Reasons for Lin’s scoring struggles and why the Spurs game is his breakout game

I know you probably think I’m crazy for saying so, but Lin has actually played pretty well thus far in Houston. He has actually improved his game in several areas and hasn’t seen drop offs in key aspects of his game:

  • He’s become an even better defender.
  • His decision-making has improved.
  • He’s learning to play in different gears.
  • He’s become better at making the easy plays (i.e., perimeter pass to teammates who are all set to shoot), rather than going for the high-risk plays (i.e., passes into traffic, leaving his feet without a specific plan in mind, etc.).
  • He still has just as keen of a sense for when and where to give his teammates the ball.
  • He still has the ability to get into the lane pretty much anytime he wants, the only problem is that in Houston, once he’s in the lane, he doesn’t have a guy like Chandler or Amare who’s ready and willing to receive the ball. Asik still has trouble handling the short hand offs or wrap around drop offs, that Lin often did with Chandler and Amare when Lin attracted the defense in the paint and 2Pat is usually in the perimeter so he’s not usually around to get the ball from Lin in those situations. So this is why you don’t see Lin doing this as much in Houston, but the ability is still there.

As a result, Lin has been quite effective at running the offense and giving his teammates good looks. Lin is doing a good job as a point guard in that regard. Lin’s struggles this season has only to do with his ability to score the ball (this is why in the title of this article, I specifically say “scoring struggles” as opposed to “offensive struggles” or simply “struggles”). His shooting percentage is down and his explosiveness, as well as his ability to finish at the rim is not at the same levels that we saw during Linsanity. He’s also not able to draw fouls like he did during Linsanity. Some of Lin’s scoring struggles have to do with Lin, but some have to do with outside factors. Here are the main reasons for Lin’s scoring struggles:

  1. Rockets coaching staff. The Rockets coaching staff have not been high on Lin from the very beginning. Compound this with the fact that they were over the moon with the acquisition of Harden and Harden’s monster debut games and you have the recipe for Lin not being allowed to play the way Lin knows how to play. In the preseason, McHale told Lin not to worry about getting the ball to KMart, when Lin expressed his concerns about not being sure if he’s giving KMart enough touches. This was a big relief for Lin. But this all changed once Harden was acquired. The coaching staff emphasized that Harden is the number one option, which makes complete sense, but they went a little overboard. They also made Lin change his game, since both Harden and Lin are ball-dominant players. But, because Harden is a ball-dominant number one option, Lin was forced to play off the ball–something Lin has not been good at. Whenever you’re not playing your game, you’re going to struggle scoring the ball no matter how elite of a scorer you are (i.e., Melo under D’Antoni), because you’re out of rhythm and you’re forced to think about what you’re doing constantly, since it’s still all new to you. In sports, whenever you’re thinking, you’re not doing and so this is a big reason why Lin hasn’t been able to score the ball. He’s uncomfortable contributing as a scorer off the ball. It’s something that he’s still learning and will take a very long time to be comfortable with–if ever. It’s very difficult to learn a new style of playing for anybody. Aside from changing Lin’s game, the Rockets coaching staff also doesn’t instill confidence in Lin. Scoring has a lot to do with confidence. When you feel confident and think that everything you put up will go in, they usually go in. But when you’re feeling like you’re constantly being doubted, then that wears on you and the shots don’t fall. Lin doesn’t feel like he has the license to make mistakes–whether or not this is valid. So he’s been very cautious (i.e., passive) in his play, fearing that the coaching staff will yank him if he makes mistakes. When you play passively you’re not going to score the ball.
  2. Lin over-thinking.ย As I’ve said many times in this blog, over-thinking is death in sports. The ideal state is to be in a state of flow, where you’re not thinking about what you’re doing at all. In the Spurs game, Lin said that he wasn’t thinking. He was just playing. And in his breakout game last season against the Nets, Lin said that he finally just went out there and just played the way he knew how to play and just put it all out there without worrying about it. This season with the Rockets, Lin is constantly thinking out there. He’s thinking about whether or not what he’s doing is what the coaches want him to do. He’s thinking about whether or not he should be playing aggressively or passively so there’s a lot of hesitation when he’s shooting the ball, say. In the back of his mind, all the attention about the Linsanity hype, also plays a part in messing with his psyche. I think he’s also concerned about limiting his turnovers, so he’s playing more passively.
  3. Lin’s shot adjustments. A recent Sports Illustrated article mentioned that Lin’s shooting coach is trying to take some arch out of his shot, since he tends to shoot the ball short.ย This is unusual, since coaches tend to want players to shoot with more arch. But Lin has too much arch, so a lot of his shots fall short. This explains why Lin’s shot has looked so horrible at times. It’s very difficult to change your shot mid-season, because you need a lot of time to get comfortable with the new adjustments, no matter how minor they may be. Lin is still not comfortable in the mechanical changes to this shooting stroke, so that’s why his shooting percentage is so ridiculously low.
  4. Lin’s teammates’ lack of confidence in him.ย When Lin joined the Rockets, he was embarrassed by the “face of the Franchise” label that the media pinned on him. As a result (this is pure conjecture on my part), Lin tried to downplay himself and maybe he toned it down during training camp. I’ve talked about this in a previous post, so won’t dwell on it here. As a result, his teammates weren’t impressed. Contrast this to the way Harden came in and embraced the “face of the Franchise” moniker and told his teammates to tuck in their shirts on the first day of practice. I’m not criticizing Lin nor Harden’s approach, but just pointing out the contrast. I think as a result of Lin downplaying himself, that first impression Lin made to his teammates really stuck. And as Lin began struggling with his scoring in the pre-season, as well as during the season (which was capped by his end of game air ball against Miami), his teammates continue to look Lin off more and more, which is completely understandable I might add. Lin has rarely received the ball back from his teammates after he passes it off. When you’re not getting screens (which is a big part of your scoring game) and your shot isn’t falling, it’s very difficult to beat your man off the dribble if your man is standing back daring you to shoot. It would help some if Lin gets the ball back from his teammates when he’s wide open or when his man is not expecting it so he can drive past his man.
  5. Lin’s knee recovery. People have pointed this out as a reason for Lin’s struggles. I think this is last on the list of things, but it is still a factor. I think this is affecting Lin’s explosiveness and his ability to beat his man off the dribble, as well as his ability to finish at the rim. So even though it’s last on the list of factors as far as I’m concerned, it is still a significant factor.

