Some people need a regular basketball fix, and with the NBA out for the next four months, following free agency and trade news just isn’t enough. That’s why summer leagues have gotten such a boost in recent years, including the San Francsico Pro-Am game, with Jeremy Lin getting a chance to do a little bit more than he did for the Houston Rockets this season.
The fact that Lin scored 45 points doesn’t really matter. This is a game about fun, without too many noteworthy talents tagging along: Scott Machado(NBA Warriors Player), Drew Gordon, Steven Lumpkins. That’s about it. Lin could probably have ended with a whole lot more.
But it brings back the questions of Lin’s role with the Rockets. Obviously, he’s not going to score 45 points a night in Houston, or for any other NBA team. But he has had some big games during his third NBA season, including 38 points (without James Harden playing next to him) in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
In all, he scored more than 20 points 16 times last season, most of them without going off in a unique way from beyond the arc. He’s capable of having these big nights, for himself and for his team, if the ball would just be in his hand a little bit more, instead of James Harden getting most of the possession.
Lin is a point guard, and nothing will change that. He isn’t an exceptional three point shooter to warrant him becoming a spot-up kind of player (33.9% from beyond the arc last season). He does his best work on the move, and when he needs to make his decisions that also involve finding other players open, instead of thinking about scoring first and second.
For those in a need to see Lin get some sort of superstarish time on the court, the summer leagues, at the moment, are the place to be, because as long as he’s playing next to James Harden (although the arrival of Dwight Howard might change things), he’s going to continue to feel that he’s not being used the right way.