#2 Toronto Raptors vs #7 Orlando Magic Playoff Matchup: What We Can Expect From Jeremy Lin’s Role
82 games of 2018-19 regular season has concluded and the 2nd seed Toronto Raptors will meet the 7th seed Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Playoff. The winner of this first round will meet the winner of Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets matchup. It is a good matchup for the Raptors who will avoid meeting #1 seed Milwaukee Bucks and #4 seed Boston Celtics until the Eastern Conference Finals if they advance there. They are expected to provide the toughest challenge in the Eastern Conference, although the deep and talented Celtics roster has had some chemistry issues.
Orlando is solid defensively. They're 22-9 over their last 31. They have multiple (& versatile) bigs. And they've got solid perimeter shooters in the likes of Ross, Fournier and Augustin. Toronton should win the series (they better!) but don't sleep on the Magic.
— Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) April 11, 2019
What To Expect of Jeremy Lin’s Role in the Playoff
Jeremy Lin played his first 51 games for Atlanta Hawks and played the 23 games with Toronto Raptors. What can we expect from Jeremy Lin’s role to help Toronto Raptors in the playoff? The Raptors are very stacked with Kahwi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Danny Green, and Kyle Lowry to be the central part of the offense. With Lin finding problem to be comfortable in the Raptors system in 23 games and possibly experiencing some health issues towards the end of the season after coming back of major career-threatening patellar tendon tear injury as he indicated in his Instagram post, Lin fans would need to temper the expectations.
Immerse yourself in the present journey, but never forget the big picture!!
Half a year ago, I was fighting to get cleared for contact right before training camp.
One year ago, I was rehabbing the most devastating injury of my life that took me out the full season.
Two years ago, I was coming off 3 straight injuries that took me out for almost 60 games.
It’s a daily process to regain my form, and I’m not near where I want to be, but God has tremendously blessed me to be healthy and finish my ninth NBA regular season!! I wasn’t even supposed to see one!
Grateful for the highs, the lows, the lessons and the fans!
Playoffs here we come #WeTheNorth
— Popo Chung (@PopoChung7) April 10, 2019
There are a few factors to consider in regards to Lin’s role and contribution in the Raptors playoff games.
Sparks from Bench in Limited Minutes
Based on Coach Nurse’s assessment of Lin after Game 82, we can determine what he expects Lin to contribute. He likes Lin to be aggressive, making tough layups but he needs to works to refine the release his 3-point shots, limit the mistakes, and go all out on defense due to the short stint being out there.
1 good aggressiveness,
2 release on 3s not right,
3 good tough layups,
4 need more mistake-free and go all out on defense due to short stint out there
and what he liked to see more:
– ran down loose balls to get long rebounds (necessary for PG) which he hasn’t done before but got 3-4 last night. Very encouraging
This could very well be a recipe to get more minutes in playoff.
Reporter: Jeremy has always talking about trying to make the right read trying to make the right decision what do you think about his play today and what do you expect from them going forward ?
Coach Nurse, “well we’re trying to .
– you know that when I got him here we’re trying to get him to be aggressive and you saw him tonight he was pretty aggressive.
– didn’t look like his release on his three ball was was quite where it needed to be tonight he took some good looks and good you know made the right decision and take and those his none of them seemed to come off with with you know the straightness really that they need to have a chance to go in.
– I thought he made a couple tough drive layups which which I know he can do
– you know for him he’s just gonna have to he’s just gonna have to play a little bit more mistake-free right we need him to keep and keep the guy in front on defense and provide some pressure because I think his stints will be fairly short so he’s gets kind of got to go all out
– I’ll tell you what he did do though tonight a couple times which I liked that I hadn’t seen much as he ran down a bunch of long loose balls and that to me is like a point guard or a guard or a wing that’s their job is to get those long rebounds and he hadn’t been doing that much and he grabbed about three or four of them tonight which which I thought was encouraging
2. Injuries Factor
With the news that Anunoby (20 minutes/game) is out due to appendectomy (no timeline, at least 2 weeks) and possibly miss the first round Patrick McCaw (13.7 minutes/game) is out another week based on initial timeline ( sprained right thumb), there is a chance that Lin’s playing time (16.4 minutes/game in the last 10 games) might slightly increase for the 2nd unit if he plays well. Kyle Lowry’s back and Lin’s overall health have not been good either so nothing is certain here. The Raptors just need to try their best to not burn out players by playing excessive minutes. We should expect the minutes for the 2nd unit team to slightly decrease from the regular season average to the playoff against tougher opponents.
Appendectomies vary pretty widely in recovery time and we don't have the details to judge. Would think OG misses the first round, though.
Patrick McCaw still at least a week away based on the *initial* timeline, FWIW.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) April 12, 2019
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 12, 2019
3. Will Master Lo Help Lin’s Health for the Playoff?
Master Lo, a long-time massage therapist for Lin, has arrived at Toronto from Taiwan on April 11. This is a good news because he might be able to help with any body parts that are ailing due to wear and tear of the season. But it is unknown how much Master Lo can help Lin’s body to recover and regain his shooting form. https://twitter.com/penny10654/status/1116503944887320577