Losing streaks, occasional wins, developing players, lots of frustration. In between all of this, the Brooklyn Nets season took another hit when Sean Marks revealed that Jeremy Lin is going to miss at least 3 more weeks as his left hamstring injury resurfaced, striking for the third time this season.
Lin, with the NBA reaching its halfway mark, has played in only 12 games. The Nets, the 9-34 Brooklyn Nets, the worst team in the NBA, have played 31 games without Lin, and now figure to be without their best player, the player their entire system was supposed to be built on, until late February, and maybe into March. When you realize how much is left in this NBA season, who knows, maybe it’s better to simply shut Lin down.
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 23, 2017
Lin played in the first five games of the season, with the Nets going 2-3. He pulled his hamstring in the fifth, a win over the Detroit Pistons. He missed 17 consecutive games before coming back, played 7 more, and re-injured the hamstring during a win over the Charlotte Hornets, his former team. He has missed 13 games since, in which the Nets are 1-12. He’s averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 assists per game in his short time on the court.
From the looks of things, it’s going to be difficult putting together a Lin top 10 list like we did last season, although you never know. Maybe he does get at least one whole month of consecutive basketball this season. We don’t know how close he was to coming back this time, and it’s impossible to tell through the veils of secrecy what the Nets are planning to do with him in terms of reactivation this season.
The team itself will continue to roll with the punches. Spencer Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead will split the point guard position, Caris LeVert will continue to develop as a player (and he’s been doing nicely recently), Brook Lopez will post nice numbers and the Nets will probably try to find someone willing to cough up a draft pick for Bojan Bogdanovic. Beyond that, there’s not much to do. The Nets won’t trade Sean Kilpatrick (unless someone offers a first round pick and perhaps something more) and the rest of the players yet to be mentioned are either untradeable, or won’t fetch anything worth taking at this point of the season.
This was supposed to be the season Lin finally establishes his place in the NBA as a star starting point guard. It’s not that he hasn’t proved he’s that good before, but this was supposed to be his job, without any competition. Putting aside Kenny Atkinson’s weird motion offense ideas, a healthy Lin could have made his first All-Star game. But I guess that’s all in theory and hypothesis now. Whether Lin returns this season or not, the burden of proving how big of a star he can be; how good of a leader he can be for a team on the rise, will be on hold until next season.