Jeremy Lin's 38-point performance against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night was one of the finest games of his Houston Rockets career, but playing at a high level consistently is still a real problem for the young point guard.
More than any other position, point guards have to be consistent each night because their team's offense flows through them. Inconsistent play from floor generals affects the whole team's offense in a negative way.
Since the start of November, Lin has scored 10 or more points in consecutive games just one time, and over for entire season, he has scored more than 20 points in only two games.
Lin isn't being asked to lead the league, or even his own team in scoring this year, but his current points per game average of 11.4 isn't good enough for a player of his caliber earning a good-sized salary.
The Rockets' point guard is also shooting just 39 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from the three-point line.
Another problem for Lin is that he's not getting to the free-throw line as often as he needs to, and one reason for this is that he's not being aggressive offensively.
He has shot more than three free throws in a game just three times this season. That's not good enough for a player that excels when he drives to the basket and puts pressure on defenses.
Lin's inconsistency puts even more of the scoring burden on teammates James Harden and Chandler Parsons, which isn't the ideal situation for head coach Kevin McHale.
Houston is currently 9-11 and in fourth place in the Southwest Division. The good news for Rockets is that the eighth-place team in the Western Conference has just a one-game lead on them.
If Lin is more consistent offensively and raises his scoring production, the Rockets will be very tough to beat because they have a lot of offensive talent for opposing teams to game-plan for.
Will the Rockets make the playoffs?
Houston has players who can spread the floor with good outside shooting, and guys like Harden who can take the ball to the rim and finish with authority.
The only way for Lin and the Rockets to improve this season is for him to play like a top-tier point guard on a consistent basis.
Leaving New York City to join a new team, in addition to signing a large contract can put a lot of pressure on any player, but Lin has to play better for the Rockets to reach the playoffs in 2012-13. Being more consistent should be a top priority for Lin as the season progresses.