I must confess I have long held that Lebron was not going to Cleveland and thus Lin was not leaving the Rockets, so I am surprised of this outcome, though I must commend Lebron for taking a very brave choice.
I was literally about to publish this fan post on Liberty baller , which had assumed to be Lin's destination in the fall out of all this, but luckily i decided to click "refresh" on twitter before doing that...
But anyway, Lin is now a Laker.
So let us look at Jeremy Lin, the player, he has been something of a lighting rod in the NBA fan forums, for reasons both on the court and off the court, the off the court part let us just leave out for now, since at time both extreme of the opinion on him would make you question humanity in general.
Physical Tools : 6'3 w/o shoes 6'3.5-6'4 with shoes, two different wing span measurement been recorded at either 6'3 or 6'5. weight 200 lbs
As you can see, he's above average height for a point guard, and quite stocky in terms of weight, he has a very strong base especially, the downside is that he has a small wingspan by NBA standards.
Strength (in tribute to Draft Express, I'll list it out in a similar fashion)
1. Offensive versatility
2. Defensive effort
3. Efficient shot selection
4. improving on weakness
A superb finisher around the rim, with an elite first step, and also good read and instincts on the pick and roll, Jeremy Lin is very hard to stop in such a situation, it usually only take a little daylight for him to get deep into the lane, where he has a bevy of ways to finish shots. among one of the best guards in finishing layups. changes direction and speed very well.
(can really go from zero to full in a hurry and reads the situation well)
(changes direction well )
(strong lower body really helps him pull off a lot of weird layups. effectively.)
B. A much improved shooter since entering the league, his 3 point percentage have risen every year, his form and touch are now both quite good, and last year he made an above average rate of 3s at an above average volume . I would still say he's at best an average shooter who will not be the guy that's hitting shots running off screen or under heavy pressure. but he's going to knock down the open shots just fine and he can shoot off the dribble pretty decently as well.
Opposing players are noticeably reluctant to close out on him due to his ability to take it right past them to the rim in a blink. a very strong player in the triple threat situation.
C.While he would not make too many highlights from his passing, he does have pretty good court vision and knows who and where to look at to pass most of the time. certainly, for a combo guard / SG his passing would be way above average. he has become a pretty solid post entry passer this year for obvious reasons, so that should work reasonably well with Randle on board.
An underrated defender, Houston was 3 points better per 100 possession last year with him on the floor while he often subbed for the very defensively aggressive Patrick Beverley (though of course, he also often subbed often for the defensive slug that is James Harden.).
His best trait defensively is his physicality, very strong for a guard, he is capable of holding his own against bigger players in the post and is very willing to take charges,
Reads passing lanes pretty well, gets steals by anticipating passes, also have become quite solid in reading screens, does a good job dodging screens set against him most of the time.
(6'5 220 Wes Mathews tries to post up Lin unsuccessfully.)
(Lin does a solid job of avoiding a screen from Splitter while staying strong with Parker.)
.575 true shooting percentage last year was superb for a guard, and really ever since the first couple months coming off knee injury in 12-13 he has been an extremely efficient scorer in general. 63% of his shots came either at the rim or from 3 point land, also has a pretty good mid range game, hit over 45% of long 2 jump shots. can hit anywhere effectively if feet is set. but very limited off the dribble going left.
Improvement have been obviously evident through his career, after the breakout year in New York, his shot has improved and he has worked hard on being able to finish with his left hand, turnover rates have also gone down a bit each year.
2. Physical tools
1. Lin's most obvious flaw have been coughing up the basketball too often, has a relatively loose handle for someone who's getting into heavy traffic so much, and often gamble on tough passes and trying to take an extra step after catching passes, there is an obvious method to the madness on this part, seeing that his aggressiveness especially at the rim has much to do with his efficient scoring, but obviously it would be nice if he could do it with less turnovers
Primarily, if you can trap him hard at the side line or around 5-10 feet from the basket, then he'll either turn it over or throw up a bad shot more often than not.
Although he's certainly not a bad passer by any stretch, it is evident that he hasn't been playing true point guards for most of his career, as he will have trouble coming up with a pass if caught in an unexpectedly tough situation.
2. Although he has a strong first step and is big for a PG, he lacks overall explosiveness horizontally and the short wing span hurts him in many areas (such as rebounding and steals.) he's not going to dunk on anyone (though he does sometime pull off wide open dunks.)
3. Tweener : he's big for a PG, but would be small for a SG, and his skill is a mix of the two as well, with elite penetration ability but lacking enough handle and passing prowess to truly cut it as a point guard, while lacking enough deadly shooting and general off ball game to cut it as a wing. also have not adjusted that well to a combo guard role in Houston, often seeming to be caught in between and trying to fit his square peg into round holes. he needs to either improve his handle or shooting to become a clear starting option long term at either position. or at the very least need to simply have a higher comfort level knowing when he should adjust his role in different game situations.
4.Consistency : while this is a problem for pretty much all but the most elite player, especially younger once, Lin can look REALLY bad at times when he's off, running into traffic with no clear plan and throwing the ball away in silly fashion, has a tendency to just steam roll one bad decision into an avalanche of mistakes. Plays like an irrational confidences guy. though one that often lack said confidence.
He's on his contract year and obviously a lot to prove, so there's a good chance he does well I'd think, though it remains to be seen if he can fit along with Randle and Kobe (if he plays.)