As the Golden State Warriors 2010-2011 season draws to another disappointing close, there isn't much left to do but look towards the future and try to find some silver linings in the dark cloud of the W's year. And according to CSN Bay Area's Matt Steinmetz, one of those silver linings is first year guard Jeremy Lin.
Steinmetz's recent article about Lin's presence on the Warriors is definitely a positive one, claiming that with a little work that Jeremy has the drive and determination to be Golden State's third guard next year, backing up Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, possibly as their sixth man. Lin went undrafted coming out of Harvard last year, and is a player who majority owner Joe Lacob has seen play since he was a youngster, which prompted the team to believe that he has the skills to compete in the NBA. Some have felt that his signing was more of a public relations move more then anything else; Lin is a Bay Area native and one of the few Asian-American players in the league, making him a fan favorite for the Warriors despite his limited playing time. Yet according to some of those closest to him, he's got the NBA caliber talent, he just needs a little time.
Here's Monta Ellis' take on Lin's place in the NBA:
"You knew he was going to work hard, bring a lot of energy, and he did that consistently the whole season. He didn't take a day off. He gained everyone's respect- giving it his all, before practice, after practice. He does everything that it takes to make it in the NBA."
We really don't need him for scoring. We need him directing the team and getting after it at the defensive end. That's what he brings."
Eric Musselman, the former Warriors and Kings coach and current Reno Bighorns coach in the NBADL, coached Lin for 20 games this season. Here's how he feels about him:
"He's got intangibles you can't teach, no matter how he's playing, he's always going to be an unbelievable loose-ball getter, he's got will and determination when pursing the ball. He can pressure and wreak some havoc, turn people. He's a change-of-pace guy who can do multiple things."
"When a guy comes to the D-League from the NBA, everyone wants to go at him. He didn't even flinch. There are some hungry, junkyard dogs down here, and he's a tough-minded kid. Nothing fazed him."
Lin doesn't have much of a left hand out there, and isn't the best jump shooter, but those things can be fixed over time. He plays good defense, hustles his tail off, shoots a decent percentage from 3, and brings an extra burst of energy on both sides of the floor; qualities that would definitely make the Warriors a better team. I see Lin as a possible Sasha Vujacic type of player who can be the team's play caller, an irritant defensively, and hit one from downtown from time to time. He just needs the time to get better and the opportunity to showcase his talents on the floor.
Lin told Steinmetz that he will be working towards "breaking out" next season. Whether that will happen is yet to be seen, but if he puts in his time in the gym, I really like his chances.