The San Antonio Spurs survived a shootout of the highest order Monday night, beating the Houston Rockets 134-126 in overtime. With James Harden out with a sprained ankle, the key match up of the game was shaping up to be Tony Parker and Jeremy Lin. They did not disappoint. Parker finished with 27 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds, his first career triple double. Lin had a game reminiscent of last season, netting 38 points and dishing out seven assists.
It was a bounce back game for Lin, who has struggled this season, specifically with his shot.
Lin is shooting 38 percent from the field and 26.5 percent from the three. Lin's struggles shooting have made him easier to defend because it allows defenders to go under a pick and roll or sag off him to help defend Harden when he's driving to the basket.
Before Monday night's game, Parker told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that Lin reminds him of another guard who struggled with his shot at the start of his career: Tony Parker.
“His shot will come,” Parker said. “Me too. I couldn’t hit a shot at the beginning of my career. I was still able to go to the basket. His shot will improve. It will help, definitely, his game. Definitely. When I start making the outside jumper on a consistent basis, that’s when I was more consistent with my performance.”
Parker is right, he couldn't shoot when his career started. His rookie season he shot just under 42 percent and it hovered in the mid 40's the next two seasons and that was only because he's so good at getting to the rim. Given the amount of analytics and advanced stats the Houston Rockets front office likes to use, I'm sure they'll have Lin working on his shot as much as possible.
The other adjustment Lin has to make is moving without the ball. Parker pointed out to Feigen that he also had to work on being productive without having the ball in his hands since Manu, like Harden, would handle the ball a lot. While their games aren't completely similar, it would serve Lin well to study tape of Parker to figure out how he can improve his offensive game and work with a ball dominant shooting guard like Harden.
Photo: Pro Basketball Talk