Of the five major reasons for Lin’s scoring struggles, some are external to Lin, some are internal, some are a combination of both and one factor is internal to Lin, but is something no one really has much control over (Lin’s knee recovery). The reason why I think Lin’s Spurs game is a breakout game for Lin is because it has positive impacts on three of the five factors above. Namely, “Rockets coaching staff”, “Lin over-thinking”, and “Lin’s teammates’ lack of confidence in him”. This is why my immediate reaction to Lin’s performance in the Spurs game was that it is the most important game Lin has had in Houston.

Lin had probably his best statistical NBA game against the best team in the NBA. A team that embarrassed the Rockets just a few days prior to that game. It would be very hard for the coaches and Lin’s teammates to ignore the significance of this. It’s the type of game that will help change their perceptions of Lin and force the coaches to re-think the way they have been playing Lin and treating Lin. If the coaches are too stubborn to change, then I have a feeling that Morey and Les will have a thing or two to say about it. Les, in particular, was the one who really wanted Lin at all cost. Now, I’m not expecting major changes overnight, but I think that Spurs game will encourage the coaches to allow Lin to play more of his game. As Lin is allowed to play more of Lin’s game, Lin will have fewer things to think about when he’s out on the court. As a result, he will be playing more aggressively and making more shots. In turn, his teammates will gain more confidence in him and give Lin the ball when his man is not expecting it or when Lin is wide open so Lin will get more shot attempts and maybe even get to the line more often.

As for the other two factors, his shot will come as he continues to work on it. His knee is also looking more and more like it’s fully recovered, considering how hard he played in the Spurs game. Lin was just as aggressive in the Spurs game as he was last season. So I don’t think the knee is that much of a factor anymore–if at all.

I know you might think I’m crazy for placing so much significance in just ONE game. But, hey, Lin was able to leverage ONE game last season (i.e. against the Nets) into a “ridiculous” contract in the off season. So if anyone can leverage ONE game, Lin can. Lin just needs to play the way he knows how to play and turn everything else off. I’m not saying Lin is going to score 20+ every night from now on nor am I saying that Lin is not going to have games where he’s shooting 2 for 11. What I am saying is that you’ll see Lin playing more aggressively and making plays almost equally for himself and for his teammates from now on. I’m saying that the days of consistent single-digit shot attempts for Lin are over. From now on, Lin scoring in the mid to high double digits is going to be the norm, not the exception. Unless Lin continues to struggle massively with his shooting, I think this scenario will play out for Lin. Lin’s ability to shoot the ball at an adequate rate (field goal percentage in the mid 40%) is critical to Lin’s scoring success, because it opens up all aspects of his game. For example, when the defense has to worry about your shooting, he can’t stay back on you, making it easier for you to beat him off the dribble.

Anyway, I know this might sound like wishful thinking. Maybe it is. We’ll see how it all plays out.


