Brooklyn Nets' Sean Marks: Don't Bet Against Jeremy Lin

BROOKLYN – Injuries have forced Jeremy Lin to miss 127 games during his first two years with the Nets. General manager Sean Marks won’t be surprised if the guard returns to his best in his third season in Brooklyn.

“I think a guy like Jeremy, he’s proven people wrong his entire career,” Marks said in his end of the season press conference. “That’s something when we first brought Jeremy on board [that] intrigued us about him. There's no market too big for him, there’s no moment. I would say I wouldn't bet against Jeremy.”

Lin’s season ended on the opening night of the 2017-18 campaign as he tore his patella tendon in his right knee while playing against the Pacers. Since that point, the 29-year-old has aggressively worked towards his rehabilitation, spending most of the season in Vancouver working with Fortius Sport & Health. He admitted last Thursday that the process was a reeducation of sorts, learning how to utilize his muscles in different ways.

“I’m looking at whether I have done enough to completely change pre-existing movement patterns,” Lin said. “Everything down to my shot, the way I run, the way I defend, the way I move. Cut, accelerate, decelerate, everything. It won’t look to the eye or on TV any different, but it will be very different in terms of how I do it and where I moved from and what muscles I’m using and what tendons and joints I’m not using.

“I definitely learned more about science and anatomy than I ever thought I would. But I’m excited and I feel like I’m moving better and it’s going to help my game.”

Marks highlighted the amount of work Lin put in as the reason why he’s optimistic about the guard for next season.

“The way he's attacked his rehab over the course of the last six to eight months is really impressive,” Marks said. “He’s come back with a little bit of a new lease on life, which is great. And we’re intrigued.”

In the 37 games that Lin has played, he’s averaged 14.6 points, 5.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. The emergence of Spencer Dinwiddie and the improvement of Caris LeVert have helped the Nets cover some of the offensive impact that Lin has had, but his on the court leadership has been missed. When he does return, he wants to help his team resolve some of the defensive issues that plagued the team last season.

“When I come back, one of the things I’m expecting of myself is to really be the captain of the defense,” Lin said on Thursday. “I’m going to be talking non-stop, demanding a lot from the people around me, and they’re going to do the same back to me and we’re going to be a good defensive team.”

As excited as Lin is to get back to action, both he and Marks maintain that there will be a cautious approach in his return.

“We’re not going to rush him back by any means, as much as he’d probably like to be playing right now,” Marks said. “At the same time, it’ll work its way out. I’m not too worried about that.”

Lin agreed with that thought process.

“I’m thinking about my health, I’m thinking about moving properly,” Lin said. “I have full confidence that if I’m doing that, everything will be…everything will make up for lost time, and we’ll see what I had envisioned my time in Brooklyn being.”