Jeremy Lin stars in Hawks loss to the Raptors


Vince Carter’s final goodbye to Toronto?

In what could wind up being Vince Carter’s final game in Toronto, the Hawks went toe to toe with the leaders of the Eastern Conference. Fittingly, Carter checked into the game midway through the first quarter, and wide open on the wing, nailed his first three-pointer.

He would finish the night with 6 points on two of five from three-point range.

Jeremy Lin’s bounce-back campaign

The star of the night was Jeremy Lin. In his first start of the season, Lin put up 20 points on an efficient 8-10 from the field and dished out nine assists. This continues a trend of quality play from a player that was literally given to the Hawks by the Brooklyn Nets.

Coming into Tuesday’s game, Lin was averaging 20.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals on 49% shooting and 38.5% from three-point range per 36 minutes. Those are comparable and even better than some of the highest paid point guards in the league. He won’t be viewed like that on the trade market, and rightfully so, but it becomes more and more likely each day that the Hawks will be able to trade him in for a first-round pick.

Not a bad investment by Travis Schlenk.

Again, that is if the Hawks feel comfortable dealing Lin. He’s been a true professional in the backup role behind rookie point guard Trae Young, who added 20 points on 8-20 from the field on Tuesday, and the Hawks may feel they have put enough pressure on Young in his first year.

Either way, Lin has quietly become one of the best additions of this past offseason, and there few players more enjoyable to root for.

Another All-Star showing from John Collins

Here’s your daily reminder to click this link and vote John Collins to the All-Star game. Once again, Collins dominated on offense, scoring 21 points on 8-11 from the field. Most impressively, he continues to show off his improved three-point shot, going three of three from behind the arc. He’s shooting 57.1% from three in his four games this month. In December, Collins shot 33.3% from long range.

Oh, and he also wiped up the glass with 14 rebounds, his second double-double in a row and sixth in the last eight games. At this point, he’s pretty much good for twenty points and ten rebounds everytime he steps on the court.

If there’s one thing to knit-pick on, it’s Collins’s aggressiveness down the stretch. Despite his superb performance, he failed to attempt a shot in the final seven minutes of a game that went down to the wire. With the game on the line, the Hawks need Collins to assert himself as their best player. That should be something that comes as the second-year star continues to mature.




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