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Jeremy Lin a fan favorite in Vegas

Jul 15, 2010, 11:21 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin.jpg
At the beginning of Friday’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Washington Wizards, those assembled at the COX Pavilion in Las Vegas were on their feet and craning their necks to get a look at No. 1 overall pick John Wall. The crowd oohed and ahhed at Wall’s pre-game routine of windmills and tomahawks, just like they have before every Wizards game in Vegas.
But while Wall was the star of pre-game warmups, Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin ended up stealing the show. Lin isn’t the most athletic guy in Las Vegas, and he’s not the most skilled, but he may be the most fearless. 
Don’t let the Harvard degree fool you — Lin is a hard-nosed player who loves to take the ball right at the rim in every situation, and he doesn’t mind taking a bump or flat-out crashing into an opponent on his way to the hoop. 
Lin played the same aggressive game against the Wizards that he’s been playing all week, and the crowd ate it up. When Lin converted a tough drive, the crowd cheered. When he threw down a fast-break dunk, they roared in appreciation. When Lin split a double-team, weaved through the rotating defenders, got knocked down, and had a shot linger on the rim for a few seconds before it fell to the floor, the crowd went absolutely crazy. Even though the shot missed and Lin actually got called for a charge on the play, it was as loud as the COX Pavillion has been all week. 
Just like his and-1 that wasn’t, Lin’s bid for an NBA roster spot may come up just a bit short. Friday was by far the best of Lin’s four summer league games, and his stat line still didn’t look all that impressive: 13 points on 6-12 shooting, four rebounds, two assists, four turnovers, and six fouls. It’s hard to make the NBA as an undrafted rookie without great athleticism, a great shooting stroke, or great court vision, and Lin doesn’t have any of those. What Lin does have is the toughness, determination, and savvy that have made him one of the most fun players to watch in summer league, and there’s always a chance an NBA team will want somebody with Lin’s attitude and approach to the game on their bench. 
Lin has a bright basketball future ahead of him, even if that future doesn’t include a stint in an NBA rotation. Wherever Lin does go, he’ll have plenty of fans who will remember the fearless show he put on during his time with Dallas’ summer league squad. 
  1. steve - Jul 17, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    how is jeremy lin not a great athlete, he drives by everybody like its nothing and won a jump ball against wall

  2. steve - Jul 17, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    after i saw that game of jeremy against john wall , its hard to believe that he wont make it to the nba. can anyone honestly tell me that if there was a white guy out there with the talents and skill set of jeremy than he would have just as much of a hard time as making it into the league and have writers keep writing about how hes not that athletic or doesnt have great court vision. whether anyone wants to believe it or not,the ONLY REASON jeremy hasnt been guaranteed a contract yet is bc his last name is lin and people dont want to belive that there is actually an asian out there who can straight ball out there and hold his own against those super athletic black guys. theres no question that if there was a white guy out there who could score and defend against wall that well than people would be calling him a future star and writers wouldnt still be saying oh hes still a long shot from making an nba roster.

  3. Rockets' Red Glare - Jul 18, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    All this article showed is that Mr. John Krolik had not much idea about the NBA. It was SUMMER LEAGUE, where players showcase what they can do, it’s an occasion where you WANT to make mistakes in order to correct them before the new season starts.
    Writing off any promising player based purely on Summer League stat line & not the actual gameplay is just…. ignorant.

  4. nimster - Jul 18, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Jeremy is good, but the reason he is criticized with his stat sheet is that the other guys are well known and have already proven themselves. For the press and scouts to be a believer in Lin, he has to produce outstanding stats, it’s just the way it works.

  5. srsh - Jul 18, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    Lin is exciting but there’s lots of room for improvement & I’m not sure if he’ll get it while sitting on the bench & not getting any playing time. He should spend some time in D-League or go to Europe for a year or two.
    1 — He has excellent speed burst when driving to the basket. However, he doesn’t have the handle to consistently break people down w/ his speed. I’m not sure what the solution/fix is but he isn’t going to come up w/ it without major playing time.
    2 — His mechanics when shooting from perimeter can use some improving. Also, he’s not consistent from the outside. He’s got the potential to improve this big time but he’ll need playing time to practice this against defenders & not in practice only (by riding bench). Not just the 3-point shot but he should work on mid-range jumper also. He’s smart & should have excellent discipline to pull this off w/ practice.
    3 — Needs to improve his ability to finish near the basket. He has the speed to quickly reach the basket but can be a little wild when trying to finish. The fabulous 270 degree spin against Wizards where he was called for charging was a beautiful play but let’s not forget he missed the shot anyway & it was going to be a fast break the other way.
    4 — More experience w/ using the backboard. I like how much he uses the backboard on his drives. Except for Duncan, nobody bothers to consistently try to use the backboard. Unfortunately, his shots don’t seem soft when bouncing back to the rim.
    ====
    He’s very young & I’m thinking if he can fix these issues, then he’ll do more than warm the bench … he can actually be in an NBA rotation or even start.
    The advice from Mavs GM for him to spend a year working on his game is excellent & he should do it. So much quicker in the long run to fix these problems if he stays in league where he can play major minutes instead of entering the league & riding the bench.
    Maybe like Mavs GM suggested, one year is enough for Lin to fix lots of his weaknesses.

