With all due respect to Stephen A. Smith Jeremy Lin did not get exposed against Miami. Lin played poorly for sure, however he, not the Heat stopped himself last Thursday with an assist from his teammates. Take the jump to find out why.
Lin's poor shooting performance had very little to do with the Heat's defense: Jeremy Lin officially shot 1-11 against the Miami Heat. Now while the World Wide leader will praise the Heat's defense, Jeremy Lin has no one to blame but himself. Jeremy Lin missed 5 shots in that game that he had zero business missing and blew the opportunity for a 6th very makeable shot with one of his turnovers. Lin missed two uncontested jump shots from 15ft. By uncontested I mean no a Heat player within 5 feet of him when he raised up to shoot the ball. Lin also missed two lay ups at the rim. He blew an opportunity for a third uncontested lay up when he fumbled the ball out of bounds on his take off. Lin also missed an uncontested floater from about 8ft in the lane. Add up the easy baskets he missed and what do you get, instead of a 1-11 game Lin should have shot 7-12 which would have given him 20pts. Yes the Miami Heat played excellent defense against him, but they left a 20 pt night on the table for him to get and he returned the favor by leaving it there.
Lin got as much help from his teammates as the Heat defense in compiling a 3 assist night: When Lin managed not to turn the ball over his teammates didn't help him much by failing to convert at least 4 extremely makeable shots. Lin set his teammates up twice at the rim where they failed to convert and twice for wide open perimeter looks they failed to convert. Had his teammates helped him by converting these plays, Lin would have had 7 assists. Yes the Miami Heat played suffocating defense and did a good job cutting off the passing lanes, but Lin still had the opportunity to come away with 7 assists.
Lin's 9 turnovers say more about him than the Heat's defense: Lin is a young player and young players tend to be careless with the basketball. Five of Lin's turnovers were the result of great Miami defense, however Lin committed 4 turnovers simply because he was reckless with the basketball. Lin's turnovers will be an ongoing theme this season, and many of them will be unavoidable, however Lin needs to cut down his unforced errors especially against good teams who play good defense.
The Miami Heat attacked Lin from the opening tip. They played great basketball, their offense was clicking and their defense suffocating. However, if Jeremy Lin with a little help from his teammates made the plays that were there for him to make, he would have come away with a very solid 20 pt 7 assist game. Jeremy will have to do a better job making the plays that are there for him to make going forward especially in big games against good teams. Missing lay ups against a team like the Heat or the Bulls will cost your team a game. Missing open looks from mid-range will also cost your team against good teams. Committing reckless unforced turnovers against good teams will also get you beat.
By the way, the Miami Heat played about as well as they can play on both ends of the floor, and won the game by 14 points and yet If Lin simply made the plays they gave him, and his teammates converted the easy buckets he set them up with, the Knicks instead of walking out with a 14 point loss, could have left the building with a 4 point win. Against quality NBA teams it is often what you don't do rather than what they do that gets you beat.