Jeremy Lin has returned to the Brooklyn Nets and changed the aura of the team. In a season where injuries and disappointment had Lin questioning his luck, his Nets struggled mightily as he watched from the bench. Lin’s impact on return was immediate — Brook Lopez said it most simply: Lin just makes everything easier. But there’s one thing Lin, a good shooter and an even better scorer, can’t do — and that’s make shots for his teammates.
Lin’s month of March has been excellent statistically. In limited minutes for a team that’s overmatched almost every night, he’s managed to get 16.4 points a game in just 23.4 minutes. The aggressive point guard — always an above-average rebounder — has grabbed 3.3 boards a game too. But his assist total in March is at 3.9. That’s not bad given his minutes, but it’s not elite either, working out to 7.5 assists adjusted for 36 minutes. (Only ten NBA players this season average 36 minutes or more a game.) But Lin’s assist total has to be seen in the light of the Nets shooting efficiency. The Nets rank 23rd in the NBA in field goal percentage, shooting just .446. Still Lin managed eight assists and just one turnover in a win against the Knicks Thursday. For Lin, after all, it’s been a good season and certainly one to build on.