Knicks finding success with Lin on point
February, 7, 2012
By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info
Anthony Gruppuso/US Presswire
Point guard Jeremy Lin is quickly changing the conversation about the Knicks' point guard situation.
The New York Knicks have won two straight games, getting enormous contributions from young point guard Jeremy Lin in both games. Exactly what kind of impact has Lin had?
Playing meaningful minutes the past two games, Lin has put up a stellar 25.8 Player Efficiency Rating (PER).
He's been just as efficient all season long; among players with 135 minutes played this season, his PER of 25.0 leads all Knicks players by a decent margin -- Carmelo Anthony is next at 20.8 -- and is the third-best mark among point guards, behind only Chris Paul and Derrick Rose.
Lin played 36 minutes off the bench Saturday, including the final 20:17 straight. He started and played 45 minutes Monday, including the final 36 minutes.
He's only the third player this season to play the entire second, third and fourth quarters of a game, joining Dwight Howard and Kevin Martin. Lin scored more points and was the only one of the three with a positive plus/minus in that game.
Much of Lin's production has come from his ability to penetrate and create easy baskets for his teammates. Assist percentage is the percentage of teammates’ field goals a player assisted on while he was on the floor.
Among players with at least 135 minutes played this season, Lin has the fifth-best assist percentage, trailing only some of the league’s marquee point guards.
He’s been especially effective in the pick-and-roll game, something the Knicks have sorely lacked this season -- they are 16th in the NBA in points per possession in the pick-and-roll.
More than 61 percent of Lin's offense has been in the pick-and-roll, the sixth-highest rate in the NBA. Only five players with at least 80 pick-and-roll plays have more points per possession and Lin is one spot ahead of LeBron James.
Lin has been getting it done on the defensive end as well. Aside from averaging 1.9 steals per 36 minutes, he’s allowed only .71 points per possession on defense. That ranks 37th-best in the NBA among 350 qualified players.
Usage Percentage is the percentage of team plays used by a player when he’s on the floor. Lin hasn't been afraid to put the team on his back -- his usage percentage of 32.1 this season would rank 11th-highest in the league. A good reason for the high rate is that Lin's minutes earlier this season were played in garbage time and the fact that the Knicks played without both Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony for most of Monday's game.