If you limit athletes—just like luxury cars—you will never know what they are capable of. Jeremy Lin is not a performance sedan, but until February 4th, he did not get quality minutes. The end results were poor performances and little confidence in him not only from fans, but also from himself.
Jeremy Lin really came into his own as an NBA player on February 4th, though after that date a torn meniscus limited his games this season to just 26. Prior to that, he was an undrafted player hoping simply to make the roster.
For the first 11 games of “Linsanity” he averaged 23.9 points, 9.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 5.5 turnovers. Then in Miami, Lin had arguably his worst game as a Knick, who were determined to end “Linsanity”—and they did, holding Lin to just eight points, three assists and eight turnovers on 1-for-11 shooting.
Lin’s remaining games, including the Heat game, had him averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.9 turnovers. During both periods he averaged around 3.8 rebounds.
Much of the difference between the two periods can be explained by a torn meniscus that kept exasperating as his playing time went from almost nothing to close to 40 minutes a game. After a while, it became clear that something was wrong and he was not able to get what he wanted from his knees.
His best game was arguably against Dallas where he dropped 28 points and 14 assists with Shawn Marion guarding him most of the game. He did have a 38-point game against the Lakers, but that was with Derek Fisher playing Lin, with Kobe Bryant barely taking notice of him.
But not everything was pretty, and you can’t take anything away from the Miami Heat—they forced Lin to his weak side, trapped him when they had to and made him almost a liability on the floor.
So what does that mean?
Lin is not the greatest of all time, but definitely has secured a starting point guard position in the NBA.
For the 26 games, he averaged 18.5 points, 7.7 assists and two steals. Had he maintained those statistics, it would’ve been good for 12th in scoring and ninth in assists among guards.
The Houston Rockets offered him $30 million over four years. From a business standpoint, James Dolan and the Knicks have to match, it just makes sense. From jersey-sales, to bobble-heads, there are simply too many ways to recoup his salary.
Take the Toronto Raptors' situation. They recently signed his teammate Landry Fields to a three-year deal worth $20 million and also traded for Kyle Lowry, who averaged 14.3 points, and 6.6 assists last season.
Kyle Lowry, whose numbers are below Lin’s, but has been in the NBA longer, is owed $12 million over the next two years. Is Lin worth $30 million?
With the recent acquisition of Jason Kidd by the Knicks, it makes more sense than ever for the Knicks to match any offer. Jason Kidd along with Steve Nash have been idols to Lin growing up, and Kidd has made it clear he would be willing to come off the bench.
In addition Lin's turnovers will go down as he continues to adjust to the NBA.
Jeremy Lin will be an All-Star next season, this much is guaranteed, as his many global fans will surely vote for him. However, I believe he will come back from this injury, restart Linsanity and earn that All-Star spot.
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