Game 75 Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors: Uncertain Times Requires Lin’s 6th Man Scoring Role in 2016 Charlotte Hornets

¬†After only playing for 6 minutes despite playing great defense in the loss against the Charlotte Hornets, Jeremy Lin’s role becomes uncertain in Toronto Raptors.

What type of role does Coach Nurse want to see from players competing for the 9th rotation spot in the playoff? The answer might be found in Coach Nurse’s post-practice interview in which he praised Norm Powell who did not play in the first half but shot well with 4-5 shooting including 2-2 from 3s to finish with 10 points in 12 minutes of play. Coach Nurse likes if Norm Powell can bottle the energy and continue to knock down some shots with no turnovers.

Alarming Raptors Lack of Priority in Defense and Ball Movement

It has become clear that offense takes more priority than defense and playmaking in the isolation-heavy Raptors system however flawed it might be at this point before playoff starts. Playmaking, ball movement, and defense have taken a back seat to one-on-one isolation moves that are rewarded with playing minutes. It is a recipe of disaster if Raptors continue to play like this in the playoff because defense and excellent ball movement would be more likely to lead to a deep playoff run. Allowing 18-41 from 3s (44% 3FG) to the Hornets who played in the 2nd night of back-to-back game is a testament of how Raptors can lose games despite scoring well.

The Urgent Need for Lin to Assume the 6th Man Scoring Role

In order to earn minutes, Jeremy would need to mimic the 6th Man role that he played so well in Charlotte Hornets to be a scoring option off the bench with his ability to get to the Free Throw lines and knock down some threes. He would need to find ways to overcome his current struggle from 3-point shooting and be an instant aggressive scorer because his excellent defense and playmaking will not give him playing minutes. He would need to adapt to the system with 8 games remaining in the regular season. His 3-point shooting has improved to 33% (3-9) in the past 5 games but he can not afford to rely on his 3pt shooting. He would need to find ways to get to the free throw lines, which has also been a struggle as a Raptor.