48 thoughts on “Reasons for Lin’s scoring struggles and why the Spurs game is his breakout game

  1. Mr. Philosopher, what do you think of how Lin played the following 2 games? Vs Wizards and Celtics? He seemed playing passively again after Harden came back. KM benched him the whole 4th Q last night?

    • In terms of what has or has not changed since the Spurs game, I noticed that Lin’s teammates were finding Lin more in the Wizards game. But Lin is still playing essentially the same role. So the coaching staff hasn’t made any noticeable changes to Lin’s game. In particular, Lin is still not getting high screens, which is a big part of Lin’s game.

      I thought Lin played fine in the Wzards game. He was particularly good on defense. He drew two charges in transition, which is a very difficult thing to do. He also turned it up in the fourth and was responsible for many of the points in the fourth quarter. Lin is still not aggressive on offense, because the coaching staff have taken away a huge part of Lin’s offense, which is the high screen.

      I didn’t see the first half of the Celtics game, so not sure how Lin did, but he had 7 assists by half time–that’s a great stat line. I’m not sure why KM benched Lin in the 4th. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that Rondo was gunning for Lin–especially after Lin had two blocks on Rondo–and I think KM wanted to bench Lin in the fourth to take away Rondo’s motivation. This might have been a good coaching gambit, but it’s not much of a confidence builder for Lin and speaks very low of how much confidence KM has in Lin. Lin seemed very down about being benched and had his head down every time the camera panned to him sitting on the bench. I think Houston would have won whether or not Lin was in the game. KM should give some consideration to how his actions impact the confidence of one of his key players. Harden suffered massively in the Lakers game that the bench won, but was the only starter (aside from 2Pat, I think) to not be benched in the fourth when he was the starter most deserving of being benched in the fourth. The coaching staff just simply doesn’t not have confidence in Lin.

      I think Houston will have an even better offense with a lot of ball movement if they just let Lin run the offense. In the Wizards game, for instance, Harden was running the offense and there was little ball movement. The problem with Harden running the offense is that every stands around watching Harden. If only the Rockets give Lin more high screens and drop Harden to the wing, I think their offense would look even better, because Harden can play off the ball much better than Lin can.

  2. Hey philosopher, thank you for taking the time to say what a lot of us are thinking (yes, I swear and i’m a bit dramatic at times but I agree with you).

    What did you think of Lin’s game against the Celtics and what do you think is the REAL reason why Lin didn’t come back in the 4th qtr. I saw Mchale’s quote but he’s a moron and I don’t believe anything he says. TD was not hot in the fourth, the majority of his minutes came after the 3 min mark when the game was decided and Boston had taken their starters out.

    • Thanks, cary washington!

      I didn’t see McHale’s quote, but I totally agree that TD was not hot in the fourth until late in the game. McHale is lying, because he doesn’t want to give the real reason for benching Lin for whatever reason. If it’s because of what I think it is (i.e., Rondo gunning for Lin), then I can understand why he wouldn’t want to go out and say that to the media.

      • Seldom heard him said anything good about Lin. Even Lin scored 38 points, KM said he had a “nice” game. What kind of coach is he when his player scored 38 points and he said Lin had a nice game. But KM said TD was “hot” and “great”.

        Here is a quote from a fan from other forum. I totally agree. What do you think?

        “Here’s my real problem with McSampson: The way they are playing and sitting JLin is not consistent with any other players. When Harden was going 1-12 to start the OKC game, guess what? His butt would’ve sat a long, long, long time because he was playing 1-on-5 and making it personal against his own team. When TD was ineffective defensively against Lillard in the 2nd Portland game at the end of the 4th and into OT, guess what? He should’ve sat because THAT’S THE SUPPOSED REASON YOU PUT HIM IN THERE FOR, and he wasn’t even doing that.

        When Lin sits, it may be because he sucks, it may be because he’s not being aggressive, it may be because of defensive issues…or may be it’s none of the above, he plays well and he sits anyway. Way to kill a young player’s confidence. I know coaches are suppose to win above all else, but part of a job description in coaching is player development. It’s like raising a child: you have to be consistent with them or else they become confused and tentative”

