Jeremy Lin Will Have All-Star Caliber Season with Addition of Dwight Howard? (Commentary)

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Jul 10, 2013 10:48 AM EDT
Jeremy Lin 2014 Prediction
Houston Rockets Jeremy Lin reacts after being fouled by the Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles April 17, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson "

This might be a bit of a stretch, especially when mentioning the words All-Star and Jeremy Lin in the same sentence. However, Lin will be surrounded by great players and as a distributor, he should be prepped for a monster season. In a conference where Russell Westbrooks, Tony Parkers, Chris Pauls and Mike Conleys exist, it is tough to consider Lin a top tier guard. Nonetheless, there seems to be enough talent and defined roles in the Houston Rockets' lineup that will allow Lin to do what he does best; pass and penetrate. 

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The Lin hype slowly dissolved after he started the 2012-2013 season with the Rockets. He became an average player in a talented roster and saw more time on the bench than expected. The first step necessary to allow Lin to grow and create chemistry with his teammates, Coach Kevin McHale has to trust his point guard. You don't see Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat panic when his team isn't cliquing. The playoffs were a different story for the Heat, but for the most part during the regular season, Spoelstra stuck to his guns and let his top players familiarize themselves with their teammates. 

Coach McHale sat Lin down during the season, giving Patrick Beverley a bulk of the playing time. He has to understand that the team's point guard isn't Beverley, the future of the franchise is Lin. 

Allowing Lin to get more minutes and having him run the offense will only make him more comfortable in a team that has sharp shooters and an inside presence. James Harden is a 37 percent three-point shooter, while Chandler Parsons knocked down 38 percent of his threes in 2013. Have you ever played NBA 2K and given the ball to Parsons? He's almost automatic. Lin has the ability to drive, penetrate and either put up the shot or dish it out to a shooter. 

Now, with the addition of Dwight Howard, the pick and roll should work lovely for the Rockets, granted Lin is running the offense. In New York, until Lin went down to injury and the opponents figured out his gameplan, the point guard turned players like Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak into stars. For example, Chandler's first week playing alongside Lin saw him averaging 14 points, nine rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Why are rebounds and blocks important? Chandler felt he was contributing on the offensive end, raising his level of competition on the defensive end. If you know you're going to get the ball on the other side of the ball, wouldn't you want to do your best to get your team more possessions?

Chandler's example fits well with Howard. With Lin running the point, Howard could feast on the defensive end knowing Lin will do what he can to get him the ball when he's running the offense. The Rockets will be able to spread the floor and that's when Lin is most dangerous.

In Basketball-Reference.com, Lin is projected to score just a little fewer than 16 points and seven assists per game. I'll go the extra mile and say he'll be averaging closer to a double-double, scoring around 13 points, but averaging somewhere between eight and nine assits per game. Lin is coming off a season where he averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per game. With a stacked lineup, Lin's stats should only improve. Whether he makes the all-star game or not, Lin will be one of the more dominant points in the 2013-2014 season. 

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