It leaked on Tuesday that the Rockets would start Patrick Beverley over Jeremy Lin, despite continued public vagueness from Coach Kevin McHale. On Wednesday, Lin said he doesn't have a problem with the decision.
“Obviously, I would love to start,” Lin said. “I think every player would love to start but I think given our current situation, being able to being an offensive spark off the bench, being able to be a primary ball handler in that second group are big things too. Coach and I and Pat have all talked. At the end of the day, we are all trying to do what's right for the team. Egos aside, we are just trying to go out there and play. Who starts isn't important.”
Beverley agrees. He said the Rockets are lucky to have so much depth at the position.
“I accept my role,” he said. “We have three proven starting point guards. All three have started here (Beverley, Lin and Aaron Brooks). Me and Jeremy know each other well. We play together well too. He is a phenomenal playmaker. I try to pick his brain as much as I can. He is one of my best friends. It makes our team that much better. It's a great thing – it can go anyway. We are just teammates and we are playing well together.”
Lin has never seemed like the kind of player who would disagree or hold resentment over such a decision. He's much more likely to simply do what he's asked, while still keeping his pride in saying he wants to start. The bigger question for the Rockets will be who closes the game. James Harden will have the ball in his hands, but will Lin be trusted on the floor in those situations?
Either way, as we outlined on Tuesday, the bigger issue is how much money Lin is making (over $8 million this season) vs. Beverley (under a million). If Beverley not only starts, but winds up taking a bigger chunk of the minutes, you have to wonder if Houston will explore moving Lin, even with the money he has left on his contract this year and next.