Linsecure with the Linsanity

Slate Magazine has an interesting piece on the sudden rise of Asian American NBA stud, Jeremy Lin. It is sad that writer, Chuck Leung (another Asian American) feels he has to address this aspect, but he does:

…I worry that his success will validate and reinforce familiar stereotypes of “Asian-ness”: the hard work, the humility, the studiousness, even the Christian faith. Last Wednesday, taking my seat at a bar to watch Lin face the Wizards, I actually became self-conscious—Lin-secure?—about openly cheering for him in public. Would my skin, my features, my identification with Lin now mark me as just another workhorse who puts his head down and does what he’s told? Perhaps that sounds overly sensitive or paranoid to you. But then perhaps you’ve never suspected that others look at you and see, as Wesley Yang wrote in New York Magazine, “an invisible person, barely distinguishable from a mass of faces that resemble it.”

I found this funny, if not also sad:

For us Asian-American males, in particular, it seemed that an opportunity to stifle the attacks on our masculinity was passing us by; Lin was always going to be more Harold Lee than Bruce. I didn’t need Lin to be an outright villain—I would have been fine with a scandalous headline or two (“Lin: ‘High on Cocaine When I Dropped 38’ ”). I guess I just wanted him to make us look cool.

He looks cool enough to me. ‘Nuff said.


  • robert neff

    I am a Lin fan now….great game.

  • cm

    Yellow man can’t jump?

  • WangKon936

    A lot of those Jeremy Lin fans are white too. I think a lot of PEOPLE, regardless of color, who are a little studious, nerdy and athletically overlooked, have identified with Lin.

  • WangKon936
  • Robert Koehler

    Last Wednesday, taking my seat at a bar to watch Lin face the Wizards, I actually became self-conscious—Lin-secure?—about openly cheering for him in public.

    Ordinarilly, I’d say you shouldn’t root for a guy just because of his skin color.

    But I rooted for the Celtics when I was a kid, so I won’t.

    Seriously, though, my Howard Stern-esque sense of humor not withstanding, it’s a sad statement about our society when people need to be ashamed of being associated with diligence and clean living.

  • redwhitedude

    I guess chinese NBA fans can rest easy since now they have a new guy to root for. Interest in the NBA in china has waned since Yao Ming’s retirement. As for non chinese I guess this is the allure of the ultimate underdog making it.

  • Brendon Carr

    Kurt Warner has a surprising number of black fans. I have a Kurt Warner Rams jersey from the Greatest Show on Turf era and thereafter, and have accordingly been on the receiving end of congratulations and thumbs up from appreciative black NFL fans when wearing it in public. (You’re welcome, guys.) Everybody loves a Cinderella story, it seems. If you look on Twitter’s #linsansity hashtag, Jeremy Lin’s bandwagoneers are not all Chinese, either. It’s fun for all.

  • αβγδε

    I was listening to NPR today on the way home. And the topic was Lin and the fandom he’s causing now in China — not Taiwan in thise case, but in China among Chinese who claim Lin as their own. Forget that Lin was born and raised in the USA or that his parents are from Taiwan and not China. Lin, ethnically, is Chinese, and so Lin, according to the fans interviewed, represent China (not merely Chinese?) and ought to be playing for the Chinese team come Olympics.

    I disagree with the Chinese — and Taiwanese. Lin isn’t there’s. He represents Asian-Americans. He’s ours. He’s mine. He’s America’s inasmuch as America loves and has a taste for diversity, that new weapon in its shed.

    Linsanity continues. Yesterday he scored the game-winning point against the Raptors with a 3-pointer in the last few seconds.

    I like that Lin shows an interest in mainstream culture inasmuch as he’s been in the videos producec by many various Asian-American Youtubers – Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese. He’s been around, and now he’s a star in his own respective field of work. And he seems to be a good guy.

  • αβγδε

    Associated Press reports on Lin and his fans:

  • jkitchstk

    If Koreans got behind Hines Ward like the Chinese do with their NBA players, something tells me the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn’t be thinking twice about paying him to play.

