Starting a new chapter in his career, Jeremy Lin once again is facing an uphill battle. He’s right now designated as the backup quarterback (but it’s not that simple) behind an ailing, aching Steve Nash, and is going to share floor time with Kobe Bryant and Nick Young, who just love to hang on to the ball. But this first (and only?) year with the Los Angeles Lakers can become a great stepping stone towards greater things, on this team or another.
Lin might be able to get in to the All-Star game on votes alone. The Asian vote around the world is strong. He got more votes than James Harden last season, although it wasn’t enough (not even close) for him to make it into the top two. But backed with a Lakers vote, especially if the season starts off well for him and the team?
But Lin probably doesn’t want to get into the game that way. Right now, he doesn’t belong there. Not with what he’s done so far. Not with Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard being up for the same job as well. Will he be at that level at some point? Hard to say, not without being given the proper chance. But Lin is a different kind of point guard, at least from what we’ve seen from him. A lot close to Steve Nash than to the four we mentioned above.
How is it going to work? Byron Scott is planning on having a quick and dangerous second unit, with Lin, Nick Young, maybe Xavier Henry and Julius Randle down low. That might be the better offensive unit for this team, especially if Nash continues to look like someone who is denying the awful truth (that he should retire) and Kobe Bryant isn’t going to play like the one before the injuries, which is the more likely scenario.
Bryant might say he feels like his body can hold up forever, but he has said a lot of things over the last couple of years that didn’t make him sound too smart. He has earned his right to be confident and arrogant, but just because of his name and the team he plays for doesn’t automatically makes him that good again. Sometimes, the people who are most blind to a sharp decline are the ones experiencing it themselves.
All-Star this season? Probably not, but if Scott has plans of giving Lin enough minutes of being the main ball handler and decision maker on the floor, than being the Sixth Man of the Year isn’t such a bad way to start picking up awards. Lin should be the starter on this team based on ability and talent. He’s better than Nash at his point, as much as it’s difficult for some people to admit. But enough minutes in the right lineups can make up for that “slight” and hopefully start taking his career back in the direction it should have been on after arriving in Houston.