I'm not sold on Jeremy Lin's ability to be a great player or his ability to put the team on his shoulders and carry them. I question his decision making when passing the ball and his ability as a stand still shooter when opposing defenses take away the drive to the basket. However, even if he doesn't post 20 points and 10 assists every night, can he make his teammates look better and contribute in ways that don't always appear on a box score.
Last season Amare Stoudemire shot 43% from the field in January, then improved that number to 47% in February and 56% in March. What changed? Jeremy Lin was made the starter. Lin was great in the pick and roll last season and gave his forwards a chance to knock down open jumpers. Patrick Patterson struggled at times last season but has shown to have pretty good touch on his jump shot out to about 15 feet. Patterson needs to show something in his third year in the NBA, and I think Lin's presence along with Luis Scola gone will give him his best chance yet to show why he was a lottery pick. If he doesn't improve this season, it will be time to move on.
If Lin is able to penetrate and draw the defense in, it could also mean good things for Kevin Martin with his ability as a spot up shooter. Martin has been more of a slasher and a guy that creates his own shot over his career, but the Rockets could have success if coach McHale can convince Martin to adapt to a new role. Martin has shot .377% from behind the three-point line over his career making him a dangerous weapon if used correctly.
It'll be a work in progress and it probably won't look pretty early, but Lin could help the Rockets win games not by doing things that will end up on Sportscenter, but by doing the little things to lift up his teammates.