While the whole city of Houston will benefit from Linsanity’s landing, one of its Rockets may get the biggest boost of all.
Small forward Chandler Parsons was gearing up for his rookie season when point guard Jeremy Lin was cut by the Rockets in training camp last December. Now, Parsons is thrilled that Lin is officially back after the Knicks decided not to match the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million offer for the restricted free agent.
“I think it’s incredible,” Parsons told FOX 26 Sports. “Obviously the year he had last year, what he did for the Knicks was huge. He proved he is a legit starting NBA point guard, and I’m excited for him to come back here. When he was here for training camp last year, we kind of hit it off and we were cool and I was real happy for him, and now I’m excited to actually be able to play big minutes with him.”
There’s no question that the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent will impact the Houston market, which propped its doors open to China when 7-foot-6 center Yao Ming ducked his head through the entrance and became a Rocket in 2002.
But on the court is where Houston needs help, especially since the youthful Rockets gave their roster a drastic makeover in hopes of getting star center Dwight Howard this offseason. However, there’s reason to believe Lin and Parsons will develop solid chemistry with their skill-sets in second-year coach Kevin McHale’s offense, which will feature plenty of pick-and-roll.
Lin and Parsons will execute tons of 1-3 pick-and-roll sets, which will be designed to exploit the 6-foot-9 Parsons’ length, athleticism and catch-and-shoot ability. Even when Parsons isn’t the roll man on those plays, he’ll benefit from the perimeter due to Lin’s tendency to find spot-up shooters at the 3-point line.
Those things should inflate Parsons’ numbers from his first year, which saw him average 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds a game on the way to being named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
The Rockets will need to improve across the board in order to rise to prominence in the deep-as-ever Western Conference. Last year, Houston failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season despite finishing with a winning record in each one. The team hasn’t played in the postseason since the 2008-2009 season, when it lost in seven games to the eventual-champion Lakers in the West semifinals.
But although the signing of Lin doesn’t guarantee success for the Rockets, it does give Parsons a launching pad that could take his game to the next level.