Game 11 New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks: A Surging Lin to Make an Impact in Limited Time
After a scintillating performance (19 points, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 rebound) against his former team Charlotte Hornets albeit with limited 18 minutes, Jeremy Lin shared with The Charlotte Observer that his rhythm continues to come and will focus on the mental aspect, no longer worried on his body.
The Atlanta Hawks Tanking Process Impacts Lin’s Playing Time
The Hornets game also showed the Hawks might start embracing the #tanking process for the sake of development of young players and increasing the chance to get higher draft pick by losing a lot of games.
It would explained why Coach Lloyd Pierce play Bembry (5pts/6rebs/2asts) for 29 minutes to close with the starters but not Lin (19 points/2 assists/2steals/1rebound) in ONLY 18 minutes? Coach Pierce has stated in an interview recently that he will give players who play well more PT but tonight it’s not the case.
The possible reason is there is no future to play Trae and Lin together to grow chemistry so the coach wants to see Bembry develops with the starters and not minding to lose the game. Lin is doing great maximizing his time with points/assists/steals/blocks to increase his trade value. It’s the right thing to do.
If Coach doesn’t pair up Lin and Trae to close games (especially if Lin plays very well), we can expect the Hawks to showcase Lin for trade by giving him more minutes in December to February time frame before the trade deadline. Let’s hope for any playoff contenders to show interest in Lin’s performance and efficiency. It’ll be a win-win scenario for JLin and the Hawks.
— Popo Chung (@PopoChung7) November 7, 2018
So when Lin popped back up off the locker room carpet, effortlessly and without any hitch in his knee, it was a subtle reminder of how far he’s come.
“I think conditioning-wise, knee-wise, I’m good. I think the biggest thing I’m continuing to try and fight for is my rhythm, and that’s coming,” Lin said. “Today I threw an alley-oop pass off the backboard that I’ve never done in my life before. Just small things like that, that’ll come back. Everything is gonna slowly come back, and I’m just going to keep fighting for it, keep working hard.
“The beauty and the struggle, as I like to say.”
Only against his former team, it was mostly beauty and very little struggle. Lin led the Hawks in scoring with 19 points off the bench, making 7 of his 9 shots in just 18 minutes. He scored at the rim, drove off pick-and-rolls, hit a 3-pointer and knocked down all four of his free throws.
Not bad for a guy who couldn’t walk at this point last year.
But for Lin, who has demonstrated throughout his career the ability to excel in the NBA, performances like Tuesday’s aren’t about the physical part of playing. The ice packs, the recovery techniques — that’s not the part of his game he’s most worried about.
It’s the mental aspect. Trusting his game is back, not if it’ll come back.
“I’m past (any apprehension about my body),” Lin said, “but I do think the mental component is trusting that my game is back, or trusting that I have the ability to explode and get to the rim. I’m not fearful.
“It’s not trusting my body, it’s trusting my game.”
And what better place to work on that than against the same players who so inspired him years ago?
Lin said he still keeps up with a number of Hornets players, specifically listing Kemba Walker, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller and Nic Batum as those he’s spoken to frequently. He was able to meet up with a handful of those guys pre-game whether in the weight room or chapel, and even went so far as to have dinner with some of the staff members.
Then, of course, he proved to them that he’s still largely the player he was when they shared a locker room.