      • I agree with the sentiments of that poster, CH! The coaching staff definitely overly scrutinizes Lin’s game while giving Harden a pass. Nothing against Harden, but that’s what I’ve observed. And this is hurting Lin’s confidence even more. As a result, Lin is playing NOT TO LOSE, rather than playing to win. When you’re constantly worried about every aspect of your game, fearing that you could be bench for any little mistake you make, it makes it harder to play aggressively and to play all out. Again, you’re constantly thinking and second guessing yourself out there. I thought the Spurs game would change matters, but looks like I’m wrong–at least for now. I don’t have much confidence that things will change for Lin under this coaching staff, though. That’s why I think the best scenario for all involved (albeit not ideal) is for Lin to come off the bench and play the 6th man role. I’m only in favor of this if Lin gets high screens and if Lin finishes games, like Harden did in OKC. I just occurred to me that I haven’t touched on why high screens are so important for Lin, even though I keep mentioning it. The reason is that getting a high screen allows Lin the maximum amount of options on the court. You have more space, and thus, time between you and the basket to find the most optimal play and you can see both sides of the court equally, opening up the maximum of options for you. As someone who is constantly finding the optimal play, Lin excels when given high screens. In NYC, he had high screens all the time. Under D’Antoni it was high screens for Lin every possession. Now I don’t think that’s the best thing, either, because I believe in varying things up. Also, in Spurs game, Lin got a lot of high screens to work with. It’s a big part of Lin’s game and thus far in Houston LIn hasn’t gotten hardly any high screens. This is a big reason why he’s struggling to score the ball.

      • Just to harp on the theme of making mistakes a little bit, I’d say Lin has been playing not to make mistakes. And that is a mistake!

  3. I think KM just wanted the best scorers to play in the 4th quarter, so they had the best chance winning. Since TD is a better scorer (with a higher shooting percentage), he was favored over Lin. Some have pointed out that the Rockets’ system isn’t centered on PG, so everyone gets to bring the ball up the court. When KM emphasized moving the ball, he just meant for them to move the ball to whoever is wide open or in the best position to score and the ball doesn’t need to go back to the point guard. And if Harden, the best player on the team, can do that better, the team, which has other scoring options in Parsons and Delfino, would be doing fine, just like the Celtics game showed. Certainly, the Spurs game opened people’s eyes, but it mainly worked to redeem people’s recognition of Jeremy’s potential, not enough for the coaching staff to make a drastic change in their game plan. Of course, the coaches might try letting Jeremy run the offense more, but that probably won’t go through the most of the game, like Rondo running the offense all the time for the Celtics. The reality is they will always make sure they maximize Harden, letting him have the most touches of the ball, even at the expense of Jeremy Lin. Now, Jeremy has to fight for play minutes with TD, and I think there is no other way for Jeremy to get out of this predicament but to become a better scorer and play more aggressively, making more shopt attempts as much as he can.

    • Thanks for the comment, Ashley. Since Lin was the only starter to be benched, I don’t know if the reason is because KM wanted the best scorers in the fourth (e.g., Asik wasn’t benched). I think it had more to do with Rondo gunning for Lin–especially after Lin had two blocks (back-to-back, I believe) on Rondo–and McHale wanted Lin out of the game to cool off Rondo’s motivation.

      Yeah, I think the coaching staff isn’t too worried about Houston’s offense, since they currently have one of the best offenses in the league. But the crazy thing is, I think their offense could be even better if Harden and Lin’s game were flipped, because Harden can play off the ball way better than Lin can and Lin is just as good–if not better as a floor general than Harden is. Harden is more of a pure scorer and when Harden has the ball, his teammates tend to stand around and watch him.

      Yep, I agree that the coaching staff will continue to maximize Harden at the expense of Lin. Lin is just going to have to learn to play off the ball. It’s going to be painful to watch for Lin fans, but may be a good thing for him in the long term. I think it’s going to be very difficult for Lin to be effective without screens, though. We’ll see.

    • I think if the Rockets are going to continue to keep roles between Harden and Lin the same, then I think it probably makes sense for all parties involved if they use Lin as a 6th man, coming off the bench. That way, Lin can be free to play his game. Also, Lin is much better later in the game anyway. I don’t have any stats on this, but I would guess that Lin’s worse quarter is the first quarter–stat wise. So it might make sense to have Lin come off the bench, like Harden did for OKC. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockets try this out soon as Lin becomes more and more disgruntled.

  4. I just read on that Lin’s knee is still swelling:

    For me, this is very serious. Lin’s health is more important than his playing time. I am “Lin” for the long run (forgive the Lin pun). NBA basketball is in reality a full contact sports. The average career of an NBA player lasts around 4-5 years, I remember reading somewhere.

    I am very concerned about Lin’s knee because I know from experience that knee injuries are serious matters. I had two knee surgeries on the same knee. The first one is due to an accident in martial training. The second one is the result of me trying too hard to rehab and getting back to martial art before my injured knee fully recovered. It has been years since my last knee surgery and I still I cannot put any real pressure on the injured knee.

    I hope Lin is not making the same mistake as I did. Just like the Philosopher, I am thinking long term. There is plenty of NBA basketball ahead for Lin as long as he is physically healthy. So, I am OK with Lin sitting on the bench for extending periods of time, if his knee is not 100%.