  • iMe

    watched the game last night against toronto and his game winning three was just un-fricking-believable! i’m not a knicks fan by any stretch of the imagination but i am rooting hard for this humble kid from harvard.

  • Granfalloon

    I just that way-too-fucking-long Wesley Yang piece linked in the quote above. While I wouldn’t recommend it (nothing we haven’t heard before), he does have some interesting tidbits, like an interview with Asian Playboy and seduction tutor to Asian men JT Tran.

  • 깊은 구멍 속에

    It is sad that writer, Chuck Leung (another Asian American) feels he has to address this aspect, but he does:

    Heaven forbid someone address genuine emotions and fears that have resulted from years of conditioning and discrimination experienced in an American society that has very narrowly defined the roles and traits of Asian-Americans–Asian-American males in particular. Your lack of understanding of this announces your race more loudly than your skin color ever could. Majority privilege is never having to worry about what anyone thinks of you because of your race.

    As for Lin, he’s sick. He reminds me of Stockton in a lot of ways and that’s high praise coming from a Jazz fan. He’ll be in the league for a long time and if he cuts down on his turnovers he has the potential to be a hall-of-famer.

    P.S. He’s already denied invitations from the Chinese to play on their Olympic team. (Though he is rumored to be undecided on invitations from the Taiwanese).

  • Robert Koehler

    He reminds me of Stockton in a lot of ways and that’s high praise coming from a Jazz fan.

    You mean he plays dirty?

  • 깊은 구멍 속에

    You mean he plays dirty?

    A Celtics fan wants to talk dirty? Clyde Lovellette, Dave Cowens, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kevin McHale? By my count that puts the Celtics with more than 10% of the Top 50 Dirtiest Players in NBA history. That’s saying something in a league that also features the Pistons. :)

  • hardyandtiny

    “But I worry that his success will validate and reinforce familiar stereotypes of “Asian-ness”: the hard work, the humility, the studiousness…”

    Give me fucking break…

  • jkitchstk

    Taiwan NTV video
    Jeremy Linsanity is lintertaining and linspiring!
    Asian parenting is about to change because Jeremy Linsanity is lintertaining and linspiring. Despite his linpressive linjection of lintensity into the NY Knicks line-up last week, malingners say Lin is a flash lin the pan. They say he can’t play defense, shoot, or lin. However, the Linja further lindicated he’s a limpact player with a lincredible performance against the Lakers, humblin them with 38 points and 7 assists. The Linsurgency gives opposing teams lindigestion and linsomnia. The Linvinsible Knicks are on a 6 game linning streak. Lin your face! All he does in lin.

  • milton

    …I worry that his success will validate and reinforce familiar stereotypes of “Asian-ness”: the hard work, the humility, the studiousness, even the Christian faith.

    So as an Asian-American you’d prefer it if people stopped at red lights instinctively rolled up their car windows whenever you came walking down the street—as opposed to them asking for your help on a calc2 assignment? 

    People stereotype. That’s not going to change no matter how many dead hookers turn up in Jeremy Lin’s meth lab. You can’t do crap about it. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I can’t think of a single ethnicity, race, nationality, religion,  or other association  that has managed to have itself  pigeonholed as completely “neutral” or which has
    forced the public imagination to afford each of its members something even remotely similar to a tabula resa so that they are judged entirely on their own merits and not on group affiliation. The idea that we can rid humanity of stereotypes is absurd, completely unrealistic, and never going to happen. It’s like trying to rid humanity of sadness.  I don’t care how many white, middle class, middle-aged, middle school  librarians bust out their kente cloth on Kwanzaa, nor how much hippy-dippy, PoMo, multi-culti propaganda you’re exposed to. We will never get close to eliminating stereotypes  unless we invent mental reprogramming technology. Until then, the best you can hope and strive for is that people will stereotype you in a positive manner. 

    So, consider yourself lucky that people you’ve never met prejudge you as “studious.” I bet there’s a well-meaning Middle Eastern dude about to board a flight with a bunch of wary white folk who would give anything to change places with you.

