Jeremy Lin entered the 2012-13 season with a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders. After a spectacular one month with the New York Knicks, he became basketball's version of Tim Tebow, and his contract with the Houston Rockets ended up being based more on what he could do than what he had done up to that point.
We all know what happened next.
Lin struggled for most of last season, with his stats noticeably declining from what they were during Linsanity’s heyday. Part of that was the byproduct of him having to learn a new system; part of it had to do with him being forced to play with a ball-dominating shooting guard in James Harden; part of it had to do with injuries. Any which way you want to divide up the blame, though, it’s not a stretch to say that Lin underwhelmed in his inaugural campaign.
During a recent interview with NBC, Rockets forward Chandler Parsons made a couple of interesting points while discussing Lin’s first season with the team.
What’s interesting about that? The fact that Parsons reiterated what Daryl Morey said during his Reddit AMA – that people’s expectations for Lin were unrealistic last year. They maintain that, while injuries and whatnot hobbled the youngster, he wouldn’t have lived up to the hype no matter what because the hype was excessive.
Is that accurate? Well, it depends on who ask.
Either way, though, this season Lin won’t have that problem. The expectations are no longer what they were during the peak of Linsanity. The goal for 2013-14 is to improve on what was accomplished in 2012-13. That’s the new measuring stick. And if pressure was really the thing that brought Lin down last year, then this all probably music to his ears.