Jeremy Lin has made enormous strides this season, but efficiency is still an issue.
That can create a problem—especially for a point guard.
Lin averaged 3.6 turnovers per game for the New York Knicks last season, but he only started 25 games. This year, he's started 13 games for the Houston Rockets, and that number is down to 2.9 per contest.
It's good to see improvement, but there needs to be more. According to NBA.com, Lin is currently ranked 21st in the league in turnovers per game. There are a lot worse (Jrue Holiday), but there's also a lot better (Mario Chalmers, George Hill).
If Lin wants to be an elite point guard, he must work on his efficiency. Holiday could allow you to argue that turning the ball over doesn't matter all that much, but Lin doesn't have the raw abilities that Holiday has otherwise.
Because of that, he must be smart. That means taking care of the basketball, finding open teammates and using good shot selection.
It's not that he hasn't had games like this, but his role with Houston this year is different than it was in New York. The Rockets are going to fight for a playoff spot whether he plays well or not, so he must always be on top of his game.
Lin has only had one game with five turnovers. He still makes poor decisions with the basketball at times, but he's slowly figuring out how to make the most out of every possession.
Shooting-wise though, it's a much different story. He's shooting nearly 35 percent from the floor, but that's not even close to good enough. If you're below 40 percent, you have some serious work to do.
Part of that can be helped by taking better shots—like avoiding three-point attempts—but part of that could also be the fact that he's just not a great shooter.
Lin is doing an admirable job of leading the Rockets, but he still has room to improve. Playing a more efficient game on the offensive end will make him a more consistent player and will make him a more reliable point guard overall.
If he wants to take the next step as a player, and take Houston to another level in the process, Lin must learn how to play within himself.
Taking better shots, making smarter passes and really just slowing down will help him immensely. There's already so much to like about his game so far this season; this will just make him better.