Jeremy Lin: Houston PG Must Elevate Play for Rockets to Secure Playoff Spot

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2013

Feb 20, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Thunder 122-119. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets (31-27) currently own the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but if they're going to hang onto that spot, the Rockets need consistency and elevated play from point guard Jeremy Lin.

While Lin isn't quite living up to the "Linsanity," he's still having a decent season for Houston.

The third-year guard is averaging 12.7 points per game and 6.2 assists per game and is turning it over fewer than three times per game—an improvement from his 3.6 turnover per game mark from last season with the New York Knicks.

Lin's shooting percentages are relatively the same from his season in New York, but in a strong Western Conference, Lin needs to raise his game for Houston to stay in the playoff race.

He's shooting just 43 percent from the field and an even worse 32 percent from three-point range, which isn't exactly what you want from your point guard.

After a dismal start to the 2012-13 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are playing better basketball of late, going 8-3 in February so far and pulling within 2.5 games of the Rockets for the eighth and final seed in the West.

The Dallas Mavericks also shouldn't be counted out of the West, as they're only 4.5 games behind Houston.

The dominance of James Harden and mid-season acquisition of Thomas Robinson should help the Rockets, but that doesn't mean Lin is off the hook.

As the facilitator of the offense, Lin has to be more consistent in distributing the basketball.

The 24-year-old has posted just seven games of double-digit assists this season but has eight games with five or more turnovers.

Lin's shooting percentages have been better than his season averages in February, and if he continues that trend, I think the Rockets will be in good shape.

Harden has established himself as the superstat scorer for the Rockets while Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons have been crucial to Houston's success.

But it all comes back to Lin.

With the Lakers heating up, Houston's playoff hopes rest squarely on the shoulders of the young point guard.

Now we'll have to wait and see if he delivers.


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