Fans of the Brooklyn Nets can collectively exhale, for Jeremy Lin is finally healthy and playing following an injury to his hamstring. After a two week evaluation turned into five weeks of silence that drove some Nets fans crazy, Lin made his return against his some familiar foes in the Houston Rockets and head coach Mike D’Antoni. He scored 10 points on four of eight shooting from the floor and seven assists to go with his three rebounds in 20 minutes.
He was back to his old self; scoring off the pick and roll, dishing out a hefty number of assists, and running the fast break like the seasoned veteran that he is. Through the use of 3Ball.io we can take a look at each assist he dished and every point he scored to take a deeper look at his performance against the Rockets.
Droppin’ Dimes, Droppin’ Dimes:
His first assist was to Sean Kilpatrick and it was a play that had been missing since Lin went down in November with the injury. His vision was superb as he drove the lane and found a wide open Kilpatrick for three. Nothing like a good ole fashion no look pass to help get things going after a stagnant stretch.
Another prime example of exactly what the team had been missing in his absence, Lin dishes out the pinpoint pass to Kilpatrick who scores his tenth point of the game. Trevor Booker, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Isaiah Whitehead would make this play from time to time but Lin is the type of player that can do it consistently and at a high level. This will be a routine play now that he is back into the lineup.
Lin is truly in his element when he is running the pick and roll. Coaches should use this as a prime example of why patience pays off when you are waiting for the screener to roll. Lin could have hit him with the pass sooner, and maybe Booker could’ve finished it, but waiting that extra quarter second opened up a window that led to a perfect scoring opportunity.
This is just as good a play by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as it is by Lin. Lin had two options here: hit Brook Lopez on the perimeter for a possible three pointer or reset in the offense, or dish it to a cutting RHJ and let him make a play. Lin was wise to let Hollis-Jefferson do his thing because Lopez looked ready to chuck up an ill-advised shot.
Joe Harris was able to capitalize on this uncontested three pointer in transition thanks to the smooth pass from Lin. He got it to him on time, in rhythm, and in the right spot. All of those things are fundamental, but there has been a lacking of fundamentals at the point guard position since Lin’s absence. It is nice to see it back in action.
Lin’s final assist was a clutch one in crunch time, but it wouldn’t have happened without the gritty play of Harris. Harris has long been known as a D-League assignee, not someone you would normally see in crunch time of an NBA game, but he answered the call here and kept the Nets in the game. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to secure a victory.