Jeremy Lin might be growing on all of us, because his highlight reels are starting to look pretty by-the-book to all of us. So you'll have to excuse me if this analysis sounds a little derivative. But Linsanity does seem to be settling down into Linormalcy.
Here are his highlights.
Lin again doesn't need his athleticism to produce. The Knicks guard didn't try accelerating to the hoop in a vain attempt to try and overwhelm his defender. What he instead used was an array of hesitating dribble-drive moves to the basket that deceived the Hawks and allowed him to either distribute the basketball or make a move to the basket and finish close to the rim.
You'll see on Lin's first basket how he managed to drive to the basket past Jeff Teague, made a quick spurt to get past the hedging Hawk defender, then extended with the left hand to go high off glass past Zaza Pachulia. On another basket, Lin got ready to make a pass in mid-air to Tyson Chandler, but Teague did a good job defending the passing angle to Chandler for the alley-oop. So Lin simply flicked the basketball up toward the basket and let it swish through. On another basket, Lin got stuck on his pivot foot in the post with a big defender on him, but instead of trying to kick it out, pump-faked the jumper, got his defender in the air, then went up strong toward the basket and banking in the layup. Lin used a stop move on two of his later floaters to get additional buckets.
Lin's passing isn't too out-of-the-ordinary. He converted some great passes to get Carmelo Anthony involved, particularly in transition. He made a great football pass over the outreached Hawk defender, placed a good bounce pass when the Hawk big got drawn in to stop the ball, and also did a good job finding Melo perched on the baseline. What's most interesting is how well Lin is able to work the ball to the slashers and bigs around the perimeter. They're mostly simple passes, but they work right into the hands of the cutters instead of forcing them to have to wait for the basketball to arrive. That optimizes Lin's ability to work the offense and keep the Knicks running right.
Obviously the most innocent days of the Lin saga may be nearing an end. But what matters the most is how well he can endure. Tomorrow night might feature the most brutal of tests against the Heat, but so far, he's been far more good than bad.