Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin has high hopes for his team’s success this upcoming season.
Succeeding in the NBA (or anything) means being a bit outlandish and possessing irrational confidence. Over the weekend, Jeremy Lin did both. The 28-year-old is hoping to speak the Nets’ success into existence, proclaiming that Brooklyn is “making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else tells me.”
Lin’s bold statement came during a meet-and-greet over the weekend. It also comes on the heels of the Nets finishing a league-worst 20-62 last year. Their piddling record is reflective of their rebuild and culture change, which is progressing very well under Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson.
Although the Nets have made a couple of good deals this summer, looking ahead to the postseason is a stretch. The team moved Brook Lopez for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. Then, they exchanged Justin Hamilton for DeMarre Carroll, and two draft picks in 2018. Brooklyn is undoubtedly going to improve on their miserable 2016-17 campaign, but we have yet to see by how much. Regardless of what happens, Lin is excited to suit up alongside his new teammates.
He said that he and Russell are “going to do some serious damage next year.” Additionally, Lin welcomed Carroll and highlighted the leadership he’d bring to such a young roster.
Some of the Nets’ poor play last season stemmed from Lin’s lack of playing time. After Linsanity, the Harvard product showed everyone he had a place in the league, and he seldom missed time since becoming a key rotation piece for the Houston Rockets in 2012-13. He bounced around before landing in Brooklyn, where hamstring problems limited him to just 36 games. When Lin played, however, his impact was noticeable.
Atkinson did an outstanding job of going deep into his bench and limiting the minutes of his guys. Lin was no exception. If anything, he got extra attention because of his ailment. In just 24.5 minutes a night, Lin put up 14.5 points and 5.1 assists with a true shooting percentage of 56.6. He also boasted a PER of 19.2, which was the highest since he recorded a 19.9 in 2012.
Lin making such a bold statement is indicative of the times, even if it seems wild. A wild offseason has crippled the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler and Paul George leaving hurt the parity, but we all know that it’s LeBron James’ conference and he’d be representing the East no matter what. Given the circumstances, it’s possible to see a bottom-feeder surprise and sneak into the postseason.
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