Right at the start of Sunday’s exhibition game in Taiwan, Jeremy Lin stepped up and knocked down a three.
Linsanity never really died in Lin’s ancestral home of Taiwan and by the end of the game Sunday it felt like New York at the peak of the craze.
That opening three sparked a first half where Lin made a steal and went coast-to-coast, hit a variety of shots and even blocked a Danny Granger shot. It was a fantastic first half and by the end Lin had 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting (3-of-4 from deep) and four assists. Lin has had a solid preseason and Rockets’ coach Kevin McHale talked about it.
“I think he’s really comfortable with who he is,” McHale said. “He’s lost weight. He’s quicker. He played well again tonight, but he’s played well in practice.”
It is possible Lin will fall to a sixth man role in Houston, but that is less about his play and more about fit — Patrick Beverly brings better defense to the first unit (and he has shot well this preseason), Lin would bring some pick-and-roll shot creation to the second unit. Whatever the role, if Lin’s game has matured the Rockets will take another step toward contender.
By the way, the Rockets won the game 107-98, James Harden had 21. Paul George had 19 points and George Hill 17 but the latter suffered a mild ankle sprain (as the team defines it).