Congratulations – the Atlanta Hawks have their first win of the season. Congratulations – Trae Young had the kind of game that rookies dream of; that teams picking them in the draft dream of. Meanwhile, Jeremy Lin had the kind of game he’d simply love to put behind and never go back to.
Beating the now 0-3 Cleveland Cavaliers, the Hawks ended their 3-game road trip with a W, sending them to their home debut against the Dallas Mavericks, with the Young performance (35 points, 11 assists, 6 three pointers) as something for the home fans (those that show up anyway) to be excited about.
Lin? He played just 10 minutes. Scoreless, with 0-for-4 from the field and 1 rebound. We know coach Lloyd Pierce doesn’t plan on giving Lin too many minutes, at least not early in the season, but if there was a game to let Lin reach the 20-minute mark or at least get close to it, this was the occasion.
Lin couldn’t connect from near or far, and it feels to me, maybe at this stage of his road back, that he needs to get to the line or find players with assists to get going. Against the Cavs, he couldn’t find that catalyst play.
Instead, Lin didn’t play a single second in the 4th quarter. The Hawks won 133-111 by the way. The only player to feature less than Lin in this game was Jaylen Adams, the 22-year old point guard out of St. Bonaventure.
Lin should have done better with the few minutes he got, but it did seem that Pierce was quick on the trigger whenever Lin made a mistake, and was never allowed to get into a groove. With Young playing so well, Lin doesn’t have the luxury of having ineffective nights. Unless Pierce does have a long term plan regarding the veteran point guard, and this was just a bump on the road to becoming a meaningful player on this team, or in the NBA in general.
For the Hawks, Young wasn’t the only one with something to smile about. Kent Bazemore scored 23 points, Alex Len had 19 (and continues to lead or share the lead for plus/minus on the team) while Omari Spellman and DeAndre’ Bembry provided productive bench relief.
Lin averages after game #3: 13.7 minutes, 5.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1 assist on 40% from the field. Still waiting for the first three pointer.