Lin’s game has been the subject of much contention throughout the league since the young man blossomed under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden in 2012.
The starting point guard position in the NBA is usually the most oft criticized, much like a quarterback in the NFL. It is that level of scrutiny that weighs on Lin’s performances and puts his every deficiency under the microscope.
As a player, he is certainly adequate. The Houston Rockets need more from him in a couple of areas, though, if they plan to make a run at a Western Conference title.
That’s what the desired end result is, right?
In order to get there, Lin needs to improve his ball security, shot selection, court-vision and defensive acumen.
Lin’s turnovers often times have to do with his lack of awareness on the floor, a big problem for someone who is supposed to be in charge of facilitating an offense. As a result, Lin struggles with creating for his teammates.
That’s apparent in his 160 turnovers through the All-Star break. That mark ties him with rookie Damian Lillard for the fourth-most turnovers in the league. His teammates benefit from the things he does well, as he is averaging 6.2 assists per contest. But that ranks him 16th in the NBA, making him far outside of the elite ball handlers in the league.
What’s that all mean? Well, his assists and turnovers equate to a 2.12 assist-to-turnover ratio. That mark is near the worst in the league among his starting PG peers.
Picking the right shot is a problem for Lin sometimes, too. This goes back to awareness, but Lin needs to be more aggressive at times and needs to know when to defer and create for his teammates as situations dictate.
Now, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do any of those things well. This is about constructive criticism, not lambasting him without understanding the realities at play.
Lin isn’t as bad as this may make him sound, and he does do a good job at times. His main problem is inconsistency, though, and that he struggles more once he starts performing poorly.
There is certainly potential for him to get better and be the player many currently think he is, or hope he can be. He’s still green and will hopefully only go up from here.
The Rockets’ near-term success is hanging in the balance. Let’s see if he can step up to the challenge and continue to better himself and his teammates.