Did the Rockets make a mistake?
Was Linsanity a fluke?
Were the Rockets NBA Finals contenders?
Now that the hysteria has died down a bit and Lin has put in 55 games with the Rockets, it's much easier to examine the move. Here's a look at what Lin has done thus far, the Rockets' ceiling with Lin running the point and an overall grade for the move.
Lin got off to a somewhat rough start at the beginning of the season, but his numbers have slowly improved as the season wears on. After 55 starts this season, here's Lin's stat line for the season:
32.7 MPG, 12.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, 43.4% FG, 2.9 TPG
For comparison, these are Lin's stats from his stint with the New York Knicks last season:
26.9 MPG, 14.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, 44.6% FG, 3.6 TPG
Looking at those two stat lines, Lin's numbers have pretty much remained the same as they were in his time with the Knicks. Of course, he played less minutes and still scored a little more, but he's taken on a different role with the Rockets and he's cut down on turnovers.
Lin's numbers don't reflect those of an "elite" point guard. His 12.6 points per game rank 14th among point guards, his assists are 13th at the position and his turnovers are seventh-most for starting point guards.
Overall, Lin's numbers indicate that he is more than capable of being the starting point guard of the future. He's just not "elite".
Future Fit with Rockets
The primary question surrounding whether or not the Lin signing was ultimately a success is how far the Rockets can go with Lin running the point.
Looking at the current NBA landscape and the direction the Rockets are headed, the answer is pretty far. With Lin as a full-time starter, the Rockets are clinging on to the No. 8 seed in the Western conference.
Lin's solid play has been an important part of the Rockets success, but the organization has built a strong core that won't ask Lin to be a superstar for them to find success.
James Harden has stepped in as the primary catalyst on the offensive side of the floor. The Rockets have a deep supply of athletic forwards like Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris.
The Rockets can be a successful team with Lin at the point because they've surrounded him with emerging players throughout the lineup.
Lin is the kind of player that evokes a strong reaction either way.
Fans of Lin have been known to insist he's capable of being a top point guard in the league. His detractors are just as quick to say that he doesn't belong in an NBA starting lineup.
At the All-Star break in the first year of his new deal, the truth lies in between. Lin is a solid starter, capable of putting up numbers that rank in the upper half of the league at his position.
He'll never be the Rockets' top player, but they certainly didn't make a mistake bringing him into the fold.