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Jeremy Lin Watch: Another Year, Another Team

In February of 2012, Jeremy Lin was the biggest name in all of sports. He came seemingly out of nowhere to become the most exciting player in the NBA. Lin brought life to the lowly New York Knicks, dropped 38 points against Kobe Bryant at Madison Square Garden and netted a game-winning three against the Toronto Raptors all during an improbable 7-0 run. This was called Linsanity and we will likely never see anything like it ever again.  

Six-and-a-half years later, many avid basketball fans do not even know what team Lin plays for anymore. Since the end of Linsanity, the 30-year-old journeyman has played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Bobcats, Brooklyn Nets and is now a member of the Atlanta Hawks. He was only brought into the national spotlight at the beginning of last season due to the gruesome knee injury he suffered in the season opener that ended his year abruptly.

The 2017-2018 season was supposed to be Lin’s breakout season. Despite several injuries, that sidelined him for more than half of the 2016-2017 season, he was putting up his best numbers since his Linsanity season with the Knicks. He was the second leading scorer on the team and led the team in assists and steals per game. With Lopez’s departure and the signing of D’Angelo Russell during the 2017 offseason, Lin was expected to take over as a franchise star alongside Russell.

Coming off of his knee injury, Lin was suddenly traded to the Hawks this past July. This prevented him from writing his own legacy on the Nets and placed him on a guard-heavy team. Less than a week later, the Hawks announced the trade of last season’s leading scorer for the Hawks guard Dennis Schroder. Currently, the starting two guards for the Hawks are rookie Trae Young and veteran Kent Bazemore.

Lin has played an average of 18.2 MPG and averages a flat 10 points per game during his five preseason games he played with the Hawks. Despite struggling from beyond the arc, Lin has demonstrated smart shot selection which has led to a 55 percent mark from the field. A major reason for his success throughout his career has been due to his quick first step. He has used this advantage to his liking time and time again throughout the preseason, a sign of a successful recovery.

On Oct. 12, Lin erupted for 20 points on 7-10 shooting off of the bench in the preseason finale against the Miami Heat. He read the floor very well and appeared to flow seamlessly with his teammates, as he was able to find open players and make free himself with off-the-ball movement.

There is no clear sign to how Hawks head coach Loyd Pierce will distribute the minutes among his guards. But it is likely that Lin and several of the other rotational guards will receive significant playing time, as they try to ease in their young talent, namely rookies Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. From the glimpses of greatness that Lin has shown on the Nets and now during the preseason, it would not be surprising if Lin overtook Bazemore as the starting shooting guard later on in the season.

 

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