5 Things Jeremy Lin Still Needs Serious Work on to Blossom into Real Star PG

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2012

5 Things Jeremy Lin Still Needs Serious Work on to Blossom into Real Star PG

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    Jeremy Lin is not a bust, but he does have plenty of work to do.

    While the oft-inconsistent point guard has been the subject of a battery of scrutiny, we—and Lin—must understand that it comes with the territory of star status.

    The problem, however, is Lin has managed to reach star status without actually becoming a legitimate star, which hasn't made for many positive spins on how he has fared with the Houston Rockets.

    But that can change. It can all change.

    As disappointing as Lin as been, he is still brimming with potential; he can still render Linsanity as more than an extensive fluke.

    He's just going to have to tailor his game to fit the needs of his team, as well as the requirements of an authentic star floor general.


    All stats in this article are accurate as of November 29th, 2012.

Getting to the Line

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    The Rockets' Jeremy Lin is at his best when he's attacking the rim, and everyone knows it.

    Though the path to the basket isn't always open for Lin, he's still shooting 56.6 percent at the rim and more than 53 percent of his total offense comes from there as well.

    Now, I ask you, as a relentless rim attacker, why is Lin shooting just 3.1 free throws per game?

    Lin needs to master the art of drawing contact, not unlike teammate James Harden, who leads all guards in free throw attempts with 9.5 per game.

    Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul all get to the line at least five times per game, a mark that Lin needs to hit if he wishes to be held in the same regard or be considered the same genre of offensive.

    Simply put, if Lin's free throw attempts per game go up, it will be a clear indication that he is, at the very least, on his way to meeting some of the lofty expectations set for him.


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    Jeremy Lin's turnover issues are currently been masked.

    Though the point guard's 2.2 assists-to-turnover ratio is much higher than the 1.71 he posted with the New York Knicks, he's turning the ball over 20.6 percent of the time. 

    For those wondering, that's far too often, and it is the second-most among starting point guards; only Rajon Rondo turns the ball over at a higher rate than Lin in that department.

    While such a turnover rate would be acceptable if Lin were dishing out 12.9 dimes per contest like Rondo, he's dropping just 6.5. His rates are also far higher than that of other elite point men: Ty Lawson, Kyrie Irving and, of course, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

    These athletes are stars, and subsequently, are players Lin must emulate if he wishes to become one himself.

    Because elite point guards protect the ball, and Lin has to do a much better job of doing that.

    No exceptions.

Left-Handed Everything

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    To the left, Jeremy, to the left.

    That's what Jeremy Lin must remember. Teams are prepared for him to go right, so they're forcing him to go to left, which he's not comfortable.

    When the point guard is being forced to the weak side, he'll look to dump it off immediately. On the rare occasion he tries to score, though, it hasn't been pretty.

    Thus far, Lin has attempted 154 field goals. Just 18 have come on the left side of the court, compared to the 38 he has attempted from the right.

    Predictable much?

    For Lin to become a star, he must prove that he can score from any distance, on any side of the floor, the left included. 

    Should he be unable to, however, he'll find himself overmatched at the offensive end on every possession.

Three-Point Shooting

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    Jeremy Lin needs to learn how to hit the deep ball consistently.

    We criticize both Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook for it, and if Lin wants to be put in the same category, he must be held to the same standard.

    Currently, the point guard is shooting just 25 percent from beyond the arc, and is shooting just 29.2 percent from that distance for his career.

    And that needs to change. 

    If you look at point guards like Chris Paul and Steve Nash, among others, they can all hit the three-ball consistently. Heck, even the three-point choke artist himself is shooting a better clip (31.6 percent) from downtown than Lin.

    Should Houston's point man ever wish to reverse the stigma surrounding him, the one that implies he's a situational wonder, he's going to have improve his outside conversion rate to ate least 33 percent.

    Like yesterday.

Defense, Defense, Defense

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    Jeremy Lin is grabbing a career best 2.1 steals per game. 

    Do you know what that means?

    Almost nothing.

    Yes, he's grabbing the 12th-most steals per 36 minutes of all guards in the NBA, but he's also allowing opposing point men to score 18.8 points per 48 minutes while posting an effective field-goal percentage of 51.7.

    Considering that Lin himself is only dropping 14 points per 48 minutes and posting an effective field-goal percentage 38, that's unacceptable.

    To put it an even more perspective, Houston's opponents in general are scoring 106.3 points per 100 possessions with Lin on the floor, compared to 104.6 with him on the sidelines.

    For Lin to truly become a star, he has to become a two-way force, one who doesn't imply that his team will actually let up more points with him on the floor.

    Unless he's content dwelling in the confines of mediocrity, that is.