Who Have Been the Houston Rockets' Most Disappointing Players This Season?
Jeremy Lin is one of the most polarizing athletes this side of Tim Tebow. I'm probably one of the few people left who believe that both can still play their respective sports at a high level.
Along with several of his Houston Rockets teammates, we will illustrate how Lin has been at least somewhat of a disappointment so far this season.
The month of Linsanity in New York last season is a standard that Jeremy will just have to block out, as should his loyal fans. However, it is unwise for the Rockets' new point guard to abandon the aggressive style that helped turn him into a cult figure.
In the first month of this season, Lin has played timidly, and his results have been a disappointment. This has been well documented, but here you will find some numbers that just can't be spun at this juncture.
* Statistics updated through Tuesday, November 27
Jeremy Lin needs to get back to his run-and-gun style. Ordinarily, I would like my starting point guard to think pass first; however, Lin often just hands the ball off to James Harden when he crosses mid-court.
If this was happening just in the fourth quarter, the Rockets would be a lot better off. Harden should dominate the ball down the stretch like he did so effectively at Oklahoma City.
However, Lin should not be playing off-the-ball in the first three quarters. It's not who he is, and this type of play has brought his effectiveness down to a screeching halt. Also, this unnecessary burden for Harden has taken its toll on him at times.
Per 48 minutes played this season, Lin is averaging 15.1 points. This ranks him 192nd in the NBA among 244 qualifying players.
Lin ranks 125th among 128 qualifying players with a 37.4 field-goal percentage. I believe this can be rectified if Lin becomes consistently assertive again.
Jeremy showed flashes of his old self against the Knicks and Raptors. However, his 2.17 assist/turnover ratio this season ranks 32nd among NBA point guards.
With the youngest team in the NBA, it's ludicrous for Lin to stay in a shell. No pun there, and none required.
When Royce White gets back from personal issues, he will be a welcome addition to a thin Rockets bench.
The 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft has plenty of promise, so the fact that White has yet to play in an NBA game is disappointing.
White has been dealing with anxiety disorder since a basketball-related incident in Minneapolis as a 10-year-old. White witnessed his best friend's collapse during wind sprints and rode with him in the ambulance to the hospital. His friend was saved from a cardiac abnormality, but White developed a permanent fear of conditioning runs.
The Rockets knew that White also suffered from a fear of flying, but his talent was too great to pass up in the middle of the first round. The 6'7'' forward was coming off a big 2011-12 season at Iowa State where his well-rounded game stuffed the stats sheets.
White ranked second in the Big 12 with 9.3 rebounds per game and a 53.4 field goal percentage; he also averaged 13.4 points, 5 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks.
If any of those numbers translate to the professional level, Houston's bench will be much better when White is ready to play. Unfortunately, the Rockets' talented rookie has only made headlines with too many tweets on Twitter thus far.
Backup point guard Toney Douglas has an assist/turnover ratio that is even worse than starter Jeremy Lin's. In fact, it's almost twice as bad.
Douglas has 24 assists to go with 21 turnovers this season, a porous ratio of 1.14; he's also shooting a mere 30 percent from the field.
In fairness, Douglas is a defensive specialist and still has value on that end of the court.
Carlos Delfino was a scorching 5-of-6 from the field in his Rockets debut at Detroit last month; however, since then, the free agent signing has shot only 28.3 percent (17-60).
Delfino nailed 4-of-5 trifectas in the opener, and the Rockets can use that kind of stroke off the pine; Houston has launched plenty of shots from distance this season, but rank in the bottom half of the NBA in three-point field goal percentage.
Delfino missed his sixth straight game against Toronto Tuesday night with a groin injury.
Daequan Cook was just a throw-in when James Harden was acquired in a blockbuster trade last month. However, with Carlos Delfino sidelined, the Rockets could use some more punch from Cook.
In his previous five seasons with Miami and Oklahoma City, Daequan averaged 7.1 points per game; this season, Cook's scoring has dipped to 3.4 in seven games played.
Cook is starting to pick up the pace, nailing 4-of-8 three-point shots over the last two games against the Knicks and Raptors. However, most of those points were in garbage time, and he hasn't earned the Rockets' confidence to move him off the end of the bench.