Who Cares about the Playoffs, Lets Talk about Atkinson joining the Nets as Head Coach. Linsanity 2.0?

So, the Hornets played game 1 vs. Heat. No surprise, Clifford was ill-prepared and refused to make in-game adjustments. Heat are a totally different team without Bosh. Much faster and they move the ball better. This is not a knock on Bosh. Just a matter of fit. Just one of those strange things, because Bosh is a player that actually helps his team win games. But with the team that the Heat currently have appear to be better without Bosh. Or maybe they need to change the makeup of the team if they want to be better with Bosh. Hard to say. Regardless, Bosh not playing hurt the Hornets and Cliff totally got schooled by Spoelstra. Before the playoffs started, I did prefer the Heat to the Hawks, but I didn’t think about how the Heat would be without Bosh. I also should have given more weight to Spoelstra, who’s a very intelligent, strategic coach with a lot of playoff experience. Right now, the Heat are playing like what I was afraid the Hawks would look like.

Hornets, of course, continue to blindly start Kemba Walker, even though Walker hasn’t had much success beating tough teams in his entire career. Yet, in Jeremy Lin’s first season with the Hornets, he managed to lead the Hornets in wins against the toughest opponents, such as the Spurs, Cavs, Raptors, and Celtics. Also, Walker is a bit of a defensive liability, especially against the taller/bigger Dragic. Of course, there’s no way Lin is starting over Walker, due to politics, so Hornets got blown out by over 30 points. What Hornets need to realize is that Walker is an under-sized shooting guard. This is why he needs so much help from Batum to run the offense. Hornets are never going to wake up to this simple fact. Oh well. Just another team I hopefully won’t have to pay any attention to next season. Although I do like a lot of the Hornets players, fan base and media. But I like Lin more and Lin’s future is not with the Hornets. So, see ya Hornets!

If Hornets want a chance at winning, they need to at least use Lin as a combo guard when Kemba is on the floor with Lin and as the sole PG otherwise. They also need to move the ball, which they didn’t at all. Lin lead the team with 3 assists, playing 24.5 minutes barely handling the ball. At this point, I’m way more excited about Lin’s off-season than the playoffs.

Today, we had some sudden and exciting news. It is reported that Kenny Atkinson will join the Brooklyn Nets as head coach. It seems that every headline I see on the story includes Jeremy Lin. Sure, Lin’s name is linked with the story of Atkinson joining the Nets as click bate, but I also think the NYC media wants to encourage the Nets to bring Lin back to NYC. It’s also their way of saying, “fuck you” to James Dolan. The NYC has continued to be positive towards Lin since Linsanity, so I have no doubt that they really want Lin to return.

As all Lin fans know, Kenny Atkinson was an assistant coach specializing in player development when Lin was with Knicks during Linsanity. Atkinson worked with Lin very closely and even went to California in the off-season to train Lin when Lin was a restricted free agent with the Knicks. Starting at the 45 second mark of this video, you can see Atkinson in the orange long-sleeve T-shirt.

I know a lot of Lin fans are attached to MDA, but I think Lin is probably closer to Atkinson than MDA. This is just a hunch on my part, though. As my most dedicated readers will know, I’m not a big MDA fan. He did pioneer the type of offensive scheme (“Seven Seconds or Less”) that the Warriors have perfected. I’ll give him that. Beyond that, if I wasn’t a Lin fan, I wouldn’t want MDA coaching any team. Like most typical coaches, he forces his players into fitting his system, rather than catering his schemes to bring out each players’ strengths. He’s a poor manager of players’ minutes, overusing only a few players and running them to death and barely using other players. His reputation is that he’s a smart X’s and O’s guy. Maybe so, but I think MDA’s offensive scheme basically amounts to finding a great PG and just letting him do his thing. Now, I have no problem with that, all I’m saying is that more credit should be given to his great PG than to himself and his X’s and O’s. I don’t think he has the ability to communicate with all of his players. I don’t see him as being very inspirational and I don’t think he has the ability to motivate his players and get the best out of them. I know Lin fans may argue otherwise,but MDA didn’t inspire Lin to be great. All he did was trust in Lin and gave Lin minutes and freedom to run the offense. Lin is great on his own.

MDA also ran Lin to the ground and overused Lin at PG. I know, Lin fans will kill me for saying that. But during Linsanity, I wanted Lin to run off screens without the ball, but MDA kept doing the same damn thing with Lin over and over. That lack of variation is what allowed LeBron and the Heat to trap Lin during Linsanity. But I don’t want to get off-track. As much as I’m not thrilled with MDA as a head coach, he’s still like the only coach that really believes in Lin. So, as a Lin fan, I’d be thrilled for MDA and Lin to re-unite. I wrote a previous article expressing excitement for Lin possibly joining the Sixers and re-uniting with MDA, but I’m even more excited about the potential of Lin joining the Nets and re-uniting with Atkinson. The Sixers may have more potential longer-term than Nets due to their young talent, picks and cap space, but I’m also a bit concerned about the front office politics and the immaturity of some of the young players. Things could get pretty messy from a politics standpoint if MDA sticks around as the assistant head coach for the Sixers. It’ll be tough for Brown, the Sixers current head coach, to run a team when he is continuing to look over his shoulder fearful of his imminent firing. Things could get a little messy is all I’m saying.

