Despite struggling mightily after three preseason games, Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale shelved Jeremy Lin against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night strictly to rest the Asian-American phenomenon.
The 24-year-old Lin, who suffered a torn left meniscus in late-March that required season-ending surgery, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35-games as a member of the New York Knicks in 2012.
Quite shockingly, Lin vacated Gotham and inked a four-year deal worth approximately $28 million with the Rockets as a restricted free agent in July.
“We had planned on this already,” said McHale, 54, a Hall of Fame power forward who replaced Rick Adelman as Houston’s coach in June 2011. “This was his day off in his knee rehab. He had surgery and took a long time off. He’s just getting his confidence back, trying to get his mojo going which is very common.”
Lin, an undrafted graduate of Harvard University who was a two-time All-Ivy League First Team selection in 2009 and 2010, became the only ballplayer in league history to score at least 20 points and dish a minimum of seven assists in his first five starts last winter.
Unfortunately for the Crimson standout of yesteryear, Lin has shot a paltry 21.1 percent from the floor and averaged 2.3 turnovers following a trio of contests this autumn.
Regardless, the first American born NBA player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent is an exciting playmaker who is overflowing with potential as a point guard.
The Rockets finished 34-32 last season and remain an organization in transition.
During this rebuilding period, like terminated Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni did, McHale should “ride (Lin) like freakin’ Secretariat.”
Jeremy Lin’s poor performances are injury related aberrations and “Linsanity” will undoubtedly consume “Space City” in due time.by