  • milton

    Point of order: can we please dispense with the Linsufferable “Lin” portmanteaux?

  • bballi bballi Paradise

    Hall of fame, wow, you’ve been drinking LinAid heavily
    7 games and the guys projected to go to the hall, linsanity at it’s worst. Let’s not forget Melo and Baron Davis are coming back. Which will cut into Lin’s playing time/shots/usage/etc…., reducing is gaudy stats considerably. That, and once his bubble bursts (his first bad game after this incredible heater) how will he deal with adversity.
    He does have the garden crowd to boost him though, so it should be fun for the rest of the season.

  • Robert Koehler

    And like clockwork…

    “파렴치한 한국인들, 제레미 린을…” 혐한 보도 논란

  • slim

    A Taiwanese friend of mine, totally in jest, wrote on Facebook that “China, Taiwan (and probably South Korea) are all claiming Lin as their favorite son.”

    Oh, the Linhumanity!

  • milton

    That’s pretty linsipid.

  • milton

    Would there be a war if Taiwan declared Lindependence from China?

  • nayaCasey

    bballi bballi Paradise #13: I’m a Lin fan but I agree that it is premature to be talking Hall of Fame for a guy who was recently in the NBA’s minor league. Having said that, I bet if the NBA can figure out a way to get him to the All-Star game this year that he’ll be there, even if it is just sitting court side with the Commissioner.

    But about Baron Davis, it is more likely they’ll ship him out if they can get any takers. He’s 32, been on the decline since 2007-08, a 41 percent career shooter, much less upside and appeal than Lin. It sounds crazy, but of the former Golden St. Warrior guards, Davis is the one who is now expendable.

    Lin’s stats will certainly come down with the two studs down low feeding off his penetrations and moxie. He has proven he isn’t a one, two, or even just a three-game wonder, the Knicks actually look like a team now with 3 different players who have proven they can carry NBA teams to wins. Beating the bad teams can still get a mediocre team into the playoffs.

  • cm

    ” And like clockwork…

    “파렴치한 한국인들, 제레미 린을…” 혐한 보도 논란

    The title and the news from China and Japan says “Koreans are claiming Jeremy Lin is a Korean”.

    Instead of just being proud of his achievements, he’s being used as a useful tool as vengeful attacks against others. What a sad case of Chinese insecurity. Out of a billion and a half humanity, they found one guy who can play and jump ball. Big deal.

  • cm

    I’m referring to post #21.

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  • nayaCasey

    cm #26–I’ve already started a rumor that Jeremy Lin’s great-grandfather was black…

  • Bobby McGill

    #8 Agreed. China and Taiwan arguing over him is silly.

    #13 It’s sad that you would call foul on the two words, “it’s sad”, in the post. Air-ball on that one –not even close to what I was driving at. Swoosh.

    And as for the view on my “lack of understanding” and the millisecond of my life I spent considering what an “announcement of my race” has to do with what I posted, I thank you. Have a Lincredible day.

  • iheartblueballs

    He’ll be in the league for a long time and if he cuts down on his turnovers he has the potential to be a hall-of-famer.

    Joel, as a fan of high-grade hallucinogens, I’d like a referral to your dealer.

    Come on man, hyperbolic extrapolation of short-term results without any perspective or context is what the Korean media specializes in…you’re better than that. Hall of fame? He’s got another decade of consistency to go before that’s even under discussion, and you’re floating that balloon after a week and a half? Apparently Linsanity isn’t just a media tool to sell papers but is an actual disease, infecting otherwise reasonable people.

    Credit to nayacasey for taking a measured look and noting both the good and the bad, because there’s plenty of both. D’Antoni seems to have enough confidence in him to let him play through horrid stretches like the second half v Minnesota (1-13), or the first 3 quarters of the Toronto game when he was getting torched on a regular basis by Jose Calderon and turning the ball over at a high rate. The game-winning 3 covered most of that up, but against good teams that kind of erratic play and poor defense will leave NY in a position where he won’t have that opportunity.

