I was tempted to put up a post reflecting my thoughts NY Knick point guard Jeremy Lin after his third game, in which he exploded for 38 points against the LA Lakers. I was very impressed by those first three games, but I decided to hold off because I wanted to see more from Lin before joining the Linsanity and joining in agreement with all those who have declared him to be the next great star in the NBA. I’ve been a fan NBA fan for a long time now, in fact, longer than Jeremy Lin’s been alive, so I’ve seen a few players explode on the NBA scene before and then fizzle out in short order. Now that Lin has played 10 games with starter type minutes I think it safe to say he has demonstrated that he definitely belongs in the NBA and while it is still premature to declare that he is will definitely be a top tier star he has shown that he has the potential to be a very solid starter in the league.
I can honestly say that I have known about Lin for a few years. I first took notice of him back in the 2007/2008 season, when Lin’s Harvard team beat Boston College. BC was ranked 17th in the country at that time and I asked myself “How did that happen?”. I checked the box score for that game on ESPN.com and found out that Jeremy Lin had a monster game ( 27 pts, 8 assists, 6 rebounds). After that game I started keeping track of Lin’s accomplishments.
I find it hard not to root for Lin. His improbable path to the NBA is well documented. He was a star on his high school team in Palo Alto, CA, which won a state championship and was not offered a scholarship by Stanford, UCLA or Cal Berkeley. Harvard’s coach initially thought he might not be Division I player, but in the end they gave him a shot and he goes on to have a great career in the Ivy League, but was not drafted by any NBA teams. He bounced around the NBA for over a year, with stints at Golden State and briefly at Houston, before finally getting his big opportunity with the Knicks and that only happened because of injuries to other players.
I did a little number crunching to see how Jeremy Lin compares to other point guards in NBA and I must say that I was little surprised to find out just how well Lin compares statistically to his peers at the point guard position.
Scoring: 24.6 per game 1st
Assists: 9.2 per game 3rd
Rebounds: 4.1 per game 6th
Steals: 2.4 per game 2nd
Turnovers: 5.6 per game 1st (highest among PG’s)
FG%: 0.500 3rd
3P%: 0.333 26th
Lin has also tallied 4 double-double’s in 10 games, which ties him for 11th in that category. Most staters in the NBA have played between 25 and 30 games so far this season, so that too is an impressive accomplishment.
Can Lin maintain these lofty numbers? Well, time will tell. Given his present supporting cast on the Knicks I think he can remain the top ten in most statical categories, although he obviously does not want to be in the top ten for turnovers, his one significant weakness so far.
It won’t get any easier for him, that’s for sure. Because of the “Linsanity” he is a marked man in the league now, but he seems to be a fairly well grounded individual so I think he will be able to handle the pressure.
I hope Lin’s success continues because I think he is an excellent role model for young people. Moreover, I think it is fantastic that Lin has made Madison Square Garden an electric place to watch a basketball game again. NBA Commissioner David Stern could not have planned anything better for Knicks, one of the NBA’s flagship teams. The Garden really rocks when the home crowd gets behind the Knicks and the league as a whole really benefits when NY has a strong team.
Watching the Knicks for the rest of the season should be a lot of fun.