With all the trade rumors at first, it seemed like adding Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets wasn’t going to be something Jeremy Lin is too happy about. However, things have changed, with the team not planning on moving any of their players at the moment, which makes the future connection between the point guard and the All-Star center vital to their success.
Lin knows what it’s like to play next to a star player – he experienced an entire season next to James Harden. Despite not being used as much as he could have, and possibly individually benefiting from playing on a different team in a different system, Lin is happy with the Rockets, and happy with being on a team that is suddenly considered to be a rising force in the Western Conference, maybe even title contenders.
We always want to go as deep as we can but I’m not going to make any guarantees right now. Any time you get bumped out in the first round, you get a taste of what of it’s about but it’s kind of like a tease — you want it to go longer. It made us even hungrier.
Lin averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 assists last season, playing in all 82 games. While he had the kind of nights that made him into an overnight sensation with the Knicks, being relegated to somewhat of a spot up player did hurt his numbers and his impact on the team. However, being a pick & roll kind of team shouldn’t change, especially with Howard now starting instead of Asik.
Whiel Asik was a double double machine, he wasn’t the most effective player in the NBA when it comes to the pick & roll and being a finisher on such a play. However, Howard, despite the criticism he has received, mostly last year, from trying to do too much in the post without having the necessary skills for it, is one of the best in the NBA when it comes to being a roll man on the pick & roll play.
The question is who is going to be the guard with the ball in his hands most of the time – it’s not bad when James Harden holds it, but Harden is a much better spot up shooter than Lin, and with Morey not planning on moving his point guard at the moment, keeping the routine of using him the wrong way just doesn’t seem like a wise course of action for the Rockets, no matter how promising they seem to think Patrick Beverley is.
There’s no doubt the 1-2 punch is going to be Harden and Howard, in what might be the most potentially explosive guard-center duo we’ve seen in quite some time, but that depends on how smart they decide to play it. The Rockets now have a deep team with a good chance of reaching the conference semifinal at least (lets not get too ahead of ourselves with title talk), but a lot of it depends on how well Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik are used, be it in the lineup or off the bench.