What kind of year can a healthy Jeremy Lin have? Elite Sports New York’s projections for the Brooklyn Nets point guard are in.Point guard Jeremy Lin’s first year with the Brooklyn Nets didn’t go as expected. Due to a reoccurring hamstring injury, he only appeared in 36 games during the season.
With all looking fine and a healthy Lin entering the start of the 2017-2018 year, what kind of season can fans expect?
Points Per Game
Lin is a very talented point guard on the offensive side of things. Through only 36 games he managed to average 14.5 points, a run similar to his “Linsanity” spree with the New York Knicks back in 2012.
He averaged those points on career highs of 11.1 field goal attempts and 4.3 three-point attempts per game. Lin’s offense was wide open last year and he was shooting from everywhere.
According to NBA.com, the majority of his shots came from within 5 feet of the basket. He made 59 shots from that area on 119 attempts, which equates to a 49.6 convert percentage. In total, Lin scored 166 points in the paint last year, which averages out to nearly five a game. He’s guaranteed buckets under the post.
This his is favorite spot on the floor, as he put up an entire 250 shots from that range the season before as a member of the Charlotte Hornets. Looking at his best scoring game last year with the Nets, Lin dropped 32 points in a 115-107 loss to the Orlando Magic.
If not inside the paint, Lin was shooting from deep. His second most shot attempts came form 25-29 feet out, where he shot 33.7 percent — not his strong suit. Lin had the best percentage from 10-14 feet of the basket, where he landed 58.8 percent of his baskets.
The point guard was assisted most last season by forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. With the two both improved since last year, we can expect to see even more assists the season — which means more buckets for Jeremy Lin.
Passing the Ball
When Lin thrives offensively, the team thrives even more. His passing numbers are off the charts and all but guaranteed to get better. Last year, the guard averaged 5.1 assists per game and tallied 184 in total.
Even through only 36 games, it was apparent Lin truly thrives as the sole facilitator. He tallied only 50 fewer assists from the season before in Charlotte while appearing for less than half the season.
In the 36 games Lin played, the Nets sported a 13-23 record. Though not the best, he never truly had time to find his stride. In February, he was sidelined yet again because of his hamstring for a whole 26 games. Brooklyn went an abysmal 1-25 in that stretch without their starting point guard.
According to nbawowy.com, only two current Nets players had a better true shooting percentage when Lin was off the floor: Joe Harris and Hollis-Jefferson.
An integral part of the Nets’ offense, when Lin gets to passing, Brooklyn plays well. With newfound weapons in D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll, expect more dimes to be dropped than ever.
Rebounds Per Game
At only 6’3″, Lin is an agile guard who fights hard for rebounds. Last season, he posted a career-high average of 3.8 per game and recorded a season-high 12 in a 114-105 loss to the Boston Celtics.
Lin’s rebounds per game average was 16th-best most among point guards, tied with ex-Knick Derrick Rose and Miami’s Goran Dragic.
Due to his consistent presence down the lane, he’s always liable to end up with a couple rebounds, whether that be on offense or defense. Lin’s form control and court vision are to credit for one of the most underrated aspects of his game.
Points Per Game: 12.7
With more score first players joining the team, there’s nothing wrong with Lin’s points taking a hit. I fully expect them to. This season, he should be about getting the ball into the right hands and prove he’s the guard for a rebuild.
Assists Per Game: 6.5
As previously mentioned, Lin has too many new players at his disposal. Should he take on the role of a true point guard, there’s no doubt his assist numbers will increase.
Rebounds Per Game: 4.2
With the loss of the Nets’ seven-foot center and only two big men left on the roster, I’d anticipate Lin digging in and being more active off the glass. Brooklyn isn’t a very lengthy team in regards to player size, which is why Lin is seeing career numbers in rebounding. Expect that to continue.
A healthy Jeremy Lin is one of the top point guards in the Eastern Conference. His ability to score down the lane, agile rebounding, and facilitating tendencies place him in that next tier.
Should he come back and suit up for at least 70 games, we’ll see fluidity far beyond last year’s 20-62 Brooklyn Nets. Beyond that? I wouldn’t call being named an All-Star reserve out of reach.