While the Nets lack picks and really young talent, I’m confident in Nets’s GM, Sean Marks, simply because he’s a Spurs product (a former assistant GM for the Spurs). I think he’ll find a way to get the pieces that will make the Nets a playoff contender. It ain’t gonna be easy though and could take some time, but it looks like the Nets are starting to head in the right direction with their hire of Marks and Atkinson, as this article from the Washington Post points out. Marks also appears to be just the type of GM to really understand and appreciate Lin’s talents, since he doesn’t appear to be the usual superstar-fucker GM. Furthermore, Atkinson is apparently beloved by a lot of players, so that could lure some key players to the Nets. For example, Al Horford, a star for the Hawks, is very close to Atkinson (who is currently the top assistant coach for the Hawks) and becomes a free agent this summer. I doubt that Horford would jump ship for the lowly Nets, though. But you never know.

Of course, you know me, being a crazy Lin fan, I think Lin can make pretty much any team a playoff contender as long as he’s given big minutes and the freedom to run the offense. Lin doesn’t need much. All he needs is to be surrounded by a bunch of unselfish players with some athletic ability. Lin proved that he can turn a mediocre team into a playoff team during Linsanity. Lin is a much more polished, skilled and mature player now than he was during Linsanity. That’s all I’m saying. It would also be great if the Nets can get some depth. That would be the other key to being a playoff contender. I’m not so concerned about getting star players to join Nets as I am getting solid unselfish players.

Again, being a crazy Lin fan, I see Lin as being THE star that the Nets should build around. they just need a season of Lin running the show to be convinced of this. Lin is a completely different player when he is given the freedom to run the offense. As Lin’s coach at Harvard, Tommy Amaker said, the biggest obstacle for Lin in the NBA is that Lin needs to lead to be successful, but Lin won’t be allowed to lead in the NBA. I’m paraphrasing, of course. When Lin is THE man, he puts up superstar stats and wins games (averaging 23 points, 8 assists and has a 74% win rate).

I say it time and time again, but the ONLY time Lin has gotten big minutes and freedom to run the show consistently is during Linsanity. Ever since then, all Lin has received is limited/inconsistent minutes and usage. As an indication of Lin’s greatness, Lin managed to average 13.4 points playing next to one of the most toxic ball-hoggers of all time, James Harden. Back then people called Lin trash, but then Ty Lawson came to Houston and only averaged 5.8 points next to Harden. Yet, people STILL don’t give Lin recognition for what Lin has accomplished with limited/inconsistent minutes and usage.

I’m not very familiar with the Nets. They do have Brook Lopez, so there’s that. Thaddeus Young also ain’t bad, but definitely not anywhere near as good as he used to be. I don’t know the story with Jarrett Jack. If Nets get Lin, will they trade Jack? Is Jack willing to back up Lin? So there is some uncertainty there. I know Jack is injured right now, but don’t know the status of his injury. Bogdanovic has had some really good games, showing some promise. If you’re a Nets fan, I would love to get some input as I don’t know much about the Nets.

The main reason I’m excited about Lin joining Nets is to re-unite with a coach that I know believes in him. That’s first and foremost. Also, Lopez as a PnR partner is better than what Lin has ever had (D-Coward doesn’t count, since Lin wasn’t the ball-handler for the Rox and Coward doesn’t like doing PnRs anyway). I also think Lin returning to NYC with a former assistant coach for the Knicks during Linsanity makes for a very compelling story. If I am the Nets owner, I’d be chomping at the bit to make this happen, purely for marketing reasons. The Knicks are vulnerable now, Nets have a real chance to take over NYC with Linsanity 2.0! Could you imagine the media storm if Linsanity 2.0 takes place with the Nets? Knicks fans would be lining up in front of Dolan’s door with pitch forks and torches. Dolan would have an ulcer. It would be the perfect story for Linsanity 2.0. You know how much I love a great story. It’s what drew me to Jeremy Lin in the first place.

About JLintel

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  • MrPingPong

    Yeah, forget about the playoffs and tax day too!

    The Hornets will not get far with the way Cliff is misusing Lin. But that’s the way it is. It is not unreasonable to assume that Lin will not stay with the Hornets after the playoffs.

    Atkinson seems to have great potential and is a great coach for Lin to play for. Netsanity? 😉

    • I would be pretty pissed if Lin chose to stay with Hornets–especially if he didn’t try hard to reunite with Atkinson. That would piss me off. Not gonna lie. Ha ha!

  • Ace Pagoda

    I like the points you make about the weaknesses of MDA. While JLin will always be in gratitude to MDA Atkinson is the MDA 2.0 version, younger and more adapted. I looked at the Brklyn roster and it has some pieces. Lopez obviously (though I don’t trust this because of foot problems with a big man so I would for sure get a good backup), Thad Young is good, Bodanovic (?). I also like the potential of Thomas Robinson and maybe the coach can help him to fulfill his potential. He is long, strong, young and fast. Jack might agree to back up JLin and if not get someone else but Jack is very competent. Yes they have to get a few pieces but they have cap space and an owner with money in the media and marketing capital of the world with an international market that includes the largest segment of people who will follow JLin, especially if he is successful. I would be way more than disappointed in JLin if he stayed in Charlotte because he has absolutely no future there with KW. If he were PG then it could be considered but not even then due to the coach. I don’t think JLIn is dumb so it won’t happen. You are right about Philly, they have too much politics going on there though it is still better than Charlotte. I think the key to beating Miami is starting JLin at PG and play him for 40 minutes. Since that is not going to happen the key will be defense and ball movement. They have no other weapons and since they did neither defense nor ball movement they need to try that. Charlotte has no inside game at all against Miami so their options are definitely limited. At least by running and ball movement they can play to Zeller’s strength.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Coach Clifford is taking a beating on the blogs and on Sportige. Brutal, basically calling him stupid and incompetent. Of course part of this situation is of his own doing because of his misuse of JLins talents. Houston at least had James Har-_en and Dwight as distraction. But if KW and NB do not show up then there is nothing left and neither is as big a distraction as Har_en and Dwight. I wonder if ownership is dictating the KW-NB strategy? If so, and Cliff has no choice but to go along he is earning his multimillion dollar salary. I doubt very much NB will stay in Charlotte as being a Euro he will want to be in bigger city. He does not deserve top money though, though some fool will probably give it to him. Marv will leave also so the future looks bleak again for Charlotte. However I still have hope because Mr PP’s ouija board is calling it Charlotte in 7 games so that means we have a lot to look forward to! Thank you Mr. PP

    • Great points, Ace! I enjoyed reading this article regarding the potential Lin/Atkinson Nets scenario. It looks like the Nets are looking to move Jarrett Jack. Jeff Teague looks like he could be another potential recruit to join Atkinson in Nets, since Teague is close with Atkinson in Hawks. Hope Lin gets the job, instead of Teague.

      I say Lin should recruit NB and MW to Nets. That would be pretty ideal, actually. Those two are great teammates and I think they like working with Lin. I’m gonna be bugging Lin about this once the playoffs are over. Those two are great fits for Lin. I really enjoy Batum’s and MW’s games, as well. So that would be perfect for me. 🙂

      • I forgot Lee. Lin should also convince Courtney Lee to join him in NYC with the Nets. Of course, Nets would probably have to reconfigure their lineups to accommodate and Cap space is going to be an issue.

      • Ace Pagoda

        According to articles, at this time Bkn has 41.1 M in cap space. This means they can sign a max guy with up to 6 yrs experience for 21.1 M or for a player with 7-9 years exp for up to 29.5 M. For interests sake here are the other cap spaces for team leading in cap space: Lakers 64 M; Dallas 57.2 M; Philly 55.7 M; Celts 49.4 M; WA 46.7 M; Hou 44.2 M
        Portland 44 M. So for, let’s say Brooklyn how do you spend your money? I doubt you pick both Teague and JLin unless you lowball JLin because they won’t lowball Teague and JLin seems to have this “6th man” rep. In that case JLin won’t go to Brooklyn because it means no starting PG job. Al Horford has the years of exp. to command 29.5 M of that (if they offer him that much) 41.4 M cap leaving 11.9 M to get who! Teague? Will he sign for 11.9 M? Pretty sure JLin will if he gets a chance to start. In any case you are not going to afford both. From the way Batum is spoken about, like max contract offers (I think he would be 21.1 M) that would leave 20 M for other signings. Maybe a Marvin. In any case a max signing means allocating money in one person eating up 72%-51% of the cap space. I am pretty leary of these huge contracts. Look at Brooklyn with Joe Johnson. In terms of money Philly has more to offer. But we know money is not the only issue with JLin. Maybe he is offered respectful money of 12-15 M for 3-4 years so they can sign other pieces with the proviso that he gets first shot at starting PG. This is easy to do, just don’t sign another star PG! There would then be enough room to sign Batum but I think he thinks he deserves much more than JL say 18 M. That is 30-33 M leaving11.1-8.1 M. Brooklyn looks initially tempting but I am sure more things will come out as time goes by. A stealth team might be Dallas. I don’t know what the status is on Deron Williams and Ray Felton but if they can get rid of both of them they should and sign JLin. Dallas has 57.2 M in cap space and a great coach who has won a championship in Rick Carlisle. They tried for JLin before so they must know him but will they pay pretty big bucks as a respect thing and annoit him their starting PG? If they give JLin 15 M of their 57.2 M they still have 42 M left! I think Brooklyn is the best fit for a lot of reasons both basketball and business, but ONLY if owner/GM/coach see JLin as a leader of the team. Philly 2nd due to potential. If the Lakers weren’t so decadent and they wanted JLin I would include them here but I am done with LA so would not get a chance to watch JLin. Let the speculation continue!

        • Thanks for all the thought you’ve put into this, Ace! Great stuff. A lot to think about. Yeah, if Nets go after Teague, then Lin has to stay away, unfortunately. I’m so set on Lin joining Atkinson in Nets that I’d be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, Sixers is still number 2. To me, what’s first and foremost important is that Lin plays for a coach who trusts him 100%. I don’t really care about anything else, because everything will take care of itself. I’m just not sure how Carlisle feels about Lin and I don’t know if Carlisle will give Lin the freedom to run the offense. Lin just needs one season to start and do his thing, then I’ll be satisfied.

          Someone pointed this segment on an ESPN radio show to me on Twitter: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=15231236

          Go to the 23:25 minute mark where they talk about Lin. One of the guys on the show said that “If you put shooters around Lin and Lopez, you have a playoff team.” Of course, I believe this, but was surprised to hear some guy on the radio making this “bold” statement. I can’t tell if it was Alan Hahn or someone else on the show who said it. That’s the thing about radio, it’s hard to tell who’s talking unless you’re a regular listener, which I’m not.

          • MrPingPong

            Thanks for doing the math, Ace.

            Teague is still under contract next year, so he won’t go anywhere unless something drastic happens. On the other hand, Bazemore will be UFA next season, and considering how he has been playing, he will get paid. He is the equivalent of Batum, in my view. I hope Atkinson can lure him to the Nets. Lopez, Bazemore and Lin will be a force to be reckoned with.

            Switching to the Mavs, as I’ve mentioned a few times before at this site, I don’t like Cuban. I think he is a Lin doubter. Don Nelson likes Lin but it’s Cuban that really runs the show. Cuban could have offered Lin a job last summer, but instead, after the DeJ debacle, he gave a raise to Matthews and extended Barea’s contract. In the words of Jonathan Tjarks at RealGm, Cuban is ” a guy who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.” Check this out if you have time to burn:

            http://basketball.realgm.com/analysis/238691/Mavs-Now-Paying-Bill-For-Avoiding-Reloading-Through-Draft

            As to coach Carlisle, like our Philosopher here, I’m not sure he will give Lin the freedom to run the floor the way Lin fans like ourselves are advocating. Lin is a very special player, and not too many coaches see Lin the way we see Lin. I respect coach Carlisle, but…

            Anyway, it’s just fun speculation right now.

            Back to the playoffs. Tax day has passed. Letzzz Gooo, JL7!

  • See what I mean when I said that momentum can change in a heartbeat in the playoffs? The Mavs, after being blown out by OKC just stole a game in OKC. Lets hope Hornets manage to do the same.

    • MrPingPong

      Wow, I was so blown away by tax day today that I did not even know Mavs and Thunder played tonight. Cliff is a long way from being Carlisle though! 😉

      • Ace Pagoda

        Ditto. Cliff ain’t Carlisle.

  • LinFan123

    Sorry guys I have been a little quiet lately. What a disappointing first game!!! Gonna erase that from the brain and pretend it didnt happen. Really hoping for something special tonight. Maybe JLIN will have a crazy 2nd quarter like the Boston game and turn the whole playoff coaching dynamic on its head. Kemba has been good in the clutch in general this year but pretty obvious trend of underperforming against good teams in big games. JLIN is pretty much the opposite! I will be rooting for them both tonight!!
    Go Hornets! UNLEASH JEREMY LIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MrPingPong

      Good idea, LinFan123! In sports one has to have short memory. Forget both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and move on to the next game.

      I got bored yesterday so I watched game 2 of the Hawks vs Celts. The Celts could not score to save their lives. The Hawks clammed down on IT and that was it. How did the Celts managed to beat the Heat in game 82 of the regular season, I dunno. May be Cliff should study that game! 😉

    • Ace Pagoda

      The key words here are “Unleash Jeremy Lin!”. If Cliff won’t let JLin play then end of story. Judging from Cliff’s comments about the first game it looks like more of the same as he said he thought they scored enough points but their defense let them down. I thought their offense looked disjointed not matter how many points they scored and their defense, especially interior defense was horrible. Plus, they don’t have the personnel to improve on that interior defense. Charlotte needs to run and pass to control the tempo of the game. If they can get an early lead they can make Miami try to make it up and take them out of their game. I used to think Miami was old and could not run, but without Chris Bosh they can run pretty well. Charlotte has do more than “play better” with the same game plan. Don’t think they can win (unless JLin plays 35 minutes at PG) but here is hoping

