Houston Rockets: 3 Players Who Will Work Best with Jeremy Lin
As the new face of the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin needs all the help he can get. His addition to the Rockets this past summer is expected to help turn the struggling franchise around.
Last season, the Rockets were on the brink of qualifying for the playoffs but fell short as the ninth-place finisher in the Western Conference.
The explosiveness that took the league by storm last season when Lin played for the New York Knicks, otherwise known as Linsanity, won't be enough on its own. Not only does he have to live up to extremely high expectations, but there must be chemistry on the court between him and his teammates in order to push the Rockets forward.
The Rockets didn't have the greatest offseason, but they did add pieces that will hopefully elevate them to above-average status.
Click ahead to view the three players who will work best with Jeremy Lin.
Carlos Delfino, the Argentinian shooting guard, is entering his seventh year in the league.
For the Rockets, this is great news.
Of the 18 current players on the 2012-2013 roster, 15 of them have three years or less of NBA experience. Even Lin, the Rockets' floor general, is a young player.
Delfino's veteran presence on a team full of youngsters is highly valuable for the Rockets. After seven years he is way more established and familiar with the nuances of the league. His tenure allows him to guide his teammates, especially in high-pressure situations which they may not be used to.
Delfino has also shown that he can be an offensive asset. Last season, he averaged nine points a game, and he has a career average of 7.7 points. But it's been a different story in the preseason.
This past Wednesday, Delfino gave us a preview of what we can expect during the regular season. On October 24 against the New Orleans Hornets, Delfino scored 20 points and dropped four three-pointers.
Though he may be competing for the starting spot against rookie Jeremy Lamb, Delfino is clearly still a valuable piece. If he remains healthy, he will be a great sixth man for the Rockets this season.
The 12th overall pick was considered risky for Houston, but Jeremy Lamb has already demonstrated that he has the potential to be an integral player for the Rockets.
The former UConn Husky was quite impressive this past summer. Lamb is an athletic player with great speed and shooting. In the Las Vegas Summer League, we saw why. He continued to make headlines for his impressive play, averaging 20 points and 4.4 rebounds in just under 30 minutes a game.
Lamb scored in double digits in all five games on 46.7 percent shooting, and the Rockets finished with a 4-1 record.
However, his numbers in the preseason took quite the dip. No longer playing against rookies, Lamb did not stand out like before. In five games, he scored just 7.4 points and grabbed only 3.8 boards.
One explanation for the relatively low numbers is the fact that Lamb only started one of the games, and his minutes were subsequently cut short. However, the Rockets have no reason to fear.
Lamb will initially struggle as he adjusts to playing against the league's best, but they drafted him for a specific reason—to score.
We've already seen that he is an efficient scorer and, as the projected starter at the shooting guard position, Lamb is doing exactly what they need him to do.
When the Chicago Bulls failed to resign Omer Asik, many were left wondering why they let him walk. The restricted free agent signed a three-year deal for $25.1 million with the Rockets on July 1. Though Asik isn't the most offensively gifted player, his defense more than makes up for it.
Having trained under Tom Thibodeau, Asik will be a great addition to the Rockets.
The seven-foot center gives them the physical presence to protect the paint. He had limited minutes with the Bulls since he came off the bench, but as a projected starter for the Rockets, look for him to improve in rebounding and shot-blocking.
Asik's work in his first four preseason games demonstrated the impact he will make for Houston.
After four games, he not only averaged 11 rebounds a game but also dished out 2.8 dimes per contest. Asik also added four steals and three blocks, which is unusual for a center but great for the Rockets.
His passing ability will allow him to create shots for Lin and the rest of the team.
The Rockets have not had a legitimate center since Yao Ming, and Asik is now ready to assume that role.