Rockets Get First Glimpse Of Linsanity

 

HOUSTON – It was Linsanity.

Except that it happened in a half-empty arena while almost everyone in town was watching Monday Night Football.

It was Linsanity.

Except that instead of pouring in 38 points over Kobe Bryant to take down the Lakers, he scored 38 points and kicked away the best chance to win the game with a turnover in the final seconds of regulation.

OK, so it wasn’t quite the Linsanity that turned New York and the basketball world upside down for a couple of weeks last February.

But at least Jeremy Lin finally showed some of the crazy stuff that made him a worldwide phenomenon and got him his $25 million free-agent contract with the Rockets.

For the first time this season, Lin rained down 3-point shots and spun through the lane like a twister ripping off tins roofs. His spark nearly turned into a raging inferno that took down the Spurs.

In addition to those career-high tying 38 points, there was 4-for-5 shooting from downtown, seven assists, two steals and just a light bulb of inspiration that shone out of a 134-126 overtime loss.

The Spurs’ Tony Parker rang up 27 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds for the first triple-double of his career, but even he knew the script.

“If we lose nobody would have cared (about a triple-double),” he said. “They would just be talking about Linsanity.”

This was the player the Rockets hoped they were getting when they signed Lin. That it came nearly one-fourth of the way into the season finally gave them a chance to exhale.

Lin had entered the game shooting just 38.1 percent, rarely looking transcendent, often seeming unsure of how he would ever again squeeze a jumper through the basket. As a result, his drives into the paint were often contested and confused, sometimes painful to watch. But when Lin hit a couple of outside shots early, it was as if the door swung open — physically and mentally — and he was able to cruise to the rim.

“If you’re just driving the ball all the time it’s tough and people can load up on you,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “But if you’re knocking down shots like that, people gotta come out on you and it opens up your drive.”

That it took a night when his starting backcourt partner James Harden was sitting on the bench with a bad ankle could also have been significant. Linsanity, after all, happened in New York when Carmelo Anthony was out of the lineup and the ball was simply put into Lin’s hands. And it ended soon after Anthony returned.

With Harden dominating things and initiating most of the offense in Houston, Lin has been unable to find a spot that feels right to him.

“I think I play the best, just like anybody, when you’re comfortable,” Lin said. “Getting extra shots up and things like that. Things are starting to feel more comfortable. For me it’s trying to be aggressive, but controlled at same time. I’ve learned a lot through a lot of my struggles through the season, but I think through it all I’ve been able to see what’s gonna work, what’s not gonna work and get an idea of that.”

The Rockets need to find a way to make Lin and Harden work as a tandem rather than just two guys wearing the same uniforms.

“There are things we can do on either side of the floor,” said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. “I like the fact that Jeremy can get to the right hand on the left side and James can get to the left hand on the right side. So you can do a lot of both-sided stuff with two guys that can both get to their strong hand when they’re driving. We’ve got to get better in some areas and put in some stuff that can help those guys play together.”

It could have been a repeat of those headline-grabbing, pun-making finishes with the Knicks when Lin had a tie game and the ball in his hands at the end of regulation time. But he waved off a pick by Omer Asik, tried to go it alone, had the ball knocked away by Danny Green and turned it over on a shot-clock violation.

“The biggest one that I kinda pissed away,” he said.

It’s not how Linsanity is supposed to end. But at last, it’s a start.

66 Comments

  1. The MVP says:

    Lin and Harden need to figure out a good game plan and play as a team, learn to recognise when one player is having an off night and have the other step it up. Also develop Parsons game to give them more scoring options, sign a good low post player like Pau or Marc Gasol, Carlos Boozer, a veteran player like Derek Fisher or Shawn Marion to develop both Harden and Lin’s skills and mentor them. I think if they do those things, they’ll be in good shape

  2. Najee says:

    I thought that he was goin to be an All-Star this year or at least make the All-NBA Second Team. He became an after thought to me once he got injured and I also noticed that he was turnover prone and needed to work on his jumper a lil more because all that athleticism he has right now wont be with him foreva. Players get older and slower and 10 years from now, he probably wont be as affective around the rim and will need to be a spot up shooter.

  3. JustWantBeautifulGames says:

    The game was so entertaining to watch when the ball was in lin’s hands.

