Why you should stick with Jeremy Lin moving forward
Jeremy Lin has literally taken over the NBA.
And although it’s been just a week since the 23 year-old Harvard āeducated playmaker was inserted into Mike D’Antoni’s rotation, he has successfully infused a buzzing new excitement and hope into the New York metropolitan area and great Knicksā fans everywhere.
But more importantly Lin has altered the entire dynamic of a team that was in dire need of some feel-good news.
And with Lin, boy did they ever get thatā¦and a whole lot more. The numbers speak for themselves.
Dominant winning performances in the Knicks last five games, Lin, has put together an impressive 26.8-point, 4.2-rebound, 8.0-assist, 2.0-steal per game average while shooting an even more baffling 51.5% from the field.
As if those incredible individual numbers werenāt enough, his Knicks are a cool 5-0 in that same spanā¦amazingly still without their two prime time talents in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
With Linās fantasy stock now up some 75% in the majority of league formats, his tremendous ascension into the annals of NBA lore is rightfully met with skepticism.
With just a small sample size of statistical gems under his belt, is it realistic to view Linās sudden emergence as anything more than just sheer luck?
As we attempt to machete our way through the growing forest of nauseating Lin superlatives in our eager search for the truth we just want to know is Jeremy Lin really worth picking up for the long haul?
Can a ball-dominating point-man with very limited NBA experience playing on a bad team truly be worthy of a coveted fantasy roster spot moving forward?
Well if youāre uncertain about Jeremy Lin weāre here to tell you why you shouldnāt be.
Sure there are some huge red flags; turnovers, fatigue, Meloās return. However based on what weāve seen, even at half this pace Linās fantasy outlook moving forward is still worth the risk.
Below we take a detailed look at just why his rising fantasy stock is the real deal. That way you donāt waste time doubting yourself and can go on agonizing over if dropping Spencer Hawes will eventually come back to haunt you or not.
Barring any significant injuries, Lin is going to get a ton of minutes running DāAntoniās pick-and-roll heavy system. A ton.
With an instinctual ability to create for his teammates in transition and in the halfcourt, Linās value to New York at this point is unmatched by any other guard on their roster.
Sure the Knicks need scoring now, but what they need more than anything is a lead guard who can control the pace. Iman Shumpert, Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas simply donāt provide that.
To that fact, over the last five games Lin is averaging 39 minutes per contest.
DāAntoni will continue to give Lin all the minutes he wants. He really has no choice. Letās just hope he doesnāt run the poor kid into the ground.
After taking some time away to mourn the death of his brother, Knicksā starting power forward Amare Stoudemire should be back with his team this week.
What better way to welcome Stat back to NYC than pairing him with a pick-and-roll loving point guard who will get him easy looks reminiscent of the Steve Nash led Phoenix Sunsā days of yesteryear.
Stoudemire would gladly welcome that. He has not quite been himself this season averaging 7.1 fewer points than a season ago. His field goal percentage, blocks, assists and free throw attempts all down significantly to boot.
Linās unselfish play-making ability should help Amare instantly. Weāve seen the success center Tyson Chandler has had with Lin running the vaunted pick-and-roll in just five games and with Amareās advanced pick-and-pop skill; an even greater dimension will surely be added to DāAntoniās favorite set.
Early this season the Knicks failed miserably in their attempt to place Carmelo Anthony, rookie Iman Shumpert and off-guard Toney Douglas in stated pick-and-rolls only to find that the three aforementioned shoot-first players did not exhibit natural play-making abilities in the halfcourt.
With Lin not showing any such struggles finding open teammates, the Knicksā offensive options should multiply sharing court time with a healthy Stoudemire.
Which is ultimately means great news for owners of both Lin and Stoudemire alike.
The Tyson Chandler connection
Tyson Chandler is, dare we say, winninā and grinninā with Lin on the court. The 7-1 free-agent acquisition from tiny Hanford, California is averaging 14.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest while shooting a spot-on 65.9% from the field with his new point guard in the fold.
The quick chemistry between the two was apparent instantly with Lin frequently spoon-feeding the big man ala Steve Nash at the rim with blind lobs and beautiful drop off passes in the first couple games.
With Chandler rolling to the basket and Amare popping mid-range the prospect of Linās assist numbers increasing even more have to excite savvy owners who picked him up.
Field Goal Percentage
Arguably, the most impressive trait from Linās short template early on is his constant attack of the rim.
Both Deron Williams and John Wall had their issues keeping him out of the paint and we need not go into the Lakersā woes attempting to defend the sudden Knicksā spark.
With offensive reinforcements on their way, the opportunity for Lin to help your team in that all-important FG% category should increase even more.
Since taking over the Knicksā starting point guard duties Lin has connected on a highly efficient 50/97 shots. And, unbelievably, those 97 shots have come in just five games. That is a ton of shot attempts for a formerly seldom-used point guard.
Just based on sheer logic Linās offensive opportunities are due to fall drastically with the return of Stoudemire and more specifically, Carmelo Anthony.
Lin has averaged an alarming 23.5 shot attempts in the Knicksā last two wins over the Lakers and Wolves. However as alarming as that number may sound, he has still managed to hit over 50% of those attempts.
Namely due to the types of shots he takes and where on the court he takes them.
At 6-3, 200 pounds Lin wisely uses his body to create contact at the rim. To that end he converts frequently once he gets there ultimately resulting in a very high free throw attempt rate for a point guard.
During New Yorkās current 5-game winning streak, Lin has managed to register a total of 42 free throw attempts (8.4 per game) good for 73.8%.
In this little run Lin is putting on for all of us he has had to score for his team. And itās been working. Luckily for fantasy owners when Stat and Melo finally do make their way back, Linās field goal percentage should stay at or above what it is now as lanes for him to attack will be much wider due to the obvious threat of scoring on the both sides of the court.
An alert and opportunistic defender, Lin likes to double the post aggressively using his quick hands and low center of gravity to snatch the ball from unsuspecting offensive players.
He will play passing lanes and hound the opposing teamās point guard if he feels he has an advantage. Lin is averaging two steals per game in his last five tallying at least one each contest. With his minutes set to stay in the 35-plus range thereās no logical reason to suspect his steal numbers to dip much lower than what they are now.
If you were lucky enough to snatch up Jeremy Lin this past week you stand to be pretty happy moving forward.
Sure his scoring stands to take a dip once Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony return, he wonāt give you many threes and as a ball-dominating guard he may turn the ball over much more than you would like; but when it all comes down to it Lin appears to be a player that can help you fill a plethora of needs on your fantasy team.
Namely above average steal, assist and rebound totals from the point guard position. He will also shoot a high percentage from the field and get more than enough attempts at the free throw line to aid in keeping his point totals respectable.
Keep in mind Linās 109 total points in his first four starts are the most by an NBA player since the league merged with the ABA in 1976. A record most recently owned by the high-scoring Allen Iverson.
And with many players starting to tire down heading into the middle of the NBA season, this kid is fresh and just getting started.
So be smart and ride him while heās hot.
Thereās always a chance it may not last, but for a guy that was virtually on everyoneās waiver wire just last week, snatching him up has already proven to be a pretty low-risk, high-reward scenario.
Tags: Fantasy, Fantasy Basketball, Jeremy Lin, NBA