The bothersome hamstring of Jeremy Lin strikes again just as the point guard was getting back to full minutes and form, although it didn’t stop the Brooklyn Nets from winning, as Randy Foye hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to top the Charlotte Hornets 120-118.
As always with the Nets, no real news about how severe Lin’s injury is. Some rumors from Taiwan suggest it’s a day to day injury. But this is the hamstring that kept him out of 17 games until not too long ago, missing over a month of basketball. In short, expect the worst, hope for the best. Until he landed awkwardly on Nicolas Batum’s foot, Lin was doing very well against his former team, scoring 17 points in 22 minutes, adding 4 assists.
Lin tied for his highest scoring game since coming back from his hamstring injury, averaging 13.1 points and 5.6 assists in 23.7 minutes. He already played over 31 minutes in the loss to the Warriors, and was on pace for that kind of effort against the Hornets, but things went down a different road. The 8-22 Nets can’t really afford to lose Lin for a prolonged period once more, but it looks like they might have to deal with playing without an actual point guard once more.
The options while Lin isn’t playing are sharing the position between Sean Kilpatrick, Isaiah Whitehead and Foye. None of them natural point guards. Foye played 21 minutes off the bench, taking only 2 shots, making just one of them. It only turned out to be his biggest shot this season. It shouldn’t be too surprising to see Foye deliver in the clutch. He’s been doing it his entire career, on both ends of the floor. He’s not that great or consistent in the minutes that come before, but he came through for the Nets, ending their five-game losing streak and scoring 120 against a very good defensive team.
The Nets tried Joe Harris in the lineup and he scored 0 points in 12 minutes, but Bojan Bogdanovic seemed to respond very well to starting off the bench, finishing with a team high 26 points, including 4 three-pointers. Sean Kilpatrick had one of his more effective games in a while with 23, and Brook Lopez finished with 21 points. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is another wingman who does better when he’s coming off the bench, finishing with 10 points, mostly thanks to his finishing from the line. The Nets have a hole at small forward when they’re starting the game, but it might be impossible to find a solution to that during the regular season.
We can analyze this game from a lot of angles, but in the end, it came down to one shot that Foye made, and the Hornets being unable to slow down the Nets. Brooklyn can’t stop anyone from scoring anyway, but it was a poor defensive showing by Charlotte (especially when Frank Kaminsky was playing), who are only the second team with a winning record to lose against the Nets this season. The Nets haven’t really escaped the depths of the Eastern conference, and the Lin news are a serious blow just when they had everyone healthy at the same time (a first this season), but at least they’re not the worst in the East anymore, gaining a little bit of ground on the Philadelphia 76ers.