In the last 3 games, Jeremy Lin-sanity has hit the New York Metropolitan area. But how long will this condition last? One way to predict is to use the past as precedent.
Based upon Marginal Win Score, Lin is off to a superb start to his NBA career. The majority of his time has still been his time with the Golden State Warriors (where he was pretty good) but he will soon eclipse that as his Knickerbocker time is likely to continue to grow.
Here is Lin’s NBA Win Chart so far, with his Harvard college numbers below that. (I could not provide any estimate of his Harvard Defensive Win Score, because the StatFox server has been down all Saturday morning… college bball betting action must be hot)
When Harvard was his home
As you can see, while Lin has been way above average during his short NBA career (as the chart shows, based on his production I credit him with producing 1.8 NBA wins and only 0.2 NBA losses so far), he is also playing above his own personal college resume. This is a big red flag for me. You generally see a 33% decline in Win Score production when the player steps to the pros. It makes sense… if you couldn’t produce better numbers against inferior college defenders, why should we expect you to do so in the NBA?
Therefore, Lin’s numbers over four seasons at Harvard suggest he is playing above himself at this time, and that his winning percentage will soon decline. In the long run, his Harvard numbers would project him as a slightly below average NBA point guard, at best.
However, if there is one spot where players can outperform their college numbers, it is the point guard spot. I have a theory as to why. The largest pool of talent is at the shorter guard positions. Therefore, the talent levels at those positions should not be as markedly different between college and the pros as one would expect at the taller positions like center and power forward.
In Lin’s case, though, playing against the Beauregards and the Van Houtens of the Ivy League was not exactly like playing against the Manigaults and the Knowings of Rucker Park. He should have done better, one would suspect.
But Lin obviously has some game, so maybe he continues the fine start he has made and establishes himself as a permanent member of the NBA’s upper middle class. We shall see how his story plays out over the balance of this season. He has at least injected some life into an otherwise forgettable NBA campaign.