Jeremy Lin Leads Hornets’s Second Best Comeback in Franchise History Against Second Best Team in NBA

There are no words to describe what Jeremy Lin did today against the San Antonio Spurs, but I will try my best to scramble some words together and see if any of it makes sense. I didn’t start watching this game until the middle of the second quarter, so I missed the part when the Hornets were down by 23 points early in the second quarter. I also missed the part when the Hornets only scored a season low 7 points in the entire first quarter (trailing the Spurs 28-7 at the end of the first quarter). By the way, the Hornets are the first team to score 7 points or fewer in the first quarter and still win since the Jazz did it in 2008 (so many records broken by Lin, today). And Lin/Hornets did this against probably the best defense in NBA history and the second best team in the NBA in the Spurs! Had I watched the entire game from start to finish, I would have been even more dumbfounded than I already am.

When I started watching the game the Hornets were down by 15 and Jeremy Lin was just getting started. The Hornets were left for dead before Jeremy Lin showed up (since Lin comes off the bench). Everyone had this game in the loss column for the Hornets, even before the game began. I mean, the Spurs are ridiculously good. There’s no way the Hornets have a chance against the Spurs, who just beat the Golden State Warriors, the best team in the NBA and probably in NBA history. Before they lost to the Spurs, the Warriors had an unbelievable 62-6 record. If it weren’t for the Warriors’s historic season, we would all be talking about how insanely good the Spurs are, who were 59-10, before they lost to the Hornets tonight.

Speaking of which, lets talk about tonight’s game. Coming back to win after being down 23 points is the second best comeback in franchise history. Just one point shy of the record, which was on October 29, 2014 when the Hornets came back from a 24 point deficit to defeat the Milwaukie Bucks. To come back against a team like the Bucks is one thing, but to do this against an elite team is pretty much unheard of! When elite teams lead by 23 points at any point in the game, it’s pretty much going to be a blow out and I’m sure the Hornets fans in the stands were expecting to leave early and beat the traffic tonight. In fact, the Spurs have never lost a game when leading by 20 points or more in the first quarter (prior to tonight’s game the spurs had a 72-game streak of never losing after leading by 15+ points). But then, Jeremy Lin came off the bench and played the way he knows how to play: aggressively and assertively.

What I’ve noticed about Lin over the years is that he is at his best when he knows he is needed. And he is nothing special when he feels like he’s not really needed to win games. Jeremy Lin is all about winning and if he feels like he’s not really needed to win, then his heart is not in it and every part of his game suffers. We’ve been witnessing this all month long. Of course, Lin’s also been struggling with a new shooting form and has been playing injured for a while now. So those are also reasons for his struggles, but I think a large part of it is that he feels he’s not really needed to win games.

The Hornets have been having a very easy schedule, playing mostly against sub-.500 teams in the month of March and they’ve been winning with Kemba leading the way. And I think this entire month, Lin hasn’t really felt that the team really needs him, so Lin has had his worst month in his NBA career ever since Linsanity. When Lin knows that the team needs him in order to win, Lin plays like the Jeremy Lin that all his fans know. Lin has done this time and time again throughout his career, which is why he puts up superstar stats and has a a 74% win rate when the “superstars” on his team are injured.

This season, when Kemba was out Lin started at PG and upset Lebron James and the Cavs, the best team in the East, breaking Lebron’s personal 21-game winning streak against the Hornets’s franchise. Until tonight, that was the Hornets’s best win of the season. A very recent example of Lin showing up when his team needs him is in the game against the Heat on March 17th. The Hornets could have easily locked in the win if Marvin Williams had just hit at least one of his two free throws down the stretch. Instead, Williams, who is a great free throw shooter and has been shooting the lights out this entire month, ended up missing both free throws, probably because he couldn’t stand the pressure. It was Lin, who had only one point in the game and has been struggling massively with his shot everywhere on the court, including at the free throw line in the month of March, who nailed 4 consecutive free throws at the end of the game to help the Hornets eek out a win against the Heat. I don’t think people realize how tough that is to do psychologically. Here Lin’s been having his worst shooting stretch of his career and all the pressure is on him to make free throws in an away game with the audience screaming at him and rooting for him to fail. I know I was nervous for Lin, because of how much he has been struggling with his shooting. But, when his team needs him the most, Lin conjures up the will to somehow win the game.

