I’ve decided to start a series here called “Scout’s Honor”, which is a reference to Scout’s Honor: Why I love NBA Summer League posted two summers ago on GoldenStateOfMind.com, one of my seventeen scouting report blogposts that I’ve done for the Warriors’ blog.
I was exposed to the ugly underbelly of (anonymous/trolling) detractors on the big-splash, major-blog-debuted Jeremy Lin Movement post, even by Jeremy supporters who apparently don’t get it, so before I begin my latest scouting report on JL4, I’d most obnoxiously like to say that I do know what I’m talking about.
MORE ABOUT ME AND BASKETBALL KNOWLEDGE
My most recent scouting report not related to Jeremy was when I warned Warriors fans that Brandon Jennings can be explosive, based on my notes from Summer League ‘09, and he proceeded to drop 51 on the Dubs that very night.
I like to look for diamonds in the rough, like Marco Belinelli (who is now blossoming in Toronto), Jerryd Bayless (who is finally getting his chance), and Jonny Flynn (who is being curtailed by the triangle offense), but sometimes I enjoy exploring the prospects of rotation players like Arron Afflalo, DJ Strawberry, and Dominic McGuire, and not all of my notes are rosy (see Afflalo and Strawberry’s). Here’s the list of blogposts, although there seems to be an error when you try to click to the next page — I’ll relink everything sometime this upcoming Summer 2010.
From my day job as the Poor Man’s Commish of Dream League, which heretofore has predominantly been an Asian-American recreational basketball league, in which the league skews way more to the side of fundamentals than to athleticism, I’ve probably watched more adult men’s basketball than you, period. I know what it takes to win a basketball game; I know how adults interact with each other on the floor.
I’ve scorekept, on average, 8 to 10 hours of basketball each and every Sunday for the past eight years. Trust me, the highest levels of our leagues rival that of the highest levels in your city league, but probably more solid on fundamentals because of our players’ lack of height. Many of our players have gone on to play pro ball elsewhere, such as Japan and the Philippines.
To top it off, I have an engineering degree from Cal, just like my dad, so not only do I have a penchant for analyzing things and have a diploma to prove that I do, but also I grew up in a household where everything was overly critical to the point of PhD-like analysis. I seriously doubt you will find many basketball scouts who have an engineering degree. Oh, and I did play high school varsity and was, thankfully, taught the game by old-school coaches like Phil Kelly (at his camps — he coached Fremont High School to a state championship), Rod Adams and Joe Kornder.
Sometimes it might seem like I was wrong about a player I scouted (e.g., Belinelli), but I’d like to quote Michael Jordan on that…
We didn’t lose the game, we just ran out of time.
SO, BACK TO JEREMY (WELL, GEORGETOWN)
Btw, I hope you had a happy holidays, in which we’ve been busy getting more people to Jeremy’s homecoming game on Jan 4, 2010 against Santa Clara, and explains my delay with this recap/scouting report.
Let’s go back five days in time to the day before the game against Georgetown. You had local beatwriters in Washington, DC saying beware of Jeremy, the “Lin-chpin” of Harvard. And you had me, saying it was “David vs Goliath III”, and I wasn’t feeling very confident about things. I’d even found a nice pic of Georgetown’s Greg Monroe and typed in “[he] will meet Harvard at the rim” for the caption.
Well, I was right.
The game can be summarized as follows: Harvard comes out of the gate confident, Jeremy has a couple nice/spectacular plays, Harvard’s lack of speed leads to a few boneheaded turnovers, ending with an 11-0 Georgetown run before the half, with Jeremy sitting the final two minutes after committing his 2nd personal foul on a fearless charge call while attacking Monroe, then in the 2nd half Monroe blocks a few more shots and Harvard (with the exception of Jeremy) becomes increasingly intimidated, Chris Wright and Austin Freeman’s good play and shooting further intimidates Harvard’s youngsters (not Jeremy, of course), and Jeremy’s two missed open treys tell Coach Tommy Amaker to throw in the towel down by 15 with 3:28 remaining.
But let’s not mince words, Georgetown came to play. We can make excuses as to how Harvard just got back from final exams — Georgetown came back from theirs a few days before and subsequently lost to Old Dominion and dropped three places in the rankings — but Monroe was as good as advertised (albeit against smaller comp), and Wright and Freeman, whose season stats do not show consistency, stepped up.
