G17 TOR @ LAL PostGame Thread

Lakers finally won against a good team in TOR Raptors who is #1 team in the Eastern Conference. Lakers is undefeated (3-0) against Eastern Conference teams!

Despite struggling with his shooting tonight, Lin stayed aggressive to shoot them when he had a chance.

Lin finished with 11pts/3asts/3rebs/2stls and 0TOs in 35 min with OT. He only shot 3-11 (1-5 3PT) but made crucial 4FTs in OT.

There were occasions where he could have finished drives but he chose to pass the ball out because he was being too careful and feed his open teammates to make shots. But in a game where Kobe hit a triple-double and was hot with crisp passing and shooting, I thought Lin adjusted very well in Q4 and OT.

He simply played his PG safely to feed Kobe first, or distributed to his teammates (Wes with a timely 3), played good defense on Kyle Lowry not allowing much penetration and finally hit his clutch 4 FTs to ice the game. As Lin fans, we might not like it but in a game where Kobe got the hot hands, it’s the right thing to feed Kobe the ball. I also thought Byron wanted Lin to not be over-aggressive in the 4th quarter to let Kobe be the finisher.

Kobe also passed 3 times in Q1 to find Lin to make his 3pt shots. On the 3rd time, Lin finally hit it. So it’s good to see Kobe looking for Lin to drain his 3PT shots but Lin just didn’t have them tonight. All NBA players have on and off night. The difference is what they do to help their teams win.

We thought Lin wouldn’t come back in the 4th quarter, but he did with 5:34 left so I gave credit for Byron to give Lin chances to show he can be trusted in the crunch time. And Lin did.

So I would still give Lin a grade of B-.  Despite his shooting struggles, he did what he needed to do not being overaggressive, distribute the ball to give chances for his team to win. And made his opportunities to use his clutch FTs to ice the game. That’s what a good PG should do to help his team to win even when he has a bad shooting night.

The bottom line is even when Lin struggling to find his shots, he delivered in crunch time with 4FTs and good decision-making to distribute the bal.  Lin helped the Lakers to seal the necessary win against a great team. He wasn’t a liability on defense and he found his teammates well. This should earn Byron Scott’s trust in Lin more in future games.

The stark contrast was Ellington subbing for Lin with 3 min left in the MIN game but LAL blew the lead being outscored 4-8. And Lakers lost.