Acquired in a trade with the Nets in July, Lin's health was a concern at the beginning of the season, but with constant attention from the training staff, he's worked his way up in minutes and became one of the Hawks most reliable players in November. He earned an average of 21 minutes off the bench over the past month.
In November, Lin shot .560 from the field and .479 from 3-point range. He averaged 13.9 points and led the Hawks in scoring seven times over the stretch of 12 games.
The 30-year-old Lin said he was able to score so well and play more minutes recently not just because of his aggressive mental approach, but because of coach Lloyd Pierce’s philosophy of leaving players with the hot hand in games.
“I think (Pierce) did a good job when he gave me more leeway,” Lin said of his team-leading scoring surges from November. “He gave me more play-calling and he let me kind of roll and play longer minutes and stretches and I was able to get comfortable and kind of gain my legs under me and my rhythm and all that. So it kind of just all came together and now a couple more small injuries and just try to get it back.”
Lin will travel on the upcoming road trip. After Tuesday’s practice, Lin said his back felt “pretty good” and he was confident he would return sometime over the next three games. Pierce, however, was a bit more cautious with how the team will use Lin over the stretch.
“It’s good to have Jeremy at least on the trip,” Pierce said. “I don’t know where he’ll be in terms of games but he’s going to come with us.”
The Hawks (6-20) are coming off their first win since Nov. 27 and regardless of how many minutes he plays over the next three games, Lin wants to see the Hawks build off the win and develop some consistency in their play.
“Right now (consistency) sometimes teeters,” Lin said. “We play really well and then we kind of don’t bring it one night and then we play really well again so hopefully (we’ll gain) consistency. This is a tough road trip. We’re going to play some really quality opponents so no better way to figure out what you’re made of then to go on the road and play some good teams.”
The Hawks play at the Mavericks Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The trip continues at the Celtics on Friday and at the Nets on Sunday.