There's no quick, easy way to characterize Jeremy Lin's first season with the Houston Rockets. His overall numbers (13 points, 6.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals, .443 from the field, .332 from three) aren't half bad, though they're hardly what one would envision for a guy who inked a $25.1 million deal this past summer.
Of course, James Harden's arrival and subsequent All-Star ascendancy has had plenty to do with depressing Lin's individual productivity. Then again, without the Beard's brilliant, basket-attacking efforts, the Rockets are probably wallowing in NBA draft lottery "tank mode" right now, as opposed to gearing up for the franchise's first playoff berth since 2009.
Like that of Houston on the whole, Lin's trajectory has him on the up-and-up. Still, life in the NBA has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride for Linsanity since he left the New York Knicks for a new life in Space City.
July 14, 2012
Lin all but jumps the Knicks' ship when he inks a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet with the Rockets. The contract is of the "poison pill" variety, which means that if New York chooses to match it, the team would be on the hook for approximately $13 million in Lin's salary during the 2014-15 season.
The Knicks, deterred by the luxury tax implications of such an undertaking, decline to retain Lin's services.
July 19, 2012
Lin is officially introduced as a member of the Rockets at a press conference in Houston.
Lin stumbles through much of the preseason. The lingering effects of offseason knee surgery, when coupled with the ongoing attempt to acclimate himself to new teammates in a new city, appear to hinder his effectiveness on the court. Through his first five exhibition games, Lin averages 5.0 points, 6.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals with 3.0 turnovers while shooting 22.2 percent (8-of-36) from the floor.
Lin finally shows some signs of improvement in Houston's preseason finale against the Orlando Magic. He tallies 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting along with three rebounds, two steals, five assists and no turnovers.
Oct. 27, 2012
The Rockets send Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a package built around reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden. On paper, Houston's backcourt of the future is now complete.
Oct. 31, 2012
Lin puts forth a solid effort in Houston's season-opening Halloween win over the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He chips in 12 points, eight assists, four rebounds and four steals in his regular-season debut with the Rockets.
But the night belongs to Harden, as so many do during the months to come. The Beard puts up a rather ridiculous line—37 points on 14-of-25 from the field, 12 assists, six rebounds, four steals and a block in 44 minutes—to catalyze Houston's victorious effort.
Nov. 2, 2012
Lin looks more like the Linsanity of old against the Atlanta Hawks. He shoots a subpar 6-of-16 from the floor, but still winds up with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a 109-102 win.
Once again, though, Harden is the star of the show. He pours in a career-high 45 points on 14-of-19 from the field and 15-of-17 from the free-throw line. The effort unofficially thrusts Harden to the forefront and lands Lin on the back burner in Houston.
Nov. 12, 2012
Lin faces the Miami Heat for the first time since Feb. 23, when the then-eventual champions locked him down on the way to an eight-point, three-assist, eight-turnover nightmare of a game. Lin's struggles aren't so pronounced this time around, though his nine points and six assists in the three-point loss are hardly worth writing home about.
Nov. 16, 2012
Lin tallies his first double-double as a Rocket (11 points, 11 assists) in a two-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Rookie Damian Lillard, Lin's counterpart for the Blazers, explodes for 27 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals, often at Lin's expense.
Nov. 23, 2012
In his first game against his old team, Lin logs 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, but is once again outshone by James Harden (33 points, nine assists, four rebounds) in a 131-103 blowout win over the Knicks.
Nov. 28, 2012
James Harden is at the center of the Rockets' 22-point loss to the Thunder in OKC, but Jeremy Lin doesn't exactly escape unscathed. Lin winds up with six points, eight assists, three rebounds and four steals in 41 minutes while being hounded by Russell Westbrook much of the time.
For the month of November, Lin averages 10.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals while shooting a forgettable 37.3 percent from the floor.
Dec. 10, 2012
With Harden sidelined by a sprained ankle, Jeremy goes off for his finest performance since the salad days of Linsanity. He winds up with a career-high-tying 38 points on 11-of-21 from the field and 12-of-12 from the line, seven assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 42 minutes.
