Jeremy Lin Continues to Prove NBA Legitimacy as Rockets Starting Point Guard

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIFebruary 27, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23:  Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets looks on from the floor during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on February 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. 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 Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Jeremy Lin took control of New York City and dominated the 2011-12 NBA regular season. The critics of Linsanity referred to him a flash in the pan. While the critique of his stardom came with rationale, senseless questions arose in reference to his status of a deserving NBA player.

As the 2012-13 season progresses, Lin continues to prove his legitimacy as the Houston Rockets' starting point guard.

Lin struggled from the opening game, which led many to believe that his time as an NBA player had passed. As months have passed, however, Lin has done everything it takes to benefit the team.

Just check the numbers.

During the opening month of the season, Lin averaged 10.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Lin also shot a solid 37.3 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The following month, Lin put up 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals. This time: He shot 48.9 percent from the floor and 29.2 percent from distance..

That trend continued as the season progressed.

Thus far in February, Lin is averaging 14.9 points, 6.7 assists and 1.3 steals. Best of all, he's shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and an improved 45.2 percent from three-point range.

Even with the improper handling of his minutes, Lin is progressing—rapidly.

Battling Improper Use

Throughout Jeremy Lin's time with the Houston Rockets, fans and analysts have begun to question head coach Kevin McHale's use of Lin. For those who debate that point, take a look at the numbers.

Amongst point guards, Lin ranks 40th in usage rate.

In other words—Lin doesn't have the ball in his hands. Considering he took the league by storm as a dynamic playmaker who thrived in the drive-and-dish, that has to come as a surprise.

In fact, it's downright stunning.

Even as James Harden performs at an MVP-caliber level, one can't help but wonder when the Rockets will let him open the offense up. Fortunately, Lin has jumped at every opportunity to do so.

For those who have watched him play, there is no denying how dynamic he can be.

He's Only 24

Are we harping on the fact that Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder can't overtake LeBron James as the best player in the world? Have we butchered Derrick Rose for following his MVP season with an injury-plagued campaign?

If your answer is no, then try explaining why we insist on attacking another 24-year-old.

Through all of the hype and damaging criticism, we all seem to forget that Lin is young and inexperienced. Not only is he 24, but he's only played 122 career games.

Even still, he's performing at the same level as the rest of the second-tier point guards in the NBA. The difference is, Lin hasn't come close to scratching the surface of his prime.

Grab your erasers and take the writing off of the wall. This young man's story is not over just yet.

Not by a long shot.

As he gains more experience, Lin will continue to improve as a point guard. Just follow the number trail.

Since Jan. 25, Lin is averaging 15.0 points, 6.9 assists and 1.7 steals on 46.5 percent shooting—that sounds like a legitimate NBA point guard to me.


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