Finally, Jeremy Lin Starts For The Charlotte Hornets
After coming off the bench for the first 12 games of the season, Jeremy Lin got his first start for the Charlotte Hornets during their 113-88 victory against Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.Advertisement
Granted that Lin received the start due to injuries to P.J. Hairston and Cody Zeller, it was a positive sign for fans who’ve yearned to see more playing time for the talented point guard. Lin finished with 9 points (3/8 FG, 1/3 Pt, 2/2 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 29 minutes of playing time. In 13 games thus far, Lin has averaged 11.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds from 23.4 minutes. Lin’s PER of 16.51 is very impressive for someone getting back-up minutes.
Lin continued to shine on the defensive end, including a thunderous behind-the-back block on T.J McConnell. On the offensive end, Lin was evidently asked to play a lesser role, despite being the team’s best passer and ball handler. Shockingly, Lin had the lowest usage ratio in the lineup.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford has reiterated that Lin would continue to come off the bench, especially once Hairston returns is cleared to play. But Clifford reckoned that going small ball was benefiting big man, Al Jefferson, who finished with 26 points during Friday’s victory. “There’s so much shooting on the floor that they’re a lot less likely to say, ‘Not tonight. He’s just not scoring. These other guys are going to have to shoot,” said coach Steve Clifford. “Now they (oppositions) can’t do that. It opens up a cutting game, a drive-and-kick game …”
Charlotte is averaging nearly 10 threes per game on nearly 37 percent shooting. Last year, they averaged only six threes per game on a league-worst 31.8 percent shooting. Clearly, Clifford’s new strategy is working for 7-6 Hornets. “The most basic (component) of offense is spacing and your spacing is your shooting,” said Clifford.