    So please, Jeremy, listen to your body and allow your knee time to heal properly. No matter how superb an athlete you are, you are still a human being whose body needs time to heal. And forget that ice on the knee. The ice just numbs your nerves and tricks your body to think that your knee is OK. Pain is good: it tells you something is wrong.

    • Yeah, hope Lin takes care of his knee. Because he feels like he still has to prove himself, he might be a little more reckless with it. Good point about ice just numbing your nerves and tricking your body into thinking that it’s fine.

  5. I like this blog because you seem to be more objective than most of his dumb fans. Im sorry but they just are. Ive had enough. So thank you for this blog.
    Douglas is a pretty good basketball player… better than what Lin has been doing this season. He has a lot of energy, plays damn good defense and can make shots. I’m an objective fan and I can’t stand these Lin fans. They are so blind and are just plain embarrassing for Asians. They blame everyone but Lin… its just so ridiculous. Im sick of it. I’m a fan of Lin but I think at this point he’s a good back up pg in this league. I mean no starting pg is doing as bad as he is. I noticed that he’s playing better defense than he did last season and thats probably the only positive thing about Lin. His shooting is horrible and his ball handling is still a problem. If Lin wants to be the starting pg for the Rockets then he needs to shoot better and play consistent d. Calderon got a triple double and Lin had a horrible first quarter in todays game. As a pg you have to set the flow of game for the team. Its your job to run the team but I dont see Lin doing this on a consistent basis. I want Lin to prove me wrong though! Rubio just came back from an ACL (I think) and had 9 assists and the team won. I also think Rubio is a better player than Lin. This dude knows how to pass and plays pretty good defense. I remember he was giving Lin problems on the defensive end last season. I see crazy Lin fans crying how Lin is not getting touches or minutes but if they actually watched the games you will see Lin getting as many minutes as the other starters on the team and see hes getting the ball but his shooting is not there. I want him to do well and get better but I have my doubts based on what I have seen from his performance. Im sorry for this long post but Im just pissed at his delusional fans who have never watched the NBA but want to act like they know whats going on.
    I see potential in him to become a solid starting pg in this league if he works on his shots and learns to be a consistent player. Hes still young so at least I can hope he becomes a better player.

    • Thanks, Kyle.

      I think it’s always hard to be objective when you’re a fan of a player, hence the word “fan” is short for “fanatic”. But I try to be as objective as I can be, while still being a fan of Lin’s.

      I think if Lin improves his shooting, that will solve a lot of things for him. But I also think that the coaches are not using Lin as a point guard, so that’s also why he’s struggling. Have you noticed that Lin is constantly fighting through screens when he’s on defense, but his man doesn’t have to worry about screens at all when they’re guarding Lin, because Lin rarely has screens set for him. This is a big reason why he’s struggling to score. Point Guards need screens to be successful. Lin got screens constantly during LInsanity and also during the Spurs game. But so far in Houston, Lin has rarely gotten screens. But, yeah, if Lin somehow finds a way to shoot the ball consistently, then that will help him out a lot, because it doesn’t look like the coaching staff is going to change the way they play Lin. Right now, Lin is not playing his game. When you’re not playing your game you struggle, because you’re constantly thinking out there since the game doesn’t come naturally to you. I think this is what’s been happening with Lin in Houston so far.

      • Im rooting for Lin and hes cool but his performance has been ok thus far. Its okay to be a fan of Lin but a little objectivity doesnt hurt you know.. Majority of the Lin fans really pisses me off because they act like Lin cant get criticized or they pull the race card for every negative thing that pertains to Lin. I hate it when Al Sharpton does it and the Asian Lin fans are no different. And I dont even want to talk about the All Star voting thing. Hes going to be the laughing stock of that whole event. I dont want that for Lin cuz his confidence seems to be shot right now… can you imagine at the event. He doesnt deserve this.
        I understand those who criticize Lin but I dont think he deserves it. Morey or whoever gave Lin that contract deserves it cuz Lin is a player that is in the developing stage at this point.

        Lins on the scouting report now. Hes been trying to go left but he clearly struggles and ends up with an ugly turnover. Teams dont give Lin the lane anymore so he needs to knock down the 3s but hes been streaky with that. If he learns to hit those 3s then the lane will open for him to do his thing. Like you mentioned, I also noticed that he hasn’t been getting screens set for him through the whole game except the Spurs game but that was given cuz Harden was out. He also misses easy layups and doesnt seem to have any mid-range game. In the games prior to Lins break out game, defenders were not on him and he still missed those shots. Hes missing open shots. He has to make those shots. He also likes to pass A LOT this year. He even passes when hes open or when theres a clear lane for him to do damage. I dont get it. He needs to stay aggressive and thats when hes good. But he has a lot to work on and Im just hoping he improves as the years go by. I truly believe that he can become a solid starting pg in this league if
        and only if he works on the areas that I mentioned above.

