The Houston Rockets haven’t been making headlines since their blockbuster trade to acquire James Harden right before the season.
That’s just fine for Jeremy Lin, who has quietly been honing his skills and developing into one of the better setup artists in the NBA while taking care of the rock and putting his team in position to win.
While the inexperienced and youthful Rockets are just 4-6 on the young 2012-13 campaign, Lin is contributing to most of those Ws and is averaging a solid 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals.
However, his most important numbers are his 7.0 assists and 2.6 turnovers per game. Those indicate a huge step forward from the 4.7 turnovers per game he averaged during his run as a starter, AKA “Linsanity," with the New York Knicks.
While Lin did average 7.7 assists in that time frame, he was playing in a high-tempo offense and was reckless with his decision-making at times.
Now, with brand new teammates and an injury-plagued offseason that afforded little time to adapt to Coach Kevin McHale and Kelvin Sampson’s system, the Taiwanese-American PG is embracing his role as a floor general that makes the correct pass, takes it to the cup when necessary and tries his best to involve his teammates and get his own points—usually based on the situation at hand.
While the Rockets are a long shot to make the postseason in the stacked Western Conference, they could certainly get there if Lin continues to improve as a passer. With Harden carrying the scoring load and also serving as a facilitator, the team should have plenty of opportunities for open looks, easy baskets and a chance to win against any team they may face.
Don’t sleep on Lin turning on the jets, getting to an All-Star level as pure point guard (a major change from his breakthrough as a scoring, ball-dominant guard), and helping guide this Houston team to new heights.