There is absolutely no doubt that the leading catalyst behind the Houston Rockets' emergence as a potential playoff team is James Harden, but Jeremy Lin deserves credit for his role in that resurgence. He is playing sound, controlled basketball while setting up his talented teammates en route to leading the No. 1 scoring offense in the NBA.
The most important thing to note regarding Lin is that his performance is usually a good barometer for the team's. Lin has really gotten going over the past few weeks, besting his season averages in nearly every stat in February. It's no surprise, then, that the Rockets have been able to go 4-3 in that span, with two notable wins over the Golden State Warriors.
The most important statistic for Lin is assists-to-turnovers ratio, and that's where he has improved most recently. His ratio in February is 3.19, which would be good enough to rank fifth in the league over an entire season. That number is also a vast improvement on his 2.12 number for the entire season, which ranks 48th in the NBA.
If he can maintain that level of efficiency, Lin should be just fine as he operates the fastest-paced and highest-scoring offense in the league. He's gotten better and better in that regard, so there is reason for optimism there.
The real problem with Lin is his streaky shooting and iffy shot selection. To be frank, a 31.7 percent three-point shooter should not be taking three such attempts per game. At this point, Lin should restrict his three-point shots to the corners, where he shoots a solid 37 percent according to NBA.com.
Lin is a great fit in Houston because he's an aggressive passer and shooter. Unfortunately, that tends to harm his statistics, but it helps the Rockets average an incredible 106.1 points per game.
As Lin develops, his decision-making should continue to improve, his shooting will improve and the Rockets potent offense will be that much more deadly.
Until then, let's give Lin at least some credit for his role on one of the NBA's most improved teams.
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