With Jeremy Lin coming to the Brooklyn Nets, fans are excited about what the point guard brings to the team. His offensive value is often discussed, but Lin brings prowess on the defensive end as well.
Early in Jeremy Lin‘s career, it’s fair to say he wasn’t known for his defense. Lin, though, didn’t exactly have a normal start to his career. Most players don’t burst onto the scene with a stretch of games that captivate the entire NBA universe.
And, to be blunt, “Linsanity” was not about Lin’s defense. He didn’t garner a massive following because he dove for a loose ball or got his hand in a passing lane. “Linsanity” was driven by Lin’s scoring. But, as such, Lin was never regarded as a top flight defender.
Perhaps he isn’t among the very best in the league, but Lin has made considerable progress since his rookie season, and has developed into a player who can hold his own defensively.
This is yet another reason why Lin is a great fit for the Brooklyn Nets. When the Nets hired head coach Kenny Atkinson, they hitched their wagon to a defensive-minded coach.
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Recently, Lin’s former head coach Steve Clifford said Lin will likely be the toughest player for his Hornets team to replace this season. Clifford praised Lin for his ability to guard point guards and shooting guards alike. The Nets will be the beneficiary of not just Lin’s ability on offense, but on defense as well.
This past season, Lin ranked 20th in ESPN’s Defensive Plus Minus among point guards. Lin finished ahead of notable point guards such as his former teammate Kemba Walker, Rajon Rondo — who the Nets reportedly had interest in signing — and former Nets point guard Jarrett Jack.
Lin’s best attribute, not just on one side of the ball, but overall, is his hustle. Lin is a hard worker. He’s also quick, which works to his advantage on offense, but it also beneficial on defense.
If Lin works hard on defense and makes plays, which he certainly should, Brooklyn’s younger players will take notice. When a proven NBA player does the little things on the court that make themselves and their team successful, it sets a great example for young players.
Brooklyn has several players, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, Isaiah Whitehead, and others who can look to Lin as an example. Lin will not only set the tone and lead the offense, but he should set a prime example of the kind of defense the Nets want to play under Kenny Atkinson as well.