Jeremy Lin And The Decline Of Linsanity

Val Powell

Jeremy Lin, the 25-year-old point guard for the Houston Rockets who made headlines in 2012 when he led a winning streak for the New York Knicks, seems to be slowing down.

Since January, the star player has been averaging just 9.8 points in each game, and in February his shooting percentage was just at 40 percent, way below his 45 percent season average, and in March it was only at 22 percent. Lin has also been spending less time on the floor, from an average of 32.9 minutes per game in January, to 27.1 in February, and finally clocking in at an average of only 20.2 minutes in March.

Lin's performance seems to be countering that of his team's. The Rockets have been playing extremely well, garnering the league's best record since the start of the year. Some have speculated that Lin's slump is due to various injury problems, the same ones that kept him from participating in last year's playoffs.

Lin was able to redeem himself on Sunday, adding 26 points to the Rockets' score to win over the Portland Trail Blazers. His Sunday run may indicate better health, and showing opponents that he's not just an average shooter after all.

It appears that the 6'3" player still needs to prove his worth, especially with the upcoming playoffs. Rockets coach Kevin McHale would have to rethink his rotations, and give the floor to the players who can bring the team to victory. If Lin wants to be part of that, he needs to get back to his former self, the one that generated a global following that became known as Linsanity.

Prior to achieving the unexpected, the point guard was a reserve player for the Golden State Warriors and the Rockets. He was also assigned to the NBA D-League thrice before being signed with the Knicks in the 2011-2012 season. In a February 2012 game against the Nets, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni called on Lin to play in the starting lineup, and Lin racked up 25 points and seven assists to the surprise of the whole league. The Knicks won 99-92. Lin also led his team to victory in the two games that followed, in which he scored 28 and 23 points. Linsanity was born.

Fans are hoping he picks himself up from his current slump, or he may have to return to the bench, called to play only when it's clear the team's already on the path to victory.

[Nike Promo Image For Linsanity]