Jeremy Lin said getting the service of Dwight Howard this summer was huge for the Houston Rockets as they plan to go deep into the playoffs next season.
Yet, he doesn’t assure everything will go smooth quickly for the ball club after they’ve made key free agency moves this summer.
For the first time since the free agency period, Lin finally shared his thoughts about teaming up with Howard and the future ahead of the Rockets. Lin, who will enter his fourth season after he went undrafted in 2010, believes the team has become much stronger with Howard in the fold. However, Lin thinks It may take a little time for the team to build chemistry, and the championship is not always a guarantee.
“A lot of it is going to be learning on the fly to a certain extent, but listening to the coaches and buying in,” Lin said. “We always want to go as deep as we can but I’m not going to make any guarantees right now.”
In an interview with Los Angeles Times right after playing a soccer match for the beneficiaries of the Steve Nash Foundation, Lin expressed his excitement about playing with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and explained the big man’s value for the franchise.
“It’s huge. It’s really important for us,” Lin said on Sunday. “When you talk about a franchise player or a superstar, having him and James Harden — we’re definitely fortunate to have two of those top-tier guys.”
The 24-year-old Lin said he was not part of the recruiting pitch to get Howard, but he is nevertheless intrigued by the prospect of executing pick-and-roll plays with the All-Star center soon.
After bursting onto the scene during his tenure with the New York Knicks, Lin followed it up with solid stats in his first season with the Rockets.
The point guard averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals in 82 games last season. However, Lin’s performance took a nosedive during the playoffs after suffering a chest injury during the Rockets first round series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Houston eventually succumbed to the Thunder in six games, yet the young squad learned a valuable lesson from the loss. Lin said the team has become even hungrier and more determined to reach greater goals next season.
“We learned a lot. Any time you get bumped out in the first round, you get a taste of what of it’s about but it’s kind of like a tease — you want it to go longer,” Lin said. “It made us even hungrier.”