After failing to steal another win against the New Orleans Hornets, Jeremy took the loss squarely on his shoulders.
Jeremy had 8 turnovers in the first half, and tuned it down to 1 in the 2nd half.
There are many factors that have contributed to Lin’s high TOs. Here are my comments:
1) The worst way to handle a ball is to force yourself with no other options but to pass. If you keep your dribble or position when driving, then the defender would have to respect your movement or shot and give your the space to work. Yet more than often Jeremy would get in the air before the window opens. That means he has no choice but to “hope” that his man would arrive in time for the pass, and the opponents are too slow to intercept it. In the Kings and Toronto’s game , a couple times his opponents were there ready to take away that slip pass to the post. Lin probably saw that too, but he had no choice since he was in the air already and was below the backboard to put up a shot.
2) Jeremy has been handling the ball TOO MUCH. With the way D’Antoni orchestrates the offense, the PG is responsible for a massive majority of the ball, and of course that’d translate into a lot of assists AND TOs. It’s almost inevitable. It would had been ok if it was pure ball handling like JKidd of today (I say today because Kidd was a TO machine when he was doing everything by being a triple-double threat everyday), but Lin was asked to do everything on offense AND playing heavy minutes. Fatigue plays a huge role in TOs. According to Basketball Prospect, Jeremy is actually slightly less TO-prone or on par with Nash when analyzed using turnover percentage. The only outlier is actually CP3, and that’s why he is one of the best all time. To overcome this, Lin just has to pace himself better when tired, just like what he did today in the 2nd half. This could lead to fewer dimes, but TOs could be demoralizing when they start to pile up.
3) The shooters couldn’t make shyt. Today, actually, I’d pin this on the shooters. Actually, we could almost pin today’s loss on 3 pt and FT shooting ALONE. In D’Antoni’s system, if one clicks, it triggers many other positives, and vice versa. One huge reason that Lin was getting TOs like that was because he was constantly sandwiched by big men in the paint AND perimeter help defense, due to the inaccurate firepower from long range. 4/24 (and 2 contributed by Lin, so it should be read as 2/21) is definitely insufficient for the perimeter defenders feeling comfortable leaving their men open and hit hard on Lin. Had Walker, Fields, Shump, especially Novak been able to drop just a couple more 3s on the kick out passes, Lin would had been much more open to drive, the Knicks would had added several more points on the board, and today’s game could had been VERY, VERY different. We’re lucky that Lin’s jumpers were falling actually, because that’s not really where his strength is.
For all and all, Lin’s been playing like mad trying to single-handedly steal another win. With the way shooters went cold from outside AND the whole team gave up on the FT line (19/29, 65.5%), no defense in the world could rescue from that. My philosophy in sport competition in general, is that you have to start from holding onto the things you could control. Making FTs in basketball is DEFINITELY something you can control. Making wide open 3s is definitely something you can control, if you’re a wing player, same as post players making lay-ups when the guards get you a good pass. Same with defensive rebounds, defense intensity and hustle plays. (That’s why I think Keith Smart is doing an extremely poor job because that team just did not hustle and deserved to be blown away.) Today, the Knicks as a team gave up on the most controllable aspect of the game on the line (actually, they’ve been showing sloppy FTs against Toronto already), and they deserved to lose. Their hustle play at the end of the game just made the score sheet looked better, that’s it.
Not bad of a wake up call actually. I’d say this could be a blessing in disguise for the long run.