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Daryl Morey defends Jeremy Lin in Reddit AMA

Aug 17, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin, James Harden AP

Rockets GM Daryl Morey did a Reddit AMA — which stands for “ask me anything.” For those who don’t know what this means, it is essentially a cool kids Q&A.

As happens pretty much every time there is public discussion of the Rockets, Jeremy Lin takes some hits. He put up a nice 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per game, and he hit the three better than he has in his career, but overall his efficiency numbers were pedestrian. Average. Not thrilling. He wasn’t the guy from the crazy run in New York.

Which frankly was to be expected, Lin was overhyped because of that but is a quality player does some things very well (attack off the pick-and-roll to the right). Last season he was injured some, the league adjusted, and now it’s up to him to improve his game. But Lin’s critics do not let up; they see him as wildly overpaid.

Morey defended Lin on Reddit (via Ben at The Point Forward):

It is amazing to me that all the time I encounter people feeling negative about Jeremy’s season with us. I have chalked this up to:

– he started off slow, mostly due to getting 100% back from injury
– very high, unrealistic expectations after his time in New York
– had a rough ending in the playoffs, again due to injury
– people generally remember starts & ends more than anything else
– people generally compare things to their expectations when forming opinions versus look at the big picture

Last year was Jeremy’s 1st full year in the league. Essentially his rookie year. If last season would have been his rookie year and he never would have played in New York, right now people would be appropriately talking about him incessantly as one of the top young rookie stars in the league. He was the starting point guard on a playoff team in West at age 24!!! Don’t get me started on this. Too late …

This is the season Lin needs to step up his game — he needs a better left hand, he has to finish better than 53.5 percent inside five feet, he needs to hit better than 39.9 percent of his midrange shots, he has to be better on the corner threes he can get, his defense needs to improve. There are a lot of areas to get better, but Lin wasn’t bad and when he plays to his strengths he’s good.

Lin is entering the couple of seasons when we normally see players make jumps in improvement and efficiency. If Lin can take even a step forward the Rockets, with all their other weapons, become all that more dangerous. It’s going to be a year that Houston’s roster learns how to play together and Lin is going to be part of that process. Like him or not.

  1. thomaskouns - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    The players who improve substantially in the NBA have strong work ethics (adding elements to their game in the off-season) and tremendous focus. Lin has both those qualities in spades.

    I can’t say for sure he will improve but it’s likely given time and his work ethic.

    • moseskkim - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      Can’t judge his stats in ny and compare Houston. Harden handles the ball a whole lot and Lin needs it to be effective so that’s why u saw some big nights back and forth (obviously way more harden nights). Lin can still run the pick and roll well, but can only get those stats with a team that has him as the main man.

  2. felisberto - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    At this point Lin is already better than overhyped Steve Nash.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Lin is better then Nash in some ways, but calling the former 2 time MVP and one of the NBA’s top 10 floor generals of all time overhyped….you chiefin’ on that loud huh?

    • kb2408 - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Dude, just stop it, ok??!! The only people that think that are Rockets fans. If anything, Lin reminds me of a poor man’s Nash. Their style of play is very similar. This upcoming season will tell us a lot about Lin. Playing with the team he has now “should” make his stats much better. IMO, he’s probably a 14 & 8 type of point guard , which is not bad at all. But certainly not better than Nash was in his prime. Now if you’re saying he’s better than Nash is right now, I “might” agree.

      • ddarqwon - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        “The only people that think that are Rockets fans.”

        No, that would be Lin’s fanboys.
        Most Rockets fans generally have a realistic view of Lin, his potential and his limitations.
        It’s his ridiculous fanboys who have attached themselves to him since NY and constantly make those ridiculous comments.
        They often refuse to see Lin for what he is because it doesn’t always jibe with what they need him to be.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      Nash just came within two made free throws of yet ANOTHER 50-40-90 season, you idiot.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        I like Nash but you’re wrong about his stats this past season…

        He DID shoot over 90% from the free throw line. He shot .922% this past season.

        He DID shooter over 40% from 3 pt range. He shot .438% this past season.

        However, he “only” shot 47% on his 2 pt shots…

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        Opps, typo.

        Nash shot .497% from 2 pt range, not 47%. Erred in my attempt to post too quickly.

        But right is right and wrong is wrong and I was wrong previously.

      • badintent - Sep 1, 2013 at 2:42 AM

        At sportsfan too. Lin can Jam. Nash can not. So LIn got street cred. Nash got the $$$ but now his ex got it. With the 6 kids. Ouch !!

