Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rockets @ Thunder Game #15 Game Thread

307 comments:

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    1. Sorry, late news. What happened? How did he hurt his shoulder?

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    2. Oh...and he still played on? Wow, what a guy.

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    1. http://www.thefirstrow.eu/watch/155910/2/watch-oklahoma-city-thunder-vs-houston-rockets.html

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  3. Weird that Harden is playing the point. Maybe they want him to get the double teams.

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  4. Thabeet in the game! Should be interesting if Asik or Patterson can take advantage of this.

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  5. Lin is the last offensive option.

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  6. I really don't understand why people keep saying that Jeremy's D is suspect. Everytime I've ssen him play, his D is either good or great. It's not perfect, no one's D is but to consistently get productive PG's to have unproductive nights point to skillful D, not luck.

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  7. Seems like no one is looking to pass to Lin for open shots. Seems he will score less than 8 today.

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  8. good d so far..but why isn't lin doing anything on offense..hopefully it's the strategy to let the ex-thunder players go at it first..

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  9. Good D by Lin in the 1st quarter, but he's invisible on the offensive end

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  10. Parson is out:( hope it's not a big problem to his shoulder! Go Jeremy!

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  11. Wow bench is giving up the game...

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  12. If I were Jeremy, I would get tired every time when I went up it was only down a couple of points and then when came back, it was down 10+.

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    1. :) Dont know if coach noticed that too. Hes back in :)

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  13. Lol Thabeet ejected...This is good news he's killin' them on D

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  14. This Rocket bench is killing the team.

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  15. we need to close the gap...go Rockets...Go JLin

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  16. For the 1st I haven't see any pts yet for both harden n Lin? It's weird though!

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  17. Lol looking terrible.

    Long 2nd quarter...

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  18. Lin 0/0 ? Wtf? He doesn't even make 1 attempte ?

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  19. Harden 0/8 and Lin still hasn't put up a shot... hmmm what's up, this is the gameplan?!

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  20. They better get it together QUICK!

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  21. No Parsons. That should mean more Lin with the ball.

    The Rockets are a rapidly improving young team, and have adjusted to their guard strength and outside shooting with more drive-and-kick and better ball movement, so I give that credit to the coaches.

    But I do wonder at their willingness to not have Lin run the offense for long stretches, thus significantly degrading the flow of their team offense. Lin's scoring is pretty and his calling card from Linsanity, but at this point of his career, I value more his point touches and controlling of the game.

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  22. I said before that OKC would focus their D on Harden so here we are Harden shooting 0/8. Lin got to step up his own playmaking and scoring!

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    1. It is the perfect time for Lin to step it up since nobody is...

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    2. Agreed. No Parsons should mean Lin taking on his load. But the game where Harden was sick, the load was poorly shifted to Lin, too. So I have to wonder at the coaching.

      With Parsons out, Harden being shut down, and the deficit widening, gotta figure Lin's going to get more aggressive soon. He needs the ball in his hands and a green light to do that, though.

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  23. Let lin handle the ball, so harden can get more space than getting double team .

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  24. Lin scared to even dribble in the half court it seems.

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  25. The Thunder are doing what they are supposed to do, and that is simply beating the weaker team.

    So, we shouldn't be surprised with the current results.

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  26. Jeremy Lin needs to take over on offense. OKC is focused on shutting Harden down and the only way he'll get space to do damage is if they have Lin wreaking havoc instead.

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    1. this is different than nyc. Their sets are different. It doesn't seem like they run any sets for him. He get to shoot spotup jumpshots when Harden or whoever is doubleteamed. I acutally don't know why they don't use him more on offensive sets because his strength is drive and create, not spotting up and waiting for kickouts.

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  27. Why is JLin afraid to shoot the ball? This is not normal.

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  28. Wow lin is shooting FTs horribly...Are they tired?

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  29. Will lin end up with 0 pts tonight ? Lol

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  30. This is the PERFECT TIME for Lin to shut them up. His team needs him.

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  31. Called it. I said that after listening to the post game interview that Jeremy has decided that he was going to take very few shots. Didn't realize he wasn't going to put any shots at all. LOL.