    That’s why we pay for tickets to a game.

  4. NBAfan says:

    Lin has a lot of potential, he just needs a chance..

    Harden having the green light to take as many set shots he can muster and some crazy drives so that he can get to the foul line isn’t a good enough environment for Lin…

    He has a lot to improve on, but he has a lot of potential…

  5. playbest@lin says:

    rockets are straight up lottery team! lin is a good player but he should focus on winning and be a much better player! obviously it will be very hard for him! is it coincidence that parker( lin’s guarding him) had his first tripple double in his whole career??? every pg are trying to play his best game agianst lin and put linsanity away!!!!

  6. dattebayo says:

    There are a lot of weird comments here.
    Harden is not a ballhog with 17.2 shot attempts per game, Russell Westbrook takes more than that and he plays with Kevin Durant. You’d rather let Lin take 20 shots at 40%, are you kidding me?
    Someone said they should trade Harden because he holds the team back, are you even watching the Rockets play? What the hell is Lin doing that makes everyone better? That dude still needs to find his true game because the way he is playing this season is not good enough. Even with last nights performance he is shooting 40% from the field and 32% from deep. And somebody please tell me how James Harden drawing two defenders is making Lin uncomfortable and negatively effects his shooting percentage, I don’t get that.
    Please people, Linsanity is over, he is just a normal kid and he is not the next Stockton or Magic Johnson. Give the team credit for winning games because in this season it’s has always been team effort, not just Lin. Thank god Jeremy airballed that open three against the Heat. Had he nailed that all you’d hear for a week is how Linsanity defeated the defending champs even though he had a piss poor game.
    And before you all try to lynch me for speaking my mind. Jeremy had a great game against the Spurs and that is hard to do, kudos to him for that. Keep it up dude!

  7. yy says:

    Lin,go,go.

  8. Lins Magic says:

    It was a magical moment when Lin dominates the game. The excitement is overflowing. I’m not a Houston fan but the game yesterday is like the best game so far. The crowd goes nuts and it was lin’s magic.

  9. mike says:

    jeremy lin has great potential. However, he definitely needs a much more consistent jumpshot to succeed. When he dropped 38 on the spurs, he hit his outside jumpers, which forced the defense to guard up on him, opening up the lanes so he could take it to the hoop. However, when he isnt hitting his outside shots (like most nights) the defense will simply crowd the lane so he can’t drive, which is why his field goal percentage is so low this season.

  10. cpcheung says:

    Rockets could have saved $80 millions by just letting Lin help the entire team develop!

  11. AnnoYouLater says:

    its funny that hardenn 1st 2 games people were saying they are the best backcourt,now they want to trade harden LOL

  12. cpcheung says:

    Rockets could have saved $80 millions from signing Harden and still be a great team with Lin only! What if Rockets eventually find out that Lin can help the team to win later without Harden? Or Harden cannot win without Lin?

  13. LBJ says:

    Lin needs to come to Miami and win championship with King Lebron!
    Linsanity + King JAMES!!

  14. Steven says:

    If anybody thinks Lin just “got lucky” or was a “one-hit wonder”, then he sure gets lucky one hell of a lot…I mean, come on. With his record breaking performances in New York last year and his game against the Spurs this year, we have to know that there is definitely a good amount of talent there, and a certain “it” quality that just seems to glue the team together. Sure, Lin is no Kobe/Rondo. Of course not. He’s a second year player with hardly any experience. He’s going to be inconsistent. But ever since the Linsanity craze, people have been undervaluing Lin to compensate for the overvaluing others were doing. Let’s just all take a step back, give the kid some space, and see how he develops. I personally think that with a year or two, Lin can really become one of the better PG’s in the league, and putting up numbers to show it too. It’s like Kobe said: There’s no way these kinds of star performances from Lin come from nowhere.

  15. Martin says:

    I’d prefer to see Harden revert to his role as sixth man too, he’s not a franchise player. Lin’s earned his mantle as go-to-guy, the Rockets should go to him.

  16. edrik says:

    its gonna be just like the steve francis cuttino mobley combo with an exciting, competitive back court if they could make it work… but i doubt it if they will push through in the playoffs..

  17. Sherman says:

    I would say let Harden to be a six men player and changed position with Lin when the times come and both reserve and starting will have an explosive guard without any conclusion.

