Jeremy Lin may have been the biggest story of the lockout-shortened NBA season. He burst onto the scene with the New York Knicks, helping lead his team to a playoff berth, coming out of relative obscurity.
After an injury ended his season prematurely, there were questions about Lin’s future. His production dropped off as he played more games, and the league seemed to catch up to him. In the offseason, the Knicks let Lin go to the Houston Rockets as a free agent.
New York felt that Lin was worth the $25 million that he will be paid, and decided that Raymond Felton would be a valuable replacement. So far, Lin has proven that the Rockets made a very smart decision.
Since his move to Houston, Lin hasn’t gotten nearly as much publicity as he did when he was playing under the bright lights of the Big Apple. Even though Lin might not be headlining SportsCenter every night, he’s had a big impact on the Rockets to start the 2012-2013 campaign.
Lin has played like one of the league’s best point guards in his short time with Houston. In three games, the third-year player is averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds per contest. He’s helped lead the Rockets to a 2-1 record.
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It may be a small sample size, but it appears that Lin has what it takes to be successful in Houston. He had a string of success in New York, but much of that came with Carmelo Anthony on the bench. Once Anthony got healthy and found his way back into the starting lineup, Lin wasn’t as good.
In Houston, Lin seems to complement the players that are around him.
James Harden was probably the No.1 story of the first week of the season. The guard was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to Houston a few days before the start of the season, but hasn’t been negatively affected by the abrupt move.
Harden leads the NBA by a large margin, averaging 35.3 points per game. He’s also filled up the stat sheet, dishing out 6.3 assists and grabbing 6.3 rebounds per game.
Lin has benefited tremendously from having a star alongside him in the backcourt. Harden can handle the ball, and can even play point guard if needed.
During his time in New York, Lin wasn’t the best player on the team, but he received star-like attention with the Knicks. In Houston, Harden has taken a lot of pressure off Lin. He’s not expected to be the best point guard in basketball, and doesn’t have to try to do too much.
Not only has Lin succeeded on offense, but he has held his own defensively. He’s averaging 2.3 steals per game, and has done an admirable job of keeping opposing point guards at bay.
Three games aren’t enough for Lin to silence his critics, but he may be on his way. He showed last year that he has the potential to be a top point guard in the NBA, and he’s in the right situation to have a big season.