While ballyhooing the performances of Jerome Randle and Mikhail Torrance, I also reported the consensus that Jeremy Lin is a bonafide point guard prospect. I shall now present to you further evidence of his value to a team at the point position, perhaps more-so than even Randle or Torrance, backed by numbers.
Can you guess which of these stats correspond to which player?…
PER-40: 18.2 ppg, 11.6 apg, 2.7 spg, 5.3 tpg, assist-to-turnover: 2.2
PER-40: 15.7 ppg, 9.1 apg, 4.1 spg, 4.1 tpg, assist-to-turnover: 2.2
PER-40: 23.9 ppg, 8.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 6.4 tpg, assist-to-turnover: 1.3
These are the numbers from the three-game performances at Portsmouth, normalized to per-forty-minutes, and listed in order of assists-per-game (actually, per forty minutes). Which one would you take as your point guard? I’ll match the stats to the players at the end of this blogpost.
As you can see in the embedded YouTube clip above, Jeremy demonstrated his point guard acumen. His second and third games were even better. Before the third game, I even told him that Randle and Torrance had incredible games the night before, so if there was a UConn or Georgetown performance left in him, now would be a good time to bust that out.
Only he would be able to tell you if he took my suggestion to heart, but he almost did bust out. In his third and last Portsmouth game, he scored 13 points, but went 0-for-4 from the free throw line, so he easily could’ve finished with 17. He had a typical day at the office from the floor, going 6-for-7. He went 1-for-2 from beyond the arc. He collected 7 assists, had 4 steals, and blocked a shot. However, he committed 5 turnovers, 2 of them right before halftime after getting too deep under the basket, and after having a really strong stretch of play leading up to that. Those turnovers kind of took the wind out of the sails and he couldn’t muster up another stretch like that in the second half.
As I have maintained since the day I saw him first play in the Summer of 2008, he’s the ultra-unique type of guy you want on a talented team. Someone who will distribute and facilitate. Someone who doesn’t need to shoot, but makes the most of his shots.
The point guard I want on my team also can make steals to start fastbreaks, as well as block a shot or two every now and then on defense.
Here are the answers…
Randle: 18.2 ppg, 11.6 apg, 2.7 spg, 5.3 tpg, assist-to-turnover: 2.2
Jeremy: 15.7 ppg, 9.1 apg, 4.1 spg, 4.1 tpg, assist-to-turnover: 2.2
Torrance: 23.9 ppg, 8.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 6.4 tpg, assist-to-turnover: 1.3
With Randle, you’ll see that he’s got high points per game and high turnovers, which means he dominates the ball and can tend to take more gambles than you’d like. It’s even more acute for Torrance, who has an alarming rate of turnovers. The low steals-per-forty is also an indication that Torrance doesn’t necessarily turn defensive possessions into offensive ones, although he does play solid straight-up defense.
With the blocked shots, we had this by game…
Randle: 0, 0, 0.
Jeremy: 0, 1, 1.
Torrance: 0, 2, 0.
So, who’s making more things happen on the court, both on the offensive and defensive ends? Well, they all are (maybe not so much Randle on the defensive end), but if there’s a way to impact both ends of the floor without actually relying on scoring, albeit a huge facet of the game of basketball, Jeremy’s doing that.
That is the underlying thesis that I’ve been trying to get across for the past two years. Now there is hard evidence and relevant context.
Let’s take Goran Dragic, for example. He backs up Steve Nash on the Phoenix Suns. Occasionally, Dragic will have great stretches of play where you can actually envision him carrying the torch after Nash retires. Dragic is very unselfish and his approach to the game is just like Jeremy’s: a facilitator, a distributor.
Granted, if I were to choose between the two, right now I’d have to pick Dragic over Jeremy for the obvious reason that Dragic has already proven himself at the relevant level. Dragic is taller and has a nice three-point shot, while Jeremy is more explosive from point A to B and can make things happen on defense. But they have very similar approaches to the game.
Sometimes when people dismiss Jeremy’s chances for the NBA, what gets lost is the importance of role players, the reality of the job of being an NBA GM. It’s not all about the superstars. Remember, 20% of the rosters this past season were filled by D-Leaguers.
You might also like:
- Portsmouth prospecting: Jerome Randle will win over NBA crowds
- Portsmouth prospecting: is Mikhail Torrance a poor man’s Russell Westbrook?
- Portsmouth prospecting: the assist machine Jeremy Lin
- Portsmouth prospecting: Just draft Ryan Thompson already!
- What Jeremy Lin’s up against at Portsmouth
- Looks like Avery Bradley’s a point guard
- Portsmouth prospecting: Hey Aubrey Coleman, no ballhogs allowed (NBA)
- There and back again: Coast-to-coast to see Jeremy Lin (3/4)