Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Jeremy Lin Journey, or should I say Saga, continues...

We're about to start the next chapter in the Jeremy Lin saga. It may be opening night, or anytime soon after, but we all know what's coming. Jeremy Lin will be coming off the bench at some point this season. The first signs flashed for me early last season. With Jeremy coming back from knee surgery (meniscus tear), he was given a very short leash. In Game #9 of last season, he was pulled for Toney Douglas.  This was just the start as he was pulled multiple times in the 4th and not allowed to finish games. This to me made no sense if you really feel that Jeremy is your point guard of the future.

Not only was JLin pulled while struggling, but he would be inexplicably yanked or have his minutes limited numerous times while playing well, like in Game #48 against the Nuggets. Another head scratcher from McHale and staff included not splitting Harden and Lin's time on the court. It's so obvious that JLin needs the ball in his hands to play to his strengths. Instead, we saw a lot of Jeremy in the corner with the ball sticking in Harden's hands. Even after an unbelievable game against the Spurs, McHale had to put a dig in about Jeremy's execution on the last play.

So now we hear that they (Rockets org) want Jeremy to be the leader of the 2nd team. As a guy who always tries to see the glass half full not half empty, I'm trying to see the positives. This, leading the 2nd team sounds great in theory. Jeremy's usage should go way up and he should play most of the minutes when Harden is out. However, a few big questions remain. What happens when he is on the court with Harden? Will he play in crunch time?

When Jeremy is on the court with Harden things just don't look comfortable or smooth. I'd even venture to say that Jeremy worked better with Melo than Harden. It's in plain sight to me that both Melo and Harden can't stand the attention that Jeremy receives and this carries over to their play with him on the court. It's almost like a battle of alpha males. Let's see if Harden is willing and able to share, though I highly doubt it. However, the great thing is if they want to go far in the playoffs, they need JLin to have a substantial role.

My guess is he'll get most of his crunch time minutes when they're playing small ball with JLin, Bev, and Harden. He'll get some more time when Bev is in foul trouble.

Also, I'm not oblivious to the fact that the Rockets would probably love to get rid of Lin to appease Harden. However, that's easier said than done. The only teams that would probably think Lin is an upgrade for them are the Sixers and Jazz. However, the Jazz aren't sending Favors to the Rockets and I don't think Morey would bite on Thad Young, especially since he can't shoot the 3. With the poison pill aspect to Lin's contract, I don't think other teams are knocking down doors to trade for him.

I know that it can be hard for many of us seeing what Jeremy has to constantly overcome. However, I'm going to try and enjoy every minute that he is on the court. I remember back to the days when we were just hoping he would be active and suited up. At least now, he is healthy and playing well. He is attacking the basket again and getting to the line. Too me, that's his elite skill, the quick first step then getting to the hole. His shot will come in time but I'm glad he is going back to his bread and butter. He has come so far but still has so much farther to go. Let's all try to look at this as just a speed bump in the road as Jeremy starts a new chapter in his amazing journey.

Oh yeah, and another reason why we love this guy:

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