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NBA Nation Australia’s Weekly Roundtable Feat. Alex Young

Welcome to another episode of NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable! This week we welcome Alex Young of  The Sideline Agenda as a guest on the round table to discuss Linsanity in Houston, Kyrie and Rubio’s effect on their teams, ideal All NBA teams, Anderson Varejao and the league’s biggest stars since MJ. Feel free to tweet us your thoughts @NBANationOz or leave a comment below. Let’s go!


1. The age old question that plagues bloggers, journalists and media. Michael Jordan is undoubtedly the most famous player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers, but since the great man retired there have been a multitude of stars who have all changed and impacted the NBA in huge ways. Who is the NBA’s biggest superstar since Michael Jordan?


Sam M: Foreign players had come and gone before Yao – the likes of Olajuwon, Ewing, Kukoc and Petrovic – but none has impacted upon the global expansion as much as Yao. Jordan took the game physically to another level – historical levels. Ming carried an NBA badge into the darkest, dingiest bars in China and shone a light on the game. It’s estimated that approximately 200 million viewers tuned in regularly to watch the Rockets play, just to see Yao on court. To put this in perspective, thats 195 million more then watch a NBA playoff game, that’s 2 Superbowls worth of viewers per game. Just incredible numbers. Ming attracts attention by himself, this had a flow on effect with other players on his team receiving sponsorships in China just because they were seen with him. While we have seen offsiders and characters like Pippen, Rodman, Stockton and more receive endorsements and awards alongside their great playing partners we haven’t seen anything like this on a global scale. The NBA has capitalised on this in a number of ways. Most notably lucrative TV contracts, holiday’s and NBA stores & offices. More importantly the NBA are using this success to bridge political differences and work within current restraints to spread goodwill via basketball. Currently China will host 2-3 preseason games per year  –  feat which just simply would not be happening without the success Ming. These China trips expose the game to more fans internationally but also fill the NBA’s pockets with gold. I would argue that Yao Ming has been the NBA’s most important star since Michael Jordan.

Kobe Bryant

Nick C: Well, what defines a ‘superstar’? Is it their talent, their ability to make people idolize them or their status within society? I think it’s a mixture of all these things together. A talented, friendly, generous and personable hero who people can not only idolize but indeed try and replicate. A beacon for what said person dreams they could one day become. That’s what superstar means to me. Now, since Jordan, I don’t believe there have been a great multitude of what believe to be a superstar. Sure, there’s been countless amazing players, and plenty who have seen fame and fortune, but who are the guys who kids have watched day in and day out? Who are the guys who work tirelessly on and off the basketball court to make people’s lives better? Who are the guys who believe that the preservation of humanity is the most important thing, even above basketball? I’ve probably taken this question to another level, and answered it completely wrong, but I thought I’d take aim at the true meaning of superstar rather than throw a bunch of names around of guys who have a wicked jump shot. I have my personal heroes, and I have high hopes for others and not all of them will end up being remembered as superstars. Iverson, Garnett, Nowitzski, James, Rose, Paul, Anthony…. The list really is endless and impossible to narrow down. In the end though, I guess it’s all objective, right? If we get down to the knitty gritty, I gotta go with my main man, the Black Mamba, Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant.
Alex Y: For me, it’s got to be LeBron. Despite his arrogance and off field persona, there’s no denying he’s an absolute superstar of the game. Statistically, he is a machine. In his nine years as a pro, he has averaged over 20 points every season and has a career average of 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists. Even Kobe doesn’t have figures like these. Despite Kobe’s 30k points achievement a few weeks back, this came after 16 seasons in the league. LeBron after only 9 years has already achieved close to 20,000 points and after what he’s been able to achieve recently with 22 straight 20+points game this season alone (only the 4th player in history to do this) and his 43rd straight overall, there’s clearly no signs he’s slowing down anytime soon. He attracts huge crowds and puts on scintillating displays of basketball. At only 28 he still has quite a few more years left in him (barring injury) and is no doubt going to break several more records on his way to NBA royalty.
Nick H: No question in terms of playing, Kobe. The man’s playing record speaks for itself. But, in terms of ‘Brand Star’ I would maybe say Lebron. Again, I could be totally wrong as I don’t have numbers to go from but in terms of merchandise, jersey sales, shoe sales etc.. I would lay money down that Lebron would come out on top. That could be for a number of reasons… Kobe likes to just keep his head down most of the time, and concentrate on what’s really important – playing.
