Jeremy Lin says he is excited to play with newly signed Houston Rockets teammate Dwight Howard. Known for his exceptional defense and pick-and-roll game, Howard may free up Lin for more three-point shots in the 2013 NBA season.
Jeremy Lin’s success in 2011 with the New York Knicks was in part due to his use of the pick-and-roll play. Lin ranked fifth in the NBA for points per play that season in a pool of candidates who had run the pick-and-roll at least 100 times. Dwight Howard was also widely recognized for his points per play as a roll man, ranking first in the league among players who made at least 35 pick-and-roll plays.
Some believe that Lin could do very well with Howard’s addition - "I think they could develop chemistry right away," said one NBA scout. According to ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst, Howard had formerly complained that the Los Angeles Lakers ran the play too frequently. Windhorst thinks that Lin should work on his three-point shooting, since the opposition will likely defend Howard heavily in the paint and free him up for the three. “Really, I think the key for Jeremy Lin is going to be how well can he adapt to getting all those open shots,” he said. Lin currently shoots with around 34% accuracy from the perimeter.
Howard reportedly chose not to resign with the Lakers because of team dynamics between him, Kobe Bryant, and Coach Mike D’Antoni. Retired NBA player Tracy McGrady believes that Howard will do well on the Rockets, but that the team may have to learn to slow down their tempo a little bit in order to feed the ball to him in the paint. “I think that the Rockets will be fighting for that four or five spot, there’s no doubt – I mean they’re definitely better with Dwight,” McGrady said.
Lin is currently overseeing a basketball camp in China. He has yet to train with Howard, but says that he hopes the two can happily learn how to play as teammates.