    The winning pct of the 7 teams they’ve beaten:
    NJ .267
    UT .500
    WAS .233
    LAL .586
    MIN .467
    TOR .290
    SAC .345

    4 terrible teams, 2 bad ones, 1 good one. The schedule gets tougher toward the end of the month, and in early March they have a long road trip against several good teams that will be a good test of exactly where he and the Knicks are.

    He’s passed the test against bad teams. The next tests will be:
    (1) whether he and Carmelo can coexist and blend in with Amare,
    (2) if he can adjust to the pressure and adjustments that other teams makes against him once the scouting catches up and teams start attacking and exploiting his weaknesses (weak left hand, gets caught in traffic too much, turnover turnovers turnovers, lots of ole defense and can’t keep opposing PG in front of him).
    (3) if he can put up numbers against good teams with good defenses
    (4) if and when he hits the rookie wall (even though he’s not a rookie, he’s the functional equivalent going from zero playing time to 40m)
    (5) if all the media attention and other external stuff starts to have an effect.

    To quote the wolf, and despite the fact that Joel has his mouth wide open behind a glory hole: “Let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet.”

  • Ssamzi

    @ #26 cm

    When I first heard about Jeremy Lin, I was like “so when will some Taiwanese or Chinese media fabricate another jealous-Koreans-claim-grand-Chinese-(insert whatever) story. LOL Oh, even the most hardcore Japanese nationalists must know Searchina is a complete joke by now.

  • slim

    @29 “#13 It’s sad that you would call foul on the two words, “it’s sad”, in the post. Air-ball on that one –not even close to what I was driving at. Swoosh.”

    I was thinking the same, but hoping his response was satire.

  • CactusMcHarris

    You think the first one’s funny? It just hits the iron, compared with the next one’s top shelf goal…

  • nayaCasey

    iheartblueballs #30, Lin has been spectacular so far, but…at the one end, there are the ones talking Hall of Fame, and others already saying he is overrated. I guess the bar for me is low–It would already be great if (1) an undrafted (2) Harvard geek (3) with a good not great college career (4) who sat on the bench even his freshman year at Harvard (5) then got cut twice (6) while adapting to a new position (7) getting a sudden dose of playing time with the world watching has a decent NBA career.

    The Knicks have been bad to mediocre for a number of years, irrelevant NBA wise, I’m sure they’ll take victories over the bad teams if it can get them to the playoffs.

    By the way, I may get out and play some hoops this weekend.

  • CactusMcHarris

    We have an update – this is just getting better and better

    So, will they have Frank Sinatra singing ‘The yellow wind, keeps blowing in, from across the sea…’?

  • 깊은 구멍 속에

    @iheartblueballs –

    Well after the Dallas game I’m willing to stand by what I said. There are a lot of terrible players who stay in the league a really long time, e.g., Derek Fisher, Jacque Vaughn, Jerry Stackhouse. There are also some players with sick talent that just make their teams worse, e.g., A.I., Melo, etc., but also remain in the league and adored by fans for years.

    I think that Lin, even a Lin with a slightly degraded level of play, will have no trouble finding a home at some NBA franchise for the next 10 years or so. Particularly with all of his hype and the associated revenue generating potential.

    As for the All-Star comment I said “potential,” which of course is not the same as saying that he will be an All-Star. But he plays defense, he sees the lanes and passes the ball well, he takes high percentage shots and is capable of scoring 20+ points and getting between 8 and 14 assists a game. Should his career proceed on course, should he cut down significantly on turnovers, and should he manage to land on a team that wins a title, I would say there is definite potential for him to be in the All-Star discussion at a later point.

    And as for Jose Calderon, he was just off the chain that game. I’m not sure anybody could have stopped him. I watched the game to see the Lin saga develop, but I was most impressed by Calderon. I caught a T’Wolves game when I was back in the States in January as well and had similar thoughts about Rubio. I don’t know what they are doing in Spain, but it’s apparently working.

  • thekorean

    Well after the Dallas game I’m willing to stand by what I said.