Nick R: While there are plenty of superstar players in the league now that would argue they are as good as the greatest, there really only 2 player that have had the global reach, impact and stats to be even considered in the same league, and that’s Kobe and LeBron. I am not going to get into who is better out of these 2, cause that wasn’t realty the question. Who is the biggest star is a great way to get the banter going. For me, the biggest star since Jordan is LeBron James. He is a worldwide phenomenon that creates hysteria anywhere he goes. His brand is almost (I said almost) as big as Jordans was and now that he has the monkey off his back, LeBron will win more championships and the respect that comes with that. Kobe is a close second, but for me, LeBron star shines brighter, well, maybe not in Cleveland.
2. It’s seems like a long time since Anderson Varejao was playing with the fire that he is right now. In fact, it was probably 2 or three years ago alongside LeBron James. Varejao is the leading rebounder in the NBA, and could provide the Cavs with some great trade bait, as well as his new team with some much needed strength on the glass. Which team should trade for Anderson Varejao?
Sam M: The Warriors seem like the team who could use a reliable inside presence – especially with Bogut going down recently. Initially the Varejao’s contract is appealing considering he is only owed $19 million over the next two season – manageable. Currently He seems to be having the best year of his career averaging 14 points per game 14 rebounds and even 3 assists per game. Golden State currently have Ezeli and Biedrins starting at centre for them – not ideal. Cleveland are looking for young talent in return as the only youthful talent on the Warriors roster is Curry and Thompson – wouldn’t want to part with those two just yet. The Warriors would be an ideal landing sport for Andy and the Warriors could use a strong roster as they move to San Francisco soon.
Nick C: I really think the best fit is the Boston Celtics. Here is a team who’s main issue all season has been rebounding and getting stops. Boston’s main staple has always been defense, but this season they have lacked in almost every area on that end, in particular rebounding. Guys like Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and rookie Jared Sullinger have been less than impressive and any of those three could potentially be coupled with say Courtney Lee or Avery Bradley in a trade for Varejao and pieces. His strength and size alone will be of huge value to the Celtics who’s only big making much of an impact is Kevin Garnett. If KG goes back to the 4, Varejao would be an ideal pairing at the 5 and I have little doubt Boston’s trouble on the boards would dissipate. Still, I’m not sure that Cleveland should trade their second best player during a time when they very well could rebuild around both him and Kyrie Irving. 
Alex Y: Golden State Warriors. Varejao is an interesting player – crafty, aggressive and very energetic. He’s having his best ever season averaging a double-double (14 PPG and 14 RPG), and I believe his greatest chance at continuing his great run would be with the Warriors in Oakland. Since it was revealed Andrew Bogut’s ankle injury was more serious than originally thought and that he would be out indefinitely, the Warriors are seriously lacking an interior defense. Yes they have David Lee and Carl Landry who provide the core of their defense, but the presence of Varejao at Golden State would not only add to and improve on this enormously but he also has the potential to form a valuable presence in other smaller lineups, particularly with Lee which would ultimately boost their overall performance.
Nick H: There is definitely going to be a fair amount of interest in Varejao and rightly so. This season alone he is averaging a double-double in 14ppg & 14rpg, not bad huh? The Celtics name has been linked to the Brazilian bigman, and while it would be a great pickup for Ainge & Doc, from what I’ve heard the Cav’s aren’t going to let Anderson leave cheaply. That would probably mean they would want a package containing someone like Bass or Bradley. Being a Celtics fan I’m extremely concerned about their current situation and the need for a ‘decent’ bigman to soak up some of KG’s minutes, but I would not entertain the idea of packaging Bradley. Bradley has come along in leaps & bounds and is already one of the better defensive guards in the league, so I wouldn’t let him go anywhere. I personally think he could fit in great at Houston, and they are in desperate need of a good rebounding big man, but I just don’t think they have the right assests to trade for him. Again the Bucks would be a good fit, but I don’t think he would personally want to go their and again them not having the right pieces to trade. Again, in the NBA trades are hard to pick as in recent years we have
seen some very surprising and wild trades happen. Personally I don’t  think they will, but Houston or the Bucks should be looking to do all they can to acquire Varejao.