If Georgetown comes to play, seething from their sub-par performance against ODU, and Monroe, who had 16 pts, 16 reb, and 5 blocked shots, plays like the NBA lottery pick he’s projected to be, Harvard’s other guys have to play “out-of-body”.
SO, BACK TO JEREMY (FOR REAL)
If Jeremy’s teammates aren’t playing the full 40 minutes, then Jeremy needs to be on point in every aspect of the game. Well, after swishing a 27-footer near the end of the first half, he couldn’t buy either of his two open treys late in the 2nd half, probably got a little winded as he got no break, and succumbed to a couple of fatigue-induced-looking turnovers.
So the scouting report on his weaknesses is, as I’ve written before, his unorthodox shooting stroke and his reliance, still, on using his massive first step to dribble hard right, and dribbling a little too far hard right, which can end up in a double- or triple-team, especially when no teammate is cutting to the rim, and a turnover.
However, I did notice that Jeremy used a pivot change-of-direction and a full-on spin, once each, on two separate hard drives to the hole. Neither move was as refined as it should or will be, but the new spin move — which I’ve only seen once before and actually criticized him on Twitter for not having in his repertoire early in the season — is indicative of Jeremy’s commitment to keep getting better.
The good news is, he’s still splitting double-teams, scoring when necessary and not relying on the jumpshot, attacking the rim, “holding the line” and converting while absorbing contact from a big man, delivering the ball to teammates in advantageous scoring positions, and playing awesome individual and team defense while recognizing and helping on teammates getting beaten off the dribble on the other side of the court, boxing out on bigger trees after switches, and baiting the other team into steals.
As Amaker said in the beginning of the season, “He’s a throwback player.”
Here’s the highlight package of the above (Part 1 of 2, as YouTube has a limit of 10 minutes per video)…
Here’s highlight package 2 of 2…
Here’s the exhaustive list of video clips I saved that shows what he can do…
- JL-G01: steal+dunk vs Georgetown
- JL-G02: slides over to take a charge
- JL-G03: delivers the ball on a string
- JL-G04: good defense
- JL-G05: good help D
- JL-G06: good boxout, then drive baseline absorb contact
- JL-G07: steals and converts a doubleclutch layup
- JL-G08: blocks Georgetown’s Austin Freeman
- JL-G09: drives, draws contact, hits layup
- JL-G10: boxes out, leads a break, draws contact
- JL-G11: leads a fastbreak
- JL-G12: drives and kicks vs Georgetown
- JL-G13: help D, boxout, layup, and more great
- JL-G14: spins left and draws a foul vs Georget
- JL-G15: steal, leads the fastbreak, and leaves a dime for a dunk
- JL-G16: drives hard right, assist back for a trey
- JL-G17: spins, slips, but finds a teammate for a trey
- JL-G18: comes over and takes a charge
- JL-G19: splits, drives, kicks
- JL-G20: rises, kicks, and blocks
By the je-ne-sais-quois-that-make-him-an-NBA-first-rounder standards that I set in the Jeremy Lin Movement blogpost…
- Dunks: Yes, one spectacular sequence very early in the game where he baited Georgetown into an open court steal and flush.
- Buzzer-beaters: No opportunities. He came off the floor after his 2nd foul on a charge call, late in the 1st half. He came off the floor with 3:28 remaining in the 2nd half.
- 2nd-half scoring: No, but Amaker took him out with 3:28 remaining and Harvard “only” down 15. Now, I agree that at the time, it did not appear that Harvard was going to make a miraculous comeback, but how can you take out the man who scored 11 points against UConn in the final 1:38?! I realize that in the big picture and with the possibility that Jeremy asked to get taken out because he was perhaps heavily winded or injured in some way, this move makes sense. But in the context of winning a basketball game, Amaker just committed the Cardinal Sin: he gave up. I think 99.9% of coaches out there would agree with me that one does not throw in the towel down 15 with 3:28 remaining. After all, on Christmas Day, I keenly observed that Phil Jackson took out Kobe Bryant with just 1:30-something remaining and the Lakers down seventeen to the Cavs! A lot can happen in two minutes of game play! I’m flabbergasted. And again, this goes back to the secret holy war between NCAA coaches and potential future NBA players. Anyways, Jeremy only scored 6 of his 15 in the 2nd half, but had he made his two open treys or played a little more, he probably would’ve had the strong 2nd half that we’ve seen in the past.
