One of the few players here on assignment from a NBA franchise, Jeremy Lin flashed the same deceptive quickness and assertiveness off the dribble that we grew to expect from him at Harvard. Often bringing the ball up the floor for Reno, Lin was constantly looking for opportunities to knife into the lane. Using his quick first step and hesitation moves to get into the paint consistently, Lin was highly efficient over the two games we saw him thanks to his ability to create easy shots for himself around the rim and get to the foul line.
A combo guard in the Ivy League making the steep transition to playing the point full time in the NBA, Lin's ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, handle the ball under pressure and cut down on turnovers will dictate his chances of sticking in the NBA. With that said, his performance in the NBADL has been impressive. He has done a fine job translating the things he did well in the college game to a higher level of competition, seemingly unfazed by the bigger, more athletic players he's routinely matched up with. Lin's basketball IQ, competitiveness and overall savvy were underrated factors in his professional evaluation, and it's clear that NBA teams value them quite a bit.
Extremely tough around the basket and showing a very good understanding of his how to use screens and subtle changes of direction to turn the corner off the dribble, Lin won't land on a highlight reel any time soon, but he gets the job done in the D-League. Knocking down a couple of jumpers over the course of the week at the Showcase, it will be important for Lin to improve his ability to make shots from beyond the arc, especially with his unorthodox shooting mechanics.
The biggest knock on Lin from a NBA perspective is his lack of ideal physical tools for the defensive end. He fared well in the two games we saw on South Padre Island, but his below average wingspan and lateral quickness will be bigger concerns against the more athletic and talented offensive players he'd come across on a nightly basis in NBA play.
Shooting just 31.6% in limited action with the Warriors this season, Lin has had a much easier time scoring in the D-League, averaging nearly 20 points per-game and shooting 53% from the field. While Lin is clearly going to benefit from this experience when he returns to Golden State, he'll need to become a reliable set shooter to give himself more staying power in the NBA since he faces an uphill battle defensively. Regardless of the obstacles he faces in becoming a long-term NBA player, Lin was very very good here and left a strong impression.