On Wednesday night against the Hawks, Jeremy Lin bumped knees with Paul Millsap on a Millsap drive, knocking him out of the game and sending him to the locker room for tests. The Rockets announced that Lin had a knee contusion and would miss the rest of the game. Now, after evaluating him over the last two days, the Rockets have announced that Lin will be knocked out for two weeks with a grade one sprain of the knee.
This comes as tough news as Lin has really hit his stride in this early season and has embraced a sixth man role brilliantly, playing his best stretch of basketball as a Rocket so far. He's hitting 50% of his shots, including 39% of his threes, and is maintaining a 19.0 PER, a big improvement from last year's mark.
In his absence, Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks are going to have to step up big-time. Beverley has struggled with his offense all season, and though Brooks has been excellent in stretches for the Rockets, he's now going to be thrust into a much bigger role. Also, expect to see Isaiah Canaan called up from the D-League for insurance.
James Harden, who has missed the last three games with a foot problem, will also be called on to carry a bigger load, as Lin was the Rockets only other true playmaker. Harden is questionable for tonight's game against Brooklyn, but he seemed confident that he would play.
This is just a sprain, and hopefully does not mean anything for Lin's long term future. This isn't a tear, won't require surgery, but the fact that he is out for two weeks and then will be reevaluated is a bit concerning. That to me indicates that this injury could drag on for a bit longer than two weeks.
It's not the end of the world, but the Rockets now face their first true moment of adversity in the 2013-14 season. Let's see how they respond.