  • Pistolpetr

    Whatever Lin does this summer it’s imperative that he makes the right choice as he is in the prime of his career and may only have 5 years left to play at his highest level. Personally if I were him I would choose Philly because they have Dantoni, some good big men and 1st round draft picks. Because Lin cannot afford to choose wrong at his age he should choose going with a coach who would maximize his potential. I know Dantoni is not the head coach yet but it’s prob just a matter of time.
    The Nets could also be a good choice but we don’t know for sure how the coach will use him or realize his potential. The other thing about the Nets.is that they gave up their first round draft choices until 2019 so unless they can pick up some good free agents they have a tough rebuilding task in front of them.
    Still wherever he goes if he gets the starting point guard spot he will do well and we’ll all enjoy watching him play much more than now. Looking forward to seeing what happens this summer!

  • LinFan123

    Live in game report…..Kemba playing well offensively..but…..Dragic has Kemba on a string Dragic is too long and aggressive for Kemba. CLIFF IS A TERRIBLE IN GAME ADJUSTER!!! JLIN played GREAT When in but…CLiff sticks with his same old rotation. When JLIN Went out with about 4 min left in 4th qtr it was close game then with JLIN out Heat went on huge run to build big lead at halftime. CLIFF has no feel for how the game is going!! NONE

    • I was doing a bit of bar hopping today. I saw the game from beginning to when Lin checked out in the 2nd quarter. The game was tied. Then I came back to watch the 3rd quarter and suddenly, Hornets were down by 12. So I assume that the Heat went on a run when Lin left. Of course, Cliff is clueless and played Lin only 26.5 minute,s whereas he played walker/Lee over 41 minutes. INSANITY! Oh well.

    • LInFan123

      OOPS that should have said 2nd qtr! above

  • Ace Pagoda

    Well, the good news is someone got hurt so JLin will get to play some extended minutes (I think). Wasn’t doing much up anyway. I thought KW was pretty heroic but with his flames of heroism, his individual scoring, his defense was weak and the team lost. I won’t wish injury on anybody to see someone else play but it would have been better if the injured person were not Batum. Might this be the slim chance of opportunity for a forced game changing plan for JLin to adjust the game to a winning style? We can only hope. I just hate watching Charlotte when JLin is in the game immediately head down to the side or the corner. For one things it takes too long for the offense to develop because he does not initiate it. Same old stuff. Kind of looking forward to the next game and maybe some magic because magic is what it is going to take to win a game let alone the series. Miami though was undoubtedly on fire shooting-wise. 74% in the first half is hard to overcome but Charlotte hung in there. But there was never the sense that they could win. Big Al was a pro tonight. Rather than my prescribed run and pass offense Charlotte went old school to the low post, slowed the game down and Big Al was nice to watch work. The problem is he is the only one on the team built for that style. He really was a counter to young Whiteside, though Whiteside got his too. But the two veteran Miami guards Dragic and Wade were too much for KW and especially CLee. Did Marvin have a family emergency or something and could not attend the game? Veteran presence was required here and after the last game I was a little surprised Tank even played. Charlotte really should have gone with T. Hans just to change things up and see what would happen. After Charlotte committed the 2nd of a double turnover that increased the lead to 13 after being at 9 with 1:38 to go I turned off the TV. Cliff’s usage of JLin really diminishes JLin. If JLin starts for Batum and he gets more minutes he will have a chance to get into a flow and maybe dictate the game. That is still, I think, Charlotte’s best chance.

    • I hear ya. Hornets would have a chance if it was Kemba and not Batum, who was injured. Not sure if Cliff can afford to start Lin, since Hornets don’t have a back up PG. We’ll see what happens. Nonetheless, Lin will have more minutes, that’s for sure. But those minutes won’t mean anything if Cliff won’t allow Lin to handle the ball when Kemba is on the floor. Cliff needs to play Lin as a combo guard when he’s on the floor with Kemba. If not, then Cliff is a clueless and is out of his league in the playoffs.

  • MrPingPong

    I was able to watch the first quarter but then had to skip the rest of the game. From the box score, Lin missed all of his three 3ptas. And Marvin the Marvelous laid a big egg 0/10. And then Batum rolled his ankles. So it was Alfense again, with Kemba doing the hero balling. The same old stuff of years past.

    Anyway, if you recall, my Ouija board said we had to wait till game 3. It did not tell us that Batum would be injured though. Fortune tellers always foretell things in mysterious ways. Lin will start and will bring the Hornets back from the dead! That’s me talking and not my Ouija board! 😉

    Letzzz Gooo, JL7! Onto game 3!

