Coach Nick Nurse Praised Jeremy Lin’s Outstanding Defense in Guarding Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving demolished Toronto Raptors back in January 16 game with his 27 points, 18 assists, 5 rebounds (11-19 shooting) in the 117-108 win but Kyrie only mustered 7 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds in 28 minutes on the Feb 27 95-118 loss to Toronto.
In the post-game interview, Coach Nurse praised Jeremy Lin because he stood out in his role of guarding Kyrie Irving after Danny Green got into foul trouble.
“You know who stood out was Jeremy, right, I made the sub to Jeremy and I thought especially the second time around, Danny got his fourth foul and I had to do it again in the second half and I thought he really chased him hard and got underneath him and bodied him … We saw a little bit of Kyle in Jeremy tonight, he was banging some bigger bodies around in the paint, too, and showing some toughness.”
#Raptors Coach Nurse on @JLin7 defense on Irving after big win G62 vs Celtics: You know who stood out? It's Jeremy. Especially Green got his 4th foul… #WeTheNorth #BeyondStats #discerning pic.twitter.com/DG9sHMxZf2
— Popo Chung (@PopoChung7) February 28, 2019
Detailed Breakdown of Raptors Defense in Guarding Kyrie
RaptorsRepublic provided excellent breakdown with videos on how Raptors neutralized Kyrie Irving and Jeremy Lin was a big part of it. His Raptors teammates also helped tremendously to provide team defense.
When Irving received the ball with a head of steam, Lin generally backed off, not only looking to lure him into taking a mid-range jumper but also buy himself time to position himself to draw a charge or contest at the rim. Lin has drawn as many charges as Victor Oladipo in less minutes which puts him 10th in the league behind teammates Lowry (third) and Gasol (fourth).
The Celtics showed a bit more life in the third quarter, and with a transition opportunity for Irving and an 18-point deficit to cut into, he takes the space afforded to him by Lin with Pascal Siakam on his hip. Lin is on the balls of his feet ready to slide whichever way Irving decides to commit, and once Lin’s able to force him to go into the air and away from the basket, he provides a contest and provides Siakam more than enough time to make the pseudo chasedown block.
Lin’s crowning moment came a little later in the third, with Irving looking to give him the entire repertoire of dribble moves. Lin did exceedingly well to stick with him even after a dazzling spin move off a left-to-right crossover which Irving clearly thought was enough to get a shot off, but was forced to pass off to Horford in the corner.
While Lin was the clear standout in limiting Irving’s effectiveness, Norman Powell and Leonard also provided some moments of tough defense to keep him to just seven points on 10 shots. The length, strength and versatility of this roster was evident from opening night, but the basketball IQ added at and post-trade deadline is helping this team showcase that their desired ceiling has become just that little bit more tangible.
Jeremy Lin and Danny Green Post-Game Interview on Guarding Kyrie
In the post-game interview, Jeremy humbly explained how it takes a team to guard Kyrie because it is not possible to stop him 1-on-1 and it takes a team. Danny Green, who also got praised by Coach Nurse in guarding Kyrie, credited Jeremy for doing a good job and explained how the bigs also helped with pick-and-roll rotation and hoped Kyrie will miss.
Jeremy Lin and Danny Green explain the challenges you face while trying to guard Kyrie Irving. #WeTheNorth #NBA #NBATwitter pic.twitter.com/OanJWlHGDm
— Athletes Unfiltered (@AU_interviews) February 27, 2019