IN just his second day in Manila, Houston Rockets star point guard Jeremy Lin said he’s already having a blast with the all the media attention and the expected "electric environment "on Thursday when they play the Indiana Pacers in the first-ever preseason game in the Philippines.
The 25-year-old Lin, one of a few Asian Americans in the NBA, said he has heard of how crazy Filipinos are for basketball, particularly the NBA, which is why he is looking forward to experiencing it first hand on Thursday.
“I’m very excited to play here (Manila). I think it’s gonna be an electric environment. At the end of the day, we just want to be better as a team and give the fans a fun game and be able to to witness the game first hand,” Lins said before a phalanx of local and international media inside the Mall of Asia Arena.
Lin’s Rockets team is coming off a 115-116 loss to the new-look New Orleans Pelicans over the weekend in their preseason debut, before flying over to Manila.
But he’s happy to see the Rockets, now bolstered by the free agent acquisition of superstar center Dwight Howard, take big steps in their quest for NBA prominence in the coming 2013-2014 NBA season.
“We’re gonna definitely be going to the post a little more but we don’t want to change our identity too much,” said the 6’3” Houston guard, who two years ago, generated worldwide following that came to be known as 'Linsanity' following his startling rise with the New York Knicks.
“We just want to add him (Howard) into it (team’s system) and have it to be as smooth a transition as possible. Then just work with him and getting him up to speed with the way we like to run and the way we like to play and then just compromising and be able to utilize his strengths,” he added.
As the team prepares for the upcoming season, Lin said he looks forward to perfecting the pick-and-roll play he’ll have with the 6’11” Howard.
Since Howard has only had one preseason game thus far under his belt, Lin said he expects them to progress as the season rolls on.
“I think the pick and roll has come along well, but we haven’t had much time with just one game so we look forward to working on that more and more,” he said.
Lin, who attended college at Harvard, averaged 13.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.1 assists last season in his first year with the Rockets under legendary big man Kevin McHale.