Jeremy Lin is still trying to figure out how to maximize his reduced role with the Houston Rockets.
Last season, his first with the Rockets, Lin was relegated to a being spot up shooter, while coach Kevin McHale let James Harden take the role of primary creator, despite being the shooting guard.
This season, Lin lost his starting position to Patrick Beverly because Harden and Lin were players that were more effective with the ball in their hand and the offense struggled with both of them in the game.
I’m sure Lin has no problem with his reserve role, but he struggles to play consistency and confidently off the bench in restricted minutes.
Still, Lin has had times when he shined and made us recall his amazing run with the New York Knicks. It rarely happens, but when it does happen it’s usually when Harden is either out with an injury or ineffective.
Last night was one of those nights that Beardy wasn’t his normal dominating self (and Beverly was limited by a fever), and Lin took over. After a tough game four, Lin came out aggressive and the Blazers were caught off-balance by Lin’s attack. “It seemed like Jeremy Lin hit big shot after big shot,” Wes Matthews said. “He was attacking the rim, hitting shots. We have to do a better job defensively on him.”
In game 5, Lin hit nine shots and scored a career playoff high of 21 points.
If McHale and the Rockets ever figure out how to get the most out of Lin within the scope of the team, perhaps like a James Harden when he was with the OKC Thunder, Houston will be that much more dangerous.