Jeremy Lin did that, again, tonight against impossible odds. The Hornets are down 23 against one of the best teams in NBA history (a team they haven’t won against since January 15, 2010) and everyone is thinking it’s just going to be another blow out. It’s a foregone conclusion that the Hornets will lose the game. Lin’s teammates are struggling massively, shooting just 15 percent from the field. This entire time, Lin is sitting on the bench. For the first time, perhaps in a long time, Lin feels like his team needs him, since everyone is struggling (Kemba, in particular, ended the game with only six points in 29.5 minutes). Lin comes in and, with Kemba out, attacks the teeth of the defense and asserting himself in the beginning of the second quarter. He single-handedly breathed life into the team and it all started with a 4-point play when the Hornets were down 30 to 7 at the start of the 2nd quarter.

Prior to Lin taking charge, the Hornets were settling for jumpers. Lin injected energy when he started driving to the basket and putting the Spurs’s defense on their heels. Suddenly it didn’t look like it was going to be a blow out. Hornets managed to cut the lead to 16 at the half. But the Hornets didn’t take the lead until about nine minutes left in the game when Jeremy Lin hit a three pointer to give the hornets a 75-74 lead. Lin was a perfect 4-4 from three-point territory tonight, even though he has been awful from three-point line in the month of March. He finished the game with 29 points (including 15 points in the 4th quarter) to lead all players (the second leading scorer of the game was Spurs’s Tony Parker with 19 points) on only 18 field goal attempts, which is astounding. He went 11 of 18 from the field and was 3-3 from the free throw line against probably the best defense in NBA history. I mean, prior to this Hornets game the Spurs limited Stephen Curry to only 14 points and Steph is the NBA’s leading scorer and the best player on the planet and could be the best of all-time. Lin also had 7 rebounds in a little over 31 minutes of playing time from the bench. A lot of Lin fans will remember that Lin tied his career high 38 points against the Spurs when he was with Houston and Harden was injured. So Lin has become a Spurs killer. I wonder if Popovich notices? I’m sure he does, since nothing gets past Popovich.

Clifford and Kemba nearly gave away the game, tonight, though. Even though Kemba couldn’t get anything going tonight and was having a very difficult time staying in front of Parker, Clifford, as usual, brought Kemba back to finish up the game. Had Clifford not coached like a robot, when it comes to managing Kemba’s and Batum’s playing time, he would have let Lee finish the game instead of Kemba. Lee was integral to the Hornets in the third quarter and clearly had it going on, but, as usual, Clifford lets Kemba finish the game no matter what. At least he kept Lin in to finish out the game. This, of course, is an obvious decision, but Clifford messed that up in Saturday’s game against Denver when Lin had it going on, but Cliff took Lin out in the 4th and the Hornets ended up losing a game they should have won against a Lowly Denver Nuggets team. I would say that I hope Clifford learns his lesson from tonight’s game, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Nothing is going to change for Jeremy Lin, despite his performance tonight. I mean, nothing changed after Lin single-handedly defeated Lebron James and the Cavs. In fact, after that game, Lin’s minutes and roles got severely reduced. But I digress.

Back to Kemba almost giving the game away. Kemba had two straight turnovers in clutch time, when every possession is so critical. When Leonard got a tip-in to put the Spurs ahead 88-87, it looked like Kemba may have given the game away. But with 48.4 seconds left Lin took matters into his own hands and hit a jumper to give the Hornets back the lead. Lin, then, grabbed a rebound (Lin has a tendency to grab rebounds when the game is on the line) and got fouled, which sent him to the line, since the Spurs were in the penalty. Lin, with ice in his veins, hit both free throws to give the Hornets a three-point lead that held up as the Spurs were unable to convert with seconds left in the fourth quarter. Those three throws by Lin were so nerve-racking, but Lin was poised and swished them both no problem, because he lives for the big moments.