  6. John R - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    there’s a lot of asian guys on this message board overcompensating and getting all sensitive about jeremy lin. look, he might sign a “legit NBA contract,” but he’s leaning on signing with the mavs, and they’ve told him he’ll spend the entire year in the d-league. also, when you’re an undrafted player fighting for a roster spot, that stat line is not that impressive. the writer said he didn’t have a good chance of being a ROTATION player, and i think everyone has to agree that no undrafted rookie has even a decent chance of landing in an NBA rotation. the writer also says he doesn’t have GREAT athleticism, shooting, or court vision…but lin obviously has decent or good athleticism, shooting, and court vision. what’s wrong with saying he’s not great at any of those things? you can dominate the ivy league without being great.
    also, the feeling that this writer or any nba gm is racist is so tired and ridiculous. why wouldn’t an NBA gm want a minority on his team? how does yi jianlian have a job? why do nba scouts go abroad all the time? if anything, nba scouts or racist against american born white players.
    if lin is so great, why’d he go unrecruited in high school an undrafted in the nba? don’t say racism unless you want to openly admit that you are dumb.

  7. Gex - Jul 19, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    Jeremy Lin does not have “great court vision”? Are you SERIOUS? Wait, do you know anything about basketball floor awareness? Thats what I thought, why are you writing about people not having it then?

  8. Luke - Jul 19, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    John R, I think you just openly admitted in proving you don’t know what you’re talking about. In other words, you’re pretty dumb.
    While you do make some half praises to Lin in order to get some attention, what you’re really trying to do is cover up for the writer. Acting like you really know what was going on in the writer’s head and spending over 50 percent of your comments defending what the writer said by making up half meanings to what he was really trying to say, but didn’t write? Haha!
    You’re OBVIOUSLY the writer of this article or a friend of his as by request from him to help defend him from all the smashing from so called “Asians” on this board. Do I have to be Asian too just because I agree with the rest of the people on this board that your article obviously has some very very big holes in it?
    Yeah nice try, but I think you just openly admitted you are the writer or associated with the writer. And you just proved to me twice now that:
    1. You are definitely dumb
    2. You are even more dumb for trying to say anyone who thinks he didnt get a D1 scholarship out of highschool due to his race is “dumb”. Which by the way, YES that is what I believe.
    3. Lastly, I’m black. Not Asian, and I do think he wasn’t aggressively recruited due to his race out of highschool.
    So you want to fix this “John R”? *cough* “John Krolik” *cough*
    1. Stop writing about sports in general, this doesn’t seem like the ideal place for you.
    OR
    2. If you really want to man up and earn my respect along with the rest of the people who reads this website? Write another article, explain how you did not accurately assess his abilities prior and write the truth. :)

  9. Mike - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:13 AM

    John Krolik: are you watching the same game? Jeremy Lin is the most athletic player on the court.
    This guy can fly and out ran and out jump anyone on the court!
    He’ll have a great NBA career if given a chance!

  10. zxcvb - Jul 19, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    John R,
    Are you aware of the concept of minutes-per-game? Lin averaged 10ppg in 19minutes while shooting 54.5%. Wall shot 37% by comparison. Also, this is summer league — it’s not about stat lines, esp. when you’re a PG. It’s about how much talent and skill you show. And Lin flashed tons of it — on offense as well as defense, which was perhaps the most impressive thing Lin showed in Vegas.

  11. Observer157 - Jul 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    What else does this guy have to do to prove he belongs in the NBA? He torched UConn and BC twice, outplayed John Wall in the summer league, and was one of 20 finalists for the John Wooden (best DI player) and Bob Cousy (best DI point guard) awards. He keeps getting no respect and is the biggest sleeper in this year’s crop of rookies.
    Jeremy Lin is the most productive and efficient per-minute player on the Mavericks summer team for scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He’s shooting 55% from the field, and 66% from 3-point land. His last game he took only 6 shots and scored 12 points. His game is legit, he can play with the best.
    Even though he showed he can hold his own (if not dominate) against the #1 overall draft pick John Wall, he still has a TON of potential to grow, and the sky’s the limit for him. He is learning more every single game. He is clearly a much more intuitive and natural backup point guard than Roddy or Barrea.
    For those naysayers pointing out the turnovers, those will cut down the more experience he gets. John Wall had 8 turnovers for 2 straight games leading up to the Mavericks matchup, for some perspective. Lin also has less total and less per-minute turnovers than Roddy does.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    The attention Lin is getting from these boards is just irrational. Maybe everyone is desperate to see a Harvard/Asian/American-Born kid & can’t be objective.
    !!!He did well in Summer League but remember this is Summer League!!!
    The defenses are extremely disorganized & the game is spent as mainly a transition game back & forth. Even next year’s lottery teams will put out a far superior defense than what we saw in the Summer League. Almost the entire game is in transition & big men struggle to get involved because guards are playing for their basketball lives & rarely pass the ball.
    Lin mechanics from outside is not good, is anyone not noticing that?? He gets to the rim w/ speed but lacks the handle to fully utilize his speed to break someone down in the half-court. Lin is struggling to finish off when he gets to the basket. How can so many people miss this unless they’re blind fanbois.
    He has potential & I see him as someone who can be a starter if he works on all his weaknesses for a year or two.
    ===
    He played w/ Wall in the fourth quarter & that is part of the potential which is drawing people’s attention. Everyone is thinking Asian is why he’s not drafted … maybe it’s because Ivy league teams almost never produce NBA talent …. isn’t that more reasonable??

  13. JC - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    You know nothing about basketball Krolik, the kid is playing for the GS warriors.

  14. Kenny - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    Krolik, I agree with JC. You know nothing about basketball. Hitting the Jameson too hard? Have you had your daily smoke of crack today? No idea how you got this column cause you’re an idiot.

  15. dtc david - Jul 23, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    thought this was pro basketball talk. go back to school because people will just troll your insignificantly irrelevant articles.

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