Linsanity took the NBA by storm last season. The New York Knicks scored an immeasurable monetary gain from Lin's presence, but from a pure basketball standpoint, he's not worth the three-year, $25 million contract he signed with the Rockets.
I know it's only preseason, and I know he's coming back from an injury, so many are using that to justify his mediocre preseason play. Kyle Adams of Space City Scoop wrote:
Lin’s shot has been terrible in the preseason. Not because he’s a bust but because he missed so much time after having knee surgery.
It takes time to get your shot back. Every shooter has a specific rhythm in their shot and in order to become the shooter he was before his surgery he will need to get it back. It always comes back fans trust me, once a shooter, always a shooter.
Umm. . .Kyle, Lin has never been a great shooter. I'll give some credence to the injury and its effects. A knee issue for a guard is noteworthy.
However, if you take a look at his numbers from last season—before the injury—they really aren't all that different from what he's done this preseason.
In the 2011-2012 season, Lin tallied 14.6 points, 6.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 3.6 turnovers per game. That isn't a poor stat line by any stretch, but it isn't that of an elite point guard either. Parts of those numbers were accumulated before the NBA made defensive adjustments against him.
In his last 10 games of the 2011-2012 season, Lin shot just 41.5 percent from the field. That includes making just 30 percent of his shots from three-point range. He still dished 6.6 assists, grabbed 3.3 rebounds and turned the ball over four times a game in that span.
What's an acceptable shooting percentage for Lin?
This preseason he's only playing 24.5 minutes per game, which is normal for a starter in exhibition games. However, he's still excelling and struggling in the same areas.
He's shooting the ball terribly. How bad? Try 25 percent through four preseason games. That's a significant drop from the 41 percent he shot from the field in his last 10 games of the 2011-2012 regular season. It also proves he's never shown a high ceiling as a shooter to begin with.
He's put up 6.5 assists per game in the preseason. I think he's proven that he can and will distribute the ball effectively.
That said, Lin is a turnover machine, and I'm not sure that's ever going to change significantly. He's already turned it over nine times in four games with limited minutes. That's just a hair over two per game, but with more minutes, it seems logical the number would increase.
Lin will give the Rockets a decent presence at the point guard, but they will never get their money's worth—at least not in the form of on-court production.
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