- Blocked shots: Yes. He had one in the first half. In the 2nd half, he disrupted Wright into an airball, and swatted Freeman on a layup, but at the same time, Freeman was lightly body checked by Pat Magnarelli and Magnarelli was called for the foul. The point being, Jeremy is amazing on defense and he does have the statistical 1 blocked shot in the boxscore as clear-cut indisputable evidence. Unfortunately his blocked shot average will actually go down (it was 1.2 before the game started).
There’s actually a fifth telling stat for NBA prospects, which I didn’t mention in the Jeremy Lin Movement blogpost because it wasn’t necessarily a jaw-dropper and I had already checked it off as a pre-requisite to being a solid NBA draft pick…
- Assists: Yes. Well, the final tally on the boxscore is only 4 assists, but if you look at the highlight videos above, you’ll notice two blown layups, one by Doug Miller — who is, with all due respect, too slow to play against comp like Georgetown — and one by Christian Webster late in the game, who was clearly intimidated by Georgetown’s front line. There was also top-shelf pass delivered to Miller on a dribble-drive penetration, but Miller couldn’t react fast enough to catch it and, even if he had, chances are he would’ve been too slow on the move to convert. Now, I’m sure John Wall’s teammates have missed bunnies before, but certainly not at the same rate as Harvard’s.
HEY, I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE
Something tells me the doubters and detractors will continue to doubt and detract. Please note, I have not changed one iota since my first scouting report, which was on Marco Belinelli: I’m still as aggressive as ever in my reports. You only don’t believe me because I’m not employed by the NBA, NCAA, or ESPN. Or you can’t fathom how running an adult recreational league in as rich a basketball tradition as the Asian-American community (ahem, we’ve been running leagues for over eighty years) could possibly be a credential.
I will agree that I will intentionally have volumes more information on Jeremy Lin, but only because I feel like the story needs to be told, that he’s Asian-American and at Harvard and therefore will not be chronicled as much as he ought to be. But do not mistake that as blind hype. There really is substance behind the hype. And if I have to create the hype myself or further it along, so be it, but the…substance…is…there.
Finally, if you’re going to take shots at me, I would appreciate if you start taking the shots at renowned ESPN analysts such as Doug Gottlieb, Jay Bilas, and Fran Fraschilla (just google them, you’ll find what they said about Jeremy). One of my league referees was watching ESPN2 when yet another ESPN analyst said that Jeremy was “the Truth” during halftime of one of the games after the Georgetown game was played.
When Bilas said that Jeremy could play, “in any league, anywhere”, the doubters and detractors said that Bilas didn’t specifically mean the NBA. Okay, then, what does Fraschilla mean when he says this?…
People have finally realized he’s no fad. He’s a superb player with an all-around game that translates very well to the NBA.
And I’m quite certain Fraschilla isn’t a regular reader of my blog.
Dream League community friend Donald Lee put it best in his blog today…
Despite Jeremy Lin’s success on the court, I have talked to people within the Asian-American community who doubt his skills or look down at his success. There are others who doubt Jeremy Lin can make the NBA. I am a little surprised at this. I would expect that Asian-Americans would back a guy from their own community rather than looking down at his success.
I had to step back and think about why Asian-Americans would doubt Jeremy Lin and I came up with two interconnected reasons:
- Some Asian-Americans have a self-defeating notion than they cannot compete with other ethnic groups in basketball.
- They have never seen a guy like Jeremy Lin before and cannot believe an Asian player can compete against other high level players.
Yet, I’ll still go the whole nine yards for you. Because you haven’t seen the quality of play from draft picks in the context of NBA Summer League, because the detractors continue to not believe, I will hunt down the combo point guard potential NBA draft picks and pick them off, one by one. Some might still pass with flying colors (John Scheyer of Duke, perhaps?), some I will shoot down. In due time and assuming Jeremy continues to play well, as he did against Georgetown, you will see that in the context of other potential draft picks, Jeremy ought to at least be on the board.
