Awful Coaching by Clifford and Iso Ball Prevented Jeremy Lin from Getting the “W” vs. Knicks

Don’t have much time to write, but the more I see of coach Cliff, the less I’m impressed. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still better than the jokers that Lin has dealt with, but he’s far from what I had expected, based on the pre-season, etc. Also, he knows less about Lin’s game than Jeremy Lin lead us to believe when Lin signed with the Hornets and said that Cliff understood his game.

What is so frustrating to watch regular season game after regular season game is that Lin is not allowed to handle the ball at all when Kemba is on the floor. In the pre-season, this was not the case and because of that in the pre-season, the unit of Kemba/Lin/Batum was lethal. But Cliff made sure to put an end to that in the regular season, when he designated Kemba as THE floor general, which is insane, because Lin is a much better floor general. Last season, Lin managed to average 4.6 assists playing only 25.8 minutes on a garbage team in full tank mode, while Kemba averaged 5.1 assists in 34.2 minutes. The last time Lin averaged over 30 minutes was his first season in Houston, playing alongside a very ball-dominant guard, James Harden. Lin averaged 6.1 assists in 32.2 minutes. Kemba was THE floor general last season (and still is this season) and ONLY managed 5.1 assists. For those who argue that Kemba didn’t have very talented teammates last season, he’s averaging even fewer assists this season with 4.9 in eleven games. Lin was playing off-guard in Houston and managed to average more assists in less time then Kemba, who was THE floor general for the Hornets.

Any way you cut it, Lin is a better floor general then Kemba and the Hornets would be a MUCH better team if Lin is allowed to be the floor general. AT THE VERY LEAST, Lin should be a combo-guard when Kemba and Lin on the floor together. That’s what they did in pre-season and it worked out very well. The team looked great with the unit of Kemba/Lin/Batum on the floor. But that unit hasn’t looked good since the regular season kicked off and Cliff took the ball out of Lin’s hands and made Kemba THE floor general. It’s insane how little coaches know when it’s their entire damn job to know. It boggles my mind all the time. If I had all the time to devote to this coaching shit, I wouldn’t do such a lousy job. Coaches fuck up on the simplest things. They can blame it on politics or what not, but if they want to win games, they should figure out a way to do so. Instead, they ignore some of the most basic things.

I understand that politics prevents you from starting Lin over Kemba, even though that’s the right thing to do if you want to win games. But fine. I get that. I’m not blinded to the politics that goes on everywhere. But if you’re not gong to start Lin, then when Lin checks into the game, you should have Lin be THE floor general and have Kemba play off ball if they’re on the floor together in the first half. Why make Lin play off ball during the limited time that Lin gets to see the floor? This is why I don’t exonerate Cliff. If Cliff fully understood Lin’s game, then he would at least let Lin be the floor general when Lin checks in the game at the end of first quarters. Lin’s minutes on the floor are already limited due to politics, why exacerbate it by forcing Lin to play off-ball right when he checks in? Why even continue to keep Kemba on the floor when Lin checks in for the first time? It’s so unnecessary to have Kemba play the entire first quarter, when you got Lin with a fresh pair of legs to run the floor. Lin, who is actually a better floor general than Kemba. That part is on Cliff, not politics. And it shows me that Cliff doesn’t have a good grasp of Lin’s game.

In crunch time, if Kemba and Lin are on the floor together, then you have the luxury of having two ball handlers.Why not capitalize on that luxury and let both Kemba and Lin play combo guard so that the defense is constantly surprised about who to key in on? That seems so basic to me and the fact that coaches can’t figure that elementary shit out disappoints the hell out of me. It’s your damn job. It’s what you devote most of your waking hours to and you can’t figure it out? Instead, you stick Lin in the corner where the defense can completely ignore him, because they know that none of his teammates are ever going to pass it to him in the corner. It’s insane how you can stick a guy in a corner, who the opponent is really worried about and who can carve up the defense like few can. You’ve essentially done all the work for your opponents. And you call that coaching? It’s crazy to me how all coaches, but a few, in the NBA are complete morons!

