Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin suffered a ruptured patella tendon of his right knee during the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Indiana Pacers. The Nets have announced Lin will miss the remainder of the season while recovering from the injury.
Jeremy Lin Out for Season
Lin was driving to the hoop for a contested layup before he landed awkwardly on his way down. After an initial moment of shock, Lin repeatedly said, “I’m done, I’m done” before beginning to cry and bring his head to the ground.
Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement, “Jeremy worked tremendously hard during the offseason and in training camp and was excited for the prospects of the team this season. We feel awful that the injury will cost him the season, however our entire organization will be there to support Jeremy in every way possible throughout his recovery. Jeremy remains an important part of this team and will continue to contribute in a leadership role.”
Two Brutal Injuries in Two Days
This injury comes as devastating news for Lin himself, the Nets organization, and the NBA as a league. After seeing Gordon Hayward – a star player on a new team in a major market – go down two nights ago with a gruesome season-ending injury, the last thing the NBA needed to see was another starting player on an up and coming team go down. While Lin isn’t the same caliber of player as Hayward, he is an exciting player playing in a huge sports market with a tremendous individual following base. Unfortunately, despite the NBA’s efforts in the off-season to reduce the risk of injury, both Hayward and Lin won’t step foot on the court again in 2017-18.
How Lin’s Injury Impacts the Nets
For the Nets, they entered this year with as much optimism since the season after they acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the 2013 off-season. Despite finishing with the NBA’s worst record at 20-62 last season, Brooklyn finally seemed to be headed in the right direction. With the acquisitions of D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, and DeMarre Carroll, combined with the improvement of their young players Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Nets expected to compete as a sleeper team for the playoffs in a depleted Eastern Conference. This was a confident group hungry to carve out some victories in 2017-18.
The backcourt of Lin and Russell was supposed to be the engine that made this team run. Their ability to create plays and attack the basket would have opened up lanes for cutters and shooters, creating one of the most exciting backcourts in the NBA. With Lin out for the season, all of the Nets’ fans hopes and dreams of a Lin/Russell backcourt will have to be postponed until next year.
Lin’s Value to Brooklyn
Jeremy Lin’s value to the Nets on the court cannot be understated. He is the extension of coach Kenny Atkinson out on the floor, directing the offense and pushing the pace. Last year, the Nets went 13-24 in the 37 games Lin played last season. Without him? Just 7-38. Yikes.
Having D’Angelo Russell on board this season should help with the loss of Lin, but Lin is clearly extremely valuable to this Nets team.
Is Brooklyn’s Season Ruined?
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: the Nets are significantly worse when Jeremy Lin is not on the floor. Lin’s most important contribution to the team is arguably his leadership, something than cannot be easily replaced.
However, Brooklyn has enough depth in the backcourt to somewhat make up for Lin’s loss. This team is still hungry, motivated, and determined to prove to the NBA they are no longer the laughingstock of the league. Now they just have to do it without their leader.
Prayers up to Jeremy Lin. Here’s to a smooth recovery.
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