About JLintel

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  • MrPingPong

    Lin got to play PG and ran the floor tonight. Kemba actually deferred to Lin. The ball actually came back to Lin after being passed around. Al, Batum, Lee, Tank, .and everyone else were looking for Lin, as Lin was looking to create for everyone too. Lin played the full last 15 min of the game. Cliff made the right coaching decision in tonight’s game out of desperation: unleash the Lin because the starters did nothing. What do ya gotta lose? You can’t be fired because you lose to the Spurs. I don’t think Cliff expected Lin to pull it off. We, Lin fans, always know Lin is capable of leading and winning. Hornets are only getting a glimpse of what Linsanity is all about.

    As to Pop, I said this before and will say again here, when it comes to Lin, Pop, just any other active NBA head coach, is a Lin doubter. I don’t think he prepared his team for Linsanity. The Spurs were out to stop Kemba, Batum and Marvin, and they did. But Lin, nah, he is just a backup guard. May be Pop will notice this time, because his team lost in the most stunning way. The box score shows four of their starters were in double figures. LMA and TD both scored double-double. TP delivered 19 pts and 7 asts. How could they have lost? Bow to his Hairness, dear Pop!

    My Ouija board says this Spurs game is only a sneak preview of things to come in the playoffs. His Hairness will shine like the gel on his hair! 😉 Bow to his Hairness!

    • So many excellent points, MrPingPong! Thanks for sharing.

      Yep, once again, it’s only in desperation that Linsanity happens.

      And you’re right about Pop. Even with the 38-point performance, Pop didn’t prepare for Lin. I think Tony Parker respects Lin’s game, though, because he’s seen it first-hand. Ha ha. Lin can really clamp down on Parker defensively, too. Of course, no one know this, but Lin fans. Ha ha.

      We Lin fans know that Lin shows up to the playoffs. Even in Houston, when he was shackled, he still managed to make a difference in the playoffs.

  • Ace pagoda

    What an absolute rush this game was. The game was on NBA tv so I got to see it. I tuned in when it was 23-7, having no real feeling other than it was already probably over. SAS looked like men and cCharlotte looked like boys. Such a difference. JL came in and because KW was out he just took over the PG because it seemed no one cared to tell him otherwise. Then the magic began. Charlotte, but mainly JL started pushing SAS back. Pushed them back on their heels and you could tell SAS did not know what to do. Then the other forgotten Jeremy (Lamb) somehow got into the game and the two JL’s started to push back on defense too. Then Zeller started pushing back and the whole tenor of the game changed. Kaminsky woke up from whatever dream he was having. If Kaminsky and big Al could have scored when they got the ball Charlotte would have won by 10. Not much is said about the defense but I thought that is where it started and again with JL because he seemed like the only one who cared but it became contagious. Zeller had something like 14 rebounds. Courtney Lee had 17 points and played stellar defense as well. Solid, solid game by C Lee and my respect for him went up a notch. He and JL pair well as PG and SG. If J Lamb had played more intelligently he would have contributed more and a future with JL and Lee would be something to build a future on. I have said on this blog recently that Charlotte would not go far playing against good teams when it really counts because all they wou hav e to do is shut down KW and that is what SAS did and that was that. It should be painfully obvious that if Cliff continues with the KW/Batum centric star concept they will. As you said they have had an easy schedule and their record is deceptive. Charlotte was easily exposed in the first few minutes of the game and if Cliff, MJ and Charlotte did not learn from this brutal lesson (and I don’t expect they will) then WOW. I am sure that JL caught SAS by surprise and if they played JL again they would accord him the proper respect especially since this is the 2nd time JL dropped a bomb on them (38 pts. whilw with Houston) but JL would still be a force to be reckoned with as he has proved again tha the is one of the top true PG in the NBA. Something else I said recently on this blog recently: JLin can shoot.More to say but tired of typing on an iPad keyboard.

