Jeremy Lin: Why Houston Will Still Miss Playoffs with Linsanity
Houston went into the offseason with the mentality of making a big move in order to make the playoffs this season, especially after just missing the cut last year. Their first choice, however, wasn’t Lin; it was Dwight Howard.
The Rockets front office has done everything in their power to acquire the Orlando Magic center. Houston traded several players in order to rack up as many first round draft picks as possible that they could give Orlando as part of a package to receive Howard.
By making so many trades, they lost nearly all of last season’s production and are still without Howard. It doesn’t even seem likely that Howard will be dealt to Houston as he’s announced that he would sign a long-term deal if traded to the Brooklyn Nets and now the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN.
Instead of acquiring an all-star center that could bring future talented free agents to Houston, they now have Jeremy Lin who has played 64 career games. Houston got Lin to sign a $25.1 million offer sheet that the New York Knicks decided to not to match, according to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley.
By trading for Howard, the Rockets would have emerged as championship contenders. Without Howard and with Lin basically running the team with Kevin Martin, the Rockets won’t even make the playoffs this season.
The Rockets roster at the moment is embarrassing. They will have to rely solely that Lin and Martin can put up enormous numbers and that their set of rookies step up big time.
Will the Houston Rockets make the playoffs?
Lin is coming off of knee surgery and is far from a lock to return to his “Linsanity” glory. There’s a reason that absolutely no one knew who he was until he started hitting shots in the Knicks lineup. Sure, he played miraculously over the span that he wasn’t riding the bench, but still only averaged 14.6 points per game and that was with all-stars playing alongside of him.
There isn’t a Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire in Houston. There’s only Kevin Martin who put up relatively respectable numbers last season.
Houston lacks experience and lacks size. The Rockets only employ three players over the age of 25 and the four players who averaged the most rebounds per game last season are all gone.
Even if young players such as Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, Terrance Jones and Donatas Motiejunas succeed early, Houston is still doomed. They have zero depth unless you want to consider Toney Douglas a key backup point guard. Who is going to step up and take this team to the playoffs?
The Houston roster was exponentially better last season and they finished two games over .500 and missed the playoffs. How in the world are they supposed to make the postseason with a considerably worse team?
Jeremy Lin is a good pickup for the future, but the storyline of the offseason for the Rockets has been the swing and miss on Howard, not the signing of Lin.
If Lin can’t replicate the numbers he put up last season while healthy, the Rockets are in deep trouble. Even if he does, will that be enough to make the playoffs as the No. 8 seed? Unlikely.
Adding Jeremy Lin was an emergency move that still won’t take the Rockets out of the NBA draft lottery next season.
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