Looking back, the utter pandemonium Jeremy Lin caused last February must seem like a dream to him. He came out of nowhere, the last guy off the bench, and improbably took total control of the New York Knicks—and the NBA landscape—overnight.
Too bad he’s about to wake up.
The shiny newness of the Linsanity phenomenon wore off after just over a month of shocking play from Lin last season. He faded in March and a knee injury sidelined him for the Knicks’ abbreviated postseason run. But nobody seems to remember that part.
Now a Houston Rocket—and a millionaire—Lin has lost one of the keys to his success last year: the element of surprise. This time, he’s supposed to play well.
When you think about it, it’s a little ridiculous to ask Lin to duplicate his impressive February run. After all, Lin wasn’t the first benchwarmer to seize an opportunity on a bad team.
But the Rockets’ surprising decision to give Lin $25 million (along with the public outcry against the Knicks’ decision to let him go) indicates that he’s expected to do it all again.
With such a small sample size of NBA games in his career, it’s hard to know what we should reasonably expect from Lin this year.
It’s probably accurate to say he’ll be among the league leaders in jersey sales, but that’s not exactly going out on a limb.
Here are seven slightly bolder predictions for Jeremy Lin’s first season with the Houston Rockets.