We've been seeing 2 different Jeremy Lin so far this season.
There's is the Jeremy that was in Toronto and the majority of our road games, one that puts up numbers no better than some back ups would, and then there's the Jeremy that put on an offensive show against the Spurs, the Knicks and the 76ers.
Some are saying that maybe the coaching has adjusted to give Jeremy the ball more after what he did against the Spurs. There may be some more concerted effort to get Jeremy more touches, but I'm here to show you that Jeremy Lin's play definitely has more to do with the up tick in his offense than anything else.
This will be long and take a while to load with a lot of pictures, so sit tight.
Disclaimer: I'm not Coach Nick. I'm only as well versed in basketball as AAU and television has taught me. I'm just your average fan with a VLC player and Paint and no new Saturday morning cartoons.
Bad Jeremy is meek, and inconspicuous on the court, while he tries hard, his effort does not translate into solid production, his or other wise. His own hesitation is his worst enemy.
Good Jeremy is crazy good. He takes control of the ball and he attacks with out thinking. His aggressiveness is plain and easy to see and welcomed.
Bad Jeremy camps out at the corner 3
For spacing reason, someone has to stand in the corner for the corner 3. When Jeremy is not handling the ball, this is one of his jobs. Everybody else has the same job. The problem isn't going to the corner, rather, it's staying at the corner.
Here's a play at Utah where James Harden is out. Granted the Rockets were down 20, but that was no excuse to have Daequan Cook run any semblance of a play. Unfortunately, he had the ball and Jeremy was on the strong side corner.
Pick and roll is what we do. Everybody that handles the ball usually gets a chance to run it. Cook was no exception. Asik would come to set a pick like he would for anyone. As expected, like many had already done, Jazz players came up and hard trapped the ball handler, instead of following the rolling Asik.
Daeqaun Cook actually did something better than Jeremy and Harden, he managed to keep his dribble while backing out of the trap,and Kanter went back to Asik, but Asik was on his way to set another pick.
As expected, they trapped again. Clearly, Cook was out of his element running a pick and roll, and needed help.
This time he picked up the ball, so he was really screwed. No one but Asik was moving, and he had to either throw a risky pass, or take a bad shot. 9 seconds had gone by, and the ball handler was clearly in tremendous trouble. Bad Jeremy just watched poor Daequan Cook get eaten alive by the Jazz defenders, never ever moved away from his corner 3 spot, not even an inch.
I may be biased, as I hate Daequan Cook's guts, but any possession where the ball spend 9 seconds dribbling in Cook's hands, is probably doomed to fail miserably. I understand when Harden has the ball, players sometimes just stand and watch, but that's a bad habit that caused Lebron to eventually leave Cleveland(that and Lebron's greed and ego). This is Daequan Coook. There's no way in hell he should remain in the corner not even moving to get the ball. The only other ball handler and leader was Jeremy Lin, so he needs get in the position to get the ball, when he moves, the rest of the line up moves to fill his void.
Here's Jeremy on a play against the "Mighty" Spurs. This was a secondary play after Jeremy's initial pick and roll attempt failed to yield any result, so the ball ended up in Carlos "no conscience" Delfino's hand. Jeremy started out at the weak side corner, right in front of the "C" of Rockets.com.
As Carlos drove using a Marcus Morris pick(a shitty pick it was, but Spurs chose to to switch anyways), Jeremy began to inch closer, now he's at the "cket".
Carlos got in trouble because Diaw stayed at home, knowing full well that Carlos wasn't fast enough to get by him if he didn't hedge, he in fact ended up switching with Manu.
Carlos picked up his dribble, it was going to be a routine contested shot when Jeremy Lin caught the corner of his eyes. Jeremy had came all the way up to the top and asked for the pass.
He took that 3 almost immediately after he received the pass, and as a result that ball swished through the net for Jeremy's first field goal of the game and gave him confidence to shoot the ball for the rest of the game
If this is not evident enough, the very first play of the Knicks Game, Jeremy gave the ball to Harden and was running to the opposite corner, but as soon as the ball came to the same side, he turned around and took a back cut to the basket. Before he even reached the corner, he moved for an easy play. Coach Nick already broke that play down, so I won't waste your time
I don't know if Jeremy's shot arc is really that high, but it sure feels like it. As long as he's fearless at taking the shot, he should wind up making a decent percentage.
Speaking of 3 pointers, Bad Jeremy loves to pass up good shots and dribble into bad ones
Here's another play from the dreaded Utah game. James Harden was in trouble because he got double teamed. Unlike the Deflino play above, Jeremy was at the top left wing all along, which is why his man was close enough to double James Harden, but that leaves Jeremy wide open for a 3. It didn't matter to them because Jeremy was shooting like 24% from 3s at the time. Jeremy still actually called for the ball.
