Levy: Fun With Jeremy Lin's Similarity Scores

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks and Team Shaq looks on during the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge part of the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend at Amway Center on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Ian Levy is good at numbers, and his pre-draft comparisons of prospects to statistically similar predecessors are always interesting. Since Jeremy Lin was too far removed from the 2010 draft class to merit such analysis, Levy went back to see which previous players had college numbers similar to Lin's. What he got was a range of combo-y guards from Reece Gaines all the way up to James Harden. Levy chose to run with the Harden comparison.

Harden has been able to use his offensive skills to both, complement Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook when all three are in the game, and help drive the offense when one or both is on the bench. When working as a complementary piece Harden relies on his abilities as a spot-up shooter, cutter, finisher in transition and as a ball handler in the pick-and-roll. When working without Durant and Westbrook his skills as an isolation player and in the pick-and-roll take on much greater significance.

Although there are plenty of differences between the Durant/Westbrook combination and the Anthony/Stoudemire pairing that Lin has to work with, being able to fill those same roles as Harden is paramount. The good news is that Lin has already demonstrated significant aptitude.

Now, none of this is to say that Lin is of similar capability or playing style to Harden. It's just interesting that they had comparable numbers in college and are approaching somewhat comparable roles, albeit from different directions, at different positions, and at different points in their careers.

Anyway, check out the charts, take 'em for what you will, and keep in mind that these are college numbers being compared. Just thought it was an interesting and original exercise that pertained to Lin-- something that's nearly impossible to find at this point.

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