25 minutes, 18 points, 4 assists. That is the stat line that will remain intact, unchanged, throughout the 2017-2018 NBA season for Jeremy Lin. A patellar tendon rupture means he won’t play another game for the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Sad. Unlucky. Unfair. Heartbreaking because of how it was captured. Difficult to watch. All true. Lin missed 46 games last season with hamstring injuries. After a slow process of shedding off rust, he looked good and even made a bad Nets team look good towards the end of last season. With the changes around him, this was once again supposed to be a season of Lin getting the platform to show how good he really is.
For the Nets, this is devastating. Yes, they do have D’Angelo Russell to play point guard, which wasn’t an option last season. However, the whole plan was to let Lin run the floor and Russell be the one who worries about points. The Nets scored 131 last night in a loss to the Indiana Pacers (140-131). Lin was injured with 4:53 left in the game after twice helping the Nets come back from a big deficit.
Along with Gordon Hayward’s injury, this marks a somber start to the NBA season. While some people are now trying to put the blame on the short preseason, and suddenly questioning the NBA’s decision to spread out the season a little bit more, but at least when focusing on Lin’s injury, it has a lot more to do with player safety while they’re in the air. Darren Collison pushed him from behind while he was going up to the basket, and probably helped Lin lose his balance and land badly. I don’t Collison had any intention of Lin getting injured, but this isn’t the first time that “harmless” looking nudges “aided” in players losing significant time.
Trying to think ahead a little bit, this might mean Lin won’t opt out of his deal and play through his player option in 2018-2019, although it’s too soon to tell. Lin signed for less than he was offered by other teams on his last two contracts, so a good 2017-2018 wouldn’t necessarily had meant he was going to opt out.
So here it is: Highlights of Lin’s only game this NBA season. Shooting 5-for-12 from the floor, 7-for-7 from the line, hitting one three pointer. Looking good. Playing well.