In an up-and-down season, there's no doubt that Jeremy Lin's future with the Houston Rockets is hanging in the balance. Still, the former Harvard standout is sure smart enough to know that he has one more shot at proving his worth, and that will happen few weeks from now in the postseason.
Lin is averaging at least 12 points and 4 dimes per game as a bench player for the Rockets team that is becoming a major contender in a very tough Western Conference. These numbers might be way below expectations in relation to the work Lin put up last offseason. However, injuries and limited playing time imposed by head coach Kevin McHale prevented Lin from improving his statistical line this year.
With another subpar year, Lin's tenure with the Rockets could be numbered. Next season, the Rockets will have to pay him $15 million of the three-year poison pill deal Lin signed with the team in 2012. This early, there are rumours that the Rockets front office is planning to unload his big paycheck either via trade or buyout agreement.
Proving his Worth in the Playoffs
Lin hasn't made a major impact in his first two trips in the postseason. In 2012, after helping the Knicks reach the playoffs, the Asian American star had to sit out the series against the Miami Heat due to a torn meniscus injury. Last year's playoffs was not also kind for Lin, as he had to play limited minutes after suffering a chest contusion in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Latino Post senior correspondent JP Salamanca believed there's no better opportunity for Lin to show his mettle than the playoffs, where the Rockets could go all the way to the championship series.
"If there is ever a time for Lin to prove his worth, especially considering the constant trade rumors that have surrounded him this season, it would be the playoffs," the analyst stated.
In short, Lin's postseason performance will serve as the barometer for the Rockets on whether or not they have to part ways with the Asian American standout. For the first time in three years, Lin seems to be healthy enough to play big minutes in the playoffs. Then again, failure to show up again could only mean the end of Lin's stay in Houston because General Manager Daryl Morey is expected to retool their lineup this summer.