The Value of Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers Next Season
By Lou Imperial | July 21, 2014 10:28 AM EST
Expect Jeremy Lin to do the best he can to help the upstart Los Angeles Lakers win more games as possible this coming season. The acquisition of the Asian-American star along with veteran power forward Carlos Boozer has certainly upgraded the team's roster makeover. Still, analysts predicted another disappointing campaign, wherein the Lakers will miss the postseason for the second straight season.
Reuters/ Andrew Richa
Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin (7) reacts to a play during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center.
There are areas of concern for this squad. One is the lack of defensive specialist who can make things tough for the opposing teams' best offensive player in a nightly basis. Kobe Bryant perhaps boasts multiple All-Defensive team selections, but the ageing star might have a hard time on the defensive end these days, as he will regularly be pitted against speedy, more athletic youngsters. Let's get it straight here, Kobe Bean still got skills, though the wear and tear of a long season would take away some of his springs he used to have for the entire year.
Another major problem the Lakers have to fix is their thin frontline. Pau Gasol had been the anchor of their defence during their championship-contending days, but now, the Spaniard's departure to the Chicago Bulls left a gaping hole down low, making them susceptible to teams with an arsenal of talented slashers and ball penetrators.
Lin is coming off a so-so season, averaging 12 points and 4 dimes per game in backup role for the Houston Rockets. These numbers might not be too encouraging; especially for a franchise that has been a gold standard of success in the NBA. However, Lin can certainly help the Lakers become competitive again in a tight Western Conference.
With Nash expected to play lesser minutes as he tried to preserve his body for the postseason, Lin will have tons of playing time as the Lakers' primary ball-handler. Of course, most of the plays will still revolve around Bryant, but Lin will assume a big role in the team's campaign next season.
Not more than three years ago, Lin generated tremendous buzz in the New York City area after coming out of nowhere to save the Knicks plunging season that year. Throughout his run of epic proportions, the former Harvard star showed his ability to create his own shots, orchestrate offense and fill up the score sheets with his versatility on both ends of the floor.
One veteran NBA pundit even called Lin a 'deceivingly' awesome player, as the Asian-American star shattered the stereotypes that defined players coming from the continent across the Pacific.
Next year, it won't be shocking to see Lin averaging 18 points and 10 dimes per contest. The talents the Lakers are able to assemble may fade in comparison to the star-studded teams of the pasts, but these players were way much better than the talent that surrounded Lin during his Knickerbocker run. That makes Lin valuable next season for the Lakers, perhaps more valuable than Bryant. Kobe will be Kobe, but Lin's impact could be the difference-maker for the franchise's upcoming campaign.
It's right. The Lakers current roster is flawed, and talent-wise, deprived of skills present in every championship team. But sometimes, talent become irrelevant without the heart to persevere against all odds. Sometimes, it all needs a little bit of Lin to win, win.
For more Jeremy Lin news, read more at IBT Sports
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