For those who say that Lin needs to move to move more off-ball. The problem is that Lin has to maintain spacing on the floor. Usually, when a player is stuck in the corner, they are there primarily to space out the floor. So if that player moves, it disrupts the floor spacing. So there’s a very delicate balance you have to make between moving and staying put to maintain spacing on the floor. Now, there are occasions when Lin should be moving more off-ball, but there actually aren’t that many opportunities to move off-ball when you’re stuck in the corner. You have your other teammate sort of boxing you in there, because if you try to move out of the corner, then the spacing between you and your teammate, who has you kind of boxed in, gets all scrunched up.

I think what Lin should do is demand to take the ball down the floor every now and then during crunch time or right when Kemba passes half-court, Lin should move to the top of the arc to demand the ball. But that’s also a tough call, because if you do that, you are likely going against your coach who has called a play that likely doesn’t include you, because you’re stuck in the corner. All this being said, I do think Lin defers to Batum and Kemba more than he needs to. Lin needs to stop thinking about who SHOULD get the ball and just play ball. I think Lin does think too much about when he should and shouldn’t have the ball. I don’t blame him, though, because in his previous teams, he would get benched if he didn’t defer. So I think Lin still carries that with him to some degree. So Lin somehow needs to move past that, because Batum and Kemba are definitely not at the level of being superstars that you need to defer to. So Lin needs to let go of that feeling that he needs to defer to them in crunch time.

I keep saying and I will continue to say that if Lin played 34+ minutes and is allowed to be THE floor general, the Hornets would be competing for the 5th spot, rather than struggling to get the 8th spot. Even if you’re not a Lin fan, I think you have to admit that if Lin had played 34+ minutes and been allowed to be THE floor general, the Hornets would have won tonight’s game vs. the Knicks. So tonight’s game is just one clear example of many games that the Hornets WOULD HAVE WON if they played Lin the right way. This is why Hornets could be competing for the 5th spot if they maximize their potential and play Jeremy Lin 34+ minutes the right way. I will continue to bring this up, because this is a really hard concept to grasp, since I’m trying to prove something that will never happen.

After all that talk and all that optimism, Lin is still not in a good situation if things continue trending the way they have been for Lin in the Hornets. Lin is going to likely average the fewest minutes since Linsanity and is still forced to play off-ball way way more than he should be to the detriment of team ball and team wins.

About JLintel

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  • Ace Pagoda

    JL made his mark in the NBA as a PG. Since then, including Charlotte, he is not allowed to play PG! Amazing. K Walker played 38 minutes in this game as a PG and had 1 (one) assist. He is not a PG, he is a SG who has the ball in his hands all the time. I did not see the game so cannot comment knowledgeably about what transpired but I do study the stats. KW in 38 minutes was also -17 in +/-. This means the PG was not doing his job. If there is one thing that JL does very well is make his teammates better. I would agree with what you said about when KW and JL are on the floor together- let them both be combo guards. Maybe if JL can get some time against BKLN this will serve as an audition. A better way to go would be to start JL as PG and JLamb as shooting guard and let KW and Batum be the bench and see if that is a better matchup in games.

    • To me, the best starting lineup is clearly Lin at PG, Lamb at SG, Batum at SF, Williams at PF. For center, I can live with either Zeller or Big Al. Doesn’t matter to me. Zeller and Big Al bring completely different things to the table and are both good in their own way.

      If politics wasn’t involved, that’s the starting lineup for the Hornets and that starting lineup would win a lot of games.

      In tonight’s game, Lin had it going on from the get-go. The Hornets had their biggest lead in the middle of the 2nd quarter because of Lin and the bench. Then Cliff brought back the starters. He did keep Lin in there for the entire 2nd quarter, but it was pretty worthless, because Kemba was THE floor general at that time and Knicks came back to go down only by 2 at the half. Thing continue trending down as Lin was on the floor, but didn’t get to handle the ball at all in the 2nd half, because he was on the floor with Kemba, who played almost the entire second half. Even though Lin had 28 minutes, he really only had like 6 minutes of handling the ball or something crazy like that. The entire time Lin was on the floor, it was for defensive reasons. Lin didn’t participate in the offense in the second half, because he barely got to touch the ball. That’s what resulted in the loss.

    • old & in the way

      Yes, indeed. Kemba is not the selfless floor leader that makes the players around him better. But Jeremy Lin is. Charlotte is as clueless as the rest of Jeremy’s NBA teams have been. There is no excuse for Jeremy’s usage and utilization on this Hornets team other than sheer incompetence and corruption. The corruption is manifested as a total lack of integrity to the basics of playing basketball. Jeremy needs to demand a trade (which he will never do) and try to find a team that has a commitment to winning which is something that is totally absent in Charlotte. This team will never win with Clifford, Jordan and Cho making decisions. Never.

  • MrPingPong

    Cliff is a borderline Lin doubter. That’s all I can say. Sad story.

    • Yep. It’s looking like that to me so far. I don’t know what Cliff said to Lin that made Lin feel so confident that Cliff understood Lin’s game. To me, either Cliff lied to Lin or there was some miscommunication going no between Lin and Cliff in the off-season. Clearly, Cliff is not acting like he understands Lin’s game. This is really surprising to me, because I thought the D’Antoni connection and the Silas connection would be enough for Lin to be played the right way. But Lin is still horrendously misused and under-utilized. Not much has changed.

    • old & in the way

      In my view, my friend, Clifford has burst way past any borders that may have once existed. He is about as big as doubter as it is possible to find. And apparently as big a hypocrite based on Jeremy’s impressions regarding his “understanding my game.” Clifford understands nothing but iso ball and Walker is an even less accomplished iso-baller than was Harden. To me this is yet another damn bleak situation in which Jeremy finds himself. Charlotte is a “no-go.” Too bad he can’t “unsign” that contract. He will never learn how good he can be on this team. No borderlines in sight from my perspective.

  • pistolpete

    As great of a scorer as Allen Iverson was Philadelphia never got past the second round in the playoffs with him as PG. The reason for this is that nobody else touched the ball and they stood around watching him going ISO. However in the 2000-2001 season coach Larry Brown made Eric Snow the PG and Iverson the SG and they made it to the NBA finals. Kemba tonight reminded me of AI and even though he had a good game statistically (except for assists) he killed ball movement and it showed at the end of the game especially. Anyhow coach Cliff must move Lin to PG and Kemba to SG if they are to have a chance to make and advance in the playoffs.

    • Excellent point, pistolpete. Unfortunately, it appears that most NBA coaches are pretty dense.

      Interesting you mention AI. MJ compares Kemba to AI so, unfortunately, as long as Kemba is on this team, Hornets aren’t going to maximize their potential. I don’t want to be mean to Kemba, because I like him as a person, but Kemba really belongs on the bench on this team. The starters should be Lin and Lamb. Unfortunately, that type of truth is way too radical for the very conventional world of the NBA full of people who lack perception.

      • old & in the way

        Wow…Michael Jordan actually compared Kemba Walker to Allen Iverson? AI was never one of my favorite players for the very basic reason that I considered him to be a selfish, ball-hogging individual. But he was much better than Kemba Walker that is for sure. Kemba Walker may be a pauper’s AI but that is about it and even that is a hell of a stretch. One of the greatest players of all time, MJ, has a miniscule basketball I.Q.!! How can this be?

  • MrPingPong
    • old & in the way

      A few years too late indeed. But Houston will never win anything playing iso ball with James Harden no matter who the coach is. Houston had a chance four years ago to make Lin their floor general but made a big mistake in choosing Harden. McHale is no more responsible for this than fat Morey. FM should have fired himself along with McShithead. They are both incompetent fools. So, too, it seems are Charlotte’s FO and coaching staff.

    • Ace Pagoda

      James Harden is toxic to basketball. He is a flashy “star” in the celebrity mode popular amongst the elite owners of today’s sports teams. That he is now connected to the equally toxic Kardashians ups the toxicity dynamic. Kevin McHale is not a good coach nor was he ever, but that can be said about most head coaches in the NBA, because they reflect ownership, not good basketball and you cannot fire ownership. Ditto B. Scott in LA and the Busses. Even Kobe has been muzzled. Do you remember when JL was with the Lakers he and Kobe seemed to be building a bond, presumably built on basketball. Then a short time later that bond disappeared and the result was the 2015 Lakers season, now carrying over into 2016. JL was a sliver of basketball light that was allowed to shine by MDA and it seems like a lot is being done to dim that light while not losing the revenues represented by China. Professional sports used to be the last bastion of merit being rewarded but incredibly excellence is once again dimmed by the stupidity known as political correctness. Mike Jordan must have forgotten his basketball roots and grown new roots as an elite owner because he has adopted the same self servicing mentality, gotten fat and lazy sucking on a fat cigar like a tycoon. I think Coach Clifford has a brain and a basketball mind and he was probably truthful with JL but he has been shackled by the “association”. If this continues throughout the season without JL even being given a chance, then all I have said will have been confirmed. We have basketball socialism

