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Lin Shines through Up-and-Down Season

By Caleb Lee, Crimson Staff Writer

From time to time, it seems people tend to forget that Jeremy Lin’s ‘13 main employment commitment is being basketball player, not a walking billboard. A nationally released documentary film about your life story and a global Adidas endorsement contract will do that.

Linsanity and its commercialism aside, Lin continues to thrive as a point guard for the Houston Rockets. Though he may not be the “superstar” Adidas claimed to have signed, the 6’3”, 25 year old has been consistent from the get-go.

Lin lost the starting point guard battle to second-year upstart and 2013 postseason surprise Patrick Beverley at the beginning of the season, but he wasn’t fazed. The Palo Alto native shot 49 percent from the field in the first month of the season, averaging 15-plus points per game. He had back-to-back 30-point games against the Raptors and 76ers.

Often coming off the bench to give star shooting guard James Harden some rest, the former Crimson star quickly became the de facto leading scorer of the second line and arguably the best floor spacing partner for center Dwight Howard, who likes to roam between the two blocks when he’s not setting screens.

But then the injury bug crept up. After suffering a knee sprain and contusion on November 29th against the Jazz, Lin fell out of the starting lineup (he had been starting in the place of an injured James Harden at the time). He returned two weeks later but didn’t look the same. A game later, Lin was back on the pine in a suit and tie after suffering from back spasms.

In his first game back, Lin dropped 20 points on 10 shots against the Dallas Mavericks and went on to post eight assists on Christmas Day against the San Antonio Spurs. Since then, he has struggled with his shot at times, going 2-of-9 from the field against the Oklahoma City Thunder and 4-of-12 against the Lakers on Wednesday.

Though the shots haven’t been falling consistently of late, Lin has put his best foot forward on defense after getting benched in the fourth quarter against the Knicks in the Rockets first game of 2014. He had a plus/minus rating of positive 14 against the Lakers in the next matchup, holding opposing point guard Kendall Marshall to five points on 2-of-13 shooting.

With Beverley out for the next month with a broken right hand, Lin has the chance to step up and assert his role as the best point guard the Rockets put on the court.

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