The epidemic of Linsanity was a phenomenon of the 2011-12 season that was near impossible to escape, and a by-product of Jeremy Lin as a New York Knick that some doubt he can recreate in Houston.
Lin played his first 19 minutes as a Rocket in a 107-105 preseason win over defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder, showing that the frenzy of Linsanity can be alive and well once more.
A side story of the debut victory was of course that 24-year-old Lin was outplayed by Russell Westbrook, who is one of the best in the NBA in his position.
But the mark of a great player is knowing when to realize your own faults, something Lin is seemingly more than open to admit.
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle after the game, the point guard stated:
“I definitely didn’t stop Westbrook defensively. And offensively, I think a little too passive. I’m not sure. I just really wasn’t myself. I’m going to try to be more aggressive, make more plays for myself and for others and just do a better job than that.”
If anything, the Harvard graduate is being too harsh on himself. Lin still managed to rack up three points, six assists and three steals, reviving some of the attributes for which he gained so much publicity in early 2012.
Coming back from the kind of knee injury that Lin suffered in the second half of the 2011-12 season is never easy, but the Los Angeles native has faced adversity in his career and has the mental toughness needed to succeed in his new surroundings.
While a player of Westbrook’s quality exposed Lin's weak defensive skills, this will only help Lin’s game improve as he further molds himself into the Rockets’ setup.
Offensively, Lin created ample chances for the team and didn’t seem to give up the ball very easily—a shortcoming of his as a Knick.
Linsanity may have lasted for less than two months, but like so many fashion trends before, will make a forceful return in the upcoming season.
Some were of the understanding that Lin’s surge between January and March 2012 was a temporary fad, but early minutes as a Houston Rocket prove that it’s anything but.