  • Pistolpete

    I re-read your article philosopher and I definitely agree that the Nets would be a good fit for JLin next year. The thing that concerns me about them though is their lack of draft picks and being able to lure free agents to Brooklyn. However if you let Lin run the team he can lead average players to play team ball and win. If that happens it will probably entice free agents to consider the Nets. So I believe that there is definitely hope for them to improve and possibly become a playoff contender.
    I realize that you have some reservations about Dantoni and I do too particularly in regard to team defense. It’s just that the results with him and Lin were so spectacular that I feel that with him as a coach Lin would almost certainly have success and the team as well. I do remember his quote of “riding him like freaking Secretariat” and then he sustained a knee injury. I looked back at the stats though and Lin only played over 40 minutes in 4 games. Also his injury did occur when Woodsen was coach so I’m not sure if Dantonis use of Lin contributed to the injury or not. At any rate I think Lin will do well at either place and I am optimistic that he will find a place where he and the team can excell.

  • Ace Pagoda

    JLin has played dull basketball in the playoffs. He was more exciting in the Houston-Portland series. But I don’t think this is because of JLin other that not forcing the issue. Coach Clifford is seeming to neutralize JLin’s skills. It seems as if Cliff is encouraging more iso ball from everybody to the detriment of team ball. Though Charlotte was better last game had they played a smarter game it could have been a lot closer and maybe resulted in a win though Miami’s hot shooting hand was a big advantage. I think that last game being closer will only reinforce Cliff’s thinking and remarks from the 1st post game that they only needed to execute better to win. So we will probably see more of the same in the 3rd game to confirm or dispute that idea. I say we will see the same result. With that said this series is doing nothing to showcase JLin’s talents. JLin will have to go rogue in order to shine through the dullness of the Charlotte offense and if he does Cliff will probably bench him effectively ending the season for JLin. It will be even more interesting this summer to see if Brooklyn and Philly go after JLin because these two teams and especially Brooklyn because Atkinson is HC and MDA is not in Philly (yet) know JLin best. If Brooklyn makes a big effort to get JLin to be the starting PG (no guarantee though) then it means that the coach is putting a lot on the line in JLin’s abilities and it will be a very exciting next season in Brooklyn. He, more than anyone, even JLin fans, knows JLin’s basketball abilities. Ditto MDA. It is a big gamble if Brooklyn tries to get him but one that could pay off big in Linsanity 2.0. I know JLin does not like the Linsanity term but being back in NY he should embrace it and ride it like freakin Secretariat. One other weakness contributing to this scenario is whether or not Atkinson can attract other good free agents to go along with this plan of JLin at PG. On the other hand team ball does not require superstars, just competent, trying professionals.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Why happened to Jeremy Lamb? Is his face on a milk carton? Why isn’t Frank back in the D-leagues learning how to play pro basketball? The only salvation I have is Mr. PP’s ouija board says 7 games. I am at peace.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Ouch! for James Har_en in this Chris Barlow article: http://www.papercitymag.com/culture/houston-rockets-jeremy-lin-scapegoat-james-harden-anti-mvp-bench-video-haunts-daryl-morey/ JLin had a few great weeks of glory only to be slapped down by the basketball gods and paired with Carmelo Anthony, Harden/McFail and Kobe/BS. What a contrast in fortunes! No wonder JLin likes it in Charlotte. KW and Cliff must be like a refreshing breeze after dealing with those world class ego maniacs. I have a new appreciation for JLin not only being able to survive in those toxic environments but making strides in improving his game. He has the one great intangible that neither of those teams with their stars had, character.

  • Ace Pagoda

    If JLin starts today, or even if he doesn’t here is my advice: Run Jeremy Run. Everytime you get the ball run it down Miami’s throats and when they come to hack you in the paint throw it out for someone (hopefully) to start making 3 pointers. If the 3’s fall then it makes more room in the paint for you to operate. After Miami makes a basket demand the ball and Run Jeremy Run. Push it. Make you teammates keep up, make them run, get into a flow and then maybe they will play active defense. This is game 3, the big game. Mr. PP and his ouija board says so.

    • Pistolpete

      Yeah he has to be aggressive drive and run when possible. His shot looked bad to me last game – form looked different. Looks like he may be losing confidence in it and is trying different things. He should get it straightened out this summer – maybe go back to his old form.

  • LinFan123

    Clifford strikes again!!! Lin not starting FRANK IS!! WTF!! DENG already torching Frank. Beyonds stupid.

  • MrPingPong

    Pay back! In Lin my Ouija board trusts!
    Thank you, Ace, for believing in my Ouija board!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Pistolpete

    Great game for Lin. I thought with Batum out they would have a chance. With him out Lin handled the ball a lot more and that was the difference. Stupid Clifford it’s so obvious – just get him the damn ball.

    • MrPingPong

      That’s right Pistol, just give Lin the damn ball. But we all know it’s not gonna happen. Amazingly enough, in spite of his limited minutes and misused role, more than often, Lin managed to play his game and delivered big time! That’s why Lin is such a special player. We Lin fans love him, but the NBA coaches and GMs and refs still refuse to accept that Lin is a bonafide NBA player.