Nick R: He is hot property isn’t he. There are allot of teams that could do with him but not allot of teams that will have the young pieces that the Cavs will want for him. At the contender end of the trade talks, there are a few teams that should look at working something out. The Bulls could do with him. When Rose comes back he could do with a versatile big man like Varejao, but they don’t really have the players to move the other way. The Celtics should go hard for him, and they might have a few players on the block to tempt the Cavs into a trade. Depending on how well Amare comes back, the Knicks could make a run for him, but again, not too sure how keen the Cavs would be for an ageing and injury prone Amare. For me, the best fit for Varejao might just be a team like the T-Wolves. They  aren’t 100% assured of keeping Kevin Love and if he does end up moving on, the Wolves should move heaven and earth to get Anderson Varejao, and they also have a core of young players that would be the candy to help make the move happen. Varejao ain’t no Kevin Love, at his best Love is a first choice All Star and genuine MVP candidate, but Varejao is a more than a solid player down low to build a team around would be a welcome addition to this team if Kevin Love was to leave to chase a genuine shot at a ring.
3. Through one quarter of the NBA season, we’ve seen some of the most spectacular basketball by some young up and comers, as well as reinvigorated game from some of the greats. Name your starting 5 All NBA All Star team.
Nick C: Point Guard: Kyrie Irving – This kid is destined for great things and is easily one of the games most promising young point guards. There’s options a-plenty out there, but in this first quarter of 2012/13, Irving has been the guys who has excited me the most.
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant – Obvious reasons. The league’s leading scorer and all round excitement machine. Kobe deserves his spot atop the pile because of his years of experience and his ability to make the impossible a reality.
Small ForwardLeBron James – Because it wouldn’t be an all star game without him. The best player in the game, and an absolute beast on both ends of the floor. Imagine LBJ catching giant lobs from Kyrie and Kobe? That’s a recipe for excitement
Power ForwardBlake Griffin – Purely because he’s a dunk machine and that’s what the fans wanna see at all star weekend. This season Blake has been throwing down some massive slams and deserves his spot.
Center: Dwight Howard - Still the best center in the game, and although injury has plagued Dwight for the past few months, you’d better believe he’s still capable of a monstrous block or a gigantic throw down. The perfect All Star player.
Sam M: Point Guard: Russell Westbrook – for me this pick is simple. Westbrook is explosive plus he handles the ball as good as any other guard out there. This squad is designed to entertain and score, not only can he score he can dunk – look at what he does to Asik below.
Shooting Guard: James Harden – Harden gets a start this year because of the way he pushes the pace on the court. Its frantic when he is out there. He is 2nd to only Kobe in overall SG points per game at 25.1 and is hitting 1 in every 3 he shoots. Don’t put him on the foul line as he is driving down the lane, shooting a cheeky 86% from there too. Harden cant be stopped from deep or close to the hoop.
Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony – Probably the MVP so far. Leading an extraordinary Knicks team out of the blocks early Melo has been lights out. He can score we know that but I’m rewarding him for his hustle on the boards, which isn’t easy when he has Chandler guarding them too. This season he is averaging 6 rebounds a game – an improvement upon his career average. I challenge anyone to stop Anthony scoring from the top of the key or the post.
Power Forward: Blake Griffin – Defensively not much better then Carmelo – only averaging 8 rebounds a game. It’s Griffins assists and steals per game that validates his position on the team. Averaging 1.5 steals a game isnt easy for a huge man, also he is averaging 3 assists per game (I can see this growing throughout the season too).  This season he has bested Howard, Gasol, Duncan, Randolph, Boozer and Love to name a few.
Center: Anderson Varejao – Probably a unbelievable pick, considering he has never played at an outstanding level and he plays on a team with a losing record but nonetheless I want a team player who will protect the rim. Andy is bringing down 14 boards a game, 5 offensively and 9 defensively. He is keeping his team in games late thanks to these late boards and this earns your a  call up to the All Star Team. He has out performed Z-Bo, Dwigh and any other center in the league so far, I don’t know if the trend will continue but 1/4 of the way through the season Varejao is a front runner for me.
Alex Y: Power Forward: LeBron James – The numbers say it all. 25 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 7 APG, he is the best overall player and can contribute in all facets of the game. An All-Star game without LeBron is like having a McDonalds cheeseburger without the cheese – it’s just not complete.
Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony – Undoubtedly the best in the league so far. He is the life of the party at Madison Square Garden right now and with 28 PPG and 6.2 RPG, he brings both offense and defensive action to the table.
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant – Despite the shaky start by the Lakers, there’s no going past Kobe for the starting SG position. At 29.5 PPG he leads the league in scoring and his 14 All-Star appearance will bring invaluable experience to the team. 
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo – Rondo is a rare talent and is one of the slyest, craftiest and freakishly good players in the league. As the only player in the NBA to average double digits assists (12.2) and the only player since he is undoubtedly the best point guard at the moment. What he lacks in shooting he makes up for in agility and aggression is the sort of player that if on form, can make or break a team.
Center: Tyson Chandler – this was a hard one as there isn’t really any stand out centers for me at this stage of the season. However Chandler is a fighter with huge passion and aggression and has been an integral part to this flourishing Knicks team. He is an excellent rebounder who can also get the rim when needed. And so with his current double-double, 13-point, 10-rebound average, he gets the nod from me right now.
Nick HPoint Guard: Rajon Rondo – Maybe my one bias pick, but it’s obviously not one that’s outlandish. Rondo finally deserves to be a starting All Star, what does the guy have to do to get a break. He continually performs game after game, and I’d almost go as far to say in the past 2 years Playoff’s he has been the Elite Point Guard. Deron Williams? Nah, give me Rajon Rondo. People will call him a punk, but ask anyone who supports the Celtics and they will tell you he just plays with alot of fire. Rondo would be picking up a solid double/double at least in my All Star game!
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant – Kobe just has to be there doesn’t he? It wouldn’t quite be an All Star game without him. He has the ability to turn and close a game on his own. People may bring up the stat of this year that a Kobe 30 point game has proven to bring more losses to Los Angeles but this is a pure rarity and surely the 5 rings he has locked up at home will comfort him and silence any critic. Bryant has to start in this game.
Small Forward: Lebron James – Of course like Kobe, Lebron HAS to start. The man has continued to grow from strength to strength and is arguably one of the most gifted players to ever play the game. It goes to show how well he has continued to play this year as he has pipped Carmelo Anthony to this spot in my team.
Power Forward: Kevin Love – Love is quickly growing into the best power forward/center in the league and his still has the gift of youth on his side. Currently averaging 26 points a game despite his shooting percentages down from the previous year, Love has to start this game. The man is a rebounding monster and a clinical shooter. Kevin when are you going to join the Celtics? ;)
Center: Dwight Howard – Personally not the biggest fan of the man, but as a player you can’t really fault him. He IS the best center in the league, there is no other way anyone else could start over him? Bynum? Nah, not with that haircut mate! Dwight may have some work to do on his free throw shooting but other than that his game is pretty well rounded. Has to start.
Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets
Nick R: Point Guard: Chris PaulProbably the most consistent PG in the league and pushed all the way by Deron Williams who is dominating the PG position in the East. Westbrook and Rondo are close, but still a step behind in my opinion.
Shooting Guard: Kevin Durant. I know, I know…Durant doesn’t play allot of SG anymore and is a natural Small Forward, but there were 3 players that needed to be in this team and this was the only way to fit them all in. Kobe Bryant is unlucky not to be here, as is James Harden who is having his best season yet.
Small Forward: LeBron James. Enough said really. Is continuing his form that earned him last years MVP award. Hard not to have him in your team. This is also Kevin Durrants natural position and if it wasn’t for LeBron, he would be here without question…lucky the guy can play SG too.
Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony. What a turn around.  An MVP year for Melo and probably the hottest player in the NBA right now. He deserves the PF spot. Kevin Love is right behind him. Love is a pure baller if I have ever seen and is a future MVP candidate.
Center: Dwight Howard. The Lakers might suck at the moment, but Dwight is still rocking it as the tent pole in the middle. But it’s no-longer daylight between Howard and the rest. I genuinely thought about putting Joakim Noah in here. This is a player that deserves allot more respect than he gets….maybe it’s the hair? Bynum, Chandler, M. Gasol, Duncan, Hibbert, Monroe etc etc….well, they really aren’t far behind and could easily feature on peoples list. Sucks to be a big man sometimes.
