Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin might have been relegated back to the bench this season, but his team-first philosophy and willingness to share the leather made him a better basketball player than All-Star shooting guard James Harden.
In an interesting article on Sportige, the difference between Lin and Harden was nicely breakdown. Last week, the Rockets' cruised to a 124-86 victory over the Utah Jazz - a game where Harden recorded 15 point and 5 assists in 27 minutes of action, while Lin had 17 points and 9 assist in 29 minutes.
But beyond the major statistical barometers, Lin showed to everybody that he could impact the game in many ways. In fact, Lin recorded a 31 +/- rating in that game by using his excellent court vision and ability to execute set of plays. On the other hand, Harden had a +11 rating and he scored most of his points through isolation plays.
"Jeremy Lin finished with 17 points and 9 assists with 7-of-10 from the field. He had the best +/- in the game (+31) and while the Rockets didn't really struggle with him off the court, it was hard to ignore how good and efficient they looked, not to mention playing beautiful basketball, when he was on the floor, playing as a point guard," via Sportige.
Lin might have an inferior statistics line than Harden. However, the former Harvard hotshot nevertheless played better as a team player not only in that game, but throughout the season. The Sportige writer stressed that Rockets could have racked up more wins right now, if they still have better appreciation of what Lin can put on the table.
"These games are great for stats and numbers, but also show us of a different, alternate reality and basketball the Rockets can be playing nightly if there was just a bit more appreciation for Jeremy Lin and what he knows to do," via Sportige.
"Sure, James Harden can still be the leading star of this team and scorer, but putting the ball in hands to make all the decisions throughout the game leads to losses more times than any of the head figures would like to admit. Lin will cherish this excellent performance, because it's likely it won't really help him expand his role for the team," the site added.