      We all know why Lin was ignored coming out of high school as Division 2 player of the year and went undrafted coming out of Harvard after breaking all kinds of records. Lin was playing next door to Stanford but Stanford ignored him. Lin was playing next door to the Celts, but Danny Ainge didn’t even take a look at Lin. And when Lin got to play in the NBA, coaches made sure he sat at the deepest end of the bench. MDA played Lin on Feb 04, 2012 out of sheer necessity. I give MDA credit for immediately recognizing Lin’s talent and gave him the key to run the offense.

      The Gods of Basketball work in mysterious ways. Batum got hurt and Cliff has to give Lin a bigger role out of necessity. Lin took on Batum’s role as a playmaker. So Cliff started Frank the Tank instead of Lin (because MJ told him so, in case you don’t know it already.) That’s ok by me as long as Lin gets to run the show whenever he is on the floor. Ace, since you have game 3 on tape and have rewatched it, tell me if I am wrong: the ball went around and back to Lin often so Lin could create plays, even with Kemba on the court? Lin’s teammates are trusting Lin more and more now. It can only get better folks.

      So let’s just sit back and enjoy this first round playoffs series. It’s gonna be a marathon, folks. Just be patient. Lin is calm, composed, playing his best basketball and getting the whole team involved. The Hornets will win the series in 7. My Ouija board says so! 😉

      Check out these highlights in case you haven’t seen them:

      https://youtu.be/tM5RzrpW5Nk

      These are clips from TNT Overtime showing the ground zero view of Lin maneuvering among the trees (and the shrubs) and score! The TNT TV commentators are so excited about Lin. Brent Barry is one of the better TV color men out there. He has always been a Lin supporter.

      Have a great day/evening wherever you are on the WEB! 🙂

  • I watched the first half, but missed the second half. Only caught garbage time when Lin was on the bench and Walker was in the game to pad his stats. When I stopped watching, game was basically tied, but then when I checked the score in garbage time, Hornets up 90 to 70. I was shocked! I had a feeling Hornets would win (it’s just the way playoff series go), but didn’t expect them blow out the Heat after seeing that the game was basically tied by half-time.

    Anyway, as usual, Lin snapped another losing streak for the Hornets. Gave Hornets playoff win in 14 years!

    • MrPingPong

      Yup, same old broken record, Philosopher: Lin breaks records! 🙂

    • ashley

      I was praying to God to let Lin and the Hornets win the 3rd game. And they did it, as many fans had hoped, and that made my day!

      I didn’t watch the entire game, mainly the third quarter where Kaminsky got his 13 points and Lin received an outburst of celebration from his teammates and the audience for making that 3 pointer. Cliff said MJ told him to let K do more post-ups, which seemed to be the big change this game and which lead me to wonder if MJ suggested anything about Lin? Probably not because Lin got pretty much the same limited playing time, much less than Lee.

      Regarding Kemba stat padding, it couldn’t be more obvious at the end of the 4th Q when the Hornets had a huge lead of at least 20 points. I was wondering how come the starters were still playing when it should be practice time for the bench players like Troy, psycho T, and Lamb? I would hate to play for such a coach were I a bench player on this team. No doubt Cliff wanted Kemba to outscore Lin. Thankfully, the God of Basketball forbade that and our Lin would rightfully be the hero of the game and the one to save the Hornets from the disgrace of being swept over and to bring them the first win in 14 years!

      • Great to hear from you, ashley. It’s been a while! So happy thing worked out the way you and we all wanted for Lin. I hear you on the Kemba stat padding. i’m also very glad that Kemba wasn’t able to outscore Lin even though he was given every opportunity to due to whatever political agenda is in place.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I just watched the tape of game 3. Charlotte was pretty lucky Miami was out of sync. Charlotte shooting only 40%. The only offensive excitement was generated by JLin. JLin played only 26 minutes and led the scoring with 18. His 2 3pointers were big momentum builders and his coast to coast driving lay up put a severe dent into Miami’s hopes. Run Jeremy Run. Frank scored his first points of the series (!) in the 3rd quarter when he went wild with 13. Otherwise it was kind of a dull game and Charlotte won a game. I think Miami will come back with a vengeance and if Charlotte plays like tonight they will get beat. 3 turnovers by Charlotte makes up for a lot of mistakes. Frank had 34:35 minutes, CLee 42.00, KW 36.20. JLin 26:05. Why so few I don’t know but he should have had 6:00 minutes of CLee’s minutes and a few of KW. Charlotte won anyway fortunately but JLin needs to play more minutes if they are to win another game

    • ashley

      Ace, you’re right in pointing out the downsides of this victorious game–there are legitimate concerns over the coming matchups. From the playing time distribution in these three playoff games, it is clear that Cliff, star-kissing coach, is bent on giving Lin his “due” playing time, regardless of how Lin has done to help the Hornets make the playoffs or how this may affect their chance of winning the series. For this, I’m extremely disappointed. I wonder if anyone has compared his average playing time this season with that of the previous two? I suspect Lin’s got the least as a Hornet, and I believe he started the least games this season–he can’t start in playoff games unless Kemba is out.

