After 3 trying seasons, where Jeremy had to take a back seat to players like Tony Douglas, Pat Beverly, Ronnie Price, and Jordan Clarkson, we seem back to square one with Jeremy coming off the bench. This season though looks to be different. Kemba Walker, the starter in front of Jeremy is actually a decent pg. Is he better than JLin? I don't think so but he is tons better than any on the list above. Yes, there is still the constant, "he needs to run the second team", "he fits better with the bench players" or the other starters "fit better". But there is no true 2. Nic Batum is not a scorer (shoots a lot less per 36 minutes than JLin) but a good playmaking 3, and the others just aren't starter material. Troy Daniels - 3pt specialist, Jeremy Lamb - just not any good. At the 3, PJ Hairston has good size but can't shoot, questionable on D, and still looks out of shape. Seems like a reach to me.
This all points to Jeremy eventually starting at the 2 with Batum moving over to the 3. I believe that Clifford realizes this but may have to play some politics first before JLin is given a starters role. Even if thats not the case, sooner or later he'll be forced to if wants to win games.
So whats the big deal about Jeremy starting if we know he is going to be closing games? Well for one, Jeremy wants to be a starter and he is good enough to start. Most importantly, it's about minutes. Even for the best 6th men, getting 30 or more minutes is pretty rare. You can go down the list, Ginobli, Lou Williams, Isaiah Thomas, only Jamal Crawford has more than few seasons right at 30 mpg. As a starter I'd expect a JLin to get 32-34 minutes.
What about not starting at the point? Being a playmaker, its not such a big deal for JLin. He played the 2 in college and he and Kemba compliment each other well. As long as he is on the court with the Hornets, no matter at the 1 or 2, he'll be doing his thing, attacking and making plays.
Even with Jeremy coming off the bench, I'm so excited to see him and these Hornets. The chemistry, talent, and coaching is there with this team. Jeremy seems to be in a really good place mentally and physically. I'm going out on the limb and predicting playoffs and JLin becoming the eventual starter at the 2 playing 33 mpg and putting up 17 and 6. Lets go JLin!
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