With free agency in the rearview mirror the time has come for asking the questions many fans and players want to know. For the Jeremy Lin, it's can he bring out the best in the Houston Rockets in a tough NBA Western Conference?
Lin offers a message of fun to Houston he had with New York Knicks
Experts love to focus on the shortcomings of Linsanity and why he might end up flaming out after just one good season, but that hasn't bothered him. It shouldn't bother his fans either. Lin continued a tour of the Far East countries from Taiwan and into Beijing, China where he spoke in interviews with reporters. There he offered an opinion that raises eyebrows about pro sports in general. Chinese athletes, much like Americans, sit under lots of pressure to play well. Lin believes sports aren't about just playing well. It should become about passion and pleasure. Athletes should have fun doing what they love. It isn't a surprising statement. Lin showed that passion and fire when he came off the bench to lead the New York Knicks on a huge winning streak to save their season. It's that passion the Houston Rockets bargained for. Lin doesn't have a big history in pro basketball, but his comments in China show he is a leader and his game tapes say he can bring up the play of his teammates. The question is, can he do it in a tough NBA Western Conference?
Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant will challenge Oklahoma City Thunder
While Lin got brought in for his offensive skills the Rockets have largely built a defensive team led by Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons. It isn't a big surprise since the Western Conference features scoring machines like the Oklahoma City Thunder. Clearly Houston has their eye on them as the reigning conference champs, but the Rockets have work to do. The Los Angeles Lakers get better and better as the offseason goes on. While team leader Kobe Bryant plays for a gold medal in London, the team already added future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash to their roster. It is that man Lin will have to play against this coming season. Worse yet the Rockets defense will get tested by Bryant and now center Dwight Howard in a recent trade. Houston is a work in progress for sure, but Lin is up to the challenge just like he was in New York.
Jeremy Lin knows the job in front of him. The New York Knicks were his first test and now he wants to prove his words in China are real by bringing fun basketball back to the Houston Rockets. The NBA Western Conference won't make it easy though with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and the Oklahoma City Thunder standing in the way.