Jeremy Lin News & Update: With Dwight Howard around, Linsanity is Bound for All-Star Success Next Season
Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, despite all the criticisms about his game, might find himself suiting up for his first ever All-Star Game, thanks largely to what's going to be a very dominant partnership with Dwight Howard.
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Lin enters his second season with the Rockets with lots of expectation. Despite Lin's flat performance in his first ever postseason, General Daryl Morey is still very much optimistic that the Harvard standout can be an ideal point guard for the lock and loaded Rockets squad.
Roughly three months ago since the arrival of Howard in Houston, Lin found his tenure with the Rockets at a crossroad after rumors about potential trades involving him and center Omir Asik swirled out of control.
The truth is that the Rockets were on the brink of trading Lin and Asik several times at the peak of the free agency period, but the ball club decided to stick with these players for what could be a huge 2012-2013 season for the franchise.
Apparently, the decision to keep Lin is worth the risk. Why? It is because Linsanity is bound for an All-Star season.
It might be absurd to think that a player who averaged 4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists during the postseason is set to become an All-Star the next season. After all, stars aren't born in the regular-season, but in the playoffs.
However, Lin's case is different. The Rockets guard played his first ever playoff series against a team touted as the one to beat in the Western Conference last season - the Oklahoma City Thunder. The chest injury also didn't help Lin's cause at all as Patrick Beverley went on to assume his spot throughout the competitive six-game series.
Overall, Lin actually played solidly in his first full season of his career as he averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds. This numbers could have been greater if he just became aggressive on the offensive end, but Lin decided to be a good teammate and let James Harden shine as one of the top gunners in the league.
With Howard around, Lin is expected to assert himself as a crucial piece in the Rockets' championship puzzle. The team's run-and-gun offense well suited Lin's skills from the start, the only problem was he didn't have the ideal personnel to perfectly run his bread-and-butter play - the pick-and-roll.
Lin is a pick-and-roll virtuoso ever since his rise to fame in New York. But keep in mind that Lin only became so successful with the Knicks because of the presence of a big man with outstanding court awareness and good hands - that was Tyson Chandler. With the Rockets, Lin only had Asik - a defensive big man with still a developing offensive game.
Now comes Howard to the picture and Lin is expected to surge by banking on this on-court partnership. Before his much-criticized stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard was actually a dominant force in the middle. With great quickness and footwork at his size, Howard effectively finished pick-and-roll plays with Jameer Nelson with ease. Howard could have been that good with the Lakers, if only Steve Nash managed to keep himself injury-free and develop a great bond with the 6-foot-10 man, but unfortunately it didn't happen.
All of a sudden, the Rockets now have two of the best pick-and-roll performers in the league: the passer in Lin and the finisher in Howard. Of course, Harden is going to be the top scorer for the Rockets, but Lin and Howard pick-and-roll plays are the ones to better watch out, Moreover, if Lin continues to improve his range and tighten his defense, an All-Star season is not impossible at all. After all, he almost snatched the starting All-Star spot from Chris Paul last year via fan vote.
Rockets fans, believe it or not, Linsanity is here to stay.