After the Rockets won games four and five to get back into their opening round series against the Thunder, many pointed to the injury to Russell Westbrook as the reason that the Thunder suddenly look vulnerable. But it might actually be the injury to Jeremy Lin that is hurting the Thunder the most.
With Lin missing the last two games with a chest injury, we are seeing something that was hinted at during the regular season. That is, the Rockets are a better team with Lin on the bench.
During the regular season, the Rockets averaged 2.3 more points per 48 minutes with Lin on the bench than when he was in the game. That disparity is even greater in the postseason with the Rockets scoring 14.9 more points per 48 minutes without Lin.
And the biggest difference is that the Rockets are a more aggressive team without Lin. During the regular season, the Rockets averaged 12.8 three-points shots made per 48 minutes (34.6 attempts) when Lin was on the bench. When Lin was in the game, the Rockets averaged just 9.8 three-pointers made and 8.4 fewer attempts (26.2)…
Data via NBA.com
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