Now that the three-day mourning period after the hiring of Mike D'Antoni is over, it's time to come back to rational thought.
There's no need to give up your season tickets, your NBA League Pass or your Rockets fandom. Sure, the D'Antoni hire was a huge surprise to everyone, but as the initial emotional reaction dissipates, it's important to realize this is certainly not the end of the world. The Rockets should at least be exciting to watch, which is more than we can say for the vast majority of this past season.
There are some out there who firmly believe this hire was actually a good one for the Rockets. Case in point, is a piece that appeared in PaperCity over the weekend that calls the D'Antoni move "inspired" and a "godsend." And while those words are a bit too strong for my liking, the writer, Chris Baldwin, does bring up some decent points about D'Antoni's fit, the balance of power between GM Daryl Morey, owner Les Alexander and the new coach and how it may actually help the Rockets. It's worth the few minutes to read.
Where I do completely agree with Baldwin though is what this does to the chances we see Jeremy Lin back in Houston this year. The argument is a sound one:
"D'Antoni is the coach who benefited from Linsanity's run on Broadway-- and the Rockets are in desperate need of a legitimate point guard who can push the pace. You cannot play any version of D'Antoni's famed Seven Seconds or Less offense with Patrick Beverley as the lead point guard.
Lin's a free agent again after a very successful season in Charlotte that erased any of the stink Lakers coach Byron Scott tried to stick on him. The 65-year-old D'Antoni could really use Lin, and the other league situation with an unquestioned Lin-believing coach (the Brooklyn Nets) does not offer the chance to win anywhere close to the level Mike D'Antoni could in Houston."
Of course, there's the little element of how poorly Lin was treated during his last stop in H-town, with the team parading around pictures of Carmelo Anthony wearing Lin's number 7 while the point guard was still under contract, but it is possible that Coach Pringles trumps all when it comes Lin.
"Sure, there are plenty of reasons for Lin to be hesitant about Houston. But D'Antoni trumps all those. Lin and D'Antoni kept texting each other long after both left New York, and their bond remains strong. Sports have seen much more surprising twists than Lin returning to Houston. This is the playground where the unexpected happens, one where money and opportunity routinely create the most unlikely of bedfellows."
There is no doubt that Lin played his best ball under D'Antoni, averaging 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 1.6 steals on 44.6 percent shooting in 35 games played, and he's never again been able to replicate those averages. And at age 27, Lin should still have some juice left in the ol' tank.
There is no doubt the Rockets still need help at the point, and Lin is the third-rated free agent point guard by Hoops Hype behind Mike Conley and Rajon Rondo. If the Rockets can't get Conley, I take Lin over proven team cancer Rondo any day.
It's an interesting dynamic, that's for sure, and if there's one thing certain about the D'Antoni hire, it's that the upcoming free agency period is about to get a lot more interesting than we ever thought.
What say you? How would you feel about Lin back in H-town? Would he be a fit? Would he even want to come back?