All NBA players have bad games. Last night, Jeremy Lin had his. He is human after all.
The 102-88 loss against the Miami Heat was his worst performance as a starter. Lin scored just eight points on 1 of 11 shooting. He had only three assists along with eight turnovers.
But there is a silver lining. If there is a good way to have a bad game, this was it. The Heat are probably the best team in the NBA. They score the most points. Their fast, ball-hawking defense has held opponents to 42% shooting (sixth best). There is no shame in having a bad game against the Heat. They are making everyone look bad right now. But this was good experience for Lin. He’ll be better prepared next time.
Lin set such a high bar for himself with his astounding performances. He was playing on the level of elite NBA point guards. But remember that it took a few years for Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash to become Steve Nash. Lin has started just a few games. Let’s give him a little bit of time to learn the NBA game.
What Lin must do now is put that Harvard education to good use. He needs to learn from each loss and each win. He has to adjust to opposing defenses as they adjust to him. Lin also has to familiarize himself with his teammates. Though he has spoiled us with some great games, keep in mind that he has been a starter for less than a month. Like Coach Mike D’Antoni said, Lin can’t be “Peter Pan every day.” That’s not how the NBA works.
The good news is that the Knicks have the NBA All-Star break to sort things out. With the evolving starting lineup, Lin has been under some serious on-the-job training. But now all the starters are back, and Lin will have some real practice time with them. He will learn how to play with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Opposing defenses won’t be able to key in on Lin the way the Heat did last night. That will stretch the floor for Lin, and make him even more dangerous than before.
Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.