HOUSTON –– As the Rockets try to continue their march toward history Friday night, the troops will be bolstered by the return of Jeremy Lin. The point guard, who suffered a bruised chest and hasn’t played since Game 3, will come off the bench for Game 6 against the Thunder at the Toyota Center.
Lin has been attempting to get back onto the court for days, but had been unable to get rid of the pain.
“Once game-time comes around, I probably won’t feel anything,” said Lin after Friday’s shootaround. “It’s been the longest week, a really, really long week. Just the fact I get to play is a huge, huge burden off of my shoulders.”
Rockets coach Kevin McHale says that rookie Patrick Beverley will continue to start and Lin will come off the bench.
“Playoff series end up having kind of a life of their own and a rhythm,” McHale said. “To be thrown in the middle of that rhythm a lot of times, it’s hard to catch the rhythm. Our guys have a little bit of rhythm in this series, as Oklahoma City has a rhythm in the series. To be thrown out there – that’s why we have to be a little bit careful.
“We’ll bring him off the bench and see how much juice he has in the tank. It’s hard to enter a series when you haven’t played in a while, but we’re going to try to keep what we have going. Jeremy, we’ll try to fit him in there, see how he is and see how his arm feels. If he gets hit or anything happens.”
Lin has shot just 5-for-20 with 14 points and eight assists in the series.
Rockets shooting guard James Harden has been diagnosed with strep throat, but will be in the starting lineup.