The funny thing about the Los Angeles Lakers winning three games in a row? Someone might actually think Byron Scott has something to do with it. Jeremy Lin, along with a suddenly hot Wayne Ellington, did most of the work in a 101-93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, not their irrelevant head coach.
Lin got to play the fourth quarter and not Jordan Clarkson and it paid off quite well for the Lakers. Lin finished the game with a team best +18 on his +/-, scoring 7 points and adding 4 assists in the final quarter, scoring 14 points with 5 rebound and 6 assists overall. Ellington scored all of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, with three of his field goals coming from Jeremy Lin assists, who showed once again his decision making in crunch time and his ability to get passes out of his hand at the perfect moment.
The Lakers ran away with the game in the final quarter, outscoring the Bucks by 15 points. Clarkson, who wasn’t in the game for the fourth, had a solid game with 16 points in 30 minutes. But the big difference between him and Lin? While Clarkson can get hot and be even difficult to stop when he attacks the basket, he doesn’t come remotely close to Lin’s ability in making others look better, or being a driving force that pushes or pulls everyone with him forward to victory.
Is Scott actually changing his mind about Lin? Probably not. Are the Lakers turning into a team that stops being a joke? They certainly look like a group that has changed for some reason. Maybe that win over the Celtics and the negative reaction from a head coach it’s safe to assume they don’t exactly respect and a franchise player they’re glad is no longer with them brought them even closer together. Lin looks confident in consecutive games, something quite rare this season, even if it didn’t translate into a very good performance in the second win of the three.
After all, feeling good about themselves and giving the fans some moments of fun is the only thing that’s left for this group to achieve this season. You can tank and still keep some self respect as a player and a team in the process. Fans don’t have to sit in the stands feeling depressed. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself while playing basketball on a team without a lot of hope or future. Jeremy Lin is the key component of that. Let’s hope this isn’t the last time in the near future we get to see him in the role he should be in every night.