    • Great points about defense and the contributions of guys like Zeller and Lee. I actually think that the Hornets would be deadly with Lin/Lee/Batum starting unit, because I think all three of these guys are smart, unselfish players who are all about winning games.

  • Linfan123

    OK… I know you guys will love this story! I am in Orlando FL on a training trip for my job so….I found a local restauratnt/bar that had the game…..I sat there watching the game/eating and a few of the guys around me including the bartender struck up a conversation about why I wanted to watch the Hornets game and I must be a Hornets fan…which I explained that actually I was a Jeremy Lin fan more so etc etc…..the guy next to me started to explain how he has struggled since Linsanity (with of course NO CONTEXT about McFail, Kobe etc.) He even threw out the dreaded “good back up” line……I didn’t bother trying to explain all the nuances about how Jeremy has actually been better than perception…they wouldn’t get it anyway. SO…we kept watching the game AND OH THAT 4th Quarter!! With each bucket Jeremy poured in I reacted and the guys around me all were laughing and when that second 3 dropped they all reacted too…”Oh look at your boy”…. It sort kept building and kinda became a small crowd of about 5 just watching JLin. When he made that jumper to seal it with 40 seconds left there was a loud uproar. It was really cool. They were just kinda having fun with along with me for this one night but it was fun!
    SECOND POINT: ESPN SUCKS!! What the….? I am watching sportscenter this AM and they give out their “Standing O’s” for the night……..and it goes too Isaiah Thomas for beaing the Magic? Adam Levine for a very average dunk?? and the Womens Washington Huskies team????? This is amazing… Oh well….we all know what happened and it was awesome! Bring on the playoffs!!

    • Sounds like you had an awesome game viewing experience. Sort of like a mini-Linsanity experience.

      All because of SAS, Sportscenter is so blatantly biased against Lin. This Hornets vs. Spurs game is the best game this season and probably one of the best in history, since it broke so many records. For them to not recognize Lin is despicable, disgusting, disturbing, etc.

      • Ace Pagoda

        Agree. I saw ESPN also and they did not even recognize this game and did not mention Lin. Amazing. NBA TV was not much better but since their job was to commentate on the game they had been watching they had no choice. In some ways it was almost like they were watching another game.

        • MrPingPong

          Yep, Lin gets no respect around the NBA circle. There are a dew exceptions however. Brent Barry (Rick Barry’s son) has always openly praised Lin. Jon Barry, another son of Rick’s, in contrast, is a Lin detractor. Can’t please everyone. Check out this post game interview of Lin by NBA TV, in case you don’t know about it already:

    • MrPingPong

      ‘Sounds like you had a really great time watching Lin go off on the Spurs, Linfan123! Did any of the NBA fans watching the game with you become Lin believer afterwards? 😉

  • pistolpete

    Before this game I was resigned to just watch Lin and enjoy what he could do with the limited pt and role he has been relegated to. I said to my wife that the only way they win this game was to get Jeremy involved and let him run the offense. However I thought the odds of this happening was slim to none so the Hornets were going to lose unless the other players got incredibly hot and were sinking 3 pointers all over the place. This game was just incredible though and shows what a big game and clutch 4th quarter player he is. The man just gets up for the tough games like no one else – just amazing! It was truly a great night for us long suffering Lin fans.
    I don’t think it will happen but can you imagine a starting backcourt of Tony Parker and Jeremy Lin?! Lin can guard shooting guards and I think he would be a definite upgrade from Danny Green, Also Ginobli probably will retire after this season which would make Lin more needed and give him more playing time. Another good option I believe would be Philadelphia. We’ve seen that if Lin has the chance to lead a team they win even with a less than stellar cast. At least in Philly (vs Hornets) he would have 2 big men who could finish his passes. Philly just needs to draft a good outside shooter and sign Lin and I feel they could be an instant playoff team!

