Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Putting Jeremy Lin's Hot Hand in Perspective

The athlete creating the greatest amount of "buzz" in U.S. sports is almost certainly Jeremy Lin, a 6-foot-3 second-year New York Knicks point guard from Harvard. In addition to his ability to hit game-winning shots, Lin has gotten attention for his scoring. In fact, he holds the modern-era (i.e., post NBA-ABA merger) record for most points in a player's first five starts (136).

According to David Berri and Martin Schmidt's book Stumbling on Wins, points scored appear to carry great weight in determining basketball players' salaries and receipt of awards (e.g., being named to the All-Rookie Team). However, shooting percentage (or efficiency) appears more important for actually winning games. Thus, I decided to focus on Lin's game-by-game shooting percentages.

Lin recently had a four-game streak of shooting .500 or higher from the floor in each contest: February 4 vs New Jersey (.526, 10-of-19); Feb. 6 vs. Utah (.588, 10-17); Feb. 8 at Washington (.643, 9-14); and Feb. 10 vs. the L.A. Lakers (.565, 13-23). How does this stretch compare to those of other leading guards?

It's been over a year since Kobe Bryant had such a four-game streak. Between January 17-25, 2011, Bryant had consecutive games of shooting .583, .556, .533, and .636.

It's been almost two years since Derrick Rose had one. Between Feb. 22-27, 2010, Rose had consecutive games in which he shot .500, .526, .600, and .643.

Of course, Lin is not the only NBA guard who has shot well recently. Miami's Dwyane Wade is currently on an eight-game streak of shooting .500 and above (.500, .571, .529, .625, .611, .500, .571, and .500).

1 comment:

Coaching en Barcelona said...

I think Lin is the new Jordan!