Bernucca: Jeremy Lin’s 15 minutes of fame are over

Toward the end of the film “Se7en,” two detectives are driving a serial killer to a supposed location of one of the killer’s victims. The serial killer, played by Kevin Spacey, tries to convince the detectives of the lasting importance of his acts.

One of the detectives, played by Brad Pitt, dismisses the serial killer’s claims by saying, “You’re a T-shirt. You’re a Movie of the Week.”

That pretty much sums up Jeremy Lin.

Linsanity returns to Madison Square Garden tonight, where it all began less than a year ago. It was a perfect storm of a player’s skill set with a coach’s system producing surprising success for a starving, cynical fan base. There was a strong underdog element with the added bonuses of unlikely ethnicity and God-fearing humility. And it all played out in the attention capital of the world.

And I didn’t really buy it, because Linsanity never displayed any staying power. A knee injury ended the hoopla less than two months after it began. That was long enough for Lin to show he was a T-shirt – licensed by the NBA, of course – but not long enough to show he was a legitimate starting point guard.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey thought Lin was a legitimate starting point guard, investing $25 million of owner Leslie Alexander’s money over the next three years in that belief. Through roughly one-quarter of the season, here’s his return thus far:

  • Three 10-assist games, or 15 less than Rajon Rondo.
  • Two 20-point games, or nine less than Russell Westbrook.
  • One double-double, or nine less than Chris Paul.

If you think it is unfair to compare Lin with All-Star point guards, then here is perhaps a better comparison. The table below lists the basic stats for point guards who began the season with new teams.

PLAYER, TEAMPPGAPGRPGFG%3FG
Darren Collison, Dallas12.25.42.6.452.257
Goran Dragic, Phoenix15.06.43.1.462.354
Raymond Felton, New York16.36.82.8.403.406
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago6.75.52.4.361.381
Damian Lillard, Portland18.96.43.4.426.366
Jeremy Lin, Houston11.06.14.1.397.310
Kyle Lowry, Toronto15.85.85.6.406.402
Mo Williams, Utah13.07.12.1.444.365

Among this less-than-elite eight, Lin is seventh in points, fifth in assists, second in rebounds, seventh in shooting and seventh in 3-point shooting. Even compared to ordinary point guards facing similar circumstances, Lin doesn’t stack up very well, either.

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Comments

  1. Mikel says

    False advertising… Sheriden Hoops
    “A better basketball site
    For intelligent readers, from veteran writers”

    Intelligent readers may be true but you’re a rookie writer.

    Don’t open your mouth to speak so hastily because it might just get shut up just as quickly.

  2. Thomas says

    Hard to read such a vengeful article. How many games has Lin played as opposed to the years of playing the others mentioned have? The difference can be measured in years. Outside of high draft pick Lillard, these others had similar numbers at the very beginning of their careers, some, not as good. Lins first step is as good as anyone in the league and he knows he needs to finish his drives better – but to say his 15 minutes are up when he starts for one of the suprise teams is outrageous.

  3. Big Mike says

    Bennuca,

    do you have a personal issue with J-Lin? or do you just not know how to write?

    anyway after his performance at the garden please keep your mouth shut, at least for the rest of the season

  4. George says

    Bernucca points out what an idiot he is. First of all, he’s comparing Lin to guards who have been in the league for years except for the one rookie who is having an awesome year, Lillard. Lin’s rookie year (because that is really what this year is) compares favorable to such loosers as Jason Kidd. Will Lin ever achieve half of what Kidd has? Who knows – its his first full year for cripes sakes. Let’s give him a break.

    One other thing, for such a t-shirt he definitely made the eastern conference’s best team look pretty bad tonight…he also made the guard who replaced him and badly wanted to show him up look sub-par as well. My favorite play was when Chander gave him that cheap foul on a drive to the basket and he just laughed. It pretty much summed up the game.

    So Bernucca, put your hate down for one moment and give Lin another 2-3 years before you foam at the mouth and decide that he is nothing more than a scrub.

  5. adam says

    sorry to dash your hopes, chris bernucca, but linsanity never disappeared, as proven by his 38 point dominance against the spurs.

    espn puts it to you nicely:

    “But look what happens to Lin’s numbers in the 106 minutes he has played when Harden hits the bench: 19.7 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds with an above-average 55.4 TS% and a 17.7 PER.

    That’s pretty darn good. If those numbers look familiar, there’s a reason for it. Check out Lin’s per-36 minute stat line in New York last season: 19.6 points, 8.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds. 55.2 TS% and a 19.9 PER.”

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