The Houston Rockets more than likely are going to be pretty bad this coming season. They have too many power forwards masquerading as small forwards, or vice versa, it's unclear. They also only have one true center, Omer Asik, who has shown promise but also only averaged 13 minutes a game. Still, they're going to be one of the most talked about teams to start the season for one reason and one reason only: Jeremy Lin. Lin was a huge hit in New York last year despite having his season cut short due to a knee injury. However, if you listen to what Lin told the Houston Chronicle after his first workout with his new team, he's in better shape mentally and physically than he was at any point last season (H/T to Kurt Helin).
He said he has changed since his breakthrough season in New York, returning to Toyota Center fully recuperated from the torn meniscus in his left knee that ended his season and 10 pounds lighter…
“I learned a lot in New York,” Lin said. “It happened so fast I think I learned (about) basketball, but I think I learned a lot about people, a lot about life. That was huge. On the outside looking in, it might have been all about the glitz and the glamour, but it was really tough for me to handle everything, from all aspects.”
It's tough to gauge what the Rockets are going to get out of Lin. If he's lost ten pounds one can deduce that he's going to be faster and quicker than he was last season. However, Lin was also the perfect guy for Mike D'Antoni's pick and roll heavy offense and it's unclear how he'll adapt to Kevin McHale's offense (or how much McHale has restructured his offense to fit Lin's strengths).
Still, Lin will provide some intrigue for a team that would be lacking it otherwise. And if he does continue to develop at the speed he did last year, he could prove to be a nice building block for the Rockets going forward. He's got to get better and hanging on to the ball, especially in transition where he and rookies Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones could prove lethal assuming they can take care of the ball.
Photo: USA Today