      • I feel the same way as you about the All Star voting, Kyle. I’ve talked about this in comments in previous posts. I think it’ll do more harm than good for Lin to be voted in at this stage. Fans need to take that into consideration. Lin has many years to make it onto the All Star game. There’s no need to rush things.

        Lin is overly scrutinized because of all the hype. For example, when Lin commits a turnover, people act like it’s the end of the world. But when other players commit a turnover, the reaction is much more reasonable. As a result, I think Lin fans get sensitive to the criticisms of Lin, because every little aspect of Lin’s faults are blown out of proportion. For example, Harden has been a turnover machine so far, but the reaction to Harden’s turnovers are more rational: he’s handling the ball a lot and he’s playing aggressively. This should have been the same reaction to Lin’s turnover numbers last year. I don’t have the stats on this, but I suspect that Lin’s usage was much higher during Linsanity than Harden’s usage with the Rockets and Lin was playing even more aggressively than Harden. To me, Lin’s turnover numbers last year was very reasonable for the game he was playing and also for the stage he was in his career. But critics went overboard with the turnover talks, because that’s one of the few things they could criticize Lin on last year. Also, Harden rarely goes right and no one talks about the fact that Harden can’t go right. I’m not saying that Lin’s inability to go left is not a problem. But I think it gets a little too much hype. I think most players overly favor one side. It’s just natural. Right handed players like to go right and left handed players like to go left. There’s hype on both sides for Lin. That’s primarily why I decided to start this blog. I wanted intelligent discussions on Lin without the hype. But being a Lin fan, I have to admit that I’m biased towards Lin. But I do try to be as objective as I can be.

        Yeah, I think there are still aspects that Lin has control over, such as his shooting. These things just need a lot of time to develop. Lin is also playing NOT TO LOSE right now, rather than playing to win. I understand why he’s doing this, but at the end of the day it is on Lin to be mentally tough enough to play his game within the confines that have been defined for him by the coaching staff. As you’ve pointed out, he has been passing up scoring opportunities. I think he’s doing this, because he’s afraid to make mistakes. I remember last year, D’Antoni said in a post game interview during Linsanity that he wants Lin to make mistakes. This gave Lin the freedom to not worry about turnovers and such and just play. I’m not a fan of D’Antoni’s coaching, but I have to give him credit for being the only NBA coach, thus far, who has had full confidence in Lin.

      • Ha, Philosopher, here you go again. Somehow you always manage to say a thing or two that resonates really well with me. It is a miracle that a delusional Lin fan like myself stumbled across an objective Lin fan blog like yours. This time it is about making mistakes.

        I was not born and raised in the USA, but all of my children were. One thing I notice and admire in the way the children are schooled in the USA is that the teachers allow them to make mistakes. They are encouraged to be creative and in the process making all kinds of mistakes. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why Americans are among the most creative people in the world.

        Jeremy Lin, though of Asian descent, was born and raised in America and is as American as any American can be. So, go ahead and make mistakes, Jeremy! Let if flow, baby! Let it flow!

      • MrPingPong, I totally agree with your observations about American kids versus Asian kids. I do think that’s changing as Asia is adopting more Western ways.

        This is also why you have more entrepreneurs in the US (at least this is my perception). Entrepreneurs are not afraid of making mistakes, because 90% of ideas fail. So the odds are always against you. The key is to not see “failure” as anything that speaks to you as a person. Rather, it’s just an action you took that didn’t yield success. Just learn from it and keep changing the actions you take until they yield success. Of course, this is easier said then done. Just need to stay mentally tough along the way.

      • Lin has turnovers on games where Lin is not even being his aggressive self. The only reason his turnovers have gone down from last season is because the ball is in the hands of Harden majority of the time. Say that Harden wasnt traded to the Rockets, do you think Lins turnovers would have been low? Teams would have been gunning for him and forcing him left which they still do. It only results in turnovers which really hurts to see coming from one of my favorite players you know… I want him to prove these haters wrong but what can you do…
        I do see the double standard when it comes to turnovers with Lin. I guess because Harden is playing good consistently, he gets a pass. To be honest i don’t really care for Harden but its funny because hes really similar to Lin. Lin fans rip Harden for ball hogging but there were times when he was a Knick where Lin would hold the ball too long. The reason I mentioned Lins turnovers is because its a result of him trying to go left at times. it looks ugly. These are things that I see as it is that many of the fans dont seem to grasp very well. Its okay to admit that he has evident problems going left which results in ugly turnovers. We can only hope he gets at least a little more comfortable going left which will only make him a better player. I just dont like it when fans go on a rampage and attacks anyone who says a little bit of constructive criticism. I want some healthy discussions about Lin, not childish arguments. I understand those who dont like Lin or his game and I respect that… if only the rest of his fan base did the same.
        Lin is a player that I’m rooting for and a player that I cant help but like. His character is just too awesome… I mean he said that he wanted to use the position he has right now to help the low income people. That says a lot about his character and he just seems like a real cool guy :).
        I dont agree with all of the things you write but I do respect your views on Lin and you have really good points on Lin that I appreciate so thank you!

