One last time about Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets. There’s a new chapter for him beginning with the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s still very interesting to look back at how things went badly for him on a team that believed a bit too much in the “genius” of Daryl Morey, only to be left with James Harden, Dwight Howard, Kevin McHale and currently being very far from the contender status they were hoping for.
Andrew Sharp tried being gentle with Daryl Morey in his excellent article on Grantland. However, sometimes, when your main goal is using 1800 words to deliver your point and not actually delivering one, you get soft around the edges. The point he’s making and that should be getting across: Daryl Morey isn’t nearly the genius some try to make him out to be, and it usually shows when it comes to him evaluating talent and actually putting together the concept of a team.
It’s funny how Morey represents the Sabermetrics and Moneyball movement in the NBA, yet felt so compelled to make his team about superstars, not anything else. He decided he’ll play without a point guard, demoting the only true one he had into the wrong role and coming off the bench, knowing fully well that he isn’t being treated in the same way other players are. A mistake by Lin meant a long time on the bench. A mistake by someone else, including Patrick Beverley or James Harden, resulted in simply running the same play.
It reminds me of Tony D’Amato in Any Given Sunday during one of the losses of the Miami Sharks. His team is doing badly in the rain and one of their plays gets stopped pretty quickly. His QB looks at him and D’Amato signals ‘Same Play.’ It’s funny that some people think that doing the same thing over and over again will somehow bring them better results the second and third time around.
Moving Lin was a panic move considering how badly things went with their addition of Chris Bosh, which didn’t happen, and how the whole Chandler Parsons thing fell apart. Now there’s talk of the Rockets bringing Rajon Rondo over, somehow. Not that they really have the assets to make that move. The Rockets are left with a head coach who doesn’t really shine when it comes to teaching his team anything or producing the most out of players who aren’t James Harden or Dwight Howard, and with Harden and Howard of course.
Lin is a symbol of how things were done wrong by the Rockets over the last two seasons. Instead of building a team, they went for players with lackeys. Maybe Morey loves looking at advances stats and what not, but sports and especially basketball will always be about more than just the numbers. He read the map wrong. Of how this team clicked together. Of how a defense wasn’t being formed. Of how he built himself a one-man show, despite telling himself otherwise.
Lin is now gone to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has one year to make a lot of money, but also, hopefully, be in a system that relies on him instead of trying to shackle him all the time. This is still Kobe Bryant’s team, and the Lakers might not be too happy with how things went for them in this offseason considering the potential additions they failed to sign, and yet things don’t feel as bad as they do in Houston, where some might be realizing that their promising team and previously inspiring general manager are more about talk than anything else.