    Co-signed. Just finished watching Dallas game, this time ONLY focusing on Lin no matter where he is on the court or off the court. (This is something I like to do whenever I want to really learn about a player, and you can learn some invaluable things this way. The most fun player to do this with? Chris Paul. Second most fun, JaVale McGee, but for completely opposite reasons as CP3.)

    Dallas is a damn good defensive team, and they sent hard traps on JLin on about 75% of the times he brought in the ball. And he handled the pressure supremely, particularly in the first half. Got a little sloppy in the third quarter, but more than made up for it toward the later part of the third and fourth quarter. 28 points and 14 assists for the game, with 6 TOs. (3 of them in the bad third quarter.)

    He is still functionally a rookie, and considering just how shitty rookie PGs tend to be, he is a huge room to grow still. (Deron Williams in his rookie year was described by Bill Simmons as “running the pick-and-roll like a drunk girl at a club looking for a bathroom.”) Previously, my forecast for JLin’s most likely course was around 15 ppg, 7 apg and the ceiling at maybe-possibly-an all star. Now I am upgrading that forecast for the most scenario to 18 ppg, 9 apg, which would make him the best passing PG after CP3 and Nash, and on par with Rondo. The ceiling now is multiple all-star appearance.

  • iheartblueballs

    Joel, you previously said Hall of Famer, now you’re saying All-Star. Grand Canyon of difference between the two. Saying after 2 weeks that Lin has the potential to be an All-Star is overzealous and certainly a stretch, but somewhat defensible. Saying he had the potential to be a Hall of Famer after a few games is just ludicrous. You went with the latter. Don’t know if it was a mistake or not, but that was your initial claim.

    Lin played well today against a good team (at home). The scouting report is clearly to jump him on pick and rolls. He’s going to have to learn to split and dribble through or slip the ball to his big men either rolling or fading out on a pick and pop. He had some nice assists, hit some clutch jumpers late, and again had too many bad turnovers. TK is right that rookie PGs are generally erratic, and they usually see large swings in production and efficiency. He won’t be any different. His ceiling for assists is high, playing with Amare/Melo and now some solid outside shooting options in Smith/Novak in a high-tempo offense. Melo will eat up a lot of those points, and given so many other good scoring options, Lin really shouldn’t be taking more than 10-12 shots a game when the lineup is healthy.

    His habit of driving the lane, leaving his feet, and then making decisions mid-air is leading to a lot of his turnovers. Your top PGs and Kobe/Lebron/Wade can get away with that, but Lin’s not athletic enough or seasoned enough to do that on a regular basis. Obviously the turnovers are the biggest concern right now, and he has the highest TO rate (per gm and per 48 min) in the league right now, and highest in NBA history (by a lot) using the same “first X starts” that were previously used to elevate him. D’Antoni gave him a long leash and the offense has been good enough to counter-balance that glaring deficiency so far, but it will regularly come back to haunt he and the team if he can’t cut that rate. Westbrook has led the league in TO the last couple years and regularly gets criticized and downgraded as a PG because he hovers around 6.0 turnovers per 48 min. Lin is now at 7.3.

    Using “All-Star” as a metric for him is not going to be an honest measure, simply for the fact that with online voting and billions of Chinese behind him, it’s probably a safe bet to say that as long as he’s playing regularly, he’s got a solid chance of being a starter whether he deserves it or not (the futures market on Derrick Rose’s All-Star starts has been in free-fall). If I remember correctly, Yao was voted a West starter every year of his career, including those when he was hurt. He deserved it in at least 4 of those years, was good enough to be a reserve in a couple others, and it was completely undeserved for at least 3 that I can remember (rookie year and 2 years he was hurt).

    A couple years ago, perrenial underachiever and benchwarmer extraordinaire Yi Jianlian came very close to starting in the All-Star game over Kevin Garnett, despite the fact that 95% of basketball fans outside of China had no idea who he was and it was clear that he didn’t belong anywhere near an All-Star game. If I were placing odds on Lin starting in next year’s All-Star game, I’d say it’s 50/50. Whether he will deserve it, less than 1%. He may get a deserved place on an All-Star team one day, but with fan voting and his ethnicity in play, it’s not going to be an accurate measure. All-NBA teams is an accurate metric though, and I would say given the selection by journalists and broadcasters it’s a fair gauge to use.