    • onlyavoice - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      WOW, Someone Actually Watches Basketball.
      100% Accurate Observation.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        After checking the actual stats, I wouldn’t say that it was a 100% accurate observation…

  3. abchome - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Can’t say Lin’s impressive even if he’s a rookie. And his 3 years contract worths more than a first overall pick would make in 4 years.

    • guitarherowannabe - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      @abchome…that’s ok, because Lin only made the rookie minimum for his first two years. So the first overall pick (like John Wall, who just signed $80 over 5 years) is still making more…

  4. ihavenonickname - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    He makes a good defense for Lin. He’s a solid NBA player with a good possibility of being a career starter. He’s not at all the first guy to get “overpaid”

    I mean super inconsistent/ineffecient RayFelton got 7M a couple times so Lin’s 8M really isn’t that bad… especially considering the marketing pull he adds to the team.

  5. adoombray - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    It’s not Lin’s fault that the “ANYTHING FROM NEW YORK IS AMAAAAAZING!” media hype machine caught him up, because his statistics are basically the same as they were in NY, and while the criticism’s about his shooting percentages are certainly valid, the man is a point guard not a 2 guard… however he does have arguably the best 2 guard in the league playing with him, and The Beard is also a phenomenal pick and roll player, with arguably the best pick and roll big man in Howard. You could even make the argument that Parsons is the third option there, one of the true underrated players in the league who improved in a big way in every statistical category of relevance between his rookie and second years.

    What I’m saying is Lin really doesn’t have to be amazing. He just needs to hold down the 1 and hes good for 6 assists a game which is a quality contribution when Harden is good for 4 and a half. Lin is a perfect complimentary player on a stacked team whose value from both a marketing perspective and the example he sets by being a hard-working, intelligent guy who hardly ever stops smiling makes him worth every penny.

  6. 00maltliquor - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Jeremy Lin is good, I hate how he catches so much flak. He’s not a superstar, but he sure does have some game. If he was getting paid 1.4 million a year, people would be heaping praises on him for his talents.

  7. shanelsweet - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    It’s because he’s an Asian player that he gets the extra scrutiny. For some folks, it’s all about whether he got what he got because he’s a worthy player or whether he got it because he’s an Asian in some sort of reverse discrimination. The times they are a changing, but not that much yet.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Same as the old boss.

  8. chicagofan - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    A-Rod signed a $250 million dollar contract while using PED to enhance his stats and Lin took advantage of his short term hype to sign a 25mill dollar deal–I can at least respect Lin’s way of getting overpaid. His job is to help Houston win the NBA title. If he sustains those stats and they win, he will earn his money and silence his critics. Its all about winning not putting up big numbers or stats. He took advantage of the leverage (from his hot streak) he had to get paid more money. Those haters should take note of the business acumen that took and try to use it in their own lives.

  9. eatitfanboy - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    I really don’t think that in today’s NBA, an $8.33m annual average salary it out of line for that production. There are players in the league making a lot more and contributing a lot less. If he continues to develop, it could turn out to be if not a bargain, at least an appropriate contract for his level of production.

  10. 11thstreetmafia - Aug 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    If you spend this much time defending this guy, that’s obviously a problem.

  11. imakcds - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Lin is good because he is smart amd knows the game, like a PG should.
    Lin is basically an average NBA ball player because of his physical limitations.
    His smarts will get him further in Life than his athleticism will take him on the court.
    Anyone see his ‘You’ve Changed, Bro! ‘ vid?
    Proof that his future is bigger away from the game.

  12. mark88888 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Salary for Harvard graduate point guard not bad.

  13. jusdre313 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Lin was pretty overhyped after his run in NY and he used that leverage to get more $$$ out of Hou.. cant be mad at him for that.. get all the $$ you can

    but i do think hes an average player who CAN get better.. and this year we will see if he takes it to another level. time will tell

  14. jimx1900 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Excited to see what an Asian guard can do in the NBA. So far, he has proven he deserves the opportunity to show his stuff. However, I think his coach is typical of the sort that Lin encountered when he went into the college game, and it will be difficult for Lin to gain any confidence.

  15. malcolmaaron2 - Aug 20, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    I don’t know why it’s so difficult for people to understand that Lin was giving that big contract more for his marketability than his basketability. After all the NBA is a BUSINESS where popular players generate money for teams even if their individual statistics aren’t that great.

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