Linsanity brought the promise of a franchise point guard to New York and the Knicks last season, but now he is headed to a new team—a young one that lacks a Tracy McGrady or a Yao Ming in their primes.
Lin will no longer have Carmelo Anthony or Amar'e Stoudemire to take the blame for failure on the court or to bail him out against the league's top teams, because he is the lone star in Houston. Lin is making big bucks now, and the expectations have seemingly gone through the roof.
Despite Lin's solid play in 35 games with the Knicks last regular season, he showed glimpses of a bust in the making. Most notably against the Miami Heat in South Beach right before the All-Star break, when his point guard skills were exposed by the swarming Heat defense.
Lin scored eight points and tallied three assists in 34 minutes of play, going 1-of-11 from the field and turning the ball over eight times in the Knicks' 14-point loss.
Will Jeremy Lin's production improve or decline with the Rockets next season?
Lin also shoots poorly from beyond the arc and can settle for low-percentage three-pointers on too many occasions. Lin shot 32 percent from distance with the Knicks in 2011-12.
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, in Houston he won't have a superstar like Anthony to take over games and make his life easier. With point guards Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry having moved on from the Rockets, Lin will be the sole playmaker for Houston and will carry the responsibility of getting everyone involved and putting points on the board.
In New York, Anthony averaged 22.6 points per game, while Stoudemire scored 17.5 per night. In Houston, Kevin Martin will be the top scorer back next season. Martin averaged 17.1 points per game in 40 starts for the Rockets last season.
With Dragic, Lowry, Luis Scola, Courtney Lee and Chase Budinger all gone to other teams, Chandler Parsons is Lin's No. 2 go-to scoring option.
I rest my case.
With just 25 starts to his name, I for one don't expect Lin to succeed in such an environment with so many tasks to complete. The world will be watching, and few players have ever been cast into such stardom so quickly.
No one knows for sure how Lin will react to the next stage of his career with the Rockets, but the odds are against him. Houston has put together a young team for next season—one that will struggle in a loaded Western Conference.
Lin took advantage of his time to shine in New York last season and made himself tons of money. Still, that won't change the fact that he is not an elite NBA point guard. He went undrafted for a reason, and now that the conditions around him aren't so conducive to winning, Lin will be exposed as nothing more than a serviceable NBA point guard, capable of sparking an occasional run.
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