    • I was almost going to skip this game, because I knew it would go in the lost column, since Hornets wouldn’t use Lin propertly. But decided to just check in and see it for a bit. Also, I like watching the Spurs, so I figured it wouldn’t be a total waste of time. But when I checked in, Lin already had 8 points and the commentators kept talking about Lin, so I decided to watch the game just to see how Lin would do, since Lin has always been a Spurs killer. So glad I stuck around. What a historic game!

      Yeah, I definitely think Lin could instantly make the Sixers an instant playoff team. I just hope Lin also believes this, because I think Lin is allergic to lottery teams after his horrendous experience with the Lakers. This is why I don’t think Lin would got to the Sixers, but maybe D’Antoni being there could be enough of an enticement for Lin. Hope so. We’ll see.

    • MrPingPong

      A “truly a great night for us long suffering Lin fans” indeed, Pistol! 🙂

      I’d like to see Lin join a team where he can start. I’m tired of watching Lin waiting on the bench for a chance to start. I think Lin is tired of waiting too. Lin has proven time after time that he can lead and win. There will be a team who will want Lin and give Lin the key next season. My Ouija board says so! 🙂

  • Ace Pagoda

    What will Cliff do tonight? Will he build on the discovery that JL is a better PG than KW? Interestingly Charlotte plays Brookyln where JL might be auditioning for another team so I hope he gets some time and especially at PG. It would be very timely for the playoffs if Cliff were to have an epiphany and play JL at the PG. He doesn’t have to start him and usurp KW, but when JL plays it has to be at his natural position. This way Cliff can have it both ways- start KW and win some games with JL at the point. I recorded the SAS game and it will be interesting to dissect it. If JL were to become a starting PG in the NBA he would become a marked man and this would be another step in his evolution that he must overcome, but I am confident he can do this as he has overcome other obstacles and weaknesses to make him a more complete player. He is ready for this. Let the journey continue!

    • One of the best things about last night’s game is that Lin got to showcase himself for free agency. I think a lot of people will remember last night’s game. Hopefully they’ll keep it in mind during free agency. I mean, Spurs held Chris Paul, Westbrook, and Stephen Curry to 0 points in the 4th quarter in their match ups, but Lin managed to score an improbable 15 points against the best defense probably in NBA history! That’s gotta count for something in free agency. Unfortunately, most in the NBA aren’t very perceptive and won’t really understand the implications of what Lin did.

      If Clifford is desperate enough to win and Lin has finally gotten the hang of his new shooting form, then there is a sliver of a chance that Lin will be allowed to play his game, even with limited minutes. I think things will change for Lin in the playoffs, since Lin tends to really show up during the playoffs and Hornets will be desperate enough to win every game that they’ll let Lin loose. We’ll see.

      • Ace Pagoda

        May people will remember the SAS game but not the TV networks. I watched ESPN Sportcenter and they did not even mention JL in the comments about the game. Other sports forums downplayed the JL contributions too. Quite amazing if you watched the game. The networks are very political on their shows. They have no credibility anymore mirroring mainstream and drive-by media. I used to think that sports was the last bastion of honesty because you could read the stats and see the game and what happened could not be denied. I was wrong because even sports casting can distort a sporting event. 1984 is alive and very well.

  • Forthelin

    I think one reason Lin does well against the Spurs is because they play hard defense, but they don’t play like thugs. They are classy and play their game without trashtalking. It elevates the game, and Lin usually answers.

    The rest of the League gets it that you can throw Lin off his game by thugging him out, so you have Kobe intentionally smashing him after Lin cuts past him like butter, Jason Terry elbowing and tripping him, Melo hitting him on his face, and countless other small and big fouls. Instead of trashtalking and shoving back, Lin walks away. That might be the Palo Alto/Harvard way, but it isn’t the way of the NBA. There is no revenge ego in Lin, so he doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. Kobe mistakes thuggery for passion, and doesn’t get Lin’s game, so he calls him soft. Sometimes in Rome, you have to act like a Roman, because they just aren’t very charitable to Christians. That said, what a great game. I missed it, because I was tired of Lin’s slump, but with Lin, you have to expect the unexpected.