Jeremy was open, not stupid crazy open, but his feet set, ball in his hand in shooting position, and old man "he's still in the league" Tinsley was 2 steps away.
Oh, psych! Jeremy drove...
...into a double team. The play ended with Tinsley stripping Jeremy's ball out of bounds with 2 second left in the shot clock, and a bad shot ensued.
In case, you think I am only picking on one terrible game by Jeremy, here's an example from the Bull's game.
This was a shot Jeremy could have taken, so open he ate a sandwich and had some tea.
This was the shot Jeremy ended up taking, with Joakim Noah all up in his grill on a off balanced pull up.
If we're talking trust, these are the kind of plays that kills trust.
The first play worked as designed. James Harden drew the attention, kicked the ball to Lin for an open shot and a possible assist. Lin not only didn't take the easy shot to give him the assist, Lin got into trouble with shot clock running down and ended up forcing James to take a poor shot. That's the kind of thing your teammates don't appreciate.
On the other hand, Good Jeremy does not hesitate on his shots.
Watch Jeremy getting exactly the same shot here against the Spurs.
You may say, Jeremy was one for 1/6 from 3 in the Knicks game. Jeremy taking 3s off the catch and shoot might not be the most efficient shot. Missing 5 open 3 point shots is not inefficient, it's unlucky. Jeremy really only took 3 open 3s in the Knick's game if you wanted to pick on me. He missed them all, but he could take solace in the fact that they were good shots. If he works as hard as everyone says, then he needs to see it pay off in game, or else those practice shots would be all for naught.
Bad Jeremy makes bad decisions in the paint. Good Jeremy attacks first, ask questions later.
Bad Jeremy does this a lot, he passes when he should shoot, and he shoots when he's got no choice. Instead of looking for the attack right off the bat, Jeremy makes it a last resort, which leads to a lot of poor shots. It's arguably one of the most frustrating things to watch about Jeremy Lin in the past 25 games.
Watch this Bulls game play. Jeremy got a speed mismatch in Jimmy Butler after a James Harden Screen. James Harden saw that Joakim Noah was paying attention more to Omer Asik on the other side and pointed out the huge lane that opened up in the center of the paint.
Jeremy got to where he wanted to be despite Butler playing good defense. From that spot Jeremy Lin has the opportunity to take a quick short jumper before Joakim Noah comes over, or he can get to the side of the rim where neither of the bull's paint protector can block his shot. It's unfortunate that Jeremy already predetermined to pick up his dribble here, rather than trying to turn the corner on Butler.
But he could still get there with good foot work, problem is he hesitated after he picked up his dribble. Here Jeremy really already won. Butler was in the restricted circle, the rim was one finger roll a way, and neither of the Bull's front court player could get to him. It was even on the side where his dominate right hand can make the lay up. In the picture it looked great, when you see it in motion you'd find that every single movement came with its own half second delay. Jeremy stopped when he picked up his dribble, and then he stopped when he made this counter spin. That allowed Jimmy Butler to put himself in better defensive position.
Jeremy inexplicably spins back around into Jimmy Butler's front and Joakim Noah, and ended up taking a off balanced, highly contested shot.
Now watch a similar play develop at the 76er game. Instead of a one on one, Jeremy penetrated straight off a side pick and roll with Marcus Morris. Everyone else had their assignments on the other side and could not help. James Harden would do his part to draw his defender Evan Turner away as well. Thad Young was a bit confused as to whom he should guard, so he was guarding nothing and no one at the same time.
Malik Wayns did a good job at cutting Jeremy off at the initial stopping point, as always, rocket has position 2 3 point shooters ready to fire. This time Jeremy didn't pick up his dribble until he turns around, and once he turned, he made up his mind to get to the rim. Look at how open the lane was.
Lay-up! Again, neither rim protector had a chance to block this shot, once Jeremy gets to that sweet spot. One fluid motion eliminates any chance of Wayns making any sort of defensive adjustment to properly contest this shot.
Here's something Jeremy did often early on in the season in the paint. Jeremy would have a lane for a lay up, and he would give it to Patrick Patterson for an open 15 ft shot. If I had a choice between a Jeremy Lin lay up or a Patrick Patterson jump shot, I think I'd opt of the Jeremy Lin lay up every time.
This is a play from the Utah game. High pick and roll with Lin and Asik, a play the rockets run all the time for Jeremy along with side pick and rolls. Asik would rolled to the basket for the ball or rebound,and Patterson would roll out to make Favors choose between him and Lin.
Jeremy cut through the defense like it was butter, instantly eliminated 2 Jazz defenders from the play. One help defender came in to cut off Asik's lane, and Favors was the last line of defense so he did not leave. As always in Rocket plays, 1 player was designed to have an open 3 as an option. Look at all those space in the paint.