        MrPingPong, you must have been hurt because I just laid out what Lin has been struggling with and things that he needs to work on. I said in my post above that Lin has a lot of work to do and that hes still young. Lin makes mistakes but thats not what frustrates me… its the fact that Lin fans in general seem to deny the fact that hes struggling right now and if they do, they blame everyone but Lin himself. Hes not a finished product right now. Hes still very raw. Im just venting cuz I cant
        seem to find any Lin fan that wants to discuss Lin in a more fair manner…

      • Wasn’t it Thomas Edison that said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”?

        Back to basketball, the irony is coach McHale is as much a rookie in coaching as Lin is as a PG. From what I’ve seen so far, he refuses to admit mistakes and thus will learn nothing. On the other hand, coach Woodson, admitting he did not prepare his team the last time out, will have his team ready this time. I am sure I am right about Woodson, and I hope I am wrong about McHale.

      • Thank you, Kyle, for your candid discussion on Lin’s struggles.
        Yes, he is struggling and I am curious to see how the whole Linsanity 2.0 will play out.

        I am not sure I understand what you meant when you mentioned that I might have been hurt. I am glad that you discovered this blog and chose to participate. I recommend that you read all of the old postings of this blog, if and when you have the time. I sure did get a kick out of them.

        The Philosopher seems like quite a tolerant philosopher. I say that because he did not ban me from his blog after my delusional talk about the Lakers trying to trade World Peace and Jack Nicholson for Lin.


      • I stand corrected.
        I was wrong about Woodson. He did not seem to have learned anything from his last time out in Houston.
        I was wrong about McHale too. He seemed to have learned something about Lin.

  6. I also want to say that Felton is a pretty good player. I watched a Knicks game before and Felton has a lot of hop in his steps and has a lot of energy. Dude put up I think 27 againt the Heat and the Knicks have been doing great. I know that majority of the Lin fans dont like the Knicks or Felton but dont let your hate blind you from the truth

    • When the Lin trade was announced, I posted on this blog that it was good news for all parties involved–including the Knicks. I didn’t think Lin was right for the Knicks, because Melo needs a point guard who can shoot well. And I felt that the Knicks didn’t need Lin to go Linsane, so they weren’t going to make full use of Lin (it seems that very thing has happened in the Rockets, unfortunately for Lin)

      Yeah, I had expected Felton to prove everyone wrong and play well, because he’s playing with a big chip on his shoulder and he’s also playing for a team he really wants to play for. He wasn’t happy in Portland. At the end of the day, this is a job to these guys. So when you’re not happy with where you work, you’re not going to perform up to your potential. And this is what happened with Felton last year.

      I do have to admit, I was hoping that the Knicks would suck this year, but I knew they’d be good and prove a lot of doubters wrong. Melo’s finally happy with the coaching staff and has a lot of players around him that he enjoys playing with. I also think that playing in the Olympics helped improve Melo’s game, because he got very comfortable with playing off the ball. So I knew Melo would do well this season. I’m not at all surprised at Melo’s success and the Knicks success thus far.

      The thing I hate most about the Knicks is Dolan. I just see him as a horrible human being–not just because of what happened with Lin–but just because of who he is. He’s just some guy who lived off of his inheritance and does whatever he wants. He’s a spoiled, rich, petty kid. I just don’t like seeing someone of such low character enjoying success. I’d be fine with the Knicks having success this season if the team was owned by someone of better character. I’m big on character.

      • Totally agree with you on the last paragraph. Hats off to Mr. Philosopher on “I’m big on character”.

        “Do not be angry because of the wicked, or have envy of the workers of evil.

        For they will quickly be cut down like grass, and become dry like the green plants.

        Do not be angry because of the man who does well in his evil ways, and gives effect to his bad designs.

        For the wicked will be cut off.

        For in a short time the wicked will be gone: you will go searching for his place, and it will not be there.

