A throwback to when LeBron James and the Miami Heat’s smothering defense shut down Jeremy Lin at the height of Linsanity.
Right before the New York Knicks visited Miami Heat in South Beach. The New York Knicks had to start a relatively unknown player named Jeremy Lin due to injuries in the squad. In an 11-game stretch, Lin averaged 23.9 points and 9.2 assists per game.
His majestic play in NBA’s biggest market took all by surprise. With it being the media capital, he garnered a lot of attention. This awe-inspiring play soon inspired the term “Linsanity”
Over those last 11 games, the Knicks had a record of 9-2. Lin has crossed the 20-point mark in nine of those 11 games. In arguably the biggest game against the LA Lakers, Lin scored 38 points and recorded seven assists.
But the Miami Heat was ready to put an end to the hype. They were ready to prove to the world that Linsanity was just a myth. So how exactly did they go about it?
Read on and find out.
How exactly did LeBron James and the Miami Heat end Linsanity?
Ahead of the game, the Heat were respectful but seemed to downplay the importance of guarding Jeremy Lin. But once the game started, everything changed.
Just two minutes into the game, Mario Chalmers applied full-court pressure on Lin. He stole the ball just as Lin dribbled and went in for a dunk. Midway through the quarter, the Heat double-teamed Lin and forced him into a turnover. A minute later, Lin lost the ball while driving to the basket.
That was three turnovers by the five-minute mark of the first quarter.
Late in the second quarter, Chalmers knocked the ball out of Jeremy Lin’s hands while he was taking the ball up-court.
The second half wasn’t any better for Jeremy Lin. With just over three minutes left in the third, Joel Anthony blocked Lin, which led to an open 3 for the Heat. It put them up by 13.
There was so much pressure that even when Lin attempted a layup with five seconds left in the game and Miami up 102-88, Chris Bosh was there to contest. Jeremy Lin ended the game 1 for 11 shooting and ended the game with 8 turnovers.
Jeremy Lin was later recorded saying –
“I felt like they were all like hawks circling me and staring.”
It is wild to think that the Heat modeled their entire defensive scheme not against All-Stars Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire, but Lin.
The narrative going into the game was something from a fiction novel. The Heat took that narrative and completely ripped it into pieces.
It was such an overwhelming defeat that even President Barack Obama used in his election campaign. Obama reportedly said –
“We’re the Miami Heat and [Romney] is Jeremy Lin.”
The Miami Heat were considered to be bullies in the NBA at the time. Sadly, for Jeremy Lin, he turned out to be a victim of bullying that night.