Start the Linsanity again

Start the Linsanity again
September 24, 2012, 2:33 pm
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Linsanity has moved on from New York and now resides in Houston.

The Rockets' big summer move was inking guard Jeremy Lin to a huge three-year, 25-million free-agent deal, whisking him away from New York where he blew on to the NBA scene last season, averaging 14 points and 6 assists for the Knicks. Out of options at point guard, the Knicks turned to the Harvard grad Lin and he responded with a memorable January, scoring 20 points and 8 assists to help the Knicks win seven straight games.

Lin's season was cut short by a knee injury and he was a restricted-free agent this summer and the common thought was the Knicks would keep the fan favorite, but the Rockets offered Lin a deal that New York refused to match.

Besides scooping up Lin, the Rockets made several other off-season moves that will give the team a much different look in the 2012-13 season.

The Rockets opened up theirpocketbooks for Chicago's back-up center Omer Asik, inking the big man to a three-year, 25-million deal. Asik averaged only 3 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes a game for the Bulls last season. Signing Lin to a big contract was certainly a risk but getting Asik for this amount is a huge gamble by GM Daryl Morey. Asik will be the opening day starter and he certainly will have to be more productive than he was in Chicago even though it was a back-up role there.

Through various trades, Houston had three first-round draft picks. With the 12th overall pick, the Rockets drafted swing man Jeremy Lamb. The 6'-5 lanky guard likelywouldhave been a top 10 pick after his freshman season last year, but he returned to school and his stock dropped as UConn struggled this past season. The 6'-5" Lamb has a 7-foot wingspan and has shown he can score the ball, averaging 17 points a game for the Huskies. He is certainly an intriguing prospect whose game may translate better at the pro level.

At 16, Houston selected Iowa State banger Royce White who could turnoutto be another steal. In one season at Iowa State, the 6'-8" small forward led his team in all statistical categories. White had lottery talent but teams may have shied away from him because of past issues off-the court and his fear of flying.

The Rockets also took forward Terrence Jones with the 18th pick in the first round. Jones averaged 12 points on a pro-heavy national title team in Kentucky and he is another athletic swing man on the Rockets roster.

The Rockets said goodbye to power forward Luis Scola and will say hello to the 2011 first-round pick in Donetas Montiejunas who stayed in Europe last season. In four summer league games, the 7-footer averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds a game, showing glimpses perhaps of good things to come.

Houston went 34-32 under first-year coach Kevin McHale and the team missed the playoffs for thefourthstraight season. With a ton of new faces on the roster and with Lin leading the way, it should be an intriguing year in Houston -- but the Rockets will be on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.