Jeremy Lin will probably be playing his final game with the Houston Rockets, who are facing a 1-3 series hole against the up-and-coming Portland Trail Blazers. The Asian-American baller is once again struggling to make an impact in the postseason - which could be enough reason for general manager Daryl Morey to get rid of him this offseason.
After losing his starting role to Patrick Beverley and seeing his numbers drop in his second season with the Rockets, Lin keeps on disappointing a number of basketball pundits because of his lackadaisical play in the playoffs.
Lin is averaging 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 28 minutes per game for the Rockets this postseason. The worse thing about his play as of late is the dramatic drop in both his field goal and three-point shooting percentage. In the regular-season, Lin shot 45 percent on the floor and 36 percent from the three-point line. However, he's only making 36 percent of his shots from the field and a terrible 16 percent of his longball attempts.
Everybody knows that Lin made his name in New York, as the unheralded savior of the Knicks three seasons ago. But stars aren't made in the regular-season, but instead in the postseason, where the stakes are high and the rooms for error are too narrow.
Heading into the playoffs, Lin stressed the importance of the postseason as he looks to secure his future with the Rockets. With the final year of his contract kicking in, he wanted to prove that he's worth the money ($15 million) he's about to receive next year. But that hasn't been the case in four games against the Blazers.
Facing a more athletic and quicker Damian Lillard, Lin found himself burned on both ends of the floor. He's also not capitalizing well his advantages against a more experienced Mo Williams, who is having his way as a scoring option for the Blazers off the bench.
But the biggest letdown for Lin this playoffs is simply his turnovers and questionable decisions late in the game. In a very heavily contested series, he was often caught rushing his shots and not picking up the right spots on the offensive end.
In Game 4, Lin made a huge blunder by forcing the issue in the final seconds of the game. The Rockets were instructed to call a timeout unless there was chance for an easy bucket. However, Lin decided to take the basket to the hoop despite being surrounded by Lillard and Wesley Matthews. He eventually lost the ball and that turnover set Williams to score a crucial trey that sent the game into overtime.
"Should have held on the ball and called time out," Lin told Houston Chronicle on Monday. "I had the ball underneath. I saw a lot of players. I figured they were going to come and trap me or put me in a tough situation underneath the hoop along the baseline. I just wanted to get out somewhere away. Whoever hit the ball away, I didn't see it coming. That's on me."
Disappointing Texas Farewell
Morey is one of the finest general managers in the league today. His two blockbusters moves these past two offseasons have turned the Rockets into a force in the Western Conference. Although the team is on the brink of elimination, many analysts predicted the Rockets to stay the in upper echelon next season. Moreover, the team is set for another big offseason with names like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng up for grabs.
As for Lin's future, many already look forward for a divorce to happen after this postseason. His career as a Rocket is most likely over, as a change in venue could help him rebuild the linsanity brand.