TWITTER SCOUTING REPORT NOTES
Here are the notes from the game, in chronological order, via http://twitter.com/nbalivetweet…
Jeremy Lin JL4 dribbles into traffic and commits a turnover in the perimeter. Harvard up 4-3 early. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin gets doubled way outside, sees an open man under, but commits a turnover on the pass. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 splits doubleteam and feeds Doug Miller, who misses layup but gets putback. #jeremylin
Steal open court Jeremy Lin! JL4 all by himself, dunks it!!! Harvard 10, Georgetown 7, early. #jeremylin
Oliver McNally checks in for Jeremy Lin JL4. Georgetown 16, Harvard 14, 13 mins left. #jeremylin
11:55 media timeout, Georgetown 18, Harvard 17. Jeremy Lin JL4 thus far with one dunk on an opencourt steal, 1 reb, 1 to. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 still on bench after the media timeout #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin back in, Harvard turns it over on inbound, Georgetown comes down, JL4 attempts to take charge. Foul. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 loses Austin Freeman on a backdoor cut middle, feed from L, good layup and-one on Harvard big man. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 splits defense, gets in middle, but fouled on floor as he hits deck. #jeremylin
Georgetown size taking over on defensive and offensive rebounding. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 doubled at top, finds Doug Miller wide open under, Gets swatted by Greg Monroe. #jeremylin
Ball back to Harvard, Jeremy Lin deep trey up top middle, JL4 swishes it! #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 give and go with Kyle Casey, good! #jeremylin
Good D by Jeremy Lin JL4 on L baseline jumper by either Chris Wright or Austin Freeman. #jeremylin
Harvard converting on their end, good run, now down 29-25 to Georgetown, but every now and then Gtown rebounding beast appears. #jeremylin
Timeout on the floor 7:07 remaining 1st half, Georgetown 29, Harvard 25. Jeremy Lin JL4 5 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 to, 1 dunk. #jeremylin
Christian Webster at the line, having a good game. #jeremylin
Good help recognize by Jeremy Lin on a drive by Georgetown guard on broken offense. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 takes it to the teeth, defense collapses, and he dumps it wide open Kyle Casey trey no good. #jeremylin
Pat Magnarelli two unathletic plays in a row: missed bunny, couldn’t handle basic pass, Harvard now down 6. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 drives baseline, met at rim, foul. Makes both FTs tho. #jeremylin
Steal L elbow perimeter by Jeremy Lin, fastbreak, righthanded clutch layup, good! That’s 8 pts 1st half for him. Harvard down 2. #jeremylin
Steal, fastbreak, layup by Oliver McNally ties the game Harvard vs Georgetown with 3 mins left 1st half. #jeremylin
Georgetown comes back with a trey, turnover Casey, steal Monroe. Run ends. #jeremylin
Blocked shot by Jeremy Lin JL4 on Chris Wright! But Greg Monroe gets putback. #jeremyline
After a mini-run capped by Austin Freeman trey, Jeremy Lin JL4 drives to teeth, layup good, but it’s called a charge! He sits. #jeremylin
Georgetown has now pulled away 41-33 with 1:14 left, with 2 free throws to shoot. #jeremylin
Greg Monroe takes a layup away from Brandyn Curry. He’s beasting on Harvard down low. #jeremylin
28 secs left, Harvard ball offensive baseline, but Jeremy Lin JL4 will remain on bench with 2 pf. #jeremylin
Oliver McNally missed stepback trey L elbow at buzzer. Georgetown ends 1st half with 11-0 run, up 44-33 on Harvard at half. #jeremylin
At the half: JL4 Jeremy Lin 9 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 2 to, but hasn’t missed a shot (3-3 fg, 1-1 trey, 2-2 ft). #jeremylin
John Thompson III halftime show: “Jeremy Lin does GREAT, not good, job of scoring for himself while at same time very unselfish.” #jeremylin
Chris Wright and Austin Freeman 13 pts each at half. Add Greg Monroe plus Vaughn down low. Georgetown is strong. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 gets ball middle top from pass R elbow early offense, Goes up strong, clutch on Georgetown big man Vaughn, good! #jeremylin
Greg Monroe just got a double double 17:30 left. #jeremylin