      Indeed, who cares about a team lead by a stubborn coach who plays favoritism to the detriment of the team win? With this victory, I feel our Lin has fully–or overly–fulfilled his duty or promise to the Hornets, and I wouldn’t mind if he doesn’t play at all in whatever games there may be left in this playoff series. Just hope this game and the next–if he beasts again within the limited playing time–help enough in boosting his value comes this off season.

      • I did warn everyone at the beginning of the season that if Lin doesn’t start, he’ll likely average the fewest amount of minutes since Linsanity. That is basically true. He averaged 26.3 minutes this season with Hornets. The only time Lin averaged fewer minutes since Linsanity is with the Lakers last season: 25.8.

    • Excellent game recap, Ace! I missed Lin’s transition 3-pointer, as well as the insanely fast coast-to-coast drive, but did catch them in the highlights, of course.

      Of course, I agree that Lin needs to play way more minutes. Because of politics, as well as cluelessness, Lin’s minutes/usage are limited and he is only unchained in desperate times.

  • JC

    There just something about a 6th man, making $2.5 million, that you can’t let shine brighter than your stars. Charlotte is also in the difficult position of having to resign Batum and MW, and Lin.

    • MrPingPong

      Agreed JC! Can’t let the bench guy outshine the stars. Things will change for the world’s most famous bench guy for the better next season, for sure!

      Side note:

      MJ was at the game last night. I wonder what he thought of Lin running the show out there. As great as a player he was, MJ is not known for his talent evaluation skill. Lin is a rare breed of BB player that the NBA have not seen in a long while. I doubt MJ sees what we Lin fans see in Lin. And who are we to question the GOAT? 😉

      • JC

        MJ is like the dad that can’t show favoritism out loud, because bball politics. He strategically did so in China at the beginning of the year, shrewdly, but I believe he meant it when he said (paraphrasing) “Jeremy could be the most important acquisition this year”.

        To give a low paid 6th man the credit un-justifies all the previous multi million dollar choices, in the same way they can’t admit the refs suck alot, because they often can’t tell the difference between a flagrant and a tickle.

    • Yep. Hornets also know that Lin is very likely to find another team next season, so they don’t want to sing his praises or let him shine. They’re hoping that they can somehow still keep him as a backup so only use Lin the right way when they’re in desperation of a savior. That’s basically what Lin’s role is on the team. When they’re really desperate, they look to Lin. All of the Hornets big wins have included this as a key element.

      • JC

        What team in their right mind, won’t want to keep JLin’s production for $2.5?

        They will coax and talk and praise him, and maybe beg him to stay another year. If that doesn’t work , which it won’t, he will opt out and Charlotte will low ball/renegotiate, rinse and repeat, all the while down playing his contributions.

        Because that’s what any team would do, if they wanted to keep JLin for as little as possible. This would free up alot of other cap space for other things.

        • Ace Pagoda

          I don’t think just any team would do what you describe. A smart GM/coach who wanted to win might see JLin as the way to win and not just a cheap bench player with an opt out.
          A team with any integrity and a sense of obligation to their fans, the people who pay the bills, would simply play JLin because they want to win. And if they did play JLin to win and they did in fact win more games including playoff games then maybe JLin would feel a part of a baseball team and consider staying. The way they are treating him now what motivation is there for him to stay? A good owner/coach/GM would have long ago played JLin starter minutes to really see what he could do and maybe started him simply because they found a player who could help them win. All the convolutions about not insulting the star player in whom they invested so much, about the “star” player whom they “must” sign and about the coach who intends to prove his way is the right way is only about a few people. Isn’t KW man enough to sit and maybe have to fight for his job? Isn’t Batum bright enough to see whether Charlotte is a team with potential enough for him to stay? Doesn’t this coach ever analyze his team and his actions and question his own decisions? Of course JLin won’t stay simply because Charlotte acts like they don’t want him. Money is not the issue and never was.

  • MrPingPong

    OK, here’s another article on the subject of Lin, Atkinson and the Nets:

    https://empirewritesback.com/2016/04/26/nets-rumors-jeremy-lin-an-offseason-target/

    This article was published after Game 3 of Heat vs Hornets in the playoffs but before game 4. Take a look at the comments on the article if you will. One comment brought back a clip from the 60-min segment on Linsanity, in which Daryl Morey asserted that Li was “the most explosive, accelerating athlete [the team has] ever measured.”

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15stmo_rockets-gm-lin-is-explosive_news

    • Thanks for the links, MrPingPong! I did see this article, but didn’t read the comments. I just gave some of the comments likes. Great comments!