  18. Wilson says:

    Lin = Overrated.

  19. Bugra Canbolat says:

    Houston should trade Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson for Metta World Peace (small forward). Then they should should either get Pau Gasol or Kevin Love for Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris. With that they will probably be doing good then they should upgrade their bench with Lamar Odom, Derrick Fisher, Al-Farique Aminu, and Austin Rivers.

  20. p9221066 says:

    I think the era of a single player dominance is gone. With the game becoming so competitive now, you need to start playing like a team rather than rely on a single player to win the game night after night. No wonder the Spurs are in such good form of late. I don’t recall the Spurs not making the playoffs in the last 10 years.

    Lin and Harden, infact, Houston rockets all need to play like a team.

  21. Franz says:

    Great to see Lin recapture some of his magic. Perhaps Harden could come off the bench as he did with OKC. Wish him all the best

  22. Chaz says:

    CLEARLY when you give lin the ball, good things happen. why not use logic n give him the ball more often?

  23. bird says:

    lin can’t play with another ball dominant player, but if he can get a great pick and roll guy like tyson chandler or howard, he’ll be really good

  24. Sickofnba says:

    @ G Your delusional comment Is making me sick of NBA again. How is lin’s job to make harden plays better when he didn’t make Lin plays better? It’s a job to make the team play better not a player ok. Harden need to play shoot guard role Lin play pg role. Rockets will be better shape. Harden night in and night out with a lot scoring because harden got 80ml and lin got 25 ml. Mr. G you need to either objective yourself or stop telling people to be objective.

  25. Jackey Liu says:

    You gotta put the balls in Lin’s hand. He’s the point guard not harden. He has a talented player with great vision so put the ball in his hand and it will be linsanity in houston

  26. Gino Calayag says:

    Lin finally got the chance to play. His usually being benched when its crunch times. Thats stupid the guy is a talented baller.. You will see more of this if you give him that chance and give him the dam ball to attack the rim.

  27. Alex Lamar says:

    Lin coming off of the bench is not a good idea as he is the teams best ball distributor. ( which he does better than Harden). Notice the difference in the teams ball movement when Harden was out. The team defense was also improved against arguably the league’s best team.

    Harden can still be a top five scorer and potential all star if Lin takes on more ball handling responsibility.

    All in all, it’s a good problem to have for a team on the rise. Also, do not sleep on Parson’s development

  28. Huajun Zhu says:

    IMO, Both Lin and Harden need to control the ball to play the games comfortably. So, make them separate in the court.

  29. Paul says:

    LInsanity and hype aside, people have to realize that Lin still hasn’t played a full season worth of games in his career. He still has lot of learning to do considering he has less games under his belt that some high drafted sophomores. I don’t think lin will be a superstar. However, I think he can be a solid 17 and 8 with a little time.

  30. ddddd says:

    No I don’t think this is Linsanity 2, but to drop 38 over the spurs is an accomplishment with how good of a defensive team the spurs usually are.

    What is happening is that Lin is getting more comfortable. Remember, he basically has only played one year in its entirety, and even that was cut short due to injury. After injuries all players have to play their way out of things with their limbs to get explosiveness back. For example, Rubio out of Minny has been practicing and I guess from reports looks good, but Adelman is not going to put Rubio back in until he is darn sure he is ready. In spite of the calls from the media that Lin come back for the knicks that last game against the heat, he didn’t and given Lin’s slow start to the season this year it probably was better.

    The reality is probably somewhere in the middle of Linsanity and dud. D’Antoni’s offense inflates his point guard’s stats to unsustainable levels. The difference though with D’Antoni’s previous pgs is that they came to D’Antoni with experience before they met so you knew that they were either stars (Nash) or at bare minimum servicable and learning (Felton in his CHA days)… When Lin came to D’antoni he was unproven. D’Antoni got desparate and whala end of story Linsanity began. He had a good run until 3 things happened…. 1 he was scouted. 2 Melo came back. 3 D’Antoni quit.. He played a few games with Melo and was average to below average due to the new offense with Mike Woodson. After that he got hurt and then there was that contract.

