October 31, 2014

Here’s why Jeremy Lin will get better: He’s 23 years old

2012/02/23 9:52 am 1020 0 comments

It’s hard to believe that it hasn’t even been three weeks since an virtually-unknown Jeremy Lin came off the bench against the New Jersey Nets and put up 25 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.

Beginning with that game, the Knicks have gone 9-2. And in those 11 games Lin has become the focal point of the Knicks and a media darling.

Next up is the Miami Heat and Lin will be tested again. This time the challenge comes from Lebron James and Dwyane Wade.

Last night against the Hawks, it was fellow up-and-coming point guard Jeff Teague, before that, it was Deron Williams, the Dallas Mavericks, Tyreke Evans, Jose Calderon, Ricky Rubio and so on.

Every game there’s seems to be a new challenge and storyline for Jeremy Lin.

And after every game, whether it’s a win or loss, Linsanity or not, Jeremy Lin will get better. As Lin experiences new defenses designed to slow him down — he’ll learn from it. As he gets to know his teammates better — Jeremy Lin will can only improve.

Why? Because he’s just 23 years old.

I’ve read Jeremy Lin articles ad nauseum over the last few weeks and I am surprised to not have read any article that has mentioned this very-important fact for gauging Lin’s long-term prospects. Sadly, I ran across more articles about Lin sleeping on a couch (Lin has since upgraded to the W Hotel).

The naysayers (all four of you out there), like to point out that it’s only a few weeks and most of the wins are against subpar teams – true enough, but that’s the glass-half-empty perspective.

In those 11 games, Lin has averaged 23.9 points on 50% from the field, 9.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals. Not exactly pedestrian numbers.

(We’ll get to the turnovers in a moment)

The kicker? Jeremy Lin, all 23 years old of him, has a lot of games ahead of him. Not just this shortened-season, but in the rest of his career.

Given, Linsanity is about the here and now, but writers haven’t truly delved into the future of Jeremy Lin, instead they’ve focused on the present or the upcoming games. Rare is the article that talks about what Jeremy Lin will look like past the NBA All-Star Weekend coming up.

So if you’re one of these writers, analysts or sportscaster and would like to discuss Jeremy Lin’s future, please don’t forget to include one undeniable, important fact that all but guarantees that Jeremy Lin gets better – his age.

I can’t say it enough. Jeremy Lin is 23 years old.

The conventional wisdom has been that NBA players hit their prime between the ages of 27-30 – so why with all this talk about Jeremy Lin, are we failing to mention that, he has years to get stronger and smarter

Stronger and smarter, both of which will help him lower his turnover numbers – Lin’s biggest weakness thus far.

He has plenty of time to improve his “shaky” jumpshot and work on his ability to go left. And he’ll have ample time to further adapt to different looks and adjustments teams throw at him.

For a kid that came out of nowhere, was waived by two NBA teams, assigned to the NBDL twice, and navigated through a sea of stereotypes and racist comments on his way to the NBA, Lin has a fearlessness and unshakable confidence when he’s on the floor – as if Lin himself believed that all this “Linsanity” was meant to be.

He should have every reason to doubt himself, and yet, despite his humble comments off the court, he has shown a quiet arrogance on it. At the NBA level, confidence may be the most important attribute for success.

And that confidence? That will only get stronger too.

Did I mention that Jeremy Lin is just 23 years old?

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