The first start for Jeremy Lin in Toronto Raptors uniform went reasonably well. He excelled in things he usually does well, struggled with his long ball, but perhaps most important showed that the Raptors aren’t in big trouble if they have to turn to their backup point guard when Kyle Lowry isn’t playing.
Lin played 21 minutes in a 111-98 win for the Raptors, bouncing back nicely from their tough loss in Cleveland. Lin finished with 9 points, shooting 4-for-9 from the field, 1-for-5 from beyond the arc, while adding 7 rebounds, 1 assist and a block.
Lin scored twice with something that’s become quite a useful weapon for him: a high-arcing layup. He usually has no problem blowing by the initial defender, and this takes care of the big man in the paint, if he hasn’t been drawn out by Marc Gasol, who was fantastic from deep in his starting role while Serge Ibaka is suspended.
Lin struggled from deep, but knocked down a couple of an open shots, one of them stepping on the line just a bit. His jumper looked good, it just didn’t connect, but he didn’t seem phased by it.
Lin’s defense was pleasing as well. Causing turnovers, not letting switches to guarding bigger players become easy points (or points at all) – the slight apathy that seemed to creep up on him during the latter stages of his day with the Hawks has disappeared. The Raptors would obviously love to see more reliable shooting from Lin, but as a while, the package they got in this trade is delivering.
Stats: 10.2 points in 19.8 minutes, 2.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 44.8% from the field, 30% from three and 84% from the line.