Veteran guard Jeremy Lin is pleased with his team’s effort, but won’t fully praise the Brooklyn Nets’ recent preseason success.
Jeremy Lin seems to be the logical option for Brooklyn Nets team captain this season filled with a roster of young and new names. In only his second season in Brooklyn, Lin will be counted on to help right the ship of a team that finished dead last in the NBA with a 20-62 record a season ago.
Brooklyn begins its 2017-18 season with an impressive record of 3-1 in preseason play, defeating the Miami Heat and crosstown rival New York Knicks twice. The ball movement and team defense was on display during the three-game winning streak turning heads around the league.
The Nets came down to earth this past Wednesday against the also young and talented Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers, led by Joel Embiid‘s explosive 22-point night in his preseason debut, crushed Brooklyn 133-114 in front of the New Nassau Coliseum crowd in Long Island, New York.
During an interview with the New York Post, Lin shared his thoughts on the successful preseason and the rest of the league’s impression of the new-look Nets.
“I think we’re definitely more talented, [but] demeanor is too early to tell. I think preseason is in a lot of ways fool’s gold. The real character and mindset and demeanor of everybody comes out in the regular season.
“Honestly, I’m not really paying too much attention. But my evaluation was always we’re pretty good. I’ve never thought anything otherwise, and I’ve never let anybody’s opinion tell me otherwise, At the end of the day it’s our job to figure things out, and prove that to everybody else. [Wednesday] was not a step in that direction, but hopefully you learn. You win or you learn, and I feel like [Wednesday] we have a great opportunity to learn. We’re a young group, we’ve got to be able to go through certain things like [Wednesday].”
Lin’s comments may have been strong, but probably what was needed for a Nets squad looking to become true contenders in the Eastern Conference. The offseason additions of D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe have instantly raised the team’s profile, with Lin focusing more on the leadership role as opposed to being just the best player on the floor.
The best player on the floor during preseason has obviously been Russell, averaging 17 points, four assists and 2.3 steals per game during the four-game stretch. He will often play alongside Lin in the Nets’ lineup giving opponents dual ball-handling threats that can penetrate and break down the defense. Lin averaged 14.5 points per contest in only 36 games played last season due to various injuries will be rejuvenated by the new talent.
Lin’s experience in the playoffs may be limited, but he has played with great players like Kobe Bryant, James Harden and Carmelo Anthony — each veterans faced with the pressure of a franchise on their shoulders.
Jeremy Lin’s words are important, because the emphasis will continue to be on growing as a team and winning without premature satisfaction.