G57 Jeremy Lin Returns to Help Brooklyn Nets vs Denver Nuggets
After missing 26 games since Dec 26 for almost 2 months, Jeremy Lin will finally return for the third time to play the Denver Nuggets after being hampered by a nagging hamstring injury throughout the season. And hopefully this will be a final return so he can finish the final 26 games to bring much necessary wins and excitement to the Nets who currently possesses the worst record (9-47) in the league.
Lin Might Start with Restricted Minutes
Coach Kenny Atkinson might start Jeremy Lin in order to create more chemistry with Brook Lopez. With 26 games remaining, the Nets will need to evaluate the Brook-Lin duo chemistry before they entertain the idea of trading Brook Lopez in the off-season.
Lin has played just 12 of 56 games for the Nets (9-47). Atkinson said he needs to “build up” Lin, but he also said Lin may start against the Nuggets.
“My gut, to be honest, I’d like to start him,” Atkinson said. “But we’re going to get all the information and then make the decision.”
Lin came off the bench after his first injury. Asked why he’s considering a different approach now, Atkinson expressed the need to see him with Lopez.
“It’s part of the fresh start, seeing him with Brook,” Atkinson said. “If we can do that, I think that would be ideal. Above that, is Jeremy’s health and how that works in with his minutes. But my gut is, even if the minutes are a little [less], we can probably work it where he can get with that first unit and get with Brook. We need to feel that out obviously.”
New players after the Trade Deadline
Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough was traded to Washington Wizards for Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton (waived) and first-round pick. The Nets also brought in KJ McDaniels from Houston Rockets. Assistant Coach Jackie Vaughn used to coach Andrew Nicholson (6’9″ Power Forward) who played well for Orlando Magic in his 2015-16 season (6.9pts/3.6rebs with 36.3% 3FG in 14.7min/game) but was underutilized in the Wizards. The Nets might have hope Nicholson fits and can thrive in the Nets system. McDaniels might be more a development project since he doesn’t shoot well (29.2% career 3FG but 33.3% this season) but has athleticism as a 6’6″ Shooting Guard/Small Forward.
Brutal Nets Road-Game Trips
The Nets will kick off a brutal 8-game road trip in 15 days that will span 8066 air miles and includes 9 flights and 15 hotel nights: Nuggets, Warriors, Kings, Jazz, Blazers, Grizzlies, Hawks, Mavericks
KEY OF THE GAME: The #1 priority for Lin will be to stay healthy as he needs to acclimate his body to game pace. If he is injured again for the 4th time this season, it will be hard to shed the label of ‘oft-injured’ player in the off-season. He will need to be patient to let the game come to him to remove rust and cobwebs. Wins or losses will not be as important in the first 5-8 games
Let’s hope and pray JLin will stay healthy as his body adjusts to the rigor of NBA physical games and help the Nets get back on the winning track soon!
Let’s go, JLin and the Nets!