4. The Wolves and the Cavs are both teams who have struggled through the years, but have since found some great young talent to play with. Which young star will shape their teams fortunes more this year: Ricky Rubio or Kyrie Irving?
uspw_6093260_crop_exact               VS.kyrie-irving
Sam M: Kyrie. If I were to draft one or the other in the draft today it would be Iriving. Iriving this season has shown leadership beyond his years. Leadership requires your team mates trust – they trust you to execute, trust your know the playbook. They believe in you. I don’t think Minnesota believes Rubio can lead them yet, he hasn’t proven he can control his team in pressure situations. On court I don’t trust Rubio to make the best play to win the game – I have seen Irving control the ball, run time off the clock and hit pressure shots. Not just pressure shots but I have seen Irving control the tempo of a game – whether that be pushing it or slowing it. Due to the Cav’s total lack of depth Irving will be the star to shape the Cav’s year – unfortunately its a one man team at the moment.
Nick C: The return of Rubio has/will be huge for Minnesota. They’ve missed him greatly, but I believe it will be Kyrie Irving who will have the biggest overall impact on his team going forward. The Wolves have a host of other great players who are capable of steadying the ship while Rubio is out, yet the Cavs have only Varejao and Waiters to rely on should Irving be injured. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that within 5 years, Kyrie Irving will be the number one point guard in the NBA and the Cavaliers (providing they don’t trade him), will be right back on top of the Eastern conference after having built around him. I don’t feel this way about Minnesota. They’ve built a great team, but I don’t see them having any real impact or going deep into the playoffs with the roster they have. Not mention no one knows where Kevin Love will be in a year’s time. Rubio may struggle for some time this season while getting back in form. He’ll get there, but it will take time while Kyrie is playing dominant, unstoppable basketball so far this year and will only get better. The Cavs may not get as far as the Wolves, but it’s a damn site further than they would if they didn’t have Kyrie Irving. Not sure I can say the same for the Wolves and Rubio
Alex Y: Irving is no doubt the star at Cleveland. Ever since his drafting in 2011, the Cavs have constantly highlighted their desire to want to build their team around him. He’s a great controller of the game and with over 23 PPG and 5.5 APG he has clearly started to find his rhythm in Ohio. Although plagued by injury this season, the Cavs look to him as their leader and rely on him to make the shots and control the points. The same however can’t be said for Rubio. He just doesn’t have that same star quality in him that Irving does. Although in part this is likely due to the fact that his teammates include players like Kevin Love and Andrei Kirilenko, both former All-Stars and dominant players of the game, his impact is simply not enough at this stage to warrant me into thinking he’ll have any influence in the state of the Timberwolves this year. 
Nick H: Kyrie. Rubio is a talent for sure, and the Timberwolves are the better team but, where would Cleveland be without Kyrie? The young guy is quickly becoming one of the best point guards in the league, and he quite obviously is the nucleus of that team. He does have some way to go to being a perfectly rounded Point Guard but what he has done in
the league is a testament to his ability. I can’t see him turning their season around drastically but whatever they do achieve will come through him as opposed to Rubio who granted is a talent, but the Timberwolves have Love who is just as central to Minnesota’s good fortunes.
Nick R: While I think that Kyrie Irving is the future and could easily be the best PG in the league within a few years, the question was about which team will benefit more this year and for me, right now it’s Rubio. The Wolves without Rubio are a solid team that will cause a few headaches come Playoff time. With a healthy and firing Rubio, the Wolves have a great shot at a mid level playoff spot and could go much deeper than expected. This isn’t the year for Cleveland, they are pretty awful and even with Kyrie having a career best season, it won’t be enough to scrape the Cavs off the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Rubio has a genuine chance of changing his teams fortunes this year, and it will be fun to watch!
5. ESPN suggested on Tuesday that Jeremy Lin may be more effective coming off the bench for Houston. Against the Knicks, Lin silenced said critics by crushing the Knicks with 28 points & 8 assists. Where do you stand on Linsanity’s role at the Rockets? Starter or bench, and why?
                                      a_250x375    OR     jeremy lin new york knicks on the bench injured
Sam M: With Lin I think now his flaws have been studied and exploited the Rockets will find it more effective to play him off the bench. Harden is the leader of this team, Lin seems to flourish when he is taking charge. So let him lead the 2nd unit – when Harden is taking a breather let Lin take control of the team on the floor. This season he is averaging almost identical stats to last season in New York – empower him and perhaps like last year his stats will improve as well. Give the kid some confidence and watch him go off. Just my 2 cents.
