Losing Steve Nash entirely and then seeing Kobe Bryant reduced to part-time worker has made for an interesting year for the Lakers. Teasingly capable of brilliance but unable to perform night after night, Bryant can't be counted on now. Coach Byron Scott sits Bryant often to save his legs. (Save them for what? is another question.) But there's another player on the Lakers roster who fits the same description: Teasingly capable of brilliance but unable to perform night after night. And it's Jeremy Lin. There's been far less of the Lin brilliance and more frustration so far this year. (Lin himself is as frustrated as his fans--"I would've love to play better" he says often enough.)
The Linsanity of three years ago is increasingly distant. Then, for a brief moment, Lin was a legitimate superstar. What is he now? Is it just a problem with the system he's in? Is Jeremy Lin a great basketball player or isn't he? If he's not, then how could he have accomplished the Linsanity of yore? The NBA is not supposed to be a place where mediocre players can do that, even briefly. In the Lakers' most recent loss, Lin shot 3-10 with three assists and three turnovers in 30 minutes. Byron Scott's assessment of Lin (via Mark Medina, LA Daily): "I think he's been OK. But I don't think he's been terrible, either." OK, not terrible? What is Jeremy Lin? "A lot of it is on Jeremy..." Scott said. "It's on him as a point guard to get guys involved. But it wasn't just Jeremy. It was the whole team."
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