      • old & in the way

        Dear Ace:

        The problem is not socialism but capitalism. Everything in the NBA is about profit and making as much money as possible. If the wealth were shared more there would be more honesty and less corruption. I agree with your premises but not your conclusion. The NBA has never seen socialism and never will. Socialism would open the doors for people like Jeremy Lin and not close them. We can agree to disagree on this point. America only practices socialism for the rich. The rest of us can eat shit. Okay…the NBA is very rich but it is capitalistic nevertheless and based entirely on insane profitability. A star system is a by-product of capitalist values. Socialist values would say spread the wealth and benefits around to as many as possible not as few. Right?

        • Ace Pagoda

          Will agree to disagree and not turn Mr. Jlintel’s forum political.

          • old & in the way

            I agree, thank you.

  • Ace Pagoda

    News flash! Just read the Bleacher Report re the firing of McHale. It said the coaches considered for the Houston job includes Thibs, JVG and…Steve Clifford! Does MJ have MDA phone on speed dial?

    • Sucks that McHale got fired, because I was hoping that McHale/Morey/Harden would stay together forever. They all deserve one another. In a lot of ways, Lin has been so unlucky every since Linsanity. He’s played for the WORST coaches in the NBA and played for the WORST teammates in the NBA. And when Lin was with Houston, they didn’t think McHale’s awful “coaching” warranted firing him, yet, now all of a sudden they fire him right at the beginning of the season. Too bad they realized McHale’s incompetence way too late. Man, most NBA owners are really dumb at evaluating talent. It still baffles me how incompetent most in the NBA are.

      Interesting that Clifford is being considered. I think he has gained respect from a lot of NBA owners. There could be a very good chance that MDA comes to Hornets if Steve leaves if Hornets Front Office want to embrace the New Look Hornets. We’ll see. I still don’t expect MDA to start Lin over Kemba, though. But, hopefully, MDA will allow Lin to play combo guard when Lin is on the floor with Kemba. MDA will still be handcuffed by the owners. The problem with the Hornets is MJ’s favoritism of Kemba. As long as that continues, Hornets won’t be a contender, because Kemba is simply not someone you build a team around. He’s a scorer in a PG’s frame. Those types of players, to me, are problematic. He’s a PG simply because he’s too short to be a SG.

      • MrPingPong

        ‘Didn’t know you are into the McHale/Morey/Harden menage a trois and want them to last and live happily ever after, kinky Philosopher! 😉

      • pistolpete

        I love it philosopher. Actually they had to make way for the threesome of Morey, Harden and Chloe. 🙂

        • Thanks, pistoplpete, now I have a horrifying image in my head that I can’t get out.

      • old & in the way

        What is your source for Walker being a Jordan favorite? Did Michael Jordan actually say this? If he did I do not understand how he could be such a bad judge of talent. I guess there is zero correlation between being a great player and being a great own/GM. Elgin Baylor comes to mind. For you youngsters he was a great player in the 50’s and 60’s and later went on to infamy as the long time GM for the Clippers during decades of terrible teams. How can Michael Jordan think Walker is a good player to build a franchise around? How can he be so lacking in basketball insights from an ownership perspective? It is very puzzling to me. As a player I would say Walker is much closer to being an anti-Michael Jordan than a team leader. You would think that as perhaps the best back court player ever Michael Jordan could see the almost obvious…or at least what is obvious to me and many others. Go figure. I can’t.

        • I’ve just seen hardcore Hornets fans comment about how Walker is MJ’s boy. MJ also compares Walker to AI in a complimentary manner.So no official source, since I don’t think Jordan would want to get any official word out about who his favorite players are. But I guess if you follow the Hornets, then that is something that is accepted as fact by Hornets fans, I guess just from the way Kemba is treated.

