Credit to NYTimes for the nice article, the photo above and the chart below.
As it mentioned in the article, Jeremy’s production has taken a dip since the Knicks have become “one of the deepest team in the East.”
It’s such a dilemma for Lin as a PG now. A reason he strove so well with the blue collar players during his breakout weeks was because of his slashing and penetrating, which led to a lay-up, a dump in the post, a kick-out pass, or a trip to the FT line. Jeremy made those decisions based on his basketball instinct, depending on which option would lead to the highest probability of successful play.
It’s quite a different story now. Jeremy is counted on to distribute more than anything, to the extend I felt he has been looking to pass for the sake of passing, as if he’s returning the favor of his teammates’ commitment for “Lin’s way.”
Like D’Antoni said, it’s a learning curve. Not only Jeremy is learning how to cope and counteract with the opponent, he’s also learning how to play with talents around him. Instead of carrying everything on his shoulder, the way he knows best for his life, he now needs a different approach.
As an athlete myself I know what’s it like to go through those transitions, from being “the do-it-all man” to “the distributor.” Jeremy will need to let his teammates play their game when they are on a roll, and take over when everyone else is shutting down. It’s not easy, but all the great ones get it. MJ was the one man show until the 90s, and he got his rings when he learned to let his teammates shine. Paul Pierce was the one and only Mr. Celtic before KG and Ray joined the team, and on top of that he allowed Rondo to flourish as if it’s Rajon’s team, but when the team needed PP to throw in the dagger, he was there to save the day. It’s not an easy adjustment; mentally all great players are primed to elevate above everyone else, so the mindset change is very challenging. It’s also more difficult to stay within the rhythm without the touches, yet they are expected to turn it on in the most critical moments.
Jeremy has shown his ability to take over a game, a WHOLE game. Now his teammates are different, and so is the challenge. But Jeremy is smart, he’ll get it.