As a Brooklyn Nets fan and a huge Jeremy Lin follower, it goes without saying that I am very excited to see what he could do as a starter after being a bench player for the majority of the last 3 seasons with the Houston Rockets, L.A. Lakers, and Charlotte Hornets. It was clearly time for Lin in free agency to find a coach and a new environment where he could have a better chance of success and the ball started rolling when Kenny Atkinson was hired as the new head coach of the Nets. Under Kenny Atkinson who is a disciple of Mike D’Antoni and Mike Budenholzer, I think the style of play will focus more on Pick and Rolls for the Point Guard and feature ball movement like the Spurs and the Hawks. It is no secret that General Manager Sean Marks with his Spurs background along with the rest of the organization would like to emulate them for their team play and the great success they have had over many years.
When you think about the Spurs, Tim Duncan obviously comes to mind as a first ballot hall of famer but a great part of their success was due to an underrated as well as under-appreciated PG and that is Tony Parker. Lin has similarities in his game to Parker in that they are both quick and driving to the basket is their core strength as point guards. Actually Parker has compared Lin’s game to himself and this is his quote to the Houston Chronicle on 12/10/12: “His shot will come,” Parker said. “I couldn’t hit a shot at the beginning of my career. I was still able to go to the basket. His shot will improve and it will definitely help his game. When I started making the outside jumper on a consistent basis, that’s when I was more consistent with my performance.”
Lin then answered with his comments to the Houston Chronicle on the same day that he considers Parker as a role model in terms of his basketball ability. Lin said “Just creating space, changing directions, using angles, floaters, his creativity in the lane. I think he’s an elite point guard and someone I want to aspire to be in terms of how he leads his team to how he pushes the ball and makes plays.” I would like to point out that Lin scored his career high 38 points for the Rockets in Houston against the Spurs after the article was published on 12/10/12. Parker certainly got to see Lin at his best firsthand that night.
Jeremy Lin is coming off a good overall season with the Hornets but he had the worst shooting year of his career not counting his first year with the Golden State Warriors. His field goal percentage was only 41.2% and his perimeter shooting declined from previous seasons. Lin is a player who has always had a great work ethic and he recently made a public statement that he is working to improve his outside game. He acknowledged that he needs to improve his jump shooting to take his game to another level and he said that it is his number one priority in the summer. Lin also stated that he has changed his shooting motion again to make his jumper more consistent and use less energy with a lower release point so he could become more efficient. He practiced shooting jump shots with a quicker release for last season but it was obviously not effective.