Feb. 10, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin (17) dribbles the ball around Los Angeles Lakers small forward Matt Barnes (9) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 92-85. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Abdul Gaddy and Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is one of the hottest topics since Tim Tebow. He has busted onto the NBA scene and captured people’s hearts. He is the overlooked player that eventually tears up the NBA. He is the NBA’s sweetheart right now; humble and relaxed but with a killer instinct on the court.

I needed to watch this “Linsanity” that was sweeping through America, so I turned on the Lakers/Knicks game last night and watched Lin, first hand. My first thoughts were how impressive he was with the ball in his hands. He creates plays, he is highly skilled and can attack the basket. However, the biggest strength to his game is that “fire in his eyes”.

He doesn’t lose confidence when he turns the ball over and he doesn’t lose confidence when he misses a shot. He continues to work hard and mistakes don’t phase him but only spur him on to putting up another shot, to making another shot.

I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Abdul Gaddy, not because I think they play on the same level, at this point it’s not even close. Lin has a similar skill-set to Gaddy, but the way they use these skills are way different. Lin is the ideal, Gaddy, as of right now, is not.

Let me break it down (and feel free to disagree):

  • Lin can set the pace of the game. This is one of Gaddy’s biggest current strengths.
  • Lin has the ability to create his own shot. Gaddy has shown flashes of this but not nearly on a consistent basis.
  • Lin looks for ways to get his teammates the ball. If you don’t give credit to Gaddy for anything but one thing, this is it.
  • In a system that uses a lot of designed plays Lin finds even more success. Gaddy does a lot better when a play is designed, on pick and rolls, and on set plays.
  • Lin is really aggressive on the defensive end of the floor. Gaddy plays almost 40 minutes a game primarily because of his defense.

The differences are this (and this what makes Lin ideal):

  • Lin doesn’t lose confidence when he misses a shot or causes a turnover.
  • Lin has that “fire in his eyes” that Isaiah Thomas or Chris Paul or Michael Jordan has. Let me clarify, I don’t think all of those players are remotely similar but what they have in common is that killer instinct. They put games away.
  • Lin has a more developed shot than Gaddy.

To be clear, Lin is more skilled and obviously is blowing up the NBA. My point is that Lin is the ideal with a skill-set similar to Gaddy. If Gaddy could develop that confidence, that “killer instinct”, and a more consistent shot, he could find success in the NBA. Obviously, not to the point of Lin but with those three intangibles, the sky is the limit.

Tags: Fire In The Eyes Jeremy Lin Killer Instinct Lakers Linsanity NBA New York Knicks Skill-set Washington Huskies

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