Nick C: I was just discussing this with a colleague in the kitchen at work, and we somewhat reluctantly came to the agreement that for the environment he’s in, he does deserve to start at the point. While he’s struggled early to get any semblance of consistency going, we’re starting to see glimpses of Linsanity appear. His 22 point/8 assist night against his former team, and a career-high equaling effort of 38 points 7 assists against the Kings just nights earlier has shown Lin is still capable of proving his critics wrong and putting up game winning numbers, while willing his team mates around him on to perform at higher levels. Of course, having James Harden in his back court has helped immensely and we should only see Lin improve further from here. The only issue I see confronting them is how much they both want the ball. Discussions about an all star appearance may be a little premature but in the future there is definitely an opportunity for him to be a part of those talks. I like Jeremy Lin in Houston. He and Harden will be the two cornerstones for the franchise in the next few years, and I only seeing him get better.
Alex Y: I’m probably going to get slammed for saying this, but I believe Jeremy Lin is totally overrated. I’m not denying he has talent but I think his ‘Linsanity’ run in New York last season just came at time when things were on the down for the Knicks and he brought some hope and light back into the side. He practically went from being a nobody to a superstar in the space of a week so he now needs a slight reality check and the ability to grow. His move to the Rockets was undoubtedly a good one for this and his numbers this season are showing that. However with Harden now on the team he is clearly being overshadowed. I think he has a far greater chance of improving and showing that he is not just a ‘one hit wonder’ as many perceive him to be if he came off the bench. He’s a good player but can also be rather inconsistent at times so making him a permanent starter may not be the wisest move. I think for now, he needs to be the bench leader and come out and make shots when the pressure is not as high. 
Nick H: It’s a tough one isn’t it? ESPN definitely have a point and it’s purely down to the fact that Lin hasn’t necessarily relit the Houston starting 5. Saying that he hasn’t done an awful job has he? Let’s not forgot, Lin has to date only played 88 games in this League. He hardly should be at the level of an elite Point Guard. To be fair, he is kind of fortunate to even be in this position. While people will argue that he hasn’t quite played at same level he saw during his amazing run at New
York, he has had some fine games for the Rockets early into his spell at this new club. Madison Square Gardens die-hards would have left seething last night after Lin & Harden took apart the very in-form Knicks. It was great to see him step up in that way too, especially as I don’t believe he really wanted out of New York. What this question begs though is if Lin wouldn’t start, who would? Toney Douglas? I don’t personally believe so. While he may be a solid rotational player, he definitely isn’t the answer at starting Point Guard. Will the Rockets look to trade for another Point Guard? Quite possibly!
Brandon Jennings is a free agent at the end of this year, and personally I think he would fit in quite well in Houston. Some may disagree though. Lin currently sits on 11.3ppg, 6apg & 4rpg, not a line to turn your nose up, but at the same time his stats are fantastic. He currently is shooting at 40% from the field, 30% from behind the line, 81% from the free throw line, these are definitely numbers he could improve and improve, I think he will. McHale is currently doing a good job, and is showing alot of faith and respect in Lin, and I believe if he keeps him starting and playing decent numbers alongside Harden, Houston could be a force to reckon with in coming years!
Nick R: You can understand why they suggest that Lin would have more of an impact off the bench. It’s not like he has lit up the floor at Houston. Lin has struggled with consistency this season and while he has had his fair share of decent games for the Rockets, the majority of his stat lines reveal the truth, and he is struggling to maintain the momentum that created the “Linsanity” hysteria last season. However, I don’t think this really indicates the sort of player that Lin has, rather that his duties on the court are different at the Rockets. He doesn’t need to be the “floor general” that he was at the Knicks, and he doesn’t need to be the leader that the Rockets would have wanted him to be originally. They have James Harden for that and he is the one to lead the offence at the Rockets. The pressure is really on his shoulders and he is this teams leader on the floor. So should Lin be moved to the bench? I don’t think so. Well, not yet anyway. Lin and Harden will grow to be a powerful 1-2 punch in the Rockets backcourt and time is needed with both starting to form this. It’s a little premature to be thinking Lin as a 6th Man at the Rockets I think.
That wraps up another edition of the Roundtable. Thanks again to Alex Young of The Sideline Agenda for her contribution this week. Hopefully you’ll come back again soon! Until next time, thanks for reading and Merry Christmas. We’ll see you in the new year! 

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