Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin finally gained a shot to prove what he's really made of, after he got the nod from the coaching staff to fill the void left by Patrick Beverley, who reportedly suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Lin, who is logging not more than 25 minutes per game this month, will have the playing time of a starter since his January eruption. However, the pressure will also dramatically increase, as the Rockets look to a big push towards the postseason.
"Houston guard Patrick Beverley has suffered a torn meniscus in his knee, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Timetable for return unclear," Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported.
Beverley has been one of the Rockets' defensive weapons in the backcourt, and a potentially season-ending injury could really hurt the team, especially their depth in the point guard spot. He will have a second opinion on Monday, but the likeliness he returns just in time for the playoffs is very remote.
"McHale said Pat was at the Dr but he'd be out a bit. He really didn't have much info. Pat is scheduled for 2nd opinion on Monday #Rockets," Comcast SportsNet's Adam Wexler posted on his Twitter account.
With the Rockets on the brink of losing their starting point guard for the remainder of the season, coach Kevin McHale and his coaching staff will try to integrate Lin into the starting lineup - the role he had last year.
As the Rockets sixth man player, Lin showed improvement across different statistical categories. The former Harvard hot shot has become a more efficient shooter at 45.3 percent from the field and three-point bomber at 34 percent. He is also shooting better from the charity stripe at 81 percent, while averaging 12 points and 4 dimes per game in his second season with the ballclub.
But with the Rockets needing their most reliable bench player to step up, it's uncertain if Lin could handle the pressure as the premier point guard for the championship-aspiring team. The Rockets have already lost Aaron Brooks after trading him for Jordan Hamilton last month, and Isiah Canaan might not be a pretty solid option to back up Lin.
In short, Lin has no choice but to jack up his numbers in the final weeks of the regular-season. With his future with the Rockets uncertain, the Asian American star has to prove that he's worth $15 million next season.