Lin's efforts help the Rockets to push the San Antonio Spurs to overtime in the Beard's absence. However, the Spurs eventually emerge victorious behind Tony Parker's first career triple-double.
Dec. 17, 2012
Lin plays like the "man of the hour" as he makes his hotly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden. Not even Harden's 28-point, 10-rebound showing can take away from Lin's evening, wherein he piles up 22 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals in Houston's 109-96 win over New York.
The combined brilliance of Lin and Harden against the Knicks helps to quash an emerging narrative regarding whether or not the Rockets should be starting two young, ball-dominant guards alongside one another.
Dec. 28-31, 2012
Jeremy Lin ends his whirlwind of a year with two strong performances in his last three outings. He piles up 21 points, eight assists and four steals in another loss to the Spurs, and registers 16 points, eight assists, four steals and two blocks in a 19-point win over the Hawks.
In between, Lin once again flounders opposite Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. Lin finishes the game with seven points, seven assists and four turnovers while Westbrook explodes for 28 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals in a 30-point pounding of Houston.
For the month of December, Lin averages 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals while shooting a far more respectable 48.9 percent from the field.
Jan. 9-19, 2013
The Rockets stumble through a season-worst seven-game losing streak, during which Lin averages 11.6 points, 5.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals, and shoots 36.4 percent overall and 27.3 percent from three.
Jan. 17, 2013
The NBA announces the starters and top vote-getters for the 2013 All-Star Game at the Toyota Center in Houston. Lin falls less than 50,000 ballots short of election, but nearly doubles James Harden's tally in the process.
Jan. 21, 2013
The Rockets finally stop their seven-game skid, albeit without many thanks to Jeremy Lin. He cobbles together an unremarkable four points and three rebounds in a 100-94 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. That same game sees James Harden go off for 29 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Jan. 24, 2013
The league reveals the All-Star reserves. Lin is (rightfully) left out. Harden, on the other hand, earns his first All-Star selection to represent the host Rockets at the game. However, Lin was later chosen to partake in the Skills Challenge during All-Star Weekend.
Jan. 25-30, 2013
Lin ends January with four straight double-digit scoring efforts, capped off by 22 points and five assists in an eight-point loss to the Denver Nuggets.
For the month of January, Lin averages 12.4 points, 5.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from three.
Feb. 5, 2013
Lin plays a major role in Houston's 140-109 dismantling of the Golden State Warriors. Lin hits five of the Rockets' NBA-record-tying 23 three-pointers as part of a 28-point, nine-assist night against the team with whom he first played as a pro.
The big story, though, centers around Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who instructs his players to prevent the Rockets from breaking the single-game three-point record at all costs.
Feb. 12, 2013
The Rockets prevent the Warriors from exacting their revenge by way of a 116-107 win over Golden State. Lin contributes a double-double (14 points, 10 assists) to the cause.
Feb. 13, 2013
Lin's second game without James Harden doesn't go quite as well as the first, to say the least. While Harden is busy resting up for All-Star Weekend, Lin leads the Rockets into battle against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The result? A 106-96 loss in L.A., in which the Rockets fall behind by as many as 22 points while Lin chips in 14 points, seven assists, two rebounds, two steals and a block.
Feb. 16, 2013
Jeremy Lin represents the hometown Rockets as one of three members of the Western Conference squad in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Lin finishes the first round in 35.8 seconds, but fails to advance ahead of eventual winner Damian Lillard.
Feb. 20, 2013
The Rockets return from the All-Star break with a resounding 122-119 win over the visiting Thunder. As expected, the headlines belong to James Harden, who scores a career-high 46 points (16 in the fourth quarter) on 14-of-19 from the field, 7-of-8 from three and 11-of-12 from the line, to go along with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.
But Jeremy Lin's efforts, while not nearly as celebrated, are nonetheless crucial to Houston's success. Lin scores nine of his 29 points during the final 3:05. He also collects seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in the effort.
Feb. 22-27, 2013
Lin ends February with a trio of duds as Houston loses two of three. Those three games see Lin score a total of 24 points on 10-of-31 shooting with nine combined turnovers. On the positive end, he dishes 19 assists across those three games.
For the month of February, Lin averages 14.5 points, 6.6 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three.