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Jeremy Lin: Linsanity a Better Fit for Rockets Than Knicks

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJuly 25, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 19: Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets speaks to the media as he is introduced during a press conference at Toyota Center on July 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Lin has signed a three year $25 million dollar contract with the Houston Rockets.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Jeremy Lin’s hype is the only thing that will suffer.

Linsanity won’t be the same in H-Town as it was in NYC—it’s all about market size when it comes to hype. Lin’s performance on the court, though, will flourish with the Houston Rockets far more than it would have with the New York Knicks next season.

A combination of Lin, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire was just never going to allow any of the three to reach their full potential. They simply all need the basketball in their hands to succeed.

Lin had the fifth highest usage rate out of any point guard in 2012. He needed to control the basketball more than the likes of Tony Parker, Chris Paul and Brandon Jennings. And according to 82games.com, only 24 percent of his field goals were assisted.

But that isn’t a problem when surrounded by role players.

The seven-game winning streak that turned the Knicks season around in January raised undeniable questions about the team’s makeup.

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During that season-saving streak, Anthony was only healthy for one game and in it, he recorded an ineffective 11 points. Stoudemire only played in three of the seven. New York won four straight games with Lin carrying the team because he was surrounded with role players like Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert and Steve Novak whose strengths didn’t clash with Lin’s.

Melo finished with the sixth highest usage percentage in the league this season and second among small forwards only to LeBron James. According to 82games.com, only 38 percent of his field goals were assisted.

Throw Stoudemire into the mix and the Knicks' tug-of-war game gets even more intense. Stoudemire only had the 10th highest usage rate for his position this season, but that, along with injuries, are why his offensive numbers plummeted. When he put himself in the MVP discussion in 2011, he had the highest usage rate by far among big men.

James Dolan may have finally realized that the game of basketball is only played with one ball, and he chose to keep Anthony and Stoudemire instead of Lin. Well, that’s his loss. Again, don’t expect Lin’s hype to return to Linsanity form, but his numbers will.

Kevin Martin is the only Rocket who flat-out demands the basketball. But even then, he isn’t nearly the ball hog that Melo is.

Houston won’t be one of the most talented teams in the West next season, but they’ll win plenty of games. Why? Because they’re loaded with role players that will embrace being role players.

That will allow Lin to run the offense which is exactly why they’re paying him $25 million. Anthony is right, it’s ridiculous to pay Lin that much money to stand around and watch him shoot. With the ball in Lin's hands, though, the Rockets will surprise people.

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.


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