Jeremy Lin and the Atlanta Hawks picked up back-to-back wins for the first time in a month with a victory in the Madison Square Garden over the New York Knicks.
Lin didn’t play the crunch time minutes like in his show-stopping performance against the Washington Wizards, rather putting in a solid performance, which included 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 21 minutes of basketball.
Like in the last few games, Lin’s outside shot hasn’t been the focal point of his offense. He drove to the basket, and then some more, finishing with 5-for-8 from the field, only one of those made field goals from outside the paint, a nice fadeaway jumper from a cluster of defenders.
Lin didn’t have any steals, but his awareness and ability to stick a hand and deflect passes continues to impress. He had no problem handing bigger, stronger guards on both ends of the floor. Lin obviously flourishes in the open court, with room to operate and space to run, but he handled a terrific defender like Frank Ntilikina on his way to the basket, and held his own against a hot Emmanuel Mudiay, who finished with 32 points overall.
Lin continues to stand out with his ability to change pace and when his big men do find a mismatch in the paint, he pushes the ball quickly to them inside, even if it doesn’t always result in a basket. The Hawks lineup did well tonight against the Knicks, especially the closing one, but it’s a lot of individual basketball and less sense of team, smart ball movement and decision making most of the time. But the Hawks’ goals this season (the front office, not the players) aren’t necessarily winning and getting better as a basketball team.
Lin overall should be pleased with his performance. Nothing that stands out too much, but in a season that’s already seen a few too many ups & downs, understandable considering his long time away from the court and the inconsistent role he’s been assigned, just having standard game is fine.
Lin’s averages after 27 games: 10.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists in 18.5 minutes. He’s shooting 50.8% from the field, 37.3% from three and 81.7% from the free throw line.