Another clutch layup for JL4 Jeremy Lin after penetrating Georgetown paint. #jeremylin
Rebound Jeremy Lin on a blocked shot by someone else, fastbreak, dime to Dee Giger, but he misses a wide open layup. #jeremylin
Timeout on the floor Harvard down 14 to Georgetown, 15:23 left. Jeremy Lin JL4 has 13 pts. #jeremylin
Pat Magnarelli, slow move underneath, misses, Jeremy Lin JL4 flies by to no avail, Georgetown fastbreak layup. Up by 18. #jeremylin
Austin Freeman and Chris Wright have combined for 35 pts. #jeremylin
Greg Monroe beasts another missed trey by Georgetown. #jeremylin
Jeremy LIn JL4 right side penetrating layup good! #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 nice one-on-one D, taps the ball off Georgetown’s Freeman/Wright (?) leg! #jeremylin
Another strong R layup by Jeremy Lin JL4, but no angle, missed bank. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 with a nice NBA spin left after drive from L elbow, defender elevates, foul! College foul is on ground #jeremylin
Good timeout John Thompson. Georgetown up 19 with under 12 left. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin splits double-team top L, pass top shelf to Doug Miller, who can’t react fast enough. Goes down as turnover to JL4. #jeremylin
Timeout, Harvard down 21 with 11 mins left to Georgetown. Jeremy Lin JL4 with 15 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 3 to. They didnt count his block!
Another steal Jeremy Lin JL4, comes down paint, clutch, leaves a dime for Kyle Casey, dunk! #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 strong layup, Wright tries to take charge, no good. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 loses ball on dribble, turnover, Georgetown fastbreak, foul on McNally. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 another hard drive R, back flick to Oliver McNally, good trey! #jeremylin
Oliver McNally steal, layup cuts lead to 15 with 7:59 to go. Timeout, Georgetown 67, Harvard 52. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 misses an open trey off feed from Oliver McNally via steal. #jeremylin
Chris Wright trey, Austin Freeman and-one layup after that. Wow. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 drives hard right, shows off a spin, but he slips, gets it to Brandyn Curry for a trey. #jeremylin
Jason Clark of Georgetown missed trey, own rebound, Jeremy Lin JL4 steps up to take charge and gets it. Clark extended arm. #jeremylin
Turnover Jeremy Lin on a hard drive R, stop, in amongst trees. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 splits double-team top L, draws defenders, finds Oliver McNally open trey R elbow who doesn’t shoot it. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 quickness on inbounds D helps cause 5 sec count on Gtown. #jeremylin
Austin Freeman early offense off Harvard turnover, layup gets tipped by Jeremy Lin JL4 but there’s a foul on the floor. 2 FTs. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin JL4 misses a trey L elbow. Keith Wright putback. Harvard down 15 still. #jeremylin
Media timeout. Georgetown 78, Harvard 63, 3:28 remaining. Jeremy Lin JL4: 15 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 5 to. #jeremylin
But Chris Wright has a career high 30 pts. Add Austin Freeman’s 17 pts, Greg Monroe’s 14 reb. Georgetown came to play. #jeremylin
Wow, 3:25 left and Amaker has taken out Jeremy Lin JL4. Maybe he needed a blow, but I still don’t get that. #jeremylin
Under 2 mins remaining. Don’t think Jeremy Lin’s coming back. I’m shocked. Down 15 with 3:25 left and you throw in the towel? #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin scored 11 points in 1:38 on UConn. I don’t see how you can take him out down 15 with 3:25 to go. Game over. #jeremylin
Final score: Georgetown 86, Harvard 70. #jeremylin
Jeremy Lin: 15 pts, 6/10 fg, 1/3 treys, 2/2 ft, 5 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 5 to… 1 dunk but play-by-play says layup, 1 blk missing. #jeremylin
You might also like:
- David vs Goliath III: Jeremy Lin at Georgetown
- Meet Mr. Crunch-Time: Jeremy Lin
- David vs Goliath II: Jeremy Lin vs Jerome Dyson
- Jeremy Lin’s stats plunge
- JL4 does it again. Jeremy Lin: “Lin Legend”. Now will you believe me?
- There and back again: Coast-to-coast to see Jeremy Lin (3/4)
- Portsmouth prospecting: the assist machine Jeremy Lin
- It’s all on Portsmouth for Jeremy Lin, but…