Sure, the Houston Rockets lost the game, but who cares? Linsanity was back!
Well, at least for one night. The fact is, Lin has not lived up to the expectations that come with signing a contract that's paying him $8.3 million this year.
It's time he started justifying his paycheck.
Yes, I know that James Harden should be this team's top scorer, and Harden hasn't disappointed, averaging 25 points per game. But even with the offense primarily running through him, surely Lin should still post better numbers than 11.3 points and 6.1 assists per game, right?
Where is the guy that flashed into the lane and finished at the hoop? Where's the dangerous gunner from beyond the three-point arc? What happened to the exciting Lin?
Truthfully, leaving Mike D'Antoni's system probably has something to do with this. Lin's cerebral game and scoring touch worked in the spacing created by D'Antoni's offense, something Lin isn't going to see as much with Houston.
And even with D'Antoni around, Lin's scoring went down once Carmelo Anthony returned. When paired with a star, Lin naturally (and wisely) takes something of a backseat.
Plus, his turnovers are down. It's not like Lin isn't a servicable player or anything; he most certainly is. But he's not playing like an upper-echelon point guard, and that's what the Rockets were hoping he would be—and payed him handsomely given that belief.
Lin is going to have to learn how to score as a catch-and-shoot player since Harden often likes to bring the ball up the court, and he'll need to continue his progression as a pure point guard.
We know he can score when the offense is catered to his style, but can he consistently produce as the No. 2 option?
That's the big question, and Lin is being paid like a man who needs to answer it. Harden and Lin can work and be one of the most fun backcourts in the league, but it's going to take Lin adjusting his game to make it happen.
It would be insane to expect Linsanity to return. It would be even crazier if Lin can't move on and evolve his game.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are no longer Linsane in the membrane. Those were the good ol' days.
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