Alright, time to take a moment here and catch up on all the Jeremy Lin hype, before today’s game against Bryant University (0-3, Division II). Then it’s at Army on Monday. What will he do next?! Buzzer-beater from a hundred twenty feet instead of thirty? Three-handed dunk in traffic? We’ll just have to see, but let’s not raise our expectations too high.
If I’m analyzing the youngster’s game based on one video-streamed game, despite the mythical status he has achieved through just the first weekend of 2009-10, I do have these concerns…
- Harvard’s offense sucks (again) if you stick a zone on them, lunge out on the shooters (like Oliver McNally), and totally collapse when Jeremy inevitably drives. Or let’s say one of the freshman shooters is off or nervous. This was a chronic problem last year, as it is for most teams that don’t have offensive rebounding — incidentally, Pat Maganarelli was the Robin to Jeremy’s Batman by surprising everybody and playing big inside late in overtime. And when Harvard gets stagnant in the offense, guess what…
- Jeremy has to come all the way thirty feet out from the basket to get the ball. One thing he needs to improve upon is his physicality off the ball, in particular receiving the pass. This is a very overlooked part of the game, but if you watch tapes of Michael Jordan, you’ll see there’s a bit of jousting needed to get the ball to you, and get the ball to you in an area that you determine. You really have to use your body and your arms. Jeremy’s bulked up and really fast now, so that should be quite do-able for him. I also think that he can use that physicality off-ball while trying to receive a pass, to intimidate a smaller opponent. That’s the off-ball window where you can manhandle a guy, let him know that he’s gonna get punished not only off-the-ball, but also when you catch the ball and he’s at your mercy. This is how MJ owned the guys that covered him.
- Harvard’s weakside rotation on defense sucks (again). This happened a lot last year too, but I think it happens to a lot of teams at the college level, and it’s an example of where the college game is so different than the NBA. Someone on Harvard bites too hard, leaves a big man open underneath, so Jeremy playing weakside has no choice but to come over and cover the big man. Meanwhile, the man he just left is wide open, and they swing the ball over to him for an open trey. I think Jeremy ought to gamble once or twice on this. It’s like he’s too smart or instinctive on defense for the college game. To outsmart the smarts even further, if you’re up three and the big man hasn’t scored yet, then maybe you fake like you’re gonna help on the big man and recover as needed on the swing pass. After all, you’re up three. Giving up a trey is worse than giving up the deuce to some guy who hasn’t even scored yet (in Mid-Major ball, there’s not a whole lot of post play). Btw, this happened in the William & Mary game: Jeremy gave up a game-tying trey late, but it kinda wasn’t his fault either. Now, when Jeremy gets to the NBA, he should keep doing what his instincts tell him, because guys in the NBA are more able to rotate and help each other out.
I’m not sure that Jeremy can correct #3, and that’s really on the coaching staff to point that out, and make team adjustments. Also, if you don’t have the personnel, you don’t have the personnel. But Jeremy can definitely improve #2 and I’d be shocked if Tommy Amaker didn’t address #1.
Let’s move on to catching up on the links.
Lin had been a high school Megatron Northern California basketball star, he led the Palo Alto High School received two CIF state champions…
I didn’t even know “Megatron” was in the Chinese-English translation dictionary!
Secondly, Jeremy’s two-handed dunk in traffic, per GoCrimson.com…
With the game tied, Lin took over, using a shot-fake and a driving, two-handed jam against a triple team to make it 51-49 Harvard at the 11:15 mark.
…has also been described to me by twitterer @CoachNags as an…
Up fake, Jab fake left, two dribbles middle, two hand flush in traffic, unreal.. the whole crowd just went WHAT!?
…but then reinforced as an “absurd” dunk with these follow-up comments from YouTube user etizzle1…
Yeah I was in the first row behind the harvard bench. Best dunk i’ve seen live
Don’t worry, PMC is already hot on the trail of pinning down this video, as etizzle1 adds that “someone from Holy Cross was filming”.
So anyways, here are some Megatron links that I have not shared yet. For more, just visit the other JL4 posts I have on this site…
- SLAM Magazine did a piece on him just last week, but then proceeded to talk about Jeremy’s chances in the NBA as it relates to Amaker. No disrespect to Amaker, but first of all Jeremy was not recruited by Amaker to come to Harvard, not that that would’ve mattered because Jeremy hadn’t blossomed until last summer. Secondly, just because Amaker has “seen five of his players drafted or signed onto NBA contracts” has nothing to do with Jeremy. I’m not trying to hate on Amaker here. In fact, he’s a great guy, obviously well-schooled in the game, and has done a lot to boost Jeremy’s basketball career. He may very well have some influence in helping Jeremy after Jeremy’s eligibility with Harvard ends next March. But you know me, I just want the facts straight. The fact is, coaching an NCAA school to any kind of championship is, generally speaking, mutually exclusive of preparing a player for the NBA. So don’t try to mix the two. Especially not on such a highly regarded hoops publication as SLAM.
- A piece on FoxSports that once again alludes to Jeremy’s immediate goals of winning the Ivy League (“that’s all I want”) and Amaker hinting at JL4’s chances to become an NBA player (“I think I’m qualified to say he can play anywhere”). Firstly, Amaker’s always been of the humble sort and that’s great. He knows he’s at Harvard and has had some struggles at Seton Hall and Michigan. He knows he needs to sort of “rebuild” his own coaching career at Harvard. The last thing he wants to do is come out as if he’s a know-it-all and proclaim Jeremy to be a can’t-miss NBA prospect. So that’s why Amaker has to be coy about it. Second, Jeremy is a big believer in focusing on the task at hand and that’s it. Anything beyond that could mess up the task. Quite frankly, it’s the classic Chinese way of doing things (yes, I’m qualified to say that), so I don’t blame him. But what I want to make clear is, Jeremy will also give it his all to make it in the NBA. He’s not going to simply retire from basketball in Spring 2010 just to become a pastor to help disadvantaged kids. Also, he wants to be coy about things too. So he’s not gonna come out and say that the NBA is his goal. He won’t say that to anyone. But deep down inside, I have a feeling that it is his goal. No one dedicates himself and improves himself in the game of basketball, performs as he performs, and does not give it a shot.
- Holy Cross coach: “Lin puts a lot of pressure on you with his driving.”
- JL4 relishes being the underdog.
- Early in the summer, Jeremy was featured in Dime Magazine where they once again touched on him being Asian-American, him taking Paly to the state championship, and then not getting any scholarships.
- In preseason interviews, Amaker alludes to Jeremy needing to accept the leadership role this year and really grab the reins.
- ESPN’s Andy Katz says JL4 is one of the “more underrated guards” and that Holy Cross “should win” against Harvard. Hope Katz paid attention to the final score.
- Another preseason article from Harvard Magazine appropriately entitled “Hoops Houdini”.
- The USA Today wants to see more of JL4, but of course they’ll be hard-pressed to find a way.
I’m pretty sure we’re caught up now!
You might also like:
- Jeremy Lin’s stats plunge
- JL4 does it again. Jeremy Lin: “Lin Legend”. Now will you believe me?
- Meet Mr. Crunch-Time: Jeremy Lin
- It’s all on Portsmouth for Jeremy Lin, but…
- David vs Goliath III: Jeremy Lin at Georgetown
- David vs Goliath II: Jeremy Lin vs Jerome Dyson
- There and back again: Coast-to-coast to see Jeremy Lin (2/4)
- DraftExpress’s Portsmouth notes on Jeremy Lin