Jeremy Lin started all 82 games for the Rockets last season, and managed to average 6.1 assists in 32.2 minutes per game despite the ball dominant ways of James Harden.
The addition of Dwight Howard brings all kinds of new possibilities to the offense, at least on paper.
That’s what Lin is counting on in order for him to build some chemistry with the team’s major free agent acquisition.
From the Associated Press:
Lin told reporters on a visit to Beijing that he saw a natural affinity in the pair’s affection for the pick-and-roll game.
“We’re not yet in Houston and haven’t trained together so I don’t know yet,” said the 25-year-old point guard, who was in China to oversee a basketball camp.
“But he really likes to play pick-and-roll and I really like to play pick-and-roll, so I hope we can work really well together and really happily learn how to play with each other,” Lin said.
Again, it sounds great in theory, except for one minor problem: Howard doesn’t like to play pick-and-roll all that much.
That was the case last season in Los Angeles, and it was one of the ways he clashed with Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni. Steve Nash said as much, and said so specifically.
“He didn’t seem like he really wanted to do a pick-and-roll offense, maybe because he had run one in Orlando for so long and he wanted to get in the post more,” Nash said.
It’s very possible of course that Howard was unhappy in Los Angeles for a variety of reasons, and a contentment in his new situation may open him up to embracing an offensive strategy that would seem to benefit Howard personally, as well as make it extremely difficult for opposing defenses.
It’s worth noting, however, that Howard has been working on attacking out of the post with Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin McHale this summer, so we’ll just have to wait and see how much the team ends up trying to utilize Howard in the pick-and-roll sets that he openly resisted last season.