A game against the Phoenix Suns is an excellent opportunity for teams to pick up an easy win and for players who thrive against weak, unintelligent defenses, like Kemba Walker, to bulk up their stats. Is Jeremy Lin in the same category? Without a head coach willing to give him too many minutes or a big enough role, it doesn’t really matter.
Interesting reminder: The Hornets lost to the Suns back in January during an awful stretch. Walker shot 9-of-24 from the field in that game, Nicolas Batum (among others) wasn’t even playing, and it was something of a low point for the Hornets, that they’ve been able to recover from. So it might seem that heading into this game, a home game for the Hornets, should be without worries, but for teams who rely on the shooting of just one player, there’s always something to worry about.
The die is cast for the Hornets. This is a team that runs a very simplistic offense, mostly through one player, with no room for anything different. All the talk about ball movement and spacing the floor has been thrown out the window. This is Walker’s show, and it has been working for them lately, although from time to time, the reliance on individual ability instead of team basketball rears its ugly head, showing the Hornets what they can be but refuse to.
If Lin gets more than 21-22 minutes, it’ll be a surprise, although against the Phoenix Suns, who are 4-23 away from home this season and have lost all of their recent road games through blowouts, the chance to play garbage time minutes is pretty good. In any case, playing the pass-first point guard simply doesn’t make sense anymore. He’s not in lineups that allow him to make the most of his vision and passing skills. When he has the ball and has the opening, Lin should attack the basket, again and again. His 15 points in 21 minutes in the loss to the Hawks were good for the Hornets, and good for him. While it’s going against his nature as a basketball player, Lin being in the same mindset of Walker is the best solution for him now.