Game 64 Toronto Raptors vs Detroit Pistons: Lin’s Mission To Figure Out Timing and Space in the Raptors Offense

Lin’s Mission to Improve His Timing and Spacing Within the Raptors Offense

In the post-game interview with ESPN China reporter, Jeremy Lin mentioned that he wants to continue fitting in, he knows there is a lot to improve on as far as figuring out his timing and spacing within the offense. He’s excited for the future and just needs to be keep building and stay patient.

The Need To Rediscover 3-Point Shooting Before the Playoff

As the Raptors make the preparation for the playoff in the last 19 games of the regular season, there is a sense of urgency that Lin needs to get back his 3-point shooting touch. He has missed all 10 straight 3-point shots as a Raptor and a total of 11 going back to his Atlanta Hawks. VanVleet is scheduled to be back a few games before the playoff and it is understandable that the Raptors need to know who can contribute regularly in their playoff rotation, especially to close out games.

Jeremy Lin is still great in his playmaking and defense but as the Blazers game unfolded, he might not get a lot of playing time in crucial games as his teammates in the 2nd unit can’t convert his passes into shots. He is such an unselfish passer that after scoring 6 consecutive points in on one-on-one moves, he kept passing to Ibaka, Powell, and Ibaka who could not make their shots. He might need to adjust the mindset to be a score-first, pass second guard if he has the hot hands because Coach Nurse wants him to be aggressive as a capable scorer. Otherwise, his team will need to rely on other players who can be a scoring threat to surround Kahwi Leonard, Kyle Lowry. Currently Siakam, Marc Gasol, Danny Green figure to be the core role players to provide size and 3-point shooting so opposing teams can’t double-team Kahwi and Kyle.

Will Jeremy Lin be able to rediscover his 40% 3FG in November 2018 before he suffered back injury in December 2018? Only time will tell but if he does, he can be one of the Raptors players to be relied on to close and win playoff games

The Rematch of Pistons vs Raptors

The Raptors lost the emotional 104-106 game against the Pistons on Nov 14 as Dwayne Casey returned to Toronto after he was fired after last season’s playoff. The Raptors would no doubt want to avenge the loss at the Pistons home court.

The Pistons pulled out an emotional 106-104 victory in Toronto on Nov. 14, Casey’s first game there since he was fired after last season’s playoffs. Casey earned Coach of the Year honors but Toronto’s playoff flop against Cleveland sealed his fate.

The Raptors have won nine of their last 10, including a 119-117 triumph against Portland on Friday night. Forward Kawhi Leonard hit the game-winning shot with three seconds remaining.

Leonard poured in 38 points while center Marc Gasol supplied 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Gasol’s performance was his best since he was acquired from Memphis just before the trade deadline last month. He’s averaging 6.3 assists over the last four games.

“He was really good,” coach Nick Nurse said. “Looked like, all of a sudden, his rust was immediately gone. He did a little bit of everything.”

Point guard Kyle Lowry contributed 19 points and 10 assists. Nurse sees the chemistry growing between Lowry and Gasol.

“I see a twinkle in his eye a little bit,” Nurse said of Lowry. “I think the Gasol thing is just unbelievable, the synergy that they have and the plays they can create for each other.”

The additions of Gasol and backup point guard Jeremy Lin have made the team more focused. Lin joined the Raptors after reaching a buyout with Atlanta and clearing waivers.