Jeremy Lin: Why Lin Is Best Point Guard in NBA Right Now

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks brings the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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The New York Knicks newest star, Jeremy Shu-How Lin, the undrafted point guard out of Harvard, has been the best point guard in the NBA over the last six games. Better than Chris Paul. Better than Deron Williams. Better than Russell Westbrook. Even better than Derrick Rose.

Since Lin’s arrival, Paul and Westbrook are each 4-2, Deron Williams hasn't won a game and Derrick Rose has been sidelined with a bad back. Lin however, has led the Knicks to a 6-0 record, singlehandedly dragging the team from the doldrums of the Eastern Conference. 

I wish I could think of some clever new spin on his name, but if I hear, "All he does is Lin, Lin, Lin" one more time, I'll go crazy. There's no puns needed to explain why Jeremy Lin is the best point guard in the league at this very moment. 

He’s averaged a shade less than 27 points per game since seizing the opportunity given to him by Mike D’Antoni (and Toney Douglas, I suppose). Unlike Tim Tebow, who he has been compared to, Lin can pass. He’s had seven-plus assists in every one of his starts. 

The title of best point guard in the league is not defined only by the individual performance of the player, but by the collective play of the team. It’s the same as football. When your team is winning, the quarterback is praised. But when the team is losing, the field general falls out of the good graces of fans.

Lin has not only excelled individually, the Knicks haven’t lost a game since he’s pulled the bench splinters out of his butt. 

Teams don’t know what to do with Lin yet. They’ve seen the film. They know what they have to key in on, but he keeps burning them. 

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  (L-R) Jeremy Lin #17 and Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks look on against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees tha
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It’s obvious that Lin has a little trouble driving to his left. In the closing seconds of Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors, Jose Calderon remembered this. He backed off the 23-year-old point guard, trying to force him to his weak side. Lin would have none of it, as he stepped back and calmly drilled the game-winner with a half-second left. All of this after converting an and-one the possession before. 

He’s deceptively strong, possesses uncanny speed and has a will to win that this Knicks team so desperately craved.

Just like the top point guards in the league, Lin picks up the slack for other players. Blake Griffin is having an off game? CP3 picks up the slack. When Kevin Durant isn’t at his best, Westbrook takes control. If Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer aren’t playing well, D-Rose grabs the game by the throat. Other than Williams, everyone on the New Jersey Nets is average at best, so he does a lot of work on his own. 

Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are out? Jeremy Lin to the rescue. Stoudemire came back last night (no doubt with a heavy heart) and did basically everything he could do to lose the game for the Knicks. Lin put the team on his back and his teammates knew it (watch Landry Fields give his boy a big fat smooch after the game).

He wants the ball when it counts. He asked for that isolation play at the end. There's only one thing you can say about that: cojones. 

Jeremy Lin has put together an unbelievable stretch of games, making him (for now) the best point guard in the league.