Jeremy Lin had already reached double figures in assists when he began a drive like many others throughout the night to find something had changed.
He had been moving deliberately through the lane, often across the lane, finding open teammates. Kevin Martin had continued his sharp-shooting of the preseason, hitting 8 of 11 shots to score 22 points. Patrick Patterson had gone from a 1-of-5 start to make six of his remaining seven shots, scoring 17.
With the shooters around him hitting open looks, Lin made his way down the lane to see something he had rarely seen in his previous three preseason games: room to move. With Memphis defenders forced to stay with their assignments Lin finished the drive and then another. The Rockets offense had gone from running in mud to rolling to its best performance of the preseason and a 109-102 win Wednesday over the Grizzlies.
"Coach made a point of letting everybody play off of each other instead of the other night in the third quarter (in Dallas) where we were just trying to do too much one-on-one and not working the other side," Martin said. "It snow-balled from there and kept on going throughout the game."
Martin carried the Rockets offense early, as he had through his previous four preseason games, but continued to get good looks through his 32 minutes. Martin is making 61 percent of his shots in the preseason, averaging 18.3 points.
"Just moving around," Martin said. "I know where my spots are. I can read the defense, just take what they're giving me.
"If everybody is shooting well, the man who is guarding you tends to stay a little closer to you. It kind of opens up the middle. If I'm hot, my man will stay with me in the corner. If Pat's hot, his man will stay with him at the top of the key. You have a lot of room."
After that got the Rockets through a slow start, it also began to create openings for Lin, first to probe the lane looking for playmaking opportunities and then to finish a few drives. He still has not found his perimeter touch, making just three of nine shots, but he had 12 assists, five rebounds and four steals in 31 minutes.
Lin dishes, then sets table for self in Rockets' win
Houston Chronicle | Oct 18