    The simple fact is that it’s still too soon to know what kind of player he’ll turn into, and it won’t be apparent until he’s played a good 25-30 games with Melo and had the chance to go through long road trips, strings of superior teams, and all the other rigors of being an NBA starter that tend to wear players down and cause them to regress toward the mean. Consistency is measured over months and years, not days and weeks. In fact if D’Antoni is concerned at all about the kid’s long-term career, he would cut back his minutes as soon as Baron can play, not only to take some of the pressure off, but to allow him to develop and learn the NBA game at a more reasonable pace and without all the extraneous distractions.

    But that doesn’t sell jerseys in China or make for great Lin puns as headlines, so it probably won’t happen.

  • nayaCasey

    Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks says that Jeremy Lin is thriving because of the offense the team runs.

    1) When a player succeeds then it is “the system.” When a player doesn’t do well? Get that bum out of there!
    2) Actually, I like “the system” argument.” I tried to play the piano a few months ago but for some reason I couldn’t. Another person at the party played several songs. I blame the piano, even though I have never taken piano lessons.
    3) The last two years in the Knicks system, the team finished 29-53 and 42-40. The system has a role, of course, but it wasn’t working until Lin took over.
    4) Even some superstars are said to products of “the system.”

    Tom Brady, system quarterback
    Peyton Manning system quarterback
    Aaron Rodgers, system quarterback

  • 깊은 구멍 속에


    My mistake. I meant potential Hall-of-Famer in the second comment as well. Everyone knows All Star is a popularity contest and Lin is basically a lock for an All Star position next year because of his new celebrity status (which, whether we like it or not, will have an impact on whether he is considered for the Hall of Fame in the future).

    Anyway I stand by the Hall-of-Famer comment, but the key word is potential. I would argue that Westbrook has the same potential. (And anyone who saw today’s game would have a hard time disagreeing I think). That doesn’t mean I think either one of them is a lock or even close to achieving such a status, just that they are capable of reaching it someday if they continue to work hard and their team situations play out right. This is in contrast to Derrick Rose, who is on-track to becoming a Hall-of-Famer.

    Anyway a lot of people make the hall of fame for various reasons and not just because they amass championships, points or steals. A lot of random people from foreign nations, Russia, Bosnia, Croatia to name a few, (and women) make it because of their contributions to basketball in their respective communities (which in my opinion could conceivably be extended to the Asian community at large should Lin continue to play well). And then others make the hall of fame because they are well connected or because something about them had a larger reverberation on basketball in general, Bill Walton and Drazen Petrovic come to mind respectively.

    Bill Walton, despite not-starting in the majority of his games nor having achieved anywhere near the 20,000/10,000 (his totals were like 6,000 and 4,000) mark expected for other big men, still made the hall of fame and he only had one season of any real remark.

    Drazen Petrovic, despite his career not really taking off until those last 2 years in NJ, was inducted as well. (Probably in no small part because he died in a car accident at the height of his career).

    Perhaps it’s too soon to be talking about Hall-of-Fame status, but if Lin tightens up his turnovers and continues to play in the league for 8~12 years, I can foresee him someday making the Hall-of-Fame, not just because of his numbers but also because of what he has done in promoting the game to the Asian community and because of any potential changes that might follow in the way players are recruited in the future. Potential is an ambiguous word so there’s really no quantifying it, but I don’t necessarily feel like it’s totally unheard of, all things considered.

  • nayaCasey

    깊은 구멍 속에 #40, What Lin has done is incredible, but he hasn’t even finished his first month as a starter. I guess talk about the Hall of Fame is the kind of topic to light up the lines on a sports talk show but it seems premature. Who knows, Lin could walk away from the game to live his dream of being a pastor or he may fall in love and decide to become a househusband.

