Will Jeremy Lin survive for more than a season as a Los Angeles Laker?
The odds are definitely against the notion.
Lin is a penetrating guard that works well off pick-and-rolls. As a starter for Houston, Lin was more efficient when playing with the ball than off-the-ball. As per SynergySports.com, Lin was involved in the pick-and-roll an overwhelming 22.7 percent of the time as a Houston Rocket. Only his involvement with spot-up shooting was higher (26.1 percent) and transitions were a close third (22.6 percent). Unfortunately, Lin only shot 41.2 percent as a spot-up shooter.
The issue with Lin’s ball dependency is a shooting guard by the name of Kobe Bryant. He’ll need to split duties with a player who’s 36 and set in his ways as far as distributing the ball. It’s a different situation when James Harden, Lin’s former teammate, took care of the ball as the Rockets needed another ball-handler. Bryant’s used to a team without a “true” point guard, and Lin will not fit the bill.
The biggest issue with Lin’s stay in Los Angeles may be his lack of defense. It is simply put, Lin is not even a defensive presence. He works well off screens and pick-and-rolls, but on defense it’s a lost cause. Undersized and overwhelmed, Lin is usually out of position and stiff when defending his man off of a pick-and-roll.
Of course, the coach will play a pivotal role in Lin’s potential success (or failure). If it’s an offense that’s built to run or pick-and-roll, Lin should thrive. But, if it’s a traditional half-court set with an emphasis on defensive pressure and turnovers, this will be a very short and painful ride.
Lin may be entering the best opportunity of his young NBA career, but it will be a shocker if he keeps the job. While the dominoes are stacked against him, there’s some rope. There’s the tutelage of Steve Nash, the added insurance that Lin needs to score, and the hope that Bryant teaches the guard a thing or two about off-the-ball play.
Now, to address that Jordan Hill contract..
Photo credit Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images
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