    I think the fact that Poison Pill contracts effect teams over the cap differently than teams under the cap will ultimately make Lin worth his contract in the long run as long as he is not injured and learns how to play with Harden. If there is video in the backroom of Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley that may help Lin….. Or better yet, hit up the bulls for video of BJ Armstrong and MJ…. Thats a better example to aspire up to. Harden will never be MJ and Lin has a different game from Armstrong back in the day, however it is probably the best example of how a pg in a offense deals with a star guard that dominates the ball a lot and can still get his within the offense. It will be interesting to see how the Rockets grow up in this context. Patterson, Lin, Harden, Asik, and Parsons could make up a formidable core if they are allowed to grow up together (ala the OKC Thunder) and add a real pg off the bench as well and figure out which of their 7 zillion pfs to develop with the core off the bench. Add a couple more vets and whala! A contender in a few years as long as Morey doesn’t screw it up.

    Key phrase… As long as Morey doesn’t screw it up.

  31. William says:

    One of the best game in this season!
    Welcome back Lisanity!

  32. Alan says:

    Rockets need to play Harden and Lin like LeBron and Wade where LeBron will feed off Wade often but not hog the ball all the time like Harden. There has to be trust there.

  33. Sean says:

    let’s go Lin,

  34. QueensBridge says:

    Jin is a ball hog. Wait, Harden is a ball hog. No, Lin is a bigger ball hog. No Harden is the biggest ball hog. Okay, lets just let Osik and Douglas shoot more. Lin is an average marginal player.

  35. G says:

    People are delusional.

    Lin is not a superstar and not really even a great point guard. He is not helping Harden play better. He is no Jason Kidd. It is not in his DNA. He also cannot take over a game night in and night out like Harden.

    He should play a 6th man roll, off the bench like Kevin Martin or J.R. Smith. His ball handling skills are suspect. He cannot cross-over, etc. well. He also gets exposed on defense covering quicker, faster guards.

    I think you have to be objective. He is was a great story, and now it is getting silly.

  36. alex says:

    easy solution! use harden as 6th man! get him back to his original and more comfortable role!

  37. JL says:

    I don’t see Lin together with Harden is a totally downside thing; it’s just a process for
    any NBA player to get mature. Learn to be servant before you become a master…
    good thing is that Lin is full with potential; looking forward to him
    becoming a mature player like Tony Parker. i think Parker has given some insightful
    remarks about Lin.

  38. Kerry says:

    Honestly, I could see Lin playing 30 35 minutes off the bench every game so he gets 10-15 minutes every game where Harden isn’t on the floor.

  39. Darron says:

    Linsanity v2 in progress! Let’s go Rockets!

  40. Tim says:

    Until the Rockets traded for Harden, this is what you would have seen so far this year. The Rockets should have been Lin’s team. Lin is clearly a superstar and only when the ball is in his hands. He should have been handed his own team with role players put around him who compliment him. Instead they traded for Harden and told Harden it was his team. The Rockets made a mistake with Harden. Lin might not have enough time under his belt to justify that much trust to put a franchise in his hands, but IMO, Lin does have that talent and can take a team on his shoulders. So can Harden. But both Lin and Harden need to be able to control the ball the majority of the time in order to be their best.

    IMO, Harden is capable of adjusting to a shooting guard role but Lin is struggling to fit in the limited role of distributor with no authority to take the shot at will. When Lin has the ball and his teammates accept he’s going to be the star, Lin is incredible and it’s impossible now to tell fans that he’s anything but a franchise player being held back by being put in a role that doesn’t fit his skills.

    The only way Houston excels with both Lin and Harden if for one of them to take a “role” and be highly successful in that role. Right now Lin is struggling in an alternate role but with Harden’s experience it’s pretty much a lock that he can be put in a role as a pure shooting guard coming off screens and supporting Lin’s decisions from the point. Obviously if the Rockets want to “win now”, Lin is going to have to run the show. If the Rockets want more to “develop the team” and be willing to lose with mistakes then they must let Lin have growing pains in his new role until he excels at it. It’s not a bad thing to let a talented young team grow and learn multiple roles outside their comfort zone. That’s how you teach ballplayers to be able to make adjustment in critical games so that they can matchup against odd teams. You have to get them used to playing roles outside their comfort zone so they can throw curve balls at defenses who have their number that day. Adjustments to roles and being able to play within them sometimes can make the difference between advancing in the playoffs or getting upset by a team that poses odd matchups.