  • nayaCasey

    깊은 구멍 속에 #40, one more note: Lin scored 21 points (7 rebs, 9 assists, 4 steals), but this time Deron Williams put 38 on him as the Nets easily beat the Knicks–the whole world is watching so everyone’s intensity level is up against the Knicks. Lin started this incredible run a little more than two weeks ago against the Nets, if he had not played that night then he might have gotten cut again and would perhaps be backing up Williams.

    Before talking Hall of Fame, Lin should at least finish a full season, get a chance against every team, various point guards with different skills. Still, Lin’s stat line was good for an NBA player, almost a triple double, but players who play him a second or third time will be ready to exploit his weaknesses.

    It is a bit like debating: The first time you hear an argument, you may be a bit surprised and not have a coherent response. Deron Williams was ready this time around, plus he has provided reviewed a lot of tape on Lin now, instead of wondering, “Who’s this Asian kid?” The first game, they were daring Lin to beat them, and he did.

    On a different point, one thing I hate is the traveling circus aspect of the NBA. When I’m the NBA commissioner, I will change the regular season format so that teams play 4 game series–for example, 2 games in 3 nights in New York, then 2 games in 3 nights in Houston, then move on to the next 4 game series. That’s instead of the zip-zagging schedule where the players are traveling so many nights, resulting in some nights where the players just go through the motions because they are tired.

  • nayaCasey

    By the way, I have an article in tomorrow’s Korea Times about Linsanity. At my blog, and Korea Times original link. The title is “Linsanity” in Korea? What if…

  • iheartblueballs

    Lin got a look at some actual All-Stars and Hall of Famers tonight in Miami, and they thoroughly embarrassed and abused him. The turnovers were double what they should be yet again (Lin is on pace to have the highest turnover rate in NBA history by a good 15%-20% higher than the previous high), and 1-11 from the field was obviuosly a disaster. The quicker and more aggressive Heat guards pressured him hard, cut down on his penetration and were physical with him all game. Lin wilted under the pressure and consistently looked lost when they jumped him on pick and rolls.

    The Heat have the best defense in the NBA and are one of the top 2-3 teams overall, so he’s not alone in struggling against them. Still, this was his first real test against an elite team, and he failed miserably. You know the Linsanity has died down and some reality is setting in when quotes from teammates after the game included the phrase “we got his back” instead of “he’s amazing.”

  • nayaCasey

    iheartblueballs #44,

    1) As you mentioned, the Heat make a lot of people look bad. They have won 8 straight, all by at least 12 points. Lin was 1 of 11, Baron Davis was oh-for 7, so the point guards shot 1 of 18. Of course, Lin is the story, most players who go 1 for 11 are a footnote, not the lead story. Anyway, during the game, NayaCasey was shouting in the office: “Yeah, I couldda did that! And for much less money, too!”

    2) Lin needs to go through a full season going up against the best point guards in the NBA. Knocking the weak opponents early on was less relevant than teams getting a second or third look at him. Even those pushovers will have a better read on him the second time. As I said before, my standard for him is much lower than his rabid fans or even his reluctant critics. 15/7 or revised up 19/9 that TheKorean predicted is still even higher than what I would have ever expected.

    3) Having said that: It is incredible that Lin has teams game-planning for him. Last month he was a nobody, now even NBA all-stars and future Hall of Famers are focused on stopping him. The challenge will be if he can go to the next level or figure out how to overcome that. When is the last time a player had such a target on him?

    On a side note: Back when Larry Bird was dominating in college, an opponent put two players on him. He quickly recognized that those two guys would even follow him to the bathroom, so he stood at half-court during much of the game with the two guys there on him. The other team limited him to 2 or 4 points, but Indiana St won the game.

    4) Predictions:
    a) People will later say that Lin was a victim of his own success, that the whole world was watching him so there was more pressure on him, that NBA players are even more focused on him than any other player.
    b) his strongest fans will later say (perhaps already) that Lin’s race is working against him against because NBA players are targeting him for destruction. Most people hate the teacher’s pet.
    c) Lin will say that he felt uncomfortable with the attention, that he tried to ignore it but that it changed his game, that he realized people in Taiwan would cry every time he turned the ball over, that Asian-Americans so proud of him might commit suicide if he couldn’t dominate.