          I still don’t really know what Clifford’s true intentions are, since I think he has to please the FO, being a contract year for him. So it’s not always easy to tell which decisions he makes is because he wants to make them or if it’s to please the FO. I still don’t know if Clifford is a fan of Kemba or not. He sure plays Kemba a lot, but not sure if that’s him pleasing the FO or not. It’s probably something we’ll never know, since that’s all behind the scenes stuff.

      • old & in the way

        Absolutely!!!! Woodson, McHale, Scott, Clifford, Anthony, Harden, Howard, Bryant and…well, I wouldn’t put Walker in this group but he is hardly ideal. Is it just Jeremy Lin’s luck or are there other players in the NBA who have had fates this cursed and I am just unaware of it? I can’t think of anyone else but I could easily be forgetting about someone else. Jeremy’s journey so far has been unbelievable. Bumpy, bumpy, bumpy.

      • Ace Pagoda

        Then MDA will not come to the Hornets because Mike Jordan does not get this style of basketball. The Hornets have a lot of pieces in place that MDA could transform into exciting, winning basketball. He has JL. He has Kaminsky for the future stretch 4. He has Zeller, a mobile big man to act as center. He has Batum and Lamb who would absolutely thrive in this system. Even Hawes would fit. Kemba could either do what MDA says to fit in or better yet trade him for other pieces . I am afraid Big Al has no place here other than as a valuable piece for some other team that would trade more pieces for MDA. Maybe the Suns would give up Markieff Morris for Big Al though he does not fit in Phoenix either. I could even see where he could make a valuable piece out of PJ because I don’t see PJ as having any value in this present system. that is the beauty of team ball, it makes others better because it does not focus on making a star. The weak link for MDA is that he does not insist that his teams play defense. They don’t need to be defensive demons but they need a defensive system. When you consider the type of players who thrive in MDA system, long, lanky, fast up and and down they could be great defenders- look at GS. MDA and Thibs could do it. GS had better watch it if Steph Curry keeps getting the spotlight to the exclusion of his team mates and ruins their chemistry. The establishment media could ruin GS with their celebrity fixation.

        I don’t think it is surprising that Clifford is being considered for Houston because thus far he is proving to be an “association” man- he is doing to JL what Houston and LA have done and look at their head coaches. He is part of the current NBA “culture”.

        • Your right, this current Hornets roster is a pretty great fit for MDA. I betcha MDA is hoping Clifford goes elsewhere so he can lobby for the position. But I’d be shocked if Clifford would want to take the job with Rockets. That sounds like a nightmare job. I think you’d have to be really desperate to want that job. Harden and Howard are coach’s worst nightmare.

          Myself, I don’t think MDA is a complete coach. But at this point, all I care about is that Lin gets a coach who trusts him 100% and MDA is the only one who has shown that. So I do hope MDA and Lin somehow re-unite soon.

        • old & in the way

          Interesting insights, Ace. I think Golden State is safe for now because so far Steph Curry has refused to buy into the star bullshit. GS is a real team so far and Curry is egoless unlike someone like Harden. Draymond Green is one hell of a player as is Klay Thompson who so far this season has been off his game a touch but not because of anything Curry is doing. You have to see Curry up close which I get to do through the local Bay Area media. The guy is absolutely down to earth and unaffected by the success the W’s have had these past 2+ seasons. They have a very deep bench that they use well. Everyone has a set role and all the players seem to genuinely like each other. It is unbelievable to me that they are as good as they are. Curry was much criticized locally through his first two injury plagued seasons but now he is love by seemingly everyone. And now they are 12-0 so far this year. They seem to be driven to prove to all the critics that last year’s 67 win regular season and championship play-off run was not a matter of “luck.” Certain good fortune is needed for any championship run but no one wins and NBA championship on luck alone. So in this regard I think the critics are full of shit. Nothing new there. All of this excellence though is surreal for sure given where this team had been for decades prior to this current run. Now if only Jeremy could secure a similar position on his own team that might make a real run for excellence with him playing the point. Also, Jeremy and Steph Curry have remained friends from his Golden State days which is yet another reason to like Curry not that anyone really needs any additional reasons.

