Nothing summed up the Houston Rockets' struggles in their 120-91 Game 1 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder quite like Jeremy Lin. In his playoff debut, Lin had four points, four assists and four turnovers in 32 ineffective minutes. He shot just 1-of-7 from the field and missed all four of his three-point attempts.
Lin looked completely overwhelmed against Russell Westbrook on both ends, with Westbrook nearly notching a triple-double with 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Westbrook used his strength to back Lin down in the post on several occasions, and consistently used his speed to burn the Rockets' point guard.
Lin also had some rough moments attempting to guard Kevin Durant, on one play gambling and missing on a steal that led to an easy Durant bucket. The defensive miscue drew the ire of Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who chewed out Lin on the sideline after the play.
Lin was pulled several times in the second half in favor of Patrick Beverley. Beverley fared a bit better, scoring 11 points and handing out four assists while committing just one turnover. However, Beverley did get into some foul trouble, picking up four fouls in 28 minutes.
SB Nation's Rockets blog The Dream Shake called Lin's playoff debut "painful" and lamented his sloppiness with the ball. Lin had several key turnovers at the end of the first half as the Thunder closed on a 14-3 run. Lin's poor defense against Westbrook was also highlighted, noting that things got progressively worse as the game wore on.
Houston needs Lin to play significantly better if it is going to have any chance against Oklahoma City. While the Rockets likely won't win the series unless there's a major injury, a sweep could be in order if Lin's struggles continue.