SH Blog: Lin “doing terrible” heading into Garden return

Remember the first week of this season when the Rockets were the buzz team?
When “oh man, James Harden is a legit superstar” dominated the headlines over even “um, guys, should we be worried about the Lakers?”
That’s kind of cooled down a bit now, because the Rockets are hovering around .500 and are basically doing what people expected after the Harden trade. But for one night, the Rockets will be the most relevant team again, because tomorrow is the night Jeremy Lin returns to the site of Linsanity for a matchup with the rejuvenated Knicks who are rolling along at 18-5 and first place in the East.
Speaking of those Knicks, one of them snagged the #1 spot on our new MVP rankings. Also, we’ve got a column up from Jan Hubbard about the Mavericks, who are doing all right without Dirk Nowitzki.
And here’s the latest from around the NBA:
  • The trade deadline is still more than two months away, but that may be too far for the Lakers, who could jump at an opportunity to move Pau Gasol for a decent return. Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times outlines five potential destinations for the big man, four of which you’ll have to click through to read. One is a little interesting, from the Lakers’ point of view at least: “Gasol and Chris Duhon ($3.5 million) for Atlanta power forward Josh Smith ($13.2 million) and point guard Devin Harris ($8.5 million). The Hawks called this summer to inquire about a Smith-for-Gasol trade. The Lakers said no thanks. They would probably be a lot more receptive now. Smith, 27, has helped Atlanta become one of the league’s surprises in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season, but the Hawks obviously covet the skill set that has made Gasol a four-time All-Star. Lakers center Dwight Howard would almost certainly be amenable to playing alongside Smith because they were once teammates on the AAU circuit. They could even hold a joint media conference in July to announce the signing of long-term extensions. Harris, 29, is somewhat expendable with Hawks starting point guard Jeff Teague off to a good start and would represent a major upgrade over the Lakers’ current backups.”

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