  • MrPingPong

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

    I won’t be able to watch Lin and the Hornets duking it out with the Nets tonight, all because of the following conversation with my Ouija board.

    MrPingPong:
    Anything on your board about Lin’s future with the Nets?

    Ouija Board:
    There will be a 3-way trade.

    MrPingPong:
    Wut?

    Ouija Board:
    Nets will send the venerable Iso Joe to the Rockets to help quell locker room revolt. Rockets will send Harden to the Hornets so Cliff does not have to come to Houston after this season. And Lin will be send to the Nets to help steal Knicks fans away from MSG.

    MrPingPong:
    Did you do your math?

    Ouija Board:
    Basketball reasons need no math.

    And in case you have time to burn, here is a very long article on the “First Lady of the Nets”:

    http://grantland.com/features/irina-pavlova-brooklyn-nets-mikhail-prokhorov/

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

    • old & in the way

      I think I just fell in love with your Ouija board. When will this wondrous event be consummated. Not me and your Ouija board…I mean Jeremy and the Nets? When, when? The sooner the better, Netter.

  • Something to keep in mind for the future, the Orlando Magics could be a good fit for Lin. I don’t think they have very good PGs on their roster and on my Twitter feed, someone pointed out that Skiles benched Nikola Vucevic in the second half, because he didn’t think Vucevic played well. I like coaches who aren’t afraid to bench their star player. Don’t know much else about Skiles though, but he seems like he could be a good coach.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I was able to watch the last two minutes of tonight
    s game with BKLN. I don’t get to see much of Charlotte. You are absolutely correct in that it is pointless to put JL in the corner out of play. It is like they are saying “OK, we want you in but we do not want you involved”. The most active player to penetrate the paint and he is in the parking lot. Having said that, when he did get the ball he did not comport himself very well tonight, although, he did try to penetrate the interior and make something happen. This is poor strategizing on Clifford’s part. Charlotte should not lose to BKLN and they almost did. I have not looked at the box score but may have more upon perusal of said information

    • old & in the way

      It is ridiculous the way Charlotte uses Jeremy. He hardly touched the ball in the fourth quarter even though he played the entire quarter. His defense was good but he is wasted on offense. Clifford’s coaching is a joke. Batum was handling the ball more than Jeremy. Clifford seems clueless to me regarding the proper usage of Jeremy Lin…completely clueless. I didn’t expect much from him in spite of all the preseason positive talk but this is even worse than I imagined it might be. Is hypocrisy a job requirement for an NBA coach? Honesty not required?

      • Clifford strikes me as a good, honest person. I think he just prefers Walker and Batum to handle the ball when that tandem is in together. But when Lin is in with Batum and w/o Walker, Lin is allowed to be the floor general. So it’s all a little inexplicable. I think part of it is Lin feeling like he has to defer. Lin is less aggressive when he’s on the floor with Batum and Walker. This wasn’t so in the pre-season, but has been so in the regular season and Lin is partly to blame for that. Tonight, Lin did get more touches in the 4th, but he would just immediately pass the ball to someone else. I think he figures that with Batum and Walker, he doesn’t have to try and be the play maker, so he elects to move the ball, rather than do something with the ball. That’s partly because I think coach Clifford probably wants him to move the ball when Batum and Walker are on the floor, rather than try and do too much. Of course, this is all speculation on my part.

        Overall, Lin had a great game. He had good looks, but his shooting form is all messed up, so his shots didn’t fall. But he was aggressive on both sides of the floor when he wasn’t on the floor with Walker.

        It’s unfortunate it’s come to this, but now when Lin gets 28 minutes a game, that’s an occasion to celebrate. Before the regular season started, I had expected Lin to average 28 minutes from the bench. Now, that’s his max. At least Lin’s now had two games in a row of playing 28 minutes, even though more than half of that is wasted, because he’s not allowed to be the floor general. Some progress, at least.

        Overall, great team win by the Hornets. I actually enjoyed watching the game.

