Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Jeremy Lin Bittersweet 2013-2014 Season
Jeremy Lin's 2013-2014 season ended in spectacular fashion. With only 0.9 seconds left, Damian Lillard, the NBA's future best point guard, hits an absurd three pointer. Lin, who had been playing decent defense on Lillard, was not on the court. A late switch miscue from Chandler and the ultimate defensive stopper in Beverly allowed Lillard to have a amazingly clean look of the basket. Credit to Lillard for doing his part. That play will be on blast for years to come. How many "series" ending shots have you seen? I am from LA and I've seen big shots over and over from Magic, Kareem, Van Exel, Kobe, and Big Shot Rob. But none ended a series. The opponents all lived to see another day. In this case, Lillard's dagger was the end of an up and down season for Jeremy Lin.
Could Jeremy Lin have played better? Check out this meme and you'll have Jeremy Lin's season in a nutshell.
Almost every single player in the starting lineup and even many on the bench refused to let Jeremy Lin do his job as a Point Guard. Jeremy Lin was put in a position to fail from the start. Not to succeed, but to FAIL. During the pre-season, when Beverly started right before the Asia trip, the writing was on the wall. Bench time for Jeremy Lin. Beverly would be hard pressed to make the 2nd string of another NBA team. Having Patrick start every game that he was healthy enough to play is a blow to Jeremy Lin's success. An argument can be made that there are many super point guards today, so may need a "defensive" stopper. Let's be honest, for the point guard position, it has traditionally been about floor leadership and helping the team win with expectations that the defensive side would suffer. I watched many a point guards pass through LA for both the Lakers and Clips to know this.
Jeremy Lin's offensive game was sacrificed because Howard didn't want to run the pick and roll. Do you remember how the sub-par Orlando Magic team of 2009 PNR their way to the finals? I watched in disgust at Howard's lone year in LA for his lack of a lot of stuff, specifically the intangibles of getting teammates more involved and thus "better". "Better" is my interpretation of making the role players job easier and thus making the game easier to win.
Jeremy Lin started pretty strong coming off the bench to provide a level of instant offensive and hitting 50%+ of his 3-pointers. After a really amazing break out game in Philadelphia where he played to Linsanity level numbers, his season took a downhill slide. I believe it was the offensive as the remaining games of that series (all away), resulted in massively less touches for Jeremy Lin. Almost to the point of looking at a wide open Lin and than passing to the other side where players could have been double teamed, sometimes resulting in a turnover. Due to injuries, Jeremy Lin did start some many games, but spent the majority of the season on the bench and playing in the 20-25 minute per game range.
As a Laker fan, I was depressed at just how terrible the Lakers were. But I always had hope at the beginning of the games. But lack of talent and an offensive that lacked the explosiveness of a Jeremy Lin where just too much to overcome. So I looked to Jeremy Lin to help me. But it didn't. Only my second favorite team, the Clippers, helped me through the season.
Reports are that McHale is back for is option year. With a poison pill year of $15, with $8 towards the cap, there will be very few teams with enough to trade for Jeremy Lin. I am resigned that I have to see another terrible year of the Los Angeles Lakers, another year where Jeremy Lin will be set up to FAIL, and having to pay for NBA league pass begrudgingly.