Jeremy Lin: Rockets Guard Must Play All-Around Game to Make Biggest Impact

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 26:  Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets celebrates a play on the court during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Toyota Center on January 26, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It's no secret that Jeremy Lin's scoring average for the Houston Rockets during the 2012-13 season isn't what it once was as a member of the New York Knicks, but that doesn't mean the star point guard can't make a major impact for his team.

Last season with the Knicks, Lin went on a sick scoring streak during the month of February that had everyone believing he was a legit NBA scorer. However, those expectations were unfair and unrealistic at the time, and the notion of him as a big scorer has been unproven since.

In the end, Lin averaged 14.6 points per game, while adding 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds during his time in the Big Apple.

This year, Lin has produced similar numbers for the Rockets, yet his scoring average has dipped to 12 points per game.

Why has this happened?

Well, playing with James Harden in the starting lineup has no doubt contributed to such a decline in his scoring average. Harden is currently averaging 26 points per game, good enough for fifth-best in the NBA.

Harden's ability as a scorer commands the ball on a consistent basis, and Harden has only once helped Lin to score 20 points in the month of January, with a few 19-point performances mixed in.

Beyond that, Lin hasn't been much of a factor scoring the ball lately, and pretty much all season long.

But of late, Lin has shown a different side to his game, a side he needs to continue to display in order to make a bigger impact for the Rockets.

We've seen flashes of Lin's all-around game lately, most notably against the New Orleans Hornets in last Friday's contest.

The Houston point guard only scored 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting, but he also added eight assists, five rebounds and six steals in what was easily one of his finer all-around performances of the season.

So clearly Lin is capable of being everywhere on both sides of the ball; now all that's left is to do it on a consistent basis.

It's obvious Lin has the ability to score at will on any given night, but that hasn't been the norm this season. That doesn't mean he's failing his team by any stretch, but Lin would better serve the Rockets' needs if he can tally high assist, rebound and steal totals from night to night.

The biggest knock on Lin has been his defensive prowess, or lack thereof. However, Lin seems to be putting a bit more effort into that side of the ball, and the fact that his steals-per-game average has gone up nearly a full steal this month as compared to last is evidence of such.

Sometimes great defense can be the best offense, and Lin will find that if he can play stingier defense it will lead to easier buckets on the other end. The same goes for rebounding, namely the longer boards that tend to bounce to a guard playing on the perimeter.

While Houston would love for Lin to score the ball more, it isn't absolutely necessary for his team to win.

Instead, Lin must continue to improve on other aspects of his game, and it appears he's beginning to do just that.