Game 79 Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets: Lin Understands His Limited Offensive Role, Prioritizes Team Win
With 4 games remaining in the regular season, Jeremy Lin’s role seems to be at the 9th or 10th spot of the depth chart for the playoff. With Anunoby out in the Magic game, Lin was tied at 8th place with Norm Powell on 17 minutes of playing time. Lin finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block on 1-4 shooting (3-4 FTs) while Powell finished with 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist on 3-6 shooting.
The Uncertainty of Strategy to Prioritize Making Free-Throws and Secondary Playmaking, Not Scoring
Lin’s strategy seems to continue to fit in the team and contribute by getting to the foul line and only shoot while wide-open while continuing to be secondary playmaker to find open teammates. He still does not get much call from the referees although it has improved (8-10 FT in the past 3 games)
The strategy can backfire if Coach Nurse continues to prioritize offensive spark from his 2nd unit to determine playing time. Norm Powell seems to channel his aggression into scoring while Jeremy tries more versatility of secondary playmaking, defense, and making free-throws which can be useful in the playoff to change momentum if referees call more fouls in Jeremy’s favor
Lin Understands His Limited Offensive Role, Prioritizes Team Win
In a post-practice interview, Lin shared that he understands his role that on some nights his team might not need as much from his on the offensive side depending on how much he gets to touch the ball. In a team, it is about the sacrifice to help the team win. He will try to do his best on what he is called upon to do based on matchup in the playoff.
“I know what my role is. I think some nights they’re just not going to need as much from me from the offensive end. Just depends on HOW MUCH I’M INVOLVED OR HOW MUCH I GET TO TOUCH THE BALL.
Everything in sports is about sacrifice…I understand that everybody on this team understands that we have one goal…It’s not like I’m not out there on the floor…If I have those opportunities like in Chicago…just try to stay aggressive in those situations…
In the playoffs, everything’s going to change in terms of series, personnel, lineups, mismatches. It’s all about trying to get that win…I’m trying to DO MY BEST for whatever is called of me that specific night.” Note: (as provided by @linthezone)
Raptors vs Nets Matchup.
The Nets game might also offer another chance to see if Lin will continue to get the 8th or 9th spot in minutes because it is an important game for a potential playoff matchup in the 1st round. The Nets currently sit at the 7th place in the Eastern Conference and the Raptors locked the 2nd place.
Playing the Raptors is part of Brooklyn owning the toughest remaining schedule in the league. The Nets (39-39) head into their penultimate home game a half-game behind sixth-place Detroit, a half-game up on Miami and one game ahead of Orlando.
The Nets own head-to-head tiebreakers against Orlando and Detroit but not with Miami.
Following Wednesday, the Nets visit Milwaukee and Indiana on a back-to-back this weekend before ending the season at home next Wednesday against Miami.
Brooklyn has lost six of its past nine games since a four-game winning streak. The Nets returned home from a seven-game trip by beating Boston on Saturday but found themselves rallying from a slow start and falling short in a 131-121 home loss to Milwaukee on Monday.
“We weren’t ready for that onslaught,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Give them a lot of credit. They came with the juice and the energy.
The Nets fell to 5-11 against the top five teams in the Eastern Conference on a night when they trailed by as many as 22 points, shot 41.5 percent and committed 23 turnovers.
“We have to come out against a playoff quality opponent and try to set the tone early,” Brooklyn’s Joe Harris said. “We came out and dug ourselves a hole again, and it’s too difficult to try and come back over the course of the game.”
D’Angelo Russell registered a double-double Monday, getting 28 points and 10 rebounds. It was his 29th game with at least 20 points since Jan. 1 and his first points-rebounds double-double.
Another sign of good news for the Nets was Caris LeVert, who scored 24 points. It was his most since returning from missing three months with a foot injury.
Toronto has won 14 of the past 15 meetings with the Nets.