    • MrPingPong

      Great point about the Spurs’s hard but “non-thug-like” defense, Forthelin! Spurs players defend hard without any intention to physically hurt the opposing players. Old Pop will not tolerate “thug-ness” I am sure. Lin will never play like a thug and will fit nicely in a classy and unselfish team like the Spurs.

  • There are so many great stats from this game. I tried to include most of them in the post, but here are a few others that I’ve come across.

    Jeremy Lin came off the bench and outscored the entire San Antonio bench 29-18. The Spurs have the 3rd best bench in the NBA averaging 39.7 PPG!

    Last night’s game was the first time in NBA history that a team with at least 50 wins lost a regular season game with a lead of at least 20 points at the end of 1st quarter.

    Last night’s 23 point lead is the largest lead Greg Popovich has lost in his time as an NBA head coach, ditto for the Spurs under the Tim Duncan era.

  • Chirico

    Another great article by JIntel. Thanks!

    And thanks for all posters, you made my day.

    Again, I’m not surprised for his performance but I’m happy for Jeremy Lin about last night’s win against Spurs. What surprised me was Clifford let Lin play and gave him the green light to play as “the PG”.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I watched a tape of the SAS from beginning to end. KW was taken to school by Tony Parker in the first period and never seemed to recover. If KW is going to take the next step he somehow needs to defend PG’s who are his size. Defense is what led to the turnaround led by the JL’s. If JLamb was more disciplined he could have done much better but he played like someone who hadn’t played in a long time and longed to show what he could do (which is actually the case). He dribbles too much when he should not dribble at all. He could take some lessons from Batum and eventually become just like Batum, maybe better. His presence in the 3rd quarter was impactful also but again he reduced his effectiveness by trying to do too much. The turnaround was when JL blocked Anderson’s drive to the hoop followed by the 3 pointer plus one by JL. That was the beginning of the end for SAS. Courtney Lee was huge in the 3rd quarter and set the stage for JL in the 4th. The rest is history. I think SAS thought it was going to be easy and let down and then could not get it going again. Give credit to Charlotte for never giving up. Their defense is what did it though, not offense. I thought Kaminsky did more than he did but he did not. I think Tyler Hansbrough is underutilized and could have battled the SAS bigs better than Kaminsky. I don’t understand why Cliff does not play T more. The biggest difference between KW and JL as PG’s is that JL will challenge the bigs in the center while KW will not. JL puts big pressure on interior defense when he does that while KW shys away from contact. I have not looked at the Brooklyn stats yet but it was informative to look at the tape of the SAS game. With Charlotte having both JL and KW one has to go because they cannot coexist w/o causing compromise in effectiveness

    • MrPingPong

      Thanks for sharing your analysis of the Spurs game, Ace. I missed the first quarter but was lucky enough to watch the remainder of the game. From what I’ve read and seen, the Hornets were listless if not lifeless in that first quarter until Lin came in and “gave them life,” as Batum commented in this post game interview:

      Why is Kemba not playing well as of late? I suspect he is playing hurt. At this point in the season, every NBA player is playing hurt to some degree. Lin is playing hurt too, but because of less playing time, Lin has a lot more left in his tank than the starters. Take a look at Lin’s left elbow at the beginning of this video:

      The way you treat bumps n’ bruises like that is to rub salt with a little bit of water on them. But you must do it quickly soon after the hit. It works amazingly well! A little bit of traditional Vietnamese home medicine, in case you dunno about it! 🙂

      Have a great day/evening everyone, wherever you are on this WEB!


  • Itdoesn’tgetEddieVedderthanthis

    Hi JL fans!

    I’ve been a lurker of this site for quite some time (3 years I guess?) and this is the first time I am going to make an appearance here, because of this amazing game.

