After missing a total of 23 games, Jeremy Lin returned to active duty and into the starting lineup of the Brooklyn Nets on December 20 as they visited the Raptors of Toronto at the Air Canada Center.
The Toronto Raptors is just two games behind the Eastern Conference-leading and reigning NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, so it is one of the teams to beat in the East.
The Brooklyn Nets, on the other hand, has been interchanging with the lowly Philadelphia Sixers in languishing not only in the cellar of the NBA Eastern Conference but the whole of the league.
As a result, Jeremy Lin got a rude awakening as the Toronto Raptors handily beat the Brooklyn Nets, 116-104 that kept the latter’s victory count at seven, similar to the Sixers and the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference.
Did not play as hard as they could
As expected, Jeremy Lin infused his enthusiasm and energy to the game and was seen making a clutch jumper and also doing a slick pass to a teammate on the way to a basket for the Nets.
However, it was the obvious lackadaisical efforts of the other Nets players that took the fight out of Jeremy Lin for the night.
And it was highlighted by an opponent’s steal where Jeremy Lin hustled back to play defense but his four teammates simply refused to play transition defense.
Critics believe that such play only exemplified the non-efforts that the Brooklyn Nets gave, which Jeremy Lin also noted when he said during the post-game interview that he was just disappointed because they did not play as hard as they were supposed to. He said that it is never a good thing for any team in the NBA, details the New York Post.
Lin also explained that they did not do a good job of getting stops because the Raptors just did whatever they wanted to do on the floor. He summarized everything by saying that the Nets simply did not play with heart.
It also did not help that the Nets played without its big man Brook Lopez, who rested in preparation for the back-to-back against the league’s powerhouse teams, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A loaded point guard roster
While the return of Jeremy Lin to active duty means a good deal to the Brooklyn Nets, some basketball enthusiasts believe that the team has an excellent point guard roster that just needs to be harnessed.
The Nets has a solid veteran backup point guard in Greivis Vasquez, who is still out with an ankle injury. But the team have a pair of promising point guard rookies in Isaiah Whitehead and Yogi Ferrell, notes Fansided.
Whitehead has shown flashes and may have locked down the backup point guard spot for the rest of the season. But there are still plenty of holes in his game.
His defense, like most rookies, has ranged from bad to horrendous. He often falls for ball fakes or jab steps and, while the physical tools seem there, his awareness leaves a lot to be desired.
Ferrell didn’t fare much better. He’s seen action in 10 games and averaged 15 minutes, 5.4 points and 1.7 assists. He showed some ability to penetrate and bend the defense, but was waived on December 8 and has rejoined the D-League’s Long Island Nets.
The Nets waived Ferrell to make room for Spencer Dinwiddie, who was a second-round pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2014 but averaged just 4.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in two seasons in Motor City.
Following a trade to the Bulls this summer, he joined Chicago’s D-League team and played well in nine Windy City games, averaging 9.4 points, 8.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 37.4 minutes.