Jeremy Lin: Breaking Down How the Heat's D Dominated Knicks Young Star
It was, by far, the worst night of the short-lived Linsanity era.
Lin put up a paltry eight points, six rebounds and three assists while turning the ball over eight times.
Give credit to the Heat’s defense, whose relentless effort forced a majority of those TOs.
They also pressured the Knicks PG into a criminally bad shooting percentage. He went just 1-for-11 from the field.
Even when Lin wasn’t looking for his shot, he found the D had cut off his passing lanes while making it nearly impossible for him to even dribble the ball.
Miami obviously respects Lin and his accomplishments thus far this year, which is why their star-studded roster gave it their all to hinder his production.
Let’s take a look at what they did and what other teams can take away from this performance to calm the Linsanity.
Cover Him With Athletic Point Guards
Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole—both young, 6’2” PGs—did a great job of sticking to their man like glue and also forced some critical turnovers that turned into easy buckets on the other end.
According to The Associated Press, two of these turnovers were quite special.
Exhibit A: Mario Chalmers stole the ball from Lin and went in for a two-handed dunk in the early minutes. Exhibit B: Norris Cole, Chalmers' backup at point guard, did the same thing in the second quarter.
Combined dunks this season for Chalmers and Cole entering Thursday? Zero.
It’s clear these guys were pumped up to take on Lin and capitalized on their solid defensive work.
Physically Attack Him
The King lowered his shoulder and sent his would-be defender flying backwards.
For all of Lin’s strengths on the court, he’s not a physically strong guy.
On Boomer and Carton last week, the 6’3”, 200-pound PG told the hosts that he only benches about 200 right now and doesn’t often do so.
There’s nothing wrong with that—Kevin Durant could not put up 185 at the combine just a few years ago —but it can be used to his opponent’s advantage.
Bodying up on Lin and holding ground is key as he will not be able to post up whatsoever against most NBA players and he will be forced to pass the ball.
If the rest of the team is doing their job on defense, it’s going to lead to turnovers.
Has Jeremy Lin Been Exposed?
If Lin gets into the paint, he’s extremely dangerous.
He has an array of crafty moves down low and can maneuver himself around a defender and find a way to put the ball in the hole.
Cutting off his path to the paint and forcing him out of his comfort zone, especially to the left, is just a wise decision.
Lin is a streaky outside shooter and certainly doesn’t warrant a double-team, which means everyone should be covered if the defender can keep Lin out of the lane.
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