    I am actually hoping that Jeremy can get back to California and play for GSW, even if in a Brandon Rush/Leandro Barbosa/Ian Clark role, because I think GSW is going to be even better if Jeremy can be there and substitute for Curry and play consistently. I don’t think Jeremy is going to be a starter except if Curry is going to rest some games (they might start do that, especially if Jeremy can simply step up in his absence). I think GSW can accommodate to both the needs of the NBA establishment to stop disrupting the racialist power structure with an Asian American becoming a superstar and disturbing the black and white audience and to Jeremy Lin’s wishes to be properly used given the circumstances. Jeremy can even succeed Andre Iguodala for the future. An additional plus is that Jeremy is going back home and plays again for the first team that got him and he also gets closer to home. He’s going to be more properly exposed and recognized, given the media attention to the Warriors. And he can get multiple championships, if things really went the Warriors’ way in this part of the decade. He’s going to be more properly remembered than simply a guy that did a few good games in NY by the general audience.

    San Antonio is another good place for Lin, but I don’t think Pop has any long range plans for him that is even borderline superstar status. The GSW management also, but it will be better for Lin to get to these high quality teams. We might have to get used to Lin sitting out ends of games (if this is the Warriors or Spurs, we might not have that much to complain, though) but I think Lin is going to be used a bit better than the Hornets in these teams. I can see Lin in a Warriors uniform averaging 11 points a game. About 13 points a game as a Spur. That’s actually good, given the depth and the talent of those teams.

    • First off, your screen name is legendary! I was a big Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam fan back in the 90s. Thanks for the comment.

      I haven’t really put too much thought into which team Lin should go to. Right now, I’m just hoping Lin’s momentum continues through the playoffs. If it does, then Lin will very likely get a starting PG role in the off-season. It’s all hinged on his shooting, since every other facet of his game is on point.

      For me, the most important thing is that Lin finds a place where he starts and finishes games and gets to handle the ball.That’s really all I care about and it doesn’t matter which team. But I think after Lin’s Lakers experience, Lin is probably going to stay away from the lottery teams. I haven’t figured out which teams need at starting PG that is also a playoff contender. Although, I think any team Lin is on, he can make into a playoff contender if he is used properly. I’m just not sure if Lin really believes this himself, which is why I think he’ll be very reluctant to go to a lottery team, like the Nets or Sixers. D’Antoni is at the Sixers, so that might entice him. If I was the Nets owner, I’d hire D’Antoni and reunite him with Lin purely for the marketing aspect of it.

      It would be nice seeing Lin on a championship contending team, but I would prefer him to have a bigger role to having him win a ring. Lin’s still young, so he has time to get a ring. I think right now, the biggest priority for him is to raise his own brand and really show the NBA what he can do and the only way he can do this is to play significant minutes and be the primary ball handler.

      We’ll see how it all shakes out in the off-season. I’m really excited about the off-season. Lin’s fate all hinges on how well he does from here on out into the playoffs.

    • MrPingPong

      One clever moniker IDEDTT! Thanks for finally making yourself known here.

      I used to live in the Bay Area back in the days of Al Attles and Rick Barry and root for the Dubs. I still root for the Dubs but I would like to see Lin join a team where he can start. Lin has paid his dues and has proven time after time that he can start, finish and win. The Dubs really do not need Lin. They will win many more rings without Lin I am sure. It’s a great time to be a Dubs fan, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Chirico

    Dear JLintel,

    Just want pass you this. Your last article about Lin
    has been translated to Chinese version on this site and the reflection and response is huge! I say web site – It is pretty much one of the top Lin fans sites in Taiwan.


    • Awesome! Thanks for letting me know about it, Chirico.

      I’m glad the word is being spread. And thanks to the person who translated it. Makes me very happy to know this.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I have a lot of respect for Greg at Sportige in his support of JL: But I have said here many times that JL is a flow player. Cliff keeps him out of the flow and makes him think, or over think as the case may be. Even JL has said this. JL can shoot and he can score. He does not have to work on his shooting “form”. He just needs to play in his best position, the rest takes care of itself. From what I have read Cliff is a micromanager. JL is not. JL like a lot of great players is instinctual which generates flow. If he cannot play in this type of situation you are tying one hand behind his back. the game is flowing when JL is in and the results are what you see. This is the MDA style in that the PG directs the flow of the offense. When the PG sees himself as the focal point of the offense flow is disrupted. This is what KW does. KW needs to take his shots within the flow of the game and he will get his as will his teammates benefit more and most importantly so will the team.

