James Harden’s high usage rate has affected Jeremy Lin dramatically. Essentially, the Havard grad is a PG stuck playing 2-guard due to Harden having the third highest usage rate in the NBA.
His usage rate ranks No. 38 among NBA point guards. Accordingly, Lin’s career will evolve funny if he remains there with Beard, and some of the traits that PGs don’t ordinarily have to specialize will be what will define his career:
Aspects like catch and shoots, playing OFF of pick and rolls and finding cutting lanes when Harden/Parsons penetrate (rather than spot up every single time) – if he does all of that, Linsanity will take on a different meaning as he excels in a complementary role for a contending team.
Lin must further work on his mid-range jumper and learn to go left better. As he makes these incremental strides, he’ll show that the contract he received was about on par with the level of production he’ll give.
There were those who expected him to pick up right where “Linsanity” dropped off, those who expected an All-Star campaign—and there were those who expected the Harvard grad to just play his way right out of the league.
And what happened was this: He posted 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per game this year with a PER of 14.9, about the league average.
Lin is a starting-caliber guard with high upside and that’s just the kind of guy Morey wants around as he puts parts together.
But what we see instead is this: an above average player expected to live up to a legendary billing.
Objectively, he is just a second year point guard struggling to develop some of the finer aspects that often plague young floor generals. It’s just a lot less exciting to think of it that way.
Brett David Roberts is lead editor here at Presto and also a Featured Columnist for the Houston Rockets at Bleacher Report. Tweet your Magic and Rockets questions @BDRHoops