Jeremy Lin is one of the most intriguing players in the NBA, but he’s still only been a starter for 76 total games during his short career—meaning he has plenty left to learn and is still prone to some extremely inconsistent stretches.
One of those stretches came when the Houston Rockets took on the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, as Lin was only able to manage a meager 13 points (on 3-of-10 shooting), three assists, one rebound, one steal and one block.
Of course, the Rockets went on to lose to the defending champs, 114-108.
Had Lin been able to contribute more on the scoring end, he would have helped take pressure off James Harden (36 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals), and Houston would have had a legitimate chance to steal a win.
When the Taiwanese-American PG is on point, he’s one of the more dynamic scoring guards and facilitators in the entire league. One night prior to that loss in South Beach, Lin went absolutely bonkers and paced the Rockets to a 140-109 victory over the competitive Golden State Warriors.
The 24-year-old Harvard product connected on 10 of 16 shots (and five of eight shots from downtown) to total a team-high 28 points. He also dished nine dimes. Harden was still a major factor (18 points and seven assists), but he wasn’t counted on to carry the scoring burden for the Rockets.
There are plenty of young, talented pieces surrounding the two superstar backcourt players in Houston, including swingman Chandler Parsons and big center Omer Asik. If Lin can find the right balance of scoring himself, letting Harden get his and involving the role players in coach Kevin McHale’s offense, the Rockets are going to win a lot of games over the next few years.
As it currently stands, the H-Town franchise is a respectable 27-24 and sitting as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. The Rockets will have to fight hard to keep the surging Los Angeles Lakers (23-26) and resilient Trail Blazers (25-24) off their backs, but it’s certainly possible for Houston to make the postseason
It’s going to take a bit more consistency from Lin in order to keep double-teams off Harden and help to save the shooting guards legs for when the squad truly needs a bucket.