Jeremy Lin: How Much Do His Numbers Actually Tell Us?

Apr 23, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) drives to the basket as he is defended by Mimami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Lin will be entering his seventh season in the NBA. After playing for five NBA teams so far in his career, his next stop is Brooklyn. Fans are curious as to what Lin can accomplish with this team. Here is what to expect based on his numbers.

Jeremy Lin is an NBA journey man. Throughout the six seasons he has played, Lin has been on five teams. This season, he will be joining his sixth team in seven years. After hitting the lowest point in his career, he was given an opportunity by the Knicks. Since then, Lin made the most of his opportunity in the NBA. Lin has not lived up to Linsanity, but he has become a solid role player in the league.

The Brooklyn Nets will need Lin to be their starting point guard. With all the hype about Lin being back in New York, expectations may be a little too high for Lin. Based on last season’s stats, Lin will be an average point guard for the Nets, especially if you compare him to other starting point guards in the league.

Apr 29, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) reacts after a hard hit during the first half in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Lin’s Basic Stats

In the 78 games Lin played with Charlotte last season, he averaged 26.3 minutes per game. During those 26 minutes, Lin averaged a stat line of 11.7 points, three assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game on 41.2 percent shooting. Not to mention he averaged 1.9 turnovers per game last season. This means he had an assist to turnover ratio of 0.63. This means that there is a higher chance of Lin turning the ball over than finding the open man and making a play.

And no one can ignore his field goal percentage of 41 percent. These are not the stats you want to see in a starting point guard. A low shooting percentage to go along with low assist numbers. And to top it off, a high turnover ratio. All this points to poor shot selection and sloppy ball handling.

But these stats do not tell the whole story. After all, Lin was more of a sixth man last year. His goal was to provide offense off the bench rather than run an offense. That is a valid counter argument and advanced stats can prove that Lin did play well last season.

Apr 20, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) dribbles the ball as Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) defends in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 115-103. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Lin’s Advanced Stats

Looking at his turnover percentage, he had a percentage of 14.9. This means that for every 100 possessions, Lin would turn the ball over about 15 times. This was the lowest percentage he has had in his career. For comparison, Stephen Curry had a turnover percentage of 12.9 last season. That is only two fewer than Lin. The real difference lies in how many assists Lin contributed in 100 possessions. Lin’s assist percentage was a little low at 18.6. Looking at both of these numbers, it seems as if Lin is not hurting the team, but he is not helping the team either.

Lin also went positive in win shares last season. He ended with a number of 3.5. It is not the highest number ever seen, but it shows that he was helping his team when on the floor. And looking at Lin’s real plus-minus stat last season, he ranked 33 out of 81 point guards. Lin again lands in the middle of the pack.

Mar 29, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) on the players bench during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Charlotte Hornets won 100-85. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Verdict

Lin is not a bad basketball player by any means. In fact, he has shown that he can play at the NBA level and proved many critics wrong. But looking at Lin’s stats, he is an average NBA point guard at best. He will not come in a save the Nets next season, but he will fill the hole at the point guard spot.

Fans should expect Lin’s assist numbers to rise this season. This is due to the fact that he will be the starting point guard and will be running the offense. Another thing to change is his turnovers. He will not have such a heavy load to carry because this team will be looking to run offense through many other players.

On the Hornets, Lin was a spark plug guy. He would come in and provide offense while the starters rested. For the Nets, they are going to be running offense through just about every player they have to find who fits the mold for the future. And not only will everyone get their touches, but a lot of offense will be run through Brook Lopez this year.

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