Why Jeremy Lin Will Struggle with the Houston Rockets

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 12:  Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets take the ball downcourt during the game against the New Orleans Hornets at the Toyota Center on October 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets paid $25.1 million to get Jeremy Lin from the New York Knicks. Unfortunately, they will regret that decision.

Lin became an international sensation last February when he led his team to seven straight wins after spending the beginning of the year on the bench. In that time, he averaged 24.4 points and 9.1 assists per game.

The excitement surrounding this time period was known as "Linsanity," as the Harvard grad became one of the most popular players in the nation.

He cooled down significantly in February before going down for the year with a knee injury. Still, the Rockets saw enough to believe he will lead them to a winning season. This is unlikely.

When Lin received the three-year contract offer from Houston, his teammate Carmelo Anthony called it "ridiculous," according to the Los Angeles Times.

The point guard has only played significant minutes in 28 career games. He does not have the experience to warrant this type of guaranteed money.

In addition, defenses were able to catch up to the point guard in the short amount of time he was on the court. After averaging 20.9 points and 8.4 assists per game in February, he slowed down to 14.6 points and 6.3 assists per game in March. It showed that his early games might have been more of a fluke than a real interpretation of his play.

Houston also has to be worried about a player coming off of a season-ending knee injury. Lin admitted that he is still not 100 percent, according to Ultimate Rockets. He recently stated:

My speed and my explosiveness and my agility (are not) there yet. I’m still trying to recover from knee surgery and get to where I was pre-surgery. I probably won’t get to play too much. Hopefully, as the preseason goes on I’ll get to play more and more to build that endurance.

This is pretty concerning for a team expecting big contributions from its new addition. Lin was not the most athletic guard prior to the injury. This could only hinder his ability to be successful.

Finally, the point guard will not have much help around him on the Rockets. Kevin Martin is a skilled scorer, but the rest of the roster is full of inexperienced players. This will make opposing defenses focus more attention on Lin.

Fans in Houston and around the world are hoping for a big year out of Jeremy Lin. Unfortunately, the odds seem to be stacked against that happening.