    • I agree with what you wrote here, wholeheartedly, Ace! Lin is a very creative player and Cliff is a micromanager. Lin needs the freedom to feel out the defense by dribbling and testing the defense, but Cliff doesn’t like that. He wants players to make quick decisions and move the ball. Moving the ball is a great thing, but I think you also want to give a PG like Lin the time to feel out the defense, because he’ll make great plays for you instinctively. Of course, this is what D’Anotni is all about.

      When Lin doesn’t feel he has trust in his coach, he can’t free flow and this causes disruptions in many aspects of his offensive game, especially his shooting. Lin said in his Nets postgame interview that he’s been thinking less on the court and that’s been a big reason for his success as of late. I think having his role limited since the Cavs game caused Lin to be concerned about not making mistakes and that’s been a big factor for his offensive struggle in March. Also, as I mentioned in the post, the Hornets have had an easy schedule, so Lin hasn’t really felt the urgency to really step up. You’ll notice that even when Lin struggles, when he is needed, he’ll rise up and perform in order to help the team win. Somehow, he finds a way. A guy like Harden enjoy putting up big numbers, just because they like to get their stats, so that’s what drives them. But with Lin, it’s all about winning, which is why he is so much better in the 4th quarter. When Lin feels he is needed, he’ll find a way to win the game. This one of the biggest reasons why Lin is a special player you want to build a team around. Unfortunately, the NBA is clueless to this.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Greg at Sportige has an interesting article today: Things are not going good in
    Cleveland. The Cavs apparently have a PG in Irving that is similar to KW in Charlotte. Irving is not someone who gets the team involved first. He is looking for his stats. LBJ is if nothing but a team player. Can you imagine JL on the Cavs with the weapons that team has? LBJ to score as needed and facilitate on the wing, JR Smith to bomb, Shumpert with whom he play in NYC during Linsanity so well, K Love sitting outside waiting to shoot 3’s after JL penetration and I think he could make Mozgov look really good too. Too scary to think about. I think JL could be a 10 pts (would not need him to score) 10+ assist/game player and they could hardly lose. PG is a very important position and most NBA teams do not have have a PG that is smart enough to know his duties. Then every once in a while JL could go off for 30. David Blatt apparently knew all of this and managed to make it work. Lue should know better as he was a PG. LBJ is looking like he wants to leave but he can’t because his fingerprints are all over this situation. Maybe the Cavs will be a dark horse for JL next season though if LBJ is not on board it won’t happen. The Cavs with JL would be a tough tough veteran team.

    • I think if the Hornets make it to the Eastern Conference Finals and face Lebron and Lin does well, then I can see the Cavs being interested in Lin. I mean, he did help the Charlotte franchise get their first win against LeBron since 2010. The only issue is that LeBron is a good friend of Melo’s, so out of loyalty to Melo, LeBron will probably discourage the Cavs from pursuing Lin. But then again, maybe LeBron will set that aside and welcome Lin if he really understands how Lin can contribute to the team. JR Smith is also not a big fan of Lin’s. So it might not be the best environment for Lin chemistry-wise. But from a pure basketball standpoint, it could be a good situation for Lin if Irving leaves. He’ll at least get to start in his natural role for a championship contending team. I would like for him to be scoring the ball more, but I think if he’s starting for the Cavs and helps them win a Championship, people will recognize Lin’s talents, even if he doesn’t have a highs scoring average.

      • MrPingPong

        MrPinPong: Ouija board, any chance Lin will join Lebron and the Cavs this coming offseason?

        Ouija board: Melo agrees to waive his no-trade clause in order for the Zen master to trade him to the Cavs in exchange for Love and Kyrie. Melo then tweets Lin asking him to come and help Lebron get his third ring. Lin politely declines, saying, ‘I love New York!’