A Flash of Linsanity #7 in the 4th Quarter Powered the Hawks to Reach The 7th Win

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 18: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks handles the ball against the Washington WizardsJeremy Lin on December 18, 2018 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

After starting slow in the first 3 quarters (4 points, 0-4 shooting, 4-4 FTs), Jeremy Lin brought a flash of Linsanity from his magic bag in the fourth quarter by scoring 12 points (6-8 shooting) out of Atlanta’s 36 points to give the Hawks the seventh win of the season. He finished with 16 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls (6-12 shooting, 0-3 three-point shooting) in 24 minutes. Ironically, #7 jersey helped to secure the 7th win of the season for the Atlanta Hawks.

The Making of Linsanity in the 4th Quarter

Noone could have seen this flash of Linsanity coming after Jeremy Lin struggled with his shooting for the first 3 quarters. Most Lin fans would expect another three or four minutes on the floor before Trae Young came back with a good shooting night (19 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds with 3-6 three-point shooting in 26 minutes). But Coach Lloyd Pierce trusted the momentum of Lin’s team on the floor and decided to ride the momentum in the 4th quarter.

Full Highlights including defense courtesy of @CLICK

In his post-game interview, Jeremy Lin explained how he took advantage of how the lanes to the rim were so open so he exploited them over and over again with rounds of layups.

As Jeremy said, it is only a quarter of Linsanity as he smiled when reporters asked about Trae’s praise for his Linsanity game. As a team-first guy, he also emphasized the team camaraderie and hard work to share the glory of the win. But everyone knows it was his Linsanity run in the 4th quarter can make the win possible. Kent Bazemore provided his analysis of how Jeremy Lin’s contribution in scoring in the 4th quarter was so important along with Kevin Huerter.

“Man, he was everything in the 4th quarter. Kevin Huerter, too”

He elaborated that defense is important but you need to score, too. Coach put the ball in Jeremy’s hands, keep the floor spacing good, set some picks by big men for Lin, and Lin was able to keep breaking down the lanes. Also, the tough pull-up jumper by Lin was the type that deflates the other team.

Coach Lloyd Pierce, John Collins, and Trae Young praises on Lin’s 4th quarter Linsanity run as Jeremy declined to make the night about him but emphasized the importance of team camaraderie to root for one another. This is why Lin is so well-liked by his teammates because he always wants to make it about the team to share the glory rather than himself.

And, quite rightly, for his fourth quarter exploits, Lin was a large focus postgame.

“He just found a rhythm,” said Pierce of Lin. “They were a little confused on their coverage and he was able to get into the paint and get to his layups … once he got in rhythm, we’ve seen it before, you kind of just milk it. He got going for us. <b>I told the guys at the end of the bench ‘I was trying to sub some of you guys’ but we had a great rhythm, Jeremy led us and we wanted to finish with the guys that were out there.</b>”

“Huge,” said John Collins of Lin. “I didn’t know he was going to pull all those tricks out of his bag tonight. But we definitely appreciated everything he gave us. He just gave us that spark to help us finish out the game.”

“That’s Linsanity,” said Trae Young of Lin’s fourth quarter. “J Lin does so many good things for us. A lot of things that don’t even happen on the court, as far as a leader and a vet. I think it all trickles down … he’s been through a lot of injuries and fighting back. I’ve seen all the hard work he’s put in to get back in and play this game. You can see the passion. I’m very excited and happy for a guy like J Lin and a person like J Lin.”

Lin himself didn’t want this night to be about him but was happy with how the team rallied around each other.

“I don’t want to make this game about me and what I did in the fourth quarter…”

“The thing that stuck out to me tonight was our camaraderie,” said Lin of the game. “I really enjoyed that. I really enjoyed our team just rooting for each other and the excitement that we had and the unselfishness that we had. That’s why we sign up for team sports. That’s everything.”

Lin clearly didn’t want to take the plaudits or make it about himself but he deserved those plaudits. Yes, he was not great through three quarters but when it came down to it and the game was still tight in the fourth quarter, Lin was a huge part of the run that created separation for the Hawks and led the Hawks to this victory down the stretch.

What Does This Mean Going Forward?

There are several takeaways from this Linsanity flash in the game:

  • Linsanity is still there: This was the first time that Atlanta Hawks fans were treated to a display of Linsanity and this was also the first time after Jeremy Lin came back from a season long patellar injury that he demonstrated his ability to take over the game that everyone had to take notice. His ability not just scoring for himself but taking advantage of pick-and-roll plays by getting screen from his big guys and feeding them when they are open are classic Linsanity moves that we witnessed in the birth of Linsanity in 2012. Lin fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Jeremy Lin is still capable of producing Linsanity when he is trusted with the ball in his hands.
  • Lin’s trade value is increasing: Lin’s name was floated around in the Phoenix Suns trade scenario so we know Atlanta Hawks is open to trade a 30-year old Jeremy Lin to another team to get draft picks or young players back for this rebuilding team. Will New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando Magic show more interest to trade for Lin before February 2019 trade deadline? We just have to wait and see how things develop. But another few rounds of Linsanity games should continue to drive up Lin’s trade value. The Hawks would need to balance the act of developing Trae Young as the future Point Guard and allowing Jeremy Lin to sometimes running the offense in hopes of producing Linsanity to drive up his trade value. Trae Young would still be the main Point Guard as their first round draft pick but there might be larger roles for Jeremy Lin at the end of games if Coach Pierce wants to win some games to keep the Hawks fans excited once in a while.
  • Tanking Hawks Still Means Underutilized Linsanity: It is a public secret that the Hawks need to tank by losing many games in hopes of being the bottom 3 so it increases the chance to get projected #1 pick in 2019 NBA Draft (Zion Williamson). That means the Hawks cannot afford too much Linsanity because it will bring them unnecessary wins. This NBA notion of tanking games to get good players in next year draft is frustrating for basketball fans to watch games to root for losses. But unfortunately it is a common practice until NBA finds a way to fix it. Lin fans can only hope the Hawks will soon find a win-win deal with another playoff contenders who want to win and can utilize some Linsanity.
100% Recovered from Lower Back Strain

In a post-game interview, Jeremy shared that he is 100% recovered from the lower back strain. His speed and movement are faster and more efficient last night

than the previous 2 games after he suffered the lower back strain.