        • Ace Pagoda

          Some progress as you say, but by default due to PJ Hairston being out. I still don’t understand his role and contributions especially as a starter. So by default JL gets 28 minutes but will that hold up when more players are available or is this time dependent on someone else being injured. JL must be the designated ball handler, period. Right now KW is and 2nd is Batum (from the wing?). Until that happens whether by Clifford designating (which will never happen as long as there is KW) or JL just forces the issue (which will not happen either but more likely than the other). If JL forces the issue then team chemistry and success, what there is, is gone. These are hard choices and decisions to make and though we on this forum are biased do not have Coach Clifford’s other considerations. Having said that, I guess that means a mediocre season unless there is an unfortunate injury to KW. Since he is a good team mate would not wish that on him though if it was James Harden I could shrug it off. The onus in Charlotte is on the coach to make the correct decision and I don’t see the happening-yet.

          • Great points about Lin getting more minutes by default due to injury to Hairston. Coach did go with Lin over Lamb to close the game, so that’s something. But likely doesn’t mean much, because there will be plenty of games in which Lin does not close, I anticipate.

            Yep, Lin will never be played the right way as long as KW is on the team. Hope Lin continues to figure out ways to shine so he can get an offer to be a starter on another team in the off-season. That’s really the only thing I’m rooting for. I do like a lot of the Hornets players, though. Seem like a very good group of guys and I also like coach Clifford, despite my criticisms of him. it’s all for naught, though, if Lin doesn’t get to handle the ball AT ALL when he shares the floor with Kemba.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I too like the players, and in a reserved way to this point Coach Clifford too. But there seems to be this “culture” in the NBA that makes it more of a corporate business than the sport I grew up with which was more of a fan friendly game, a game in which we the people could identify with the players. No longer is this the case for the most part, except for the Linsanity phenomenon. Rising from obscurity and creating such a creative force is the stuff of dreams I grew up with as a kid, as I am sure many who were captivated by that period of time. Rather than build on that theme, of identifying with we the people, the “association” went stuffed shirt and tried to corporatise JL and have succeeded to a large degree. Coach Clifton goes along to get along so if the does in fact know better then all I can say is that he is a sell out too. With MDA in NY JL was a phenomenon that caught everybody by surprise and it took some time to adjust to him- that concept of team ball and everybody contributing and playing better. Took away from star ball and none other than Carmelo Anthony, one of the biggest star losers of all. Once the “association” caught their breath JL was a marked man and the teams keyed on him and at that point he did not have the team mates talent-wise to help him with as much help as he needed. I remember how Miami with James, Wade Bosh et al just pounded him relentlessly because they had the talent to do it and NY did not have the talent to help. Then JL hurt his knee and it was over. Then the fool NY owner proceeded to disrespect JL in the resigning and I am convinced that for whatever reason this guy continued this treatment with the story about his possible reunion this past season. It is not surprising that the NY Knicks have become perennial losers because they mirror their bonehead owner, a perfect representation of corporate buffoonery. If Charlotte let JL be point guard and if they still had Josh McRoberts, traded Big Al for someone more suitable they might well have lost only one game so far, one of the close ones with Atlanta.

  • Shocking news! Jeremy Lin is starting tonight. I did not expect this. I thought Clifford would for sure start Lamb before he would think of starting Lin. I don’t know if Lamb’s left shoulder is still messed up from the last game or something. Very interesting decision. I think form a Front Office perspective, it makes much more sense to start Lamb, since he just got a new contract. So I’m really surprised that they’re starting Lin. Not gonna get my hopes up, though. I’m just hoping that Lin doesn’t feel like he has to defer to Walker/Batum. The way things have been going in the regular season, the unit of Walker/Lin/Batum hasn’t looked really good offensively. Lin is basically just on the floor for defense with this unit. Hope Lin gets to handle the ball and plays combo guard. That’s probably hoping for too much, though.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Saw this comment but not the game. Went to the NBA.com site to scan box score. JL had the lowest of the +/- of the starters. Did not look like an impactful game for him, but looking at the pts. of Jefferson and KW it looks like old school basketball which leads me to think that the game time instruction was to let Big Al loose and KW to shoot. Will be interested to hear insights from posters on this forum. Main think: game was won (though only over Phil). I saw a little video of Hansbrough. I liked his energy and brute strength. He could make a contribution in the right situations.

