For Jeremy Lin to put off all the trade rumors and make him the undisputed starting point guard for the Houston Rockets and furthermore a vital part of a team that might be contending for a title next season, he’s going to have to do better than his debut season for the team, which seems to be his goal this summer.
Lin averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 assists for the Rockets during the regular season, but his playoff experience (his first ever) was less successful, being healthy enough for only four games as a chest injury limited him and was later aggravated by Kevin Durant (possibly as a dirty cheap shot), averaging only 4 points an 2 assists per game while shooting 25% from the field.
Maybe that’s where the sense of disappointment from his first season with the Rockets, the first time he was named as a starter before the year began, comes from. Lin was good, sometimes more than that, sometimes slightly worse, during the regular season. In the playoffs he was awful on both ends of the floor, showing it’s quite a long way for him before he becomes something of a consensus when people talk about the best point guards in the NBA.
Yeah, shooting and doing a lot of lefty stuff — hopefully that will show that I’ve gotten a lot better at those things. I would say another big thing has been posture. That might not sound like much, but it’s a big deal for me because it made me slower in the past. That’s more of a defensive-oriented improvement I’m trying to make.
Lin wasn’t in the perfect situation last season. A point guard who plays as a spot up shooter, with a dominant player like James Harden taking up most of the touches, possessions and decisions. Things will slightly change this year. The insertion of a center, a very dominant one, into the mix will force Harden to change the way he plays, and probably put the ball a bit more in Lin’s hands as a ball handler as he tries to manage between the two demands for the ball. He simply does that better than Harden, who a selfish approach from him might lead to unfortunate reactions from Howard, looking to get plenty of touches with the Rockets, or at least more than he did last season.
Lin isn’t about improving the technical side of his game as well, not to mention defense. To become a big-time player, there are certain mental issues that need to be solved or at least improved in order for him to become a more dominant and consistent performer in the league.
I think a lot of it comes from your mentality in training. For example: working on how your mind responds in certain situations like when you miss your first shot of a game or a drill. So whether I’m playing pick-up, or in a league or I’m just doing shooting drills, I’m constantly saying, ‘Next one’s in, next one’s in’ in order to train my thought process so that my confidence never wavers and I never even allow any sort of doubt to trickle in.
Despite all of the rumors, Lin is going to be the starter at point guard for the Rockets. Patrick Beverley might have a few things going for him, but if the Rockets’ goal is to have the best team on the floor, Lin is the one who should be there next to Harden in the backcourt.