  • iheartblueballs

    Loyola did the same thing to Steph Curry in college. Double-teamed him the entire game, held him scoreless, and lost the game by 30. The Loyola coach seemed proud of the fact that Curry didn’t score after the game even though they got blown out, and was indignant at reporters questioning the ridiculous tactic.

    Having said that: It is incredible that Lin has teams game-planning for him. Last month he was a nobody, now even NBA all-stars and future Hall of Famers are focused on stopping him. The challenge will be if he can go to the next level or figure out how to overcome that. When is the last time a player had such a target on him?

    The fact that he’s being targeted isn’t really a compliment to Lin or his ability at this point. It seems to be the opposite; a sign that they see weakness and they don’t think he can handle the pressure. Teams see the high turnover numbers and inexperience, and they see an opportunity to exploit that to their advantage. It certainly worked tonight.

    The reason you don’t see Nash, Paul, Westbrook, Rondo, Rose, etc. being pressured in the backcourt and double-teamed off every pick and roll is because they’ll make you pay. If a PG is being picked up full court and bellied up to all game, it’s because the opposing team smells blood in the water and doesn’t fear his ability to respond.

  • nayaCasey

    iheartblueballs #46, thanks for that Curry example, I remembered someone pulled that kind of stunt recently but couldn’t who was involved.

    1) I understand your point about teams exploiting Lin’s weaknesses, I think we are looking at it from a different perspective so the analysis won’t match. My expectations for Lin are low, I’ve known about him for several years, I never expected him to be in this position. I’m enjoying the story of an undrafted kid out of Harvard who is the first Crimson player to make it to the NBA since the 1950s. I’ve been following Harvard basketball for more than two decades, several Harvard players scored more points, were more highly regarded, thought to be more athletic. Despite all of the doubts and not being dominant in even the Ivy League, he made it to the NBA and actually played great in several games. Now, he certainly isn’t as polished as you and the other basketball purists would like him to be, and that’s fine, and that’s not my standard.

    2) Until recently he was waiver wire material and playing in the NBA’s development league. When given a chance, he shined on a team that was doing so badly that the coach was on the verge of getting canned. Even if he is not an elite point guard (which has quickly become the standard for him in the eyes of the basketball purists and geniuses), he has shown that he has skills to even carry the team on some nights. After a full season of playing, then having a training camp and off-season where he is the man rather than someone just struggling to get a few minutes of garbage time, then he could turn out to be a quality starter or reliable backup to one of those All-Star former 1st-round picks you mentioned.

    3) About it being a compliment to him, you may have overlooked the “Having said that” transition to a bigger point about his story. It may have been a bit subtle to say it wasn’t just a basketball point that I was then making.

    4) By the way, when did you first hear about Jeremy Lin?

  • nayaCasey

    Riding my latest hobby-horse at the moment, but regretting I have too many hobby-horses…

    “The Asian American Journalists Association releases guidelines on Jeremy Lin media coverage.”

    If I didn’t have 46 other things I wanted to write about, I would expand on my theory that activist groups and leaders don’t want people of the same background to fail, have trouble (it is commonly charged that negative stories are good for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton). Rather, they want stories with national or international interest so they can have those “teachable moments” (with shakedowns when feasible). Many activists Asian-Americans are now on the prowl for anyone who makes a negative statement about Jeremy Lin. So succeed or fail, he is a story and a teachable moment for quite a long time.

  • nayaCasey

    The NBA is back from the All-Star break. Jeremy Lin just went head to head with Kyrie Irving, the number 1 pick out of Duke.
    Lin–19 points, 13 assists, 1 turnover, 5 rebounds
    Irving–22 points, 7 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 rebs

    Knicks win, 120-103, as they are lucky to once again face a bad team. After trailing 61-49 at the half, they outscored the Cavs 71-42 in the second half.

    The Knicks are now 10-3 with Lin as a key player (9-3 as a starter).;_ylt=ApLAkWgevnLgZkiOC32j4kO8vLYF?gid=2012022918