We are six games into the new season and since coming back from his season ending injury, Jeremy Lin has not looked good at all. The struggles with the Atlanta Hawks was to expected but he has struggled more than his preseason performances would have suggested. We all know that preseason is not the regular season but nonetheless Lin’s game is a long way off from where it once was.
Lack of minutes
Firstly, Lin has struggled to get any consistent playing time from his rookie head coach, Lloyd Pierce. Lin has failed to make much of an impact whenever he comes on off the bench in the first quarter. The head coach wants to see Lin be a spark and make a positive impact to help his team. He has come in very passive and tentative almost as if his confidence is at rock bottom in pretty much all of the games and has not looked good.
Lin has to set the right tone and show the head coach he can kick on or steady the ship for the Hawks when in-game. He is averaging 14mins per game and playing only a few minutes each time will be hard for him to gain any rhythm or momentum. The better he plays the more minutes the coach will give him. If he comes in a hit the ground running, then the chances of more playing time will increase.
Lack of confidence in his shot
Oddly enough Lin has neglected his 3 point shot, he has been open a good few times this season and has given up on his 3s to only settle for a mid-range jumper. This shows a man who is low in confidence with his outside shot or low in confidence in general. The 3s will open up his game and make life easier for him but somehow he has lost trust in it. It’s not like he has missed a ton of 3s and is low on confidence because of it. He has hardly shot any of them, so it is strange to see him avoiding them so much. His 3pt percentage is at a low 14% and for his game to thrive he has to start taking and making them.
Lack of quickness
Moving onto his conditioning, his conditioning isn’t there yet. He has looked off the pace and is still adapting to playing in the NBA again. He has looked sluggish and slow and has been exposed defensively staying with his man. Lin has said he “doesn’t have his legs back yet”. To no surprise this will take time and will he ever get his full speed back? The jury is still out since it was a very bad injury that he suffered.
A lot of Lin’s game comes from his first step, the step that gives him enough room to get away from his defender to then create something. Lin has not got that quickness right now and his game has looked very limited offensively. Not being able to create and not being able to score is tough for him, this is what the coach expects from him but he is not delivering. I do expect a change in performance if starts getting his quickness back but it is a big if.
Lack of chemistry with new team
The chemistry with his teammates is still a work in progress, he hasn’t looked comfortable playing with his new team and is still figuring it out. He has mainly been the man dribbling the ball up court and handling off for somebody else to do something. He has to be the man to initiate the offence and stop being so passive and tentative. What I’m trying to say is that Lin has to start taking charge and taking matters into his own hands.
Struggling for consistent and meaningful minutes, neglecting his 3pt shot, not yet getting his quickness back and lack of chemistry with his new team are a lot of the things that are contributing to a Jeremy Lin’s struggles. The things that used to come natural for him are no longer that way it seems. However, the season is still young and hopefully Lin will get better but right now the struggle is real. The people who support him will have to get behind him because this is one of the hardest periods of his career.