Jeremy Lin Must Improve Defense in Second Season with Rockets

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Jeremy Lin Must Improve Defense in Second Season with Rockets
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

After young point guard Patrick Beverley's emergence last season, Jeremy Lin must show that he can play defense if he wants to stay with the Houston Rockets beyond his three-year contract.

Opposing point guards registered a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 16.9 against Lin last season, while averaging 9.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds per 48 minutes, according to

By comparison, opposing point guards registered a PER of 15.3 against Beverley, while averaging 6.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 turnovers per 48 minutes. 

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

With James Harden averaging 5.8 assists and registering a usage rate of 28.9 percent last season and Dwight Howard moving to Houston over the offseason, the Rockets don't necessarily need Lin's scoring ability or distribution skills. What could help the team even more is a defensive-minded point guard who still has the ability to distribute. Beverly fits this mold.

Will Jeremy Lin be expendable if Patrick Beverley continues to improve?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Not only was Beverley a better defensive player than Lin last season, he registered a better assist-to-turnover ratio during the regular season (2.61 to 2.13, according to That's not even counting his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.83 (17 assists, six turnovers) in six playoff games against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Beverley makes a combined $1.7 million in his next two years, according to Lin makes $20.1 million during that time before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

If Beverley can prove to be a capable ball-handler and distributor in the next two seasons, and if Harden and Howard can learn to work together, there is no reason to keep Lin in Houston. He will only be added weight, given his high price tag and defensive deficiencies.

Despite a breakout year in 2011-12 with the New York Knicks, Lin is once again in a battle for a starting spot, whether he sees it or not.

Twitter Button from <span class=

Follow Houston Rockets from B/R on Facebook

Follow Houston Rockets from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Houston Rockets

Subscribe Now

By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up.