! ๐Ÿ™‚

        I know what you mean though! I agree with you about the Kobe/Lin/Davis trio. Actually Lin will make Wes and Boozer look good too. Lin will facilitate, make plays and help his teammates perform up to their potential, I’m sure.

        Let the mind game begins, shall we say? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Yep. Let the mind games begin. Haha, MrPingPong!

  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans, just making conversation here…

    Terrible game for the Lakers last night… I feel so bad for Randle. The replay seems to show his leg was already wobbling as he jumped up. Just awful. Randle is young, his bone will heal fast, and he will be fine, I am sure.

    Back to the game, Lin did not play well. I think his nerves got to him. He deferred too much to Kobe in the first half. The Lin/Davis show never got a chance to take off last night. Just a bad game by Lin’s standard.

    OK, let’s move on to the next game, which is tonight. Let’s see if coach BS makes any adjustment to the line up. Davis to start in place of Hill may be? But I got the nagging feeling that BS will start Price over Lin. I hope I’m wrong.

    Letzzz Gooo JL17!

    • Ed

      Yes, feeling sad for Julius. I hope it’s not too serious, but you never know. Ever since Yao’s for me shocking career ending injury, I won’t believe any predictions unless the doctor says he can play again. Likewise with Nash. Did Yao’s doctor say he cannot play anymore? or were there other considerations, does anyone know?

      I thought Lin played like average Lin. It’s hard to say he played bad because it looked like he was giving it his 100%. I don’t think you cannot but defer to Kobe, or start a rebellion in the first game strategically, because, as any sensei will tell you, you are not ready. Lin is not ready because he does not have the empty mind flow-zone vision. Also, he has to be more of an alpha-male dick that characterize leaders. Somehow I feel it will do him good with a few technical fouls, some shoving and trash talking with Stephen Curry, maybe one ejection, and a date with a Hollywood skank. None of this holy ghost business. You hear me, LIN?

      • MrPingPong

        I’m not sure if Lin hear you, but I sure do hear you, Ed. And I agree with you about this “empty mind” concept. I did discuss it a long time ago on this blog. Japanese martial art calls it “mushin” ( ็„กๅฟƒ). Great stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

        If Lin is to get into shoving match with somebody, he should pick somebody twice his size to make it worth the technical. I would not touch Lin’s holy ghost business though. I’m not a religious person and make it a rule not to discuss religion and politics with friends. One can easily lose friends that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Dunno anything about Yao’s injuries. I remain optimistic about Randall though. He must find ways to be optimistic about his full recovery. The mind moves the body, as often said in the martial art world.