For this upcoming season, Jeremy Lin hopes to bring the same electrifying energy he brought to the Knicks last season, except this time, he’s set to take his talents to a Houston Rockets squad desperately needing a change of pace.
After the Rockets imploded and failed to make the postseason last year, it was clear that they were a roster with serious flaws.
Now, with a new team and a new season swiftly approaching, Jeremy Lin is set to make his debut, and hopefully, make a positive impact on a Rockets team as they tip off the season later this October.
Here’s how the newly signed guard will help the Rockets as they look to rebuild for a playoff run.
Before Lin’s arrival, the Rockets had a solid roster of point guards that featured the one-two punch of Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. Lowry brought unmatched physicality and versatility, while Goran possessed quick wits and instant offense that would energize the Rockets. As a result, they often didn't miss a beat if one or the other went to the bench.
However, injuries and chemistry issues would go on to plague a Houston team that was wildly inconsistent.
It also became apparent that there was considerable tension between Kyle Lowry and the coaching staff, especially after Lowry made it clear to the Houston Chronicle (via ESPN) how he felt about head coach Kevin McHale.
Now, with Lin set to be the primary floor general, it clears up a crowded Houston backcourt that desperately needed a definitive go-to guy and leader.
Lin’s experience and leadership in New York demonstrated he is not concerned with having tremendous pressure on his shoulders, and his humbleness and good nature will likely garner a great relationship with McHale and the rest of the coaching staff.
The Rockets’ investment in Lin certainly shows that they have confidence in him not only bringing success to the basketball court, but also in him improving the appeal and fan support for the team as whole.
With Lin as the new face of the franchise, he gives the Rockets a solid piece to build around, and he will help establish chemistry and solidarity among the players in the locker room.
Although much of Lin’s initial success could be attributed to being unscouted and underestimated, Lin is a legitimate NBA point guard: His court vision, deceptiveness and unorthodox means of scoring are all valuable parts of his offensive repertoire.
After much success in his first season of big minutes with the Knicks, he will likely flourish on a Houston team that favors a fast-paced transition game similar to that of Mike D’Antoni’s system in New York.
It should also be noted that following the firing of D’Antoni in favor of current Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, the Knicks offense favored Carmelo/Amare isolations over Lin's playmaking.
Although Lin’s turnover rate (almost five per game) was cause for concern at times, in a recent interview with Rockets.com, Lin admits he spent a lot of time this offseason improving his decision-making skills and his passing mechanics.
Although Lin is not as athletically gifted as some of his counterparts, he more than makes up for it with his basketball IQ and sound fundamentals.
Lin will also help reduce the stagnancy that hindered the Rocket’s effectiveness in the half-court thanks to his passing and ability to create his own shot.
With the help from sophomore Chandler Parsons and veteran scorer Kevin Martin, the Rocket’s will have good pieces at the 1, 2 and 3 spots—especially with Lin at the helm.
The character trait that exists in some of the game's greatest players—that vicious, hyper-competitive thread that makes up the fabric of the likes of Jordan and Kobe—is a fearless, focused desire to win.
Although Lin is a long way from being close to Jordan or Kobe, he possesses that same fearlessness.
When he shocked the NBA world by scoring 38 points against Kobe and his Lakers on national TV, he proved he was willing to go play-for-play against one of the game’s greatest scorers without hesitation.
Some of his other big plays (though they were against some of the NBA’s weaker competition) no doubt confirm that Lin isn’t afraid to take the big shot when he is called upon to do so.
The fact that Houston knows they can depend on Lin to perform in the clutch is invaluable.
Lin, in many ways, is a microcosm for the Rockets team as a whole: a talented, yet unrefined bunch that have yet to reach their full potential.
Just as the Rockets team has a long way to go, so does Lin.
For all that he brings as a leader and a player, he still has a ways to go before the Rockets are a legitimate contender—especially in the super-competitive Western Conference.
The Rockets’ success, as with Lin’s development, will not come over night, but Lin brings hope to a Houston franchise that could certainly use a little dose of “Linsanity.”