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Rockets patient as they wait for Jeremy Lin to find his mojo

Oct 16, 2012, 12:53 PM EDT

New Orleans Hornets v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Jeremy Lin himself admitted it — he was a bit surprised by his success and isn’t sure what this season will be like for him.

That isn’t how the Rockets see things. He is their major off-season acquisition. It is Lin’s face on billboards and buses all over town. He is the face of the franchise.

And Lin has struggled to find a groove with the Rockets this preseason. Through three games he has shot 4-of-19 for16 points, with 14 assists and 7 turnovers. He was particularly ineffective against the disciplined Spurs defense. Lin has struggled on defense, on offense he is not creating shots for himself or others.

Lin sat out the Rockets preseason game Monday night, something scheduled from before the start of training camp so he could rest the knee he had surgery on before the summer, and coach Kevin McHale sounds patient with his star, via the Houston Chronicle’s Rockets blog (hat tip to SLAM).

“He’s finding his way, as always happens when you haven’t played in a long time,” McHale said of Lin, who had not played since March prior to training camp. “He had surgery and took a long time off. He’s just getting his confidence back, trying to get his mojo going which is very common.

“I said, ‘Just go out and relax and play. It’s going to come.” Anybody who has ever played and come back has gone through a period it’s kind of odd. All of a sudden, things click and he’s back to playing well and confident.”

It’s preseason, McHale can afford to be patient and understanding. Not that he has a choice to be much different once the games start to matter — this is not a deep team loaded with options for McHale to play around with, this is a rebuilding team and McHale is going to have to ride the Lin train.

But that may not be a smooth ride at all.

  1. dysraw1 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    J Lin may need moment to get his thing together, hey every night he won’t be super,, but gonna get a feel for what his guys like an things will fall into place

  2. hartdaddy - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Geez, The NY media needs to stop coming up with all these stories that make Lin look as if he’s struggling…oh wait, this is stuff coming directly from his coaches?

  3. bils293 - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    maybe lin is struggling because he’s not that good to begin with. he had a nice string of games that he played very well, but once teams got the scouting report on him his run came to an end. he can’t play defense, has no left and is an average passer for a point guard. he will not be the difference maker for the rockets. people need to stop acting like he’s an elite player.

  4. lakerluver - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Hmmm, looks like he was anointed the next big thing a little prematurely. We shall see.

  5. raycharlesj - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    McHale, better find D’Antoni’s number and put it on speed dial. And the difference with these athletes today and the superstars of the 70s,80’s, and 90’s is those superstars continued to play and practice in the off-season and showed up for preseason ready to go. Only a few of the greats show up out of shape needing to get into playing shape on a regular basis you didn’t hear about Kareem, Bird, Jordon, Dr J,or Magic having to use preseason to “find his way” because they had not played “in a long time” that’s your job. to hell with that excuse you didn’t prepare to do your primary your job.

  6. luciusaj - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Can’t find something that you never had

  7. hojo20 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    He’s not that good. Even in this post, Lin is referred to as a “star” so expectations are too high for someone with a low talent level. This won’t end pretty.

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