Linsanity is already alive and well in Houston, and it is growing with each brick chucked up by the Rockets' Jeremy Lin. This was not the Linsanity the Rockets hoped they were purchasing.
However, it is far too early to give up on Lin.
He is averaging 10.2 points, 6.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Now, it is not the assist or rebound numbers but the points that will leave fans hoping for more. For the season last year, Lin shot 44.6 percent from the field. This season, he is shooting just 34.8 percent from the field.
But, thanks to Joe Kaiser of ESPN, we don't have to stop there. We can get far more in depth.
Through the Rockets' first 12 games this season, Lin is shooting 16.7 percent from shots in the 10- to 15-foot range, and 29.4 percent on attempts from the 16- to 23-foot range. Those numbers are, to put it mildly, not good.
Now let's compare that to last season, where Kaiser was also wise enough to point out the stats.
Last season, Lin ranked in the NBA's top seven among point guards in field goal percentage from 10 to 15 feet and 16 to 23 feet. He was more accurate from these distances than many household names, such as Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. He demonstrated a jump shot that deserved to be respected, and teams adjusted accordingly.
So, obviously this is a huge switch in shooting and one would be foolish to expect that to be permanent. Players go through shooting slumps all the time, and given that Lin is adjusting to new surroundings, new teammates and a new system, it is not surprising that he would be prone to a slump now.
Lin will grow more comfortable in the offense. He will grow more comfortable with his role alongside James Harden.
This will lead to Lin gaining confidence, which will help some of his clanking jumpers find the bucket as well as lead to him taking better shots to begin with.
Lin's greatest asset on offense is his ability to get to the rim. He needs to focus on driving to the hoop more. This will create not only easier looks for him, but also for his teammates.
He is struggling right now, but these struggles were to be expected. He will improve. It might not be to the level he held for a brief, shining moment last year, but he will be a valuable NBA starter.
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