(Hadn't blogged too much recently and in the span of 30 minutes, I have done three blog posts on different topics.....call me MOODY....hahahaha)
The Golden State Warriors have started their preseason and with all the recent changes (new owners, new coaches), there is excitement in the air. However, to many local and Asian-American fans, there is only one change that matters: Jeremy Lin.
Lin had a nice game in some garbage time duty against the Clippers Friday evening. However, according to reports, he struggled mightily (3 turnovers in one minute) against the Kings tonight that he was benched by coach Keith Smart.
Not knowing the specific circumstances of what happened tonight, I can't comment on exactly what happened. However, one thing I sense is that Lin is pressing to impress in limited minutes he is getting.
In high school and college, Lin had more free rein and tons of opportunity to gain experience and iron out his kinks. Plus, it was obvious he had the talent to compete at the high school and college levels. Things are not so clear cut in the NBA.
Many lower tier NBA players ride the pine and gain experience from practice. Once coaches feel the players are ready for the rigors of the NBA, they start to play more. I think this will be a BIG adjustment for Lin. It's hard to go from being a star to a bench warmer.
However, I think Lin is feeling the pressure of his personal expectations and perhaps the fans as well. I think Lin needs to step back and play within his game in the few minutes that he gets during the preseason. I have a very strong feeling that Lin can play in the NBA. However, just like his high school and college days, it takes him a while to get adjusted. After all, Lin is not the strongest of most athletic players out there. He is an intelligent player who reads situations and adapts.
I think Lin's still reading situations like he used to. The biggest different is the window of opportunity to execute the right moves can be closed VERY FAST because NBA players are so athletic. Lin's adjustment is to find counter moves. We all saw this in summer league, so it shouldn't be a surprise. Lin can drive by people but help defense in the NBA comes quickly. That is why Lin tried adding some spin moves during the NBA Summer League with limited success.
Many people have said this may be the biggest challenge for Jeremy Lin ever. Indeed it will be. He's never had to face the level of athleticism he will face in the NBA. This is not something you can just simply practice or train for. It's hard work and Lin will need to prove that he can play in the NBA.