Jeremy Finally Playing Like Linsanity in Knicks and Sixers Games

Even when Jeremy Lin tried to play aggressively this season, his moves to the basket has been very straight forward and lacked the variety and creativity that we all grew to love last season. But in the Knicks and Sixers games, Jeremy finally showcased some of his Linsanity moves.

1:47: Spin Move and strong finish. Lin actually had his first spin move of the season in the loss against the Rapotrs. That was the only thing that was good about that game.

2:20: Floater tear drop. And how about that nice screen from Harden?! That’s the Linharden synergy at work right there!

3:37: Strong penetration and finish with four guys surrounding him. Not afraid to go up in traffic.

3:51: Behind the back dribble to change directions.

5:28: This is not Linsanity, but just pure Jeremy Lin great decision-making. Jeremy throws a cross-court pass to a wide open Morris for a three the moment Lin saw Morris’s guy go to double on Asik rolling to the basket. This is why it’s so critical for Rockets players to move without the ball, because the defense will react and Lin will find the optimal play.

6:33: Crossover, acceleration and strong finish in traffic.

1:56: Ability to stop on a dime in the middle of a strong penetration.

4:08: Acceleration off the screen and finish.

7:15: Splitting the defense (3 Knicks surrounding him), cradling the ball to prevent it from being knocked out and wills in a shot in somewhat awkward position.

10:50: The Linharden screen. Harden’s man is all over Harden, freeing the lane up for Lin. By the time defenders realize what has happened, it’a already too late and they have to commit a foul to prevent a basket.

11:55: Crazy hesitation move. This one really demonstrates Lin’s smarts. He pretends to call a time out by hesitating at mid court then just accelerates, taking the defense (and everybody) off guard.

14:00: Penetrates and stops on a dime in traffic. Fakes a turnaround shot and drops the ball off to an open three. This shows some decision-making growth from Linsanity to not force a high-risk play in traffic.

Okay. Now it’s time to give Harden some love. I like this write-up by Jason Friedman of about Harden in the Sixers post game summary:

“He patiently picks his spots, his eyes betraying nothing as he sizes up the defense, biding precious fragments of time while the computer in his mind calculates the proper angle at which to attack. When he does, it’s with a quickness that is sudden yet hardly otherworldly by NBA standards. So often he beats his man instead by baiting him; unleashing his long arms, longer strides and those strong hands which cradle the ball while practically begging for defenders to try to knock it away. They can’t help themselves. They reach. They slap.

And fall right into the trap.

Such is the core and the crux of the matrix in which Harden invites those who dare defend him; a place where everything around the 23-year-old seems to slow down while he glides past with an efficiency of motion that borders on sublime. He is a scoring, Eurostepping machine and right now he is operating at a rate that is downright robotic.”

This is the wise Kung Fu Master at work. It’s hard to believe that he’s only 23. I still don’t get how he’s able to penetrate and draw fouls the way he does, so relentlessly and so deceivingly simple. I see what he’s doing, but I don’t get it, because it doesn’t look like he’s doing a whole lot. It looks like he’s barely even trying. Lin, of course a great job of breaking it down in his post game interview starting at 0:43 in this video:


20 thoughts on “Jeremy Finally Playing Like Linsanity in Knicks and Sixers Games

  1. Feel like I have to point out: spins, lateral movement, hesitation moves, stopping on a dime, these sorts of things all put tremendous pressure on the knee, especially going at high speeds.

    So about half the things you pointed out are probably things that he finally got the go-ahead from Dr’s to do OR where he finally healed enough to be able to do without pain/strain/swelling.

    • Yeah, these things all put pressure on the knees. I haven’t fully bought into the fact that he’s still recovering from his knee. I’m probably wrong. But I think it has heeled enough for him to get the OK from doctors to play without worrying about it. So I don’t think that’s the reason we haven’t seen these moves from Lin. I know this sounds crazy, but I think it has to do with the fact that Lin went back to the place where it all started and his body “remembered” all the moves that he used to do and it just happened. Because even in the Spurs game where he dropped 38, he didn’t showcase these Linsanity moves with the same level of consistency. I think going back to the Garden did something to him psychologically and maybe even physiologically. It’s a little like his muscle memory took over. Memory has a lot to do with location.

      • eh, could be both. I do know that McHale said this post-game:

        Post-Philly win…912mp4-2331996

        2:09 – “As Jeremy starts getting a better feel, as he starts feeling better I should say, he’s just starting to get a little bit more of a flow.”

      • also he admitted prior to toronto that his knee was still swollen, ie. “the swelling’s going down.”

        Present tense, not past tense.

      • Yeah, I heard Jeremy say that about the knee. And McHale has been talking about the knee since the season started. I think it’s partly McHale’s way of shielding Lin from the media and maybe even shielding himself from Lin’s passive playing.

        Like I said, I’m probably wrong, but I just haven’t fully bought into the knee thing. I’m sure it bothers him some, but I don’t think it’s been a big factor in affecting the way he’s been playing this season. Lin’s a competitor. He would push his knee (rightly or wrongly) to do these moves if he was in the right frame of mind.

      • If the knee is still swollen, then it has not healed completely. There is no way Lin can play at top speed with a bad knee.
        Only Lin knows how good or bad his injured knee feel. No doctor, no testing equipment can tell for sure.

        There are still 50+ more games to play. I am somewhat concerned that Lin, being so competitive, would play through pain, not allowing his knee to heal properly and re-injuring it.

        Man, I hope this whole knee story is not true.

        BTW, the Philosopher’s theory about the therapeutic effect of Lin’s return to MSG is quite intriguing. 🙂

      • for reference, it took Chris Paul about half a year to return to form from a similar knee injury.

        The surgery site itself could be healed in a couple months; conditioning around it after the 3 months downtime is another matter entirely.

      • emz, I get your point. So I guess from your perspective it was just good timing and pure coincidence for the knee to heal enough for Lin to finally go Linsane for the first time in the season the moment he stepped onto the court where it all happened? Don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but that’s my interpretation from the comments you’ve made about this subject. Apologies if I’m incorrect in my interpretation.

      • I don’t think it’s pure coincidence, per se. I do think that the schedule worked out well, and that the team/management were probably, in hindsight, pacing Lin’s minutes even more carefully than they let on. This is impressions made from several interviews from both coaches and Morey. Very early in the season McHale mentioned monitoring both Lin and Asik’s minutes very carefully. Morey too, in his Rocketcast mentioned that the organization thought Lin was doing fantastic with his circumstances.

        I do think that Lin was chomping at the bit, but there’s only so much you can push yourself when injured, before you set back your healing, or before your body just says, “no more”. Have you seen McHale’s limp? He’d only played a bit more than a decade because he played on a broken foot. I also remember reports of the coaches monitoring Lin to not practice too much.

        Given the timing, this is right about the half year mark. So it worked out. Given that it’s MSG, I don’t doubt that Lin had more pressure and he does well with that.

        What I’m saying is that there’s always a balance between the mind and the body and that you can only push the body so far; and even less if people are benching you when they think you look too tired/tentative.

      • I see. Yeah, I’ve seen McHale’s limp and have read and heard all the stuff regarding Lin’s knee (including Morey’s recent Rocketscast interview). I guess for a variety of reason, I’ve taken it all with a grain of salt and that’s why I stressed in my comments that I’m probably wrong about Lin’s knee, because I’m fully aware that my view about his knee is not the popular view.

        Yeah, i think it was a good balance between his mind and body being aligned. And Lin did benefit from the schedule. I guess my question would be: what if LIn wasn’t going to be playing in the Garden until, say, January or even February? Do you think he would have gone Linsane prior to that game? I guess we’ll never know the answer to that. Maybe it was just a matter of time. Lin was primed to go Linsane after the Spurs game and the game at the Garden happened at just the right moment for it all to work out the way it did. The question that’s much easier to answer is that if the game at the Garden happened on day one, I don’t think Lin would have gone Linsane. But it’s not only because of his knee, but also a host of other things that’s been going on with Lin in Houston that I’ve discussed at length regarding Lin’s struggles. So I’ll go along with the balance between mind and body. I guess where I may be disagreeing with you a little is that for me it was more about the mind than the knee. Like 70% mind and 30% knee.

        I don’t think I did a very good job of explaining the significance of returning to the Garden for Lin and what it did to him psychologically and physiologically. Not sure if I can really explain it well. What happened for Lin last year at the Garden, we all can agree was something beyond amazing. I think that does something to a human being. And when Lin stepped on that court. Everything about the place from the crowds (especially the crowds) to the familiar color of the paint on the court, etc. brought him back to the same state he was in during Linsanity. To be in a certain state is actually a physiological thing, as well as a psychological thing. Think about when you’re sad. What does your posture look like? What exact combination and proportion of chemicals is your body producing? Etc. I think that it was more than about the pressure to perform. I think stepping on the court put Lin in a Linsane state of mind and as a result, his body moved differently than it had all season and his body was producing the chemicals in the same combinations/portions, etc that it produced during Linsanity, which helped him to perform at a level similar to his Linsanity days. I know it sounds a little crazy and don’t expect others to buy into what I’m saying. Just sharing what I think. That’s all.

      • Actually, i think it’s still hard to answer if Lin would have gone Linsane if the game at the Garden happened on day ONE. I actually think there is a good chance that he would have gone Linsane now that I think about it. The reason is that Lin actually did pretty okay in Harden’s debut games. It was only after the coaches got to him and overemphasized Harden being the number one option and messed with Lin’s head that Lin started struggling. So I think if the game at the Garden happened on say the third game of the season, then I don’t think LIn would have gone Linsane.

  2. Philosopher, just for the sake of making conversation here, that CoffeeTime Youtube uploader seems to have plagiarized your Rockets hoop analysis, unless CoffeeTime is your alter ego.

    Lin’s game may be inconsistent due to a multitude of reasons but his heart is always steady: there is absolutely no hatred in him. Chandler whacked him hard twice in the game, but Lin just smiled, ‘… Tyson is like a brother to me…’, and joked, ‘… the more flagrant fouls the better…’!

    A lot of players would have flopped around to exaggerate the effect of the fouls, but not Lin. He just shrugged them off. One tough dude! Nothing fake about Lin. Amazing character!

    • I’m confused about what you’re referring to regarding CoffeeTime plagiarizing my hoops analysis. Can you elaborate? The video that I used for my analysis is not my video. It’s a video I found on YouTube, which is from CoffeeTime.

      I like what you said about Lin’s game vs. his heart.

  3. I would like to wish the Philosopher and the readers of this blog a Happy Holiday Season.

    A year ago today, our man Lin was cut from the Rockets. He must have felt terrible. But he never lost faith, did he?

    Merry Christmas to you, Jeremy Lin, and beat the J***s out of the Bulls tomorrow!

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