        But the humble will have the earth for their heritage; he will take his delight in peace without measure.

        The wicked has taken out his swords, his bows are bent; for crushing the poor, and to put to death those who are upright in their ways.

        But his swords will be turned into his heart, and his bows will be broken.

        For the arms of the wicked will be broken: for God is the support of the good.

        The days of the upright are numbered by God, and their heritage will be for ever.

        Even if he has a fall he will not be without help: for the hand of God is supporting him.

        I have seen the wicked in great power, covering the earth like a great tree.

        But he came to an end, and there was no sign of him; I made a search for him and he was not there.

        The wicked will be cut off together; the wicked will be cut off.”

      • Wow Im the same. I hate Dolan but I cant hate the Knicks. I saw this interview a few months ago where Lin sat down with this lady to discuss what really went down with the trade and he said that he heard that the knicks were talking about acquiring Felton. I think at that point Lin doubted whether the knicks were going to sign him and I dont blame him for that but its really confusing cuz everyone from Woodson to Melo to the fans thought for sure that he will be a knick. How can Dolan be angry with Lin when hes a guy who has struggled to be on a roster in this league and hasn’t received a freakin contract to begin with. I also hated the fact that they put a smear campaign on Lin making it seem like Lins the bad guy. Lin wants to be in the NBA and he needs a contract with a team in order to do so and Rockets offered it and thats that.
        Bingo! I wish someone else owned the Knicks as well. Its truly

  7. I want him healthy all through out.
    If you are benched because you are not 100% healthy then no more questions asked.
    But in JLin’s case he has been benched first before this knee swelling stuff came out and basing on his post game interviews, he seemed not happy and disappointed.
    I even saw him as focused by the camera kinda sad when he was not playing the entire 4Q versus the Celtics and it made me even sadder :(…SMH

  8. Hello “objective” Lin fans of this blog!

    It’s a beautiful morning here in Houston, Texas. Don’t know what it’s like in NY, but I can imagine the frenzy of the fans and the press over there. It’s the return of Jeremy Lin to where it all began, and I am not going to be able to watch the game live tonight. Sad! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I found a good article by Will Leitch, a no non-sense sports writer, in my opinion:

    Anyway, to borrow the words of Bruce Lee and the Philosopher, ‘Let it flow, Jeremy! Let it flow like water!’

    • Ha ha, MrPingPong. You’re always full of energy.

      Yeah, things are definitely going to be interesting tonight. Unfortunately, I’ll most likely miss most of the game..

      I saw the article by Leitch. Thanks for posting.
      Yep, Lin just needs to block everything out, (including his coaches, which is a very difficult thing to do, because you could lose your job) and just play the way he knows how to play. It’s tough, because he’s had a lot of aspects of his game taken away by the coaches, but Lin is just going to have to figure it out. It’ll take a lot of time, but he’ll figure it out eventually. The key is to just stay mentally tough. I’m sure Lin is very anxious about tonight’s game.

      • He surely will be anxious tonight. Hopefully he will play aggressively and show “the look” as if he was playing with the Spurs.

        He will eventually figure out how to adapt to the current situation in Rox even though his game has been taken away by the coaching staff (maybe I’m being a delusional fan here). It may take time. But with his intelligence, determination, work ethics, and desire of striving for excellence(being delusional again, and I believe these are all in his guts), he will excel.

        When he adapts to the Rox system and fixes his shoots, he will be lethal. GO Jeremy!

      • Yes, CH, I am with you, delusional about Lin’s heart and mind…


        I know Lin does not read this blog, but still: Have a great performance tonight in NY, Jeremy Lin!

      • YES! He did it. Beat the Knicks! Their first home game lost In Lin’s return. Cried my lungs out.

      • Man, I missed the entire game. Just saw the box score. Lin put up some good stats. I’m sure Lin is very thrilled to get the win in NYC. That’s huge for him! Hope he can build on this. Did the coaching staff play him any differently?

      • I missed the game too!


        ‘Caught a little bit of its tail end on the radio: WOW!

      • Thanks for the link. I’m shocked that Lin has played more minutes than Harden in previous games. I can’t think of one game where that’s been the case. Maybe these were games that the Rockets won easily. Not sure.

      • I am surprised too, Philosopher.
        Take the Atlanta game, for example.
        Harden played 39:49.
        Lin played 39:50.
        Numbers don’t lie! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • @Kyle: I guess you are referring to my double-quoting the word ‘objective’. I just happen to agree with the Philosopher that it is not easy to be objective when you are fan, that’s all, no more no less.

  9. Pingback: Rockets Put Away Sixers: Great Team Win–Especially for the Money Boys + Smith, Douglas, Morris « Jeremy Lintelligence

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