Just two games into his Summer League tryout, Scott Machado is already improving, but his chances of playing professionally may have taken a hit with Rockets' pursuit of Jeremy Lin. (Photo courtesy of Houston Chronicle)
Scott Machado has already played two games at the professional level in his Summer League stint with the Houston Rockets, and the man who was arguably the best point guard in the nation this past season at Iona College has improved as expected with the additional minutes he has seen.
In his first game Friday night against Toronto, Machado only managed two points and as many rebounds; but demonstrated his second-to-none passing ability with five assists, the bulk of which came in the fourth quarter. Last night, the guard only had one helper, but showed more of an offensive touch with four points and three rebounds in Houston's loss to the Washington Wizards.
No one is as critical of Machado's performance as Scott himself, and this was proven shortly after his debut Friday, when he tweeted that he was "unsatisfied" with his performance. However, the reigning MAAC Player of the Year remained thankful for the opportunity, and his realization of it being his first professional game may have been an admission that perhaps Machado was being just a little too hard on himself. Yet if anyone can turn skeptics into believers, Machado is that player, even in a five-game tryout. His biggest success over the past two nights lied in the intangibles that do not show up in a box score, such as his ability to read and break down a defense, which he did well against Washington. In addition, Jeremy Lamb's presence at the shooting guard position gives Machado even more of an opportunity to show what he is made of, and should allow for Scott to do what he did for a whole season last year with Momo Jones and Sean Armand at Iona.
Admittedly, Scott's road to the NBA could have a huge obstacle placed in front of it, depending on the end result of the Jeremy Lin saga. Houston signed the rookie sensation, whom they had released early last season, to an offer sheet that was suddenly restructured with more of a back-loaded contract that could cause salary cap constraints for the New York Knicks should they match it. In a late development last night, the Knicks were reportedly close to reacquiring Raymond Felton; who had run the point for the Knicks as recently as two seasons ago before being shipped to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade, in a sign-and-trade with Portland that would logically serve as the precursor to New York not matching Houston's offer for Lin. Bringing this full circle, Lin's arrival in Houston would still allow for Machado to potentially make the Rockets as the backup point guard; but if the Knicks do decide to keep their rising star in the Big Apple, Machado has a shot to be the starter at the point for Houston on opening night.
Scott Machado next takes the court tomorrow night as the Rockets take on the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas. The game will be aired on NBA TV at 6:30 pm Eastern, and a channel listing for the appropriate providers is included in the press release on ICGaels.com heralding Scott's experience.