By Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports
When the Golden State Warriors open their 2010-11 NBA campaign on Wednesday in Oakland against the Houston Rockets, one very important dream will be fulfilled. When the Warriors take the floor for the first official time this season, Palo Alto High grad Jeremy Lin will be among them.
Lin, a rookie out of Harvard and one of only a handful of Asian-American players ever to make an NBA roster, survived this week's cuts and made the 15-man Golden State roster for Wednesday's opener.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Lin, whose dream was to play in the NBA, is only one of three rookies to make the squad. Top draft pick Ekpe Udoh from Baylor (currently injured) and surprised finalist Jeff Adrien of Connecticut are the others.
"I'm happy for him," said Peter Diepenbrock, the former Palo Alto High basketball coach who remains a close friend of Lin's. "But I'd like to see him get more of an opportunity to play. He's done well, especially considering where he's come from (an Ivy League school)."
Lin, however, probably won't be in uniform this week as only the top 12 players suit up. This perplexes Diepenbrock, who sees the Warriors lacking in an area where Lin can help.
Lin, who helped lead Palo Alto to the CIF Division II state championship in 2006, saw action in three preseason NBA games last week, including two losses to the Lakers and a victory against Portland. His best all-around statistical game was an 18-minute stint in a 120-99 loss to Los Angeles, where he had three points, three steals, four assists and three rebounds. He scored five points in 12 minutes against the Trailblazers, with two rebounds, one steal and one assist.
Lin is one of five guards to make the Warriors' roster, including 6-9 guard/forward Dorell Wright -- an expected starter at forward.
Starting point guard Stephen Curry suffered an ankle injury in last week's 120-99 loss to the Lakers, which has left the Warriors with very little depth at the guard spot.
Said Matt Steinmetz, who reports for Warriors Weekly and writes a blog for Comcast SportsNet:
"(Warriors' coach Keith) Smart's most likely option without Curry would be to start Monta Ellis at point guard and then either Charlie Bell or Reggie Williams at shooting guard. Regardless, we should get a better idea of exactly where Jeremy Lin fits in the whole scheme of things. Minus Curry, Lin would seem to have an opportunity to get some extended playing time.
"At the same time, if Smart doesn't use Lin or plays him very little, it probably is an indication Lin isn't a part of the rotation."
Diepenbrock agreed that it appears the Warriors have decided that Lin is not ready for the NBA, given his lack of playing time in the preseason. In the Warriors' 105-102 overtime loss to the Lakers last Friday, for example, Ellis played 53 minutes and Lin just two.
Diepenbrock, however, believes Lin could produce if given the time. In six preseason games, Lin played 46 minutes with 17 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five turnovers.
Diepenbrock has attended all the Warriors' home preseason games and will be at Oracle Arena on Wednesday and Friday (against the LA Clippers), when Lin will be featured on Asian Heritage Night.
Diepenbrock, who had dinner with Lin on Monday night, said the Warriors' home crowd has chanted Lin's name at every game.
"When he touches the ball, the place erupts," Diepenbrock said. "The crowd is crazy for him . . . It's really such a thrill to see him play."
Diepenbrock just wishes the Warriors' organization was just as passionate.
Landry in starting lineup for Knicks
Stanford grad Landry Fields is expected to be in the New York Knicks starting lineup when they open their NBA season against the host Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at 4 p.m. (PT).
Fields averaged 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists during the preseason in an average of 19 minutes a game.
Fields and the Knicks visit the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 19.
Former Warriors Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike also play for New York.
Fields writes a blog for the Knicks' official website. Check it out here.