Woah. Who would have ever thought that Tim Tebow would be back in our lives so quickly?
After five stellar performances by Jeremy Lin – another guy who doesn’t look the part based on stereotypes associated with his sport, is outspoken about his religious beliefs, who has come in for his struggling team and, it seems, single-handedly turned them around – people are calling the young fella Tim Tebow 2.0.
But is that really a fair comparison? Is Jeremy Lin really redefining the point guard position?
Is Jeremy Lin really doing something no point guard has ever done before?
You know what he’s been doing, but let’s take a closer look and discover how Jeremy Lin has been so successful over the last week.
Before we get started, let’s just remember that we still have an incredibly small sample size.
Maybe, Jeremy Lin goes on and has a Hall of Fame career. Or maybe, teams figure him out pretty quickly and it’s back to the D-League for him.
No matter who you are, if you are in the NBA, you are pretty good. I firmly believe that nearly any perimeter player – if given the opportunity and the green light – could score twenty points a game. It might not be very efficient, but it could be done.
Lin, however, is doing much more scoring. He has transformed New York’s offense. The question is if he is doing it in a way that is sustainable and can translate into future success.
Three Reasons for Jeremy Lin’s Current Success
#1 – He’s not a good, but a great athlete
One of the biggest reasons for Jeremy Lin’s success early on is that he’s a much better athlete than people give him credit for; and I believe, as is so often the case with opinions in basketball, that race has a LOT to do with it.
Just look at Gordon Hayward.
Hayward is often compared to other white players like Kyle Korver or Adam Morrison. Yet anyone that actually watches them play knows these comparisons are ridiculous.
Hayward is actually a mediocre shooter at this point in his career. Although he shot the ball pretty well in college, he’s shooting an atrocious 24% right now from three point range. However, Hayward succeeds because he’s a standout athlete:
- He ran the 12th fastest sprint time at the 2010 NBA Combine, beating out guys like Sherron Collins, Evan Turner, Devin Ebanks, and even Jordan Crawford. He only finished .08 seconds behind John Wall!
- His vertical of 34.5 inches was just as impressive, tying him with Evan Turner and Jordan Crawford while beating out “stellar” athletes like Al-Farouq Aminu and Epke Udoh.
Really, Gordon Hayward plays like a young Trevor Ariza. A long, athletic swing man that is a streaky shooter and fills in a lot of gaps for your team.
Just like Gordon Hayward, Jeremy Lin is getting miscast as the next Steve Nash or a rich man’s Luke Ridnour. But Lin is often beating people with his great athleticism.
Unfortunately, after scouring the internet for a long time, I couldn’t find many of Jeremy Lin’s official measurables. What I did find was pretty promising for Lin. He had the third longest wingspan (6’5″) of any other point guard his height. Maybe you hadn’t noticed before, but Lin is a very long player as far as point guards go.
Past that, we can only go off of video and legend. Not long ago, Jeremy Lin out-jumped John Wall in a jump-ball situation. In case you forgot, Wall has a 40-inch vertical and a ridiculous 6’9″ wingspan while only standing a 1/2 inch shorter than Jeremy Lin.
So let’s all agree that Lin is not Steve Nash, nor is he Luke Ridnour. If the reasons presented here are not enough for you, I offer you this: