Jeremy Lin Will Prove Doubters Wrong as Facilitator for Elite Houston Rockets

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 16, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 05: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball during a preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 5, 2013 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The Pelicans won 116 to 115. 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 Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
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On paper, the Houston Rockets have one of the best rosters in the NBA and should compete for a championship in 2013-14.

Point guard Jeremy Lin doesn't have the star power of some of his teammates, but any of his detractors will be proven wrong when he thrives this season with a loaded supporting cast at his side.

Even though he posted respectable per-game averages of 13.4 points, three rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals, Lin took some heat in his first season with the Rockets.

When general manager Daryl Morey traded for James Harden to join Lin in the backcourt, there was a palpable shift as to who the face of the franchise was. Harden was now just that, and Lin, in his own words, was relegated to "taking a back seat."

Even while Harden hogged the ball and often took opponents to the rim in isolation situations—averaging an NBA-high 10.2 free-throw attempts in the process—Lin managed to be productive.

True, defense is not Lin's strong suit, but he won't have to stress about impressing as much on that end of the court with the arrival of Dwight Howard.

The biggest prize—literally—in free agency chose Houston, a squad that needed him in the most desperate way after yielding the third-most points per game in the league a season ago.

Howard's commanding paint presence can allow Lin to be a more aggressive on-ball defender and gamble on passing lanes, which should inflate his steals totals.

And remember when Lin was at the height of his breakout performance with the New York Knicks? He was at his best acting on instinct and playing freely—something that better defense can facilitate more often in the form of fast-break opportunities going the other way.

It's also no longer a secret that Chandler Parsons is one of the premier small forwards in NBA—a great glue guy who has the all-around game to thrive with the pieces the Rockets have in place.

Then there is the matter of pick-and-roll offense with Howard, which Lin has implied he's eager to try. Lin made his living and got his massive contract by excelling within that offensive concept.

In his previous stops, Howard has never been in more of an ideal position to succeed on offense. From his perspective, Lin has never had a center with D12's upside to feed off the dribble with his playmaking ability.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - OCTOBER 13:  Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets celebrates from the bench during the game against the Indiana Pacers during the 2013 Global Games on October 13, 2013 at the Taipei Arena in Taipei, Taiwan.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
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All signs are pointing to Lin being a raging success in such an environment.

Doubters may bash him for being overrated, but bear in mind that Lin is entering just his fourth NBA season and second as a full-time starter.

As long as Lin keeps working hard, doesn't press and relies on the talent around him, the production will take care of itself—and the number of naysayers will diminish.