    • ashley

      When JLin isn’t super aggressive, he likely ends up looking medicore. And this game could be an example. As a starter, he did fine in the first half scoring 7 points playing within the flow. However, in the second half, he barely touched the ball. Again, he wasn’t the one running the offense–most of the time Walker and Batum did the job and so did Roberts, who got to play more since the Hornets were leading with double digits.

      I was glad to see Lin checked in at the beginning of the 4th quarter. But unfortunately he missed two layups that he usually would make, and later on got two more points from the free throw to get 9, which turned out to be his final scoring stats. I wish he had made those two layups cause that would have gotten him 4 more points changing the impression of him playing so-so for his first start as a Hornet in the regular season. I didn’t get to see the entire 4th quarter.When Walker checked in, the Hornets were leading by 15. At the end they won by 25 (113-88), so I guessed that rendered Lin’s lowest +/- among the starters.

    • Lin didn’t play PG at all and didn’t get to handle the ball much the entire game, which is what I was afraid of. He played SG the entire game, because Brian Roberts played PG for the bench. So in this role, Lin didn’t get an opportunity to handle the ball much.

      I think part of it is Lin trying to be a little too faithful to his role. I think he needs to not worry too much about playing a specific role and just play his game, regardless if he’s the PG or SG. Of course, he still has to be cognizant of the spacing, but I think Lin is overly concerned about spacing at the expense of him playing his game, when he plays SG.

      • Ace Pagoda

        Maybe he is not allowed to play his game. Coach tells him to be SG, sticks him with another PG so that is what he has to do. If he freelances he is out of the game. Same in Houston and LA- when he was allowed to be PG he had a great game like the 38 he dropped on SAS. LA kept him more reined in and barely allowed him to breathe as a PG. It is almost like a conspiracy, like the “association” does not want to let the genie out of the bottle again. Every penetrating PG has their own style. Steve Nash used to just weave in and out and around until he either shot or someone got open. JL is like a bowling ball when he penetrates- people scatter like pins and he either gets the shot and the foul or someone is open.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Good point Ashley about the +/-, thank you. Again, you can’t be a PG if you don’t play a PG game. While JL may have been in the flow of the game at the beginning, the flow is likely dictated by the coach as evidenced by who had the ball most of the time and who was taking the shots. I noted the shift from Batum/Lamb/JL offense back to Big Al/KW. But the Hornets did win so this validates the game plan. And KW did have 7 assists- of course he had the ball.

  • pistolpete

    Lin stood in the corner a lot – spacing the floor I guess – and rarely touched the ball in the 2nd half. He was not nearly as aggressive as he was the last 2-3 games. He had 4 turnovers last game and I’m afraid he was told to tone it down by the coach. Lin has to be aggressive and take some chances or he’s just another average player. When he was with the Knicks and they won 7 games in a row his turnovers were high but they won. My opinion is that turnovers are important but they are highly overrated. Westbrook is averaging around 5 turnovers a gamethis year and Steph Curry is averaging around 4. You don’t want to put a player in a straight jacket and limit his freedom and creativity. Charlotte has a record of low turnovers but I think the coach is a little obsessed with this. Hopefully Jeremy will find a happy medium but he has to be more aggresive than in the 76ers game.

    • Totally agree with you, pistolpete, about how turnovers are highly overrated. In fact, I wrote about this very point back in 2012. People make way to much out of turnovers, when they’re actually not that much worse than missed shots when you really think about it. Sure, maybe half of the turnovers end up resulting in points for the opponent, but so do missed shots. I think people need to take turnovers into context and allow guys to take risks making plays to have high turnovers.Just take it as part of their aggressive game. Unfortunately, because Lin is held up to a double-standard, he gets overly criticized for his turnovers, when his turnovers are actually representative of top PGs. I pointed this out in an article back in 2012: http://www.jeremylintel.com/2012/02/16/jeremy-lins-turnover-numbers-are-representative-of-top-point-guards/

      I think it the Sixers game, Lin was just thrown in the starting lineup and didn’t really expect the assignment. So I think he mainly didn’t want to disrupt the flow and didn’t want to try and do too much. Also, Sixers suck, so I think he didn’t feel the need to do too much, since they felt it was an easy win. That entire game was so boring to watch. I think the players were just as bored as the fans and commentators. Haha.