With attention directed towards DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard, Jeremy Lin took a big step in showing the Toronto Raptors what he’s worth, within that his ability to overcome a poor start and turn it into something meaningful to the team.
Leaving His Best For When it Matters
Lin finished with 11 points in the Raptors’ 120-117 win over the Spurs, leading the bench unit in scoring during his 19 minutes on the floor. He helped the Raptors overcome a 4th quarter deficit with his scoring and passing, putting an inaccurate start to the game easily behind him.
Lin missed his first 6 field goal attempts, a couple of them drives that were either blocked or disrupted by Jakob Poeltl, another piece of the DeRozan trade, a trade that brought extra meaning to this game for a lot of people.
But Lin missing early didn’t stop him from or discourage him. Nick Nurse has his back (for now, you never know what the future holds), and his words about wanting to see Lin being even more aggressive from the previous game (which was a long time ago) resonated.
Lin kept attacking the basket and was rewarded. With free throws, with a huge and-1, and also with the separation it gave him whenever he moved towards the basket, taking advantage of that to hit a clutch, rainbow jumper from the free throw line that put the Raptors up 101-100.
Lin’s final box score numbers included 4-for-11 from the field (0-for-3 from three, one of them an unlucky in-and-out to end the quarter), perfect from the line and 2 assists, both of them to Serge Ibaka.
Good Peppered With Bad
I liked seeing Lin stick to the plan, which was attacking the basket, and finding creative ways to eventually get what he wanted after early unsuccessful attempts. Everything opens up for him and his team when he creates open paths to the hoop, Today was more impressive because it happened through set offense, while in his first game we saw him a lot more earning his bread in transition.
What’s not to like? Lin’s shooting. The shot selection was good, he didn’t force anything except for a shot or too early. But in a season that started so well for him in that aspect, it’s a shame to see his percentage continuously drop.
Lin’s stats this season: 53 games, 10.7 points in 19.8 minutes per game. 2.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists while shooting 46.3% from the field, 31.9% from three and 85% from the line.