Houston Rockets: What Should Rockets Fans Reasonably Expect from Jeremy Lin?
The scene around the Houston Rockets organization remains the same.
Jeremy Lin's exit from and return to the Rockets was as different as night and day.
He departed after being cut last December in a move to free up money for other players.
It was also a numbers game; the Rockets were pretty well stocked at the point guard position at the time and there just wasn't a spot for him.
Fast forward to July and he returns to Houston as the starting point guard for the Rockets with a fresh three-year, $25.1 million contract in tow.
That was the reward for Lin, who took advantage of his opportunity to play and put himself on the map unlike anyone we've ever seen.
If all goes well, game 18, a Friday night tilt in San Antonio will be game 82 of Lin's career. Finally, we'll have a full season to gauge. Numbers at least early on don't begin to tell the full story with Lin.
On the surface his overall career stats of 9.2 points, 4.0 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game look serviceable, pedestrian even. His numbers with the New York Knicks are better. He averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.0 boards a game.
With increased minutes came increased productivity.
The Knicks numbers don't fully depict the way he burst onto the scene. His rise was meteoric, out of nowhere. Like it or not, Linsanity and Linsane became and remain household phrases and deservedly so.
He scored 161 points in his first six starts for an average of 26.8 points per game. He averaged 8.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game over that span. The only thing that rivaled how captivating this run was how unexpected it was.
It was also short-lived. A left knee injury cut things short for Lin last season.
That brings us to the here and now. What type of numbers will he put up with the Rockets?
His career high in scoring is 38, and he did that against the Los Angeles Lakers. He's dished out 14 assists on two different occasions. His first dud game during his epic run came against the Miami Heat. They held him to eight points, six rebounds, three assists and harassed him into eight turnovers.
Jeremy Lin will find a solid, happy medium.
He won't have the luxury of being in Mike D'Antoni's system anymore, but he should fit will into the Rockets scheme. There will be more than enough pick-and-rolls run for him to be effective. On the bright side, he doesn't have to contend with the ball stopper better known as Carmelo Anthony.
Unlike last season he will also benefit from going through a full training camp and preseason.
That said, it's fair to see him putting up 15 points and eight assists a night. He's proven that he has the game to hold his own when given the opportunity to play substantial minutes. No doubt he'd be the first to say he needs to cut down on the turnovers. That should come with more experience.
He also needs to realize that he can't sneak up on anyone anymore. Anyone.
Everyone will be lining up to take their shots at him. Remember when a motivated Deron Williams went for 38 on him? It just comes with the territory, all part of being a marked man.
No doubt Lin will handle it well, just like he's handled most everything else.
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