The Detroit Pistons seem to be a great trade destination for Jeremy Lin, and so do the Los Angeles Lakers for Brandon Jennings.
On Tuesday, the Lakers finally snapped a four-game losing skid after grinding a win over the Atlanta Hawks 114-109 to improve their record to 2-9.
Lin, who is coming off his worst performance in Lakers uniform after going scoreless in a blowout loss to the Warriors on Sunday, recorded his first double-double of the season (15 points and 10 assist), and there’s no denying the relief he felt that night.
"Man, oh man, that's a lot better," Lin told the press after the Lakers’ victory via the Associated Press. "It's been a rough start to the season."
For Lin, Tuesday’s performance against the Hawks was his answer to his critics and to the call of head coach Byron Scott, who is reportedly close in making a lineup change if the losing trend continued.
The Asian-American star has shown flashes of brilliance in some games, but consistency has been his drawback through the first 11 games of the season. There were games in which he looked really poised against elite competitions. Then again, there were also nights where he seemed lost.
Lin is a talented player with the ability to rack up points and make his teammates better with his superb court vision. However, it’s also clear as crystal that he just can’t thrive in a team that features ball-dominant wingman (Kobe in Los Angeles, James Harden in Houston, and Carmelo Anthony in New York).
So what’s the best scenario for Lin? Perhaps, his skills will be maximized in a team that has full arsenal of big men skillful and athletic enough to finish plays off pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop sets. Maybe, playing for the Detroit Pistons that features Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Monroe is best for his career.
Lin has always been an excellent pick-and-roll player. He’s potent running that basic offensive system. Unfortunately for him, the Lakers don’t have many big men who thrive in pick-and-roll plays, and of course, the offense has always relied on iso plays for Bryant.
Under Stan Van Gundy, Lin will have the luxury to have three elite big men running the floor with him. Van Gundy has always been a pick-and-roll guy and Lin seems to be a better replacement in exchange for a shot-happy guard like Brandon Jennings.
On the other hand, everybody knows that the Lakers are doomed to finish last in the Western Conference this season, yet it’s never too early to start putting in the right pieces for next season’s campaign. Jennings, being a hardcore Lakers and Bryant fan, might be the perfect backcourt partner for the Black Mamba.
Although his shot selection has always been a problem since his rookie year, Jennings can sure provide the ‘rough mentality’ that Byron Scott and Bryant are desperately looking for from Lin. Jennings is a student of Bryant’s school of hard-knocks, a guy that won’t have any second thought ‘pissing on the fire hydrant.’