Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jeremy Lin is an Excellent Defender

Proof that Jeremy Lin is an Excellent Defender

Is Jeremy Lin an excellent defender or just an average defender? At times, he seemed to leave his man to help his teammates on defense and he gets burned when his man made layup or an open 3PT.
DWade had the highest PPG at Houston since 1986-1987.
He had 19 pts on 8-18 FGM-A.
In this 8-3 run, Jeremy's defense contributed to 2 missed FG with tight defense and 1 block, and forced him to give up the ball once.  
In the 11/12/12 game against Miami Heat, Jeremy sparked the defense in the 3rd quarter to start a 16-9 run to tie the game at 75-75 when he was substituted. He actually had a major role in the 8-3 run before Harden played PG to close it with 8-6 run.

In the 3rd Q with 7:43 remaining, while trailing 66-59, Houston made 16-7 run to tie at 75-75
Lin played a major role in playing team defense and orchestrating offense to make 8-3 run with excellent ball movement (average passes per possession =3.4). The score was 67-69 with 5:10 remaining
Then Harden played a major role to orchestrate a 8-6 run but the ball movement was poor (ave. passes/possession = 1.2)

We will look in detail in this 8-3 run, especially in how Lin successfully guarded Wade, Bosh, Cole resulting in 1 block, 2 missed layups, 1 steal, 1 charge. This is not the work of an average defender.
He made 1 mistake of leaving Chalmer for a wide-open +3 after deciding to help guard Ray Allen.
On offense, he scored one 3PT, 1-2 FT, 1 assist. The rest of the time, Harden played PG with mixed results and worse team defense.

For analysis purpose, I will reward GOOD and BAD defense points to analyze Jeremy's defensive impact on the 8-3 run.

When Lin managed to play defense well to prevent a player to score, he is rewarded +2 or +3 (a failed 3PT). If he fails to prevent his man from scoring, he will be penalized -2 or -3 (a made 3PT) or -1 (fouling someone to prevent from scoring)

In this 8-3 run, Lin's Total GOOD defense points are +10 and Total BAD defense points  are -3

Lin was left one-on-one to guard Dwade on a fastbreak. Lin made Wade throw up bad layup and missed
 (LIN's  GOOD man-to-man DEF defense unrecorded in boxscore +2)

Asik could not hold the rebound and it went out of bound.
Harden couldn't guard DWade and had to foul him. Wade missed both FTs
 (Harden BAD defense -1 penalty since Wade did not make any FTs)

3-0 Lin made a wide-open 3PT shot. Ball movement= 4 passes. (LIN  OFF +3PT)
3-3 Lin left Chalmers to guard Battier. Bad mistake. Chalmers made 3PT (Lin BAD defense -3 )
       Lin's Total GOOD defense points = +2 and Total BAD defense points = -3

4-3 Lin drew foul on Chalmers. Made 1-2 FT. Ball movement= 3 (Lin  OFF +4PT)

     Delfino subbed for Asik.
4-3 Lin made Wade change his layup and pass to Battier,  (LIN's  GOOD DEF defense unrecorded in boxscore +2)
       got rebound off Cole's airball
       Lin's Total GOOD defense points = +4 and Total BAD defense points = -3

6-3  Harden-Lin-Harden-Parsons  resulted in Parsons getting fouled and made 2 FT. Ball movement = 3 passes.    
6-3 Lin stole the ball from Bosh leading to quick pass to Parsons (Lin  DEF 1 STL)
       Lin had a good spacing between Cole and Bosh and decided to swipe the ball from Bosh.
       Lin's Total GOOD defense points = +6 and Total BAD defense points = -3

8-3 Parsons made easy dunk off Lin's well-timed bounce pass (Lin OFF 1 ASST)

        Lin and Delfino challenged Wade's layup (possibly a block) and Wade missed (LIN's  GOOD DEF with block +2)
       Lin's Total GOOD defense points = +8 and Total BAD defense points = -3

6th POSSESSION (HOU trailing 67-69)
      Harden's pass got deflected by Cole. He could have passed it back to a wide-open Delfino

      Parsons missed layup.  Ball movement = 6 passes. Good attempt but good defense by Battier

   Norris Cole offensive Charge (Jeremy Lin draws the foul)(LIN's  GOOD DEF good team defense unrecorded in boxscore +2)
       Lin's Total GOOD defense points = +10 and Total BAD defense points = -3

This mini 8-3 run demonstrated that Jeremy Lin is an excellent man-to-man and help defender in guarding 3 different players (DWade, Cole, Bosh) preventing them to score. He produced  1 block, 2 missed layups, 1 steal, 1 charge. But he also made one mistake against Ray Allen by leaving Chalmers for an open 3PT shot. He should stay aggressive in defense and get better in reducing mistakes with more experience in not overhelping with team defense against smart players like Ray Allen.

Interestingly, Harden passed the ball back to Lin 3 out of 4 times and good things happened when Jeremy decided to attack the basket or shoot the ball. On the offense, Jeremy should stay aggressive to attack the basket and/or pass to any open teammates.

Harden's bad plays seem to be when he decided to play hero ball to take it strong to the basket without any ball movement as proven by the last few possessions in the 4Q when Houston gave up the lead in the last 3 min.