Despite losing to the Phoenix Suns on Monday, Jeremy Lin and Houston Rockets remains determined to finish strong as they look ahead to their final game of the regular season against Los Angeles Lakers this Wednesday at Staple Center.
Commenting on the 119-112 loss, Jeremy Lin said, “No excuse, just a lack of desire maybe,” according to NBC Sports. The 24-year-old point guard stated plainly what their team lacks all season is “focus,” which “usually comes with a younger team.”
However, Lin did not make this as an excuse.
“At this point of the season, it’s really not an excuse for us. Every game means so much. We’re talking about playoff seeding, we’re talking about matchups – things that are most important than anything we’ve played for all season. So this one hurts.”
Prior to Monday’s game, Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets was one game behind the Golden State Warriors for the No. 6 seed, according to Bleacher Report. Yet, finishing at No. 7 as a result of their loss Monday would pit Houston against either the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder – matchups that are not advantageous to Rockets.
If Houston had finish with the No. 6 seed, the team would go on to play Denver Nuggets in the first round – a matchup that gives Rockets a fighting chance to move on to the next round.
The Rockets now will proceed to play either the Thunder or the Spurs in the playoffs.
According to NBC Sports, if Rockets loses to Los Angeles Lakers in the season finale, they will finish as the eight seed. Although Rockets would be tied with Lakers in standings, L.A. hold the tie-breakers based on a better record against teams within the conference.
On the other hand, should Rockets wins, Houston would land the seven seed. When asked about the matchups against one of the West’s top two teams, Lin pointed out that if Warriors were to lose in Portland Trailblazers, he and his team would be placed in the more preferable six seed. Yet, sports analysts doubt the chances of Warriors losing to Portland.
The Bleacher Reports asked Lin about the Wednesday’s matchup against Los Angeles Lakers, which will be an elimination game for the Southern California team.
“They’re going to be tough to guard,” he said, according to NBC Sports. “I know that for a fact. They’re going to run a lot of [Mike D’Antoni] stuff. You have [Dwight Howard] in the middle, you have Paul Gasol, who’s been making a lot of good basketball plays recently. We’re going to have our hands full.”
While understanding Lakers have higher stakes at their home court Staples Center, Lin reiterates that he and his teammates remain committed to finish the regular season on a positive note rather than continuing the slide in the team’s remaining four games of the postseason.
“It’ll be a hostile environment,” Lin said. “They’re going to be playing for the playoffs, so in one sense, they may be playing for more than we are. But we really can’t see it like that.”
While feeling disappointed about the loss last night, Lin, an evangelical Christian, called for prayers towards the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions that happened yesterday afternoon.