Thursday, May 24, 2012

JLin vs Dragic

This ESPN article is somewhat fair in their comparison but they seem to miss a few important areas.

Jeremy Lin vs. Goran Dragic - Knicks Blog - ESPN New York

Here are some additional items to look at:

Age: Jeremy is 2+ years younger

23 vs 26

Goran's played 4 years already, Jeremy has just gotten his first taste of actual playing time. JLin has way more upside!


JLin 6'4" 205
Goran 6'3" 190

Jeremy seems to be at least an inch taller and 15lbs heavier if not more.

Per 36 minute stats (very useful if player didn't start all games):

All of Jeremy's stats are clearly better than Goran's except for TO's, here are a few for 2011-12:

PPG 19.6 to 15.9
APG 8.3 to 7.2
FTMPG 5.6 to 2.3
PER 19.9 to 18.0
TO's 4.8 to 3.2

Defensive stats:
SPG 2.1 to 1.7
BPG  .3 to .2

Jeremy was just slightly below Goran in shooting percentages across the board:

FG% .446 to .462
3P% .32 to .337
FT% .798 to .805

However, after another summer with Doc, I'm confident Jeremy's shooting numbers will be as good or better than Gorans:

I haven't seen too much of Dragic but he does seem pretty quick defensively. Jeremy does a good job of contesting even when he gets beat or has no help on the pick and rolls. JLin seems much stronger and bigger and thus does a good job defending 2's as well as smaller 3's. Dragic is not the ball hawk that JLin is either. With all of that said, I'd give the clear nod to Jeremy on the real important defensive side of the ball. So, the only obvious advantage to Goran right now would be ball handling.

Lets also remember, Jeremy was thrust into the spot light on the biggest stage in sports, with a group of roll players. Then, when they were healthy, he had to deal with jealous superstars. This is not to mention teams sending double and triple teams to stop him so not to be embarrassed by Linsanity.

When it is all said and done, I don't think we'll even be comparing JLin and Dragic. Jeremy Lin will be a superstar, Goran Dragic will be a solid starting point guard.

However, you have to give Jeremy a lot of credit in actually comparing himself to Dragic before he even played and before Dragic was more than just a backup. I think this was done in self deprecation but has turned out to be prophetic in that the media is now comparing the two. He obviously couldn't compare himself to DWade before he even played a game in the NBA.

Jeremy from the outset stated his goals were to get in the rotation, become a starter, play in the Olympics (I'm  pretty sure on this one but can't find that interview), and win Championships. So, for those of you who think Jeremy is totally surprised by where he is today, think again. He may be surprised by how fast and how crazy the journey has been, but I believe he has always known that he could be this good.


  1. They are both similar in size, but Goran Dragic is 26 y.o., he started playing European pro-ball when he was 17 and has played in the NBA for 4 years.

    Dragic is like a fast forward image of what Jeremy Lin will be in the future after 4 years of experience. A big athletic point guard who can use his size advantage on smaller guards. A Hardworker, scrappy defender, Capable shooter (But not lights out), and a court wise play maker who creates best off the pick and roll.

    Lin will have less turnovers as he gains more experience. He will also be faster and play better defense when his knees heal, and he doesn't need to wear the heavy braces.

    Right now, Dragic has the advantage because he is injury free, and has more NBA experience. He will also demand a large contract .... much higher than the Knicks mid-level exemption .... So there is very little chance that the Knicks can afford to sign a Dragic ... with or without re-signing Lin.

    1. If Jeremy Lin after 4 years is producing the way Goran Dragic did as a starter.this season, that would be an ASIAN FAIL!

    2. I agree with ABC Baller. Dragic is a very experience player for his age and has performed well in the playoff with the Suns. He's a proven player who deserve a big contract. Jeremy Lin is a new comer to the game and has been inconsistent at time. Lin has all the tools to be a successful NBA player for a long time. At this point, I would pick Dragic over Lin, but Lin definitely has the potential to be better than Dragic in the future.

    3. Actually, I'd be terribly nervous about giving Goran Dragic a big contract.

      I am from Phx and have watched Dragic struggle as a Sun and in summer league when they tried to make a star out of him but failed. Compared to his long body of ineffectiveness, Dragic's recent explosion looks suspiciously like a contractual blip.

      Lin has a small sample size, but he has been very consistent as a sample size. People like me who watched him do great things as a rookie are amazed but not entirely surprised by his success as a starter.

      My fear is that once Dragic signs that contract, he becomes the "Dragic" that we in Phx know as the inconsistent player who could not get his act together despite every chance being handed to him.

  2. The ESPN article shortchanged Lin in the 'craftiness' and 'transition' categories.

  3. Oh wow. The opinions of 6 GMs who didn't even think Jeremy belonged on an NBA roster. Maybe they can interview Paris Hilton and Larry the Cable guy to round out the expert parade.

    1. I am not joking when I say that Paris Hilton and Larry the Cable guy would probably pick Lin over Dragic if they saw the two of them play.

  4. Of course GMs around the league don't think highly of Lin. Those are the same people who cut him and didn't draft him out of college. The better Lin becomes, the worse those GMs look.