Look at where Jeremy ended up. Jeremy was one pass fake away from an easy lay up, with Asik right behind him for clean up duty. Instead Patterson clanked one off the iron, and Jazz got the rebound.
Similar play in the Spur game. This time high pick and roll with Greg Smith, Parker would get pick off, but it was ok because Jeremy usually does not take the the jumper off the screen. Danny Green and Boris Diaw would help off of their man, leaving Blair at home as the last line of defense.
Jeremy got past Parker and Green, eliminating them from the play, but Dejuan "ACL-less wonder" Blair actually did a decent job cutting off Jeremy....
but he did an "ole!" and let Jeremy got to the rim, perhaps in fear of picking up a foul and send Jeremy to the line. It helps that once Jeremy picked up his dribble in this play, his mind was made up to score, so all that momentum from his drive never stopped to allow Blair or Diaw to make a good defensive adjustment.
Bad Jeremy does not push the ball on fast breaks. Good Jeremy pushes hard down court.
Jeremy Lin is exceptional at throwing outlet passes, something about calculating the perfect trajectory to reach a moving target just clicks with him, kind of like Captain America having a natural aptitude for trigonometry and geometry (something they downplayed in the movie). It makes great highlight plays, but the problem is that not only it's risky, Jeremy usually slows himself down to survey for that pass. Some times that pass just isn't there.
Compare this fast break in OKC
to this fast break in NYC
Do you see a clear deceleration at OKC ? Granted it was 1 on 3 compare to 1 on 1, but if we know anything about Jeremy Lin's pre-draft scouting, is that Jeremy Lin is damn fast, faster than Derek Rose, John Wall and Kyrie Irvings in straight line speed. There's no reason he can't probe through that OKC defense and get a foul on Thunder Emperor Kevin Durant (Durantula is a dumb nick name).
If you watched the past few game, it's pretty clear that Jeremy has gotten more transition points. Scoring easy baskets not only helps your stat, it also helps your confidence.
That's all I got for Good Jeremy, Bad Jeremy.
I can't tell you exactly how much the coaching has changed, because I don't have the entire back log of this season's games, but I can tell you that Jeremy holds the ball enough that he can be very aggressive when he wants to this season.
Unfortunately for the most part of the season, whenever he had the ball, he was trying too hard to be a "point guard", which downplays his natural potential to score. Jeremy Lin is a better scorer than he is a role player that does the little Basketball smart things. Lately he's been a much more instinctual player, and that makes his game so much more fluid. If scoring is what you need to get more possessions your way, then by all means score. The era of the pure point guard passed when guys like Magic showed up at the scene.
Here's a bonus breakdown. In the Knicks game, I think everyone remembered James Harden waving off Jeremy on one play, Mike Breen made a note of it on the air. In the very same quarter, James Harden worked extremely hard just to get Jeremy Lin the ball.
Like the Rockets so often do, James Harden had the ball up top, and everyone spread for an isolation play. James Harden decided that he needed to direct traffic a little. So he motioned for Omer to leave the left block and bring Chandler with him.
Then he motioned for Chandler Parsons to come over to give himself a screen, but the real purpose was so that Parsons could cut to the paint. Omer Asik actually misunderstood him and was out to set him a double pick.
James Harden kept pointing at Jeremy because he really wanted Omer to get Jeremy out of that corner, this costed him an opportunity to hit Parsons for an easy lay up.
Jeremy finally understood Harden's intention and started to cheat in, ready to get off as soon as Omer Asik came over to screen. Chandler Parsons still wide open, but James made up his mind that Jeremy is getting this ball, all he did was look at Jeremy.
Jeremy took a flat cut across and got the ball on the left side wing. That whole thing took 10 seconds, but what it did was made the paint wide open with just one line of defense in Tyson Chandler. We ran the same old pick an roll.
Look at everybody leave their man to collapse on Jeremy, Copeland who had to guard Morris on the 3 point also ran back but right into Asik's back side. Jeremy at this point was completely covered up, he had no good shots, but everyone else does.
Tyson Chandler actually did well and cut Jeremy off this time, so Jeremy had to turned around, but he attracted so much attention that Marcus Morris was left wide open.
and Marcus Morris drains it as time expires.
Communication was still a little wonky, and Harden had to do a little coaxing to get Jeremy out of the corner, but it worked, and in the Philly game you would see a similar situation occurred, only Jeremy recognized it immediately and before his feet set in the corner, he cut out top to get the ball from Harden. Look for it yourself, I uploaded enough pictures.
Leave a comment if you have anything to add. This was crap load of work. Whole new respect for video breakdown guys. Let me know if all the picture were able to load, as this was the first time I put so many pictures in one post. It loaded on my not very fast internet, but these are my pictures on my site to began with.