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  32. Lin went to this "deferring" and "getting teammates involved" things too far. In the modern game, a PG has to be a scoring threat too or the team is playing 4 on 5 on offense. Stop listening to the so called critics with the "not a pure PG" stuff like that.

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    1. Agree. And he takes his press clippings too seriously :being unselfish and humble. Either he plays aggressively or plays humbly. Some of his bad passes were unnecessarily unselfish. He looks timid and he needs to step for Harden when Parson isn't playing.

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  33. It's funny to see harden got block so many times

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  34. Nice steal by lin. He can't seem to drive by his man in the half court or he doesn't want to. Would love to know what he's thinking cuz it ain't good

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    1. His handles are weak. He has trouble with athletic teams like the Heat and Thunder.

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    2. Exactly what I notice and said below. I guess it's obvious to you also. Lin is not going to be scoring more than 10 in this game.

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  35. I think the trip to the funeral has gotten to the team. Emotionally, they are not in the game at all. I don't want to use the funeral as an excuse but I don't see their heads are in the game at the moment, at least not for the first half.

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    1. I think they are just tired ...no excuse though. Also, they have not performed too well during road games maybe except the Portland game although they lost.

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  36. Lin 19 minutes only taken 1 shot hmm that dont seem right. I was hoping to see a continuation of lin from they way he played last game :/. With parsons out and okc focusing on shutting harden down, Lin should get a lot aggressive this is perfect opportunity for that break out game we been waiting for from jeremy.

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  37. Wish lin could be as agressive as daequan cook. Lol.

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  38. It looks like everytime Jeremy or the Rockets try to speed things up on offense, the ref ends up punishing them. This isn't looking good.

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  39. Lin is focused on distributing right now, trying to set the tempo, Rockets are starting to settle down, hopefully Harden will come back and play teamball.

    Lin for 2 :)

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    1. The situation calls for him to take some offensive load this game though, not argueing against distribution at all though.

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    2. He's trying, they're doing a very good job defending him though, credit to OKC's defense.

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  40. Lol! Threw the ball too high, end up another TO

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  41. Ah well Lin helped get some points back but that TO was ugly. At least its within 12pts now not 18.

    JLin is going to have to play 40mins without parson, the bench is a liability atm.

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  42. Both Westbrook and Lin are 0-2 in the FT line.

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  43. Against quick athletic teams such as OKC and Miami, Lin's dribbling is suspect, and the lack of a variety in offensive, as well as teammates not looking for him, is making it tough for Lin to score. Lin is playing decent D on Russel though.

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    1. Westbrook looked like he was surprised at Lin's defense. First time facing each other, I believe.

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    2. They went head to head in preseason

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    3. Oh right. Forgot about that.

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  44. If Harden made half his shots they'd be within 2-4.

    Team has to learn to play without Harden, and Lin is doing great setting the tempo.

    They need to come out 3rd strong and distribute the ball better, otherwise they'll keep getting outgunned.

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  45. Is it me or does Lin seem to get more love from his teammates and refs when he screws up or misses a shot? After that bad pass, his teammates were more willing to give him a hand shake.

    When he scores or gives an assist, looks like they are a bit cold to him.

    I'm thinking they all have that $25 million contract on their mind and are jealous.

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    1. That makes absolutely no sense. Are you sure you just aren't here to stir up drama? I dont think harden cares about 25 mil when he's making 80.

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    2. Nemo is a troll. Don't feed the troll.

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    3. Just an observation. I don't watch every game and this is the first time I've tuned in for a while but the two key plays I noticed they gave him a motivated hand slap were

      - tonight, after he made the bad pass turnover.

      - That time he airballed the 3 pointer against the Heat.

      Whereas the times hes made great plays, seemed like his teammates shyed away from giving him acknowledgement.

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  46. No doubt, he played good D on Westbrook. Being able to keep up with Westbrook is no joke, but he gotta be more aggressive on offense. Let's go JLin!

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  47. Lin's defense looks great today. He is causing problems for Westbrook.

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  48. Agree with this about his handle. D is decent but that will NOT help him in the eyes of non fans.

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    1. Its almost as if his dribble can't catch up to his speed...

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    2. Was referring to earlier poster about shaky dribbling against quicker