It’s been an interesting year in Los Angeles for point guard Jeremy Lin who was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Lakers last summer. After struggling with consistency to start the 2014-15 season and losing his starting spot after the first 20 games, Lin excelled after the NBA All-Star break, and was eventually inserted back into the starting lineup alongside Jordan Clarkson at the end of March. Head coach Byron Scott said he was looking forward to evaluating Lin’s progress in each game leading up to the end of the season, but Lin’s season was cut short when the Lakers announced a knee injury would keep Lin out for the final five games of the season.
Lin finished his season with averages of 11.2 points, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.2 turnovers per game in his 74 games played (30 starts). One of his best games of the year came in the Lakers win over the Philadelphia 76ers in March, where he scored 29 points off the bench. Earlier that month, Lin had another impressive performance off the bench, finishing with 12 points, nine assists and four steals.
After hearing the news that Lin was done for the season, Scott evaluated Lin’s progress this year.
I think he’s obviously gotten better. I think when he first got here his mind of what a point guard is was totally different than mine, and as we [went] along he started to understand what I wanted from him on a day to day basis, so I thought the progression was much better. I thought he got a lot better mentally as the season went on, and I think a lot of that comes from just understanding what the coach wants and so like I said, at the end of the day I saw a big time growth from him.”
Scott has been vocal about his criticisms of Lin this season, whether it’s been critiquing his decision making on the floor, his inconsistency, his confidence or his toughness. To be fair, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, Scott’s been consistently critical of most of his players at some point during the season, though it’s often been his assessments of Lin making headlines. When evaluating Lin’s season, Scott specifically praised Lin for his ability to take that criticism.
The one thing about him, the kid takes criticism,” Scott said of Lin. “You can jump on him about things and he takes it with a grain of salt and tries to get better, that’s the one thing I do love about him, he doesn’t pout about it. Just goes out there and tries to implement the things that you give him and try to become a better basketball player.”
Lin and Scott have definitely had their differing opinions this season, especially on how to best utilize the pick-and-roll, Scott believing that it stunted ball movement, especially to start games. Scott’s initial reluctance to allow Lin the freedom to play the pick-and-roll, could not have been an easy adjustment for Lin, who’s previous success derived from it.
It’s uncertain what the future holds for Lin, though it’s highly unlikely that future is in Los Angeles with the Lakers. With free agency approaching, a situation that can take advantage of his strengths, will undoubtedly be a priority for Lin.[divide]
VIDEO: Jeremy Lin After One Of His Best Games As A Laker