Another game, another Brooklyn Nets loss. This time to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 122-104. From the Jeremy Lin point of view, this was another fine individual outing, although it would be nice to come attached to more than two wins since he’s come back.
Lin scored 24 points in only 26 minutes, shooting 8-for-15 from the field and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. He added 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block to his performance. It was Lin’s highest scoring game of the season, and his 6th consecutive night of double digit scoring. He’s averaging 21.9 points per 36 minutes this season, but since his return from the strained hamstring (10 games), he’s at a remarkable 24.5 points per 36 minutes.
Brook Lopez had a good game too, scoring 25 points, as did Caris LeVert with 16. But that was it for the Nets, who had a very difficult time when they turned to their bench. Enes Kanter and Alex Abrines did a lot in a short time to help out Russell Westbrook for the Thunder, while he picked up yet another triple double. Maybe heading into this game that thought process was that it wouldn’t be so bad losing to a team like the Thunder, but considering the game was tied at the break, one can’t help but wonder when will the Nets figure out their third quarter problem. It’ll probably be next season. The best the Nets can hope for this season is picking up a few more wins, while establishing a better idea of what they have in their hands for next season, before some much needed (and massive) changes.
Stepping away from the Nets loss and Lin’s extremely impressive scoring performances, I wanted to mention something I came across this week on Reddit. It was a quote from a book by Michael Lewis, ‘The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds’. The quote was by none other than Daryl Morey.
“He lit up our model,” said Morey. “Our model said take him with, like, the 15th pick in the draft.” The objective measurement of Jeremy Lin didn’t square with what the experts saw when they watched him play; a not terribly athletic Asian kid. Morey hadn’t completely trusted his model – and so had chickened out and not drafted Lin. A year after the Houston Rockets failed to draft Jeremy Lin, they began to measure the speed of a player’s first two steps: Jeremy Lin had the quickest first move of any player measured. He was explosive and was able to change direction far more quickly than most NBA players. “He’s incredibly athletic,” said Morey. “But the reality is that every **** person, including me, thought he was unathletic. And I can’t think of any reason for it other than he was Asian.”
I never understand why people assume Lin is unathletic. Maybe because he doesn’t dunk a lot. But he has an incredible first step, great hands, and a sharp mind. With general managers and scouts measuring athleticism just by how high players jump, no wonder so many mistakes are made when it comes to draft night. And while Morey admits he made a mistake with Lin, it didn’t stop him from trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers, while allowing Kevin McHale to completely misuse him.
Water under the bridge. It does seem like ancient history when we’re in March 2017. What could have been doesn’t really matter now for anyone. Lin is in Brooklyn, trying to make the most of what remains of this season. He’s doing pretty nicely. Too bad his team isn’t catching up.