On Monday night, the Houston Rockets staved off elimination by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of their first-round playoff series.
It was the first playoff win for the team in 2013, as they survived with a 105-103 victory. The contest also marked the first time that Jeremy Lin has sat out all season.
In Game Two, Lin missed the entire second half because of a chest contusion. He was able to return for Game 3, but the injury was too much for him to take the court on Monday night.
The injury, combined with Lin’s ineffectiveness, has made for a disappointing series. The three times that the point guard has taken the court, he’s averaging 4.3 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Lin’s health has played a major role in his inability to duplicate his production from the regular season. He’s only averaging 23.3 minutes per contest. However, he hasn’t made the most of his time, hitting just 25 percent of his shots.
Game Two looked like it could be Lin’s breakout playoff performance. In the first half, he went three for seven from the field, grabbed four boards and dished out three assists. His night was cut short, though, when Lin hurt his chest.
The decline in Lin’s play comes on the heels of the 24-year-old playing his best basketball of the year. In April, Lin set a season-high by scoring 17.3 points and registering 6.9 assists per night. It appeared that he was peaking at the right time, but the point guard has been stifled by the No.1 seed in the West and a chest injury.
This postseason is Lin’s first ever playoff appearance. He missed the New York Knicks first-round series with the Miami Heat last year because of an injury.
Lin still has a chance to improve his playoff numbers, if he can get back on the court. However, time is running out, as the Rockets face a tough task in Game Five. They’ll visit the Thunder for what will likely be their last game of the season.
2013 Playoff Grade: D