  5. Dragic is a more technically polished player than Lin, but that does not mean he is a better player.

    I am not convinced that Dragic is truly a season long starting pg in the NBA. Once teams eventually figure out that he cannot athletically finish at the rim over big men the way Jeremy Lin routinely does, Dragic's effectiveness will be severely curtailed. Also, Dragic's average foot speed and average athleticism means he will always be vulnerable to quick attacking pgs who can zip around him in a way that they cannot around the vastly quicker Lin.

    Dragic by necessity is a more technically polished player than Lin because he cannot afford not to be. Lin, on the other hand, is so ahletic that he hasn't had to fully develop his skills until he got to the NBA. Lin's vastly superior athleticism is why Lin burst onto the scene when given a whiff of minutes and why Dragic has struggled in the NBA only until the latter half of 2012 when he became Houston's starter by default.

    There is another aspect. Jeremy Lin is incomparably tougher mentally than the historically mentally frail Dragic. Jeremy Lin had already battled the Jordan rules, clawed his way through the minor leagues, and successfully battled off organizations that refused to acknowledge his game because of his skin color. Dragic has not had anywhere as much struggle as Lin has, yet he has performed much less effectively even during his hot streak. Plus, opponents don't double or triple team Dragic because he doesn't warrant that kind of defensive coverage.

    Jeremy Lin has All Star athleticism and potential. He will dominate whether he starts or comes off the bench. Goran Dragic would be a fine backup, particularly in a 3rd guard role. Dragic will do OK if he is on his game, but his lack of athleticism also means that he'll have days where he just can't get anything done like he did in Phx and for most of his Houston stint. Their games look completely different to me because of the striking difference in their athleticism and personalities.

    1. Agree with the analysis of Dragic v Lin. I didn't follow Lin very closely when he was in high school but I do recall seeing him play as a skinny little freshman who had "swagger" even back then. In the final analysis, at the NBA level, it isn't who should start the game, rather who should FINISH the game that matters. I sincerely believe (and Linsanity proves) Lin is much better than Dragic at this aspect of the game.

    2. Honestly, I don't see a huge gap in terms of raw athleticism between the two. Lin is faster and stronger but Dragic is more fluid in his movements and a bit quicker.

      I wouldn't categorize either of them to be ultra athletic but they're pretty darn good. Lin is/will be the better player though.

    3. Well, I see this HUMONGOUS athletic gap between the two on both ends of the court.

      To me, the two guys look totally different in what they can do and how opponents play them.

      One area where Lin's athleticism shines way higher than Dragic's is one on one play on either end of the court. Lin cannot be guarded by just one guy, and he also can shut guys down in isolation.

    4. Jeremy has more finesse than Dragic. The way Jeremy can finish around the rim in traffic that Dragic has not shown he can is an indication of how much more finesse Jeremy has.

      Having said that, I do remember Dragic finishing with a two handed dunk on the break away fast break, while Jeremy has only been able to finish with one hand. This seems to be explained by how worn out Jeremy was at that point in the season or simply lack of technique or balance taking off. With more conditioni during he offseason, Jeremy should be able to efficiently and effectively utilize his athleticism.

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    6. Lin is quicker and has more moves than Dragic, though Dragic is a stronger ball-handler with his off-hand. Dragic is a better leaper. Experience is the main thing that separates the two.

    7. Aggressiveness is what separates Lin and Dragic.

      When the going gets rough, Dragic historically wilts. Lin ATTACKS.

      Dragic sure isn't using his "better" leaping ability to grab rebounds in traffic or finish over big men or do hang time stunts the way Lin does.

    8. Lin's rebounding is more from quickness and anticipation than leaping ability. His ability to finish is more from quickness and his skill at creating space and angles than his leaping ability. Which isn't to say Lin is ground-bound. He can dunk and has hang time. But he's not jumping over people.

  6. Where do you see more moves from Lin? His best move is the drive off that triple threat which is AMAZINGLY quick and strong. He comes off that screen pretty well also. But other than that I don't see other moves that he does well consistently.

    Lin finishes better because he's stronger and physically bigger. Dragic is the better leaper as in he gets up in less time.

    If we're talking athleticism for PG's it's Westbrook. Speed, quickness, power, explosiveness and ridiculous change of direction.

    1. Lin has several terrific moves, only a few of which I'll discuss here.

      He has a killer crossover that is like Tim Hardaway's UTEP Two Step. That move only works if a guy has elite athleticism.
      Lin finishes better than Dragic because he not only is stronger and bigger, but because he has better body control and more hangtime. Lin goes through or over people.

      Another great move that Lin has is his hanging jumpshot. When Lin goes up for a shot, he waits for the defender to come down before releasing. Thus Lin has a nasty array of stop and pop jumpers that even elite defenders like Shawn Marion and Ricky Rubio cannot defend.

      I've mentioned before Lin's ability to chase down the NBA's quickest pgs and strip them of the ball. Elite speed and explosiveness is needed for that. Almost no pg in the league can close the gap defensively like Lin can.

      There are several other moves Lin does that a less athletic guy could never do, including Lin's amazing reverse layups and Lin's amazing steal anticipation. I see Lin doing these things that elite point guards do and figure that Lin could not execute those plays without elite physical skills.

      I'd love to see Russell Westbrook vs. Jeremy Lin. Westbrook is a guy like John Wall who can give Lin a real physical challenge. I don't think either guy can stop the other, nor do I automatically assume Westbrook will get the better of Lin.

      Lin and Westbrook will go at it hard this summer before the Olympics.