  41. Will Alamo says:

    Typical NBA/sports media, focusing on the wrong issues. Sure Jeremy Lin played a great game, but his team lost, again. They lost to a 18-4 Spurs team who would have a hard time getting media attention even if they never loose a game for the rest of the season. Instead of continuing to glorify and hype the individual how about talking about the greatness of a true team. The San Antonio Spurs play basketball the way it was designed to be played. Their unselfish attitude and dedication to each other makes them the epitome of the word “team”.

  42. JJorge says:

    Actually the rockets could won IF the couch didnt bench Lin for 5 minutes at 4Q , when they were leading by 9 points…too sad…

  43. C. BLake says:

    Sad to say, but Lin’s game reminds me of a middle aged A.I., not as fast or efficient. He can still will a team to a win though. The only problem would be meshing that game with other players. It can take you only but so far.

  44. let the boy play says:

    harden is the new kobe (in holding the ball and sometimes on scoring)
    they have to give a chance to lin

  45. calvin says:

    I agree with Willy. Harden is a ball hog player.

  46. Windows 8 says:

    I think Linsanity plays best when he is not around stars.

    I already knew he would be good when I saw him at Golden State, but they never played him.

  47. james says:

    lin needs to shoot more it seems like james harden is holding the ball too much and that allows lin to not get comfortable on the floor

  48. JJ says:

    The spur overall is a very good team. The rockets almost got it but slide away. Lin is linsane dropping 38 pts on spurs. How can they let him drop 38 pts on them? Hm…like some idiots always said ” luck”. Wow.. Jeremy Lin you got so much luck like these idiots said. I m so jealsou of your luck. Give some luck to me. Jkjk. You do have the potential. Just right system and a coach that trust you.

  49. charles says:

    Lin needs the pressure. Remember, Linsanity was born when the best players in New York were injured. Was it a coincidence that it happened again when the best player on the team was injured?

    Lin needs to really get behind what is psychologically going on to control linsanity rather than allowing circumstances to dictate it.

    • JJ says:

      I agree with what you said but thing is when big stars are on court you needs to give the ball to them so that hinder a little bit. I guess its the way NBA runs. People who got more years than you n pays more, you should hand the ball and play a rookie way.

  50. William says:

    Linsanity is back!

  51. LIN IS BACK? says:

    Here we go AGAIN!

  52. uoykcuf says:

    Kudos for Parker. Played such a great game overall.
    Again, Jeremy will only flourish with ball in his hands. Not going to happen when Harden comes back.

  53. Chris says:

    I really like Lin’s attitude. He’s a talented player in terms of being a player too, but it seems he doesn’t mix well with other potential stars. If they can make a Harden-Lin combo work though Houston could be really strong, team probably needs a good veteran though to mentor a extremely young team on and off the court

    • E-SY says:

      Lin is no potential star… he just got lucky tonight.

      • JJ says:

        U just either hater or an idiot! Tell me any others who is lucky to drop 38 pts both on laker n spur.

      • what says:

        really????????? lucky really? its more like he was given the keys to the offese and he did what he can do nightly if harden wasnt just dominating the ball and playing one on one or high pick an roll

      • cool knicks fan says:

        I’d like to see you score 38 points against the Lakers and Spurs. Plus he was just given the keys with Harden out and took advantage. You’re a hater and a complete idiot. He won’t have these performances every game, but I expect him to play well. Get out of your cave E-SY.

      • Wait Wut says:

        I agree, E-sy. Harden was off the court and thus Lin played good. He will never score more than 20 points when Harden is on the court.

      • Greg says:

        wat a hater. should lay off on the haterade.

      • GeekFreak32 says:

        High IQ confuses idiots. Many of them started emerging in the 90s to now, to this guy.

      • jc111 says:

        obviously you have no clue what you are talking about. No one can score 38 pts because he is lucky. He has not score well is because they are still try to figure out how to utilize both harden and lin talent together, it happens alot when a team almost traded the whole team with new people. I think Lin will do well once they figure out how they want to play their offense. And you should stop hating, if you truly love the game. we need this kind of player like Lin for NBA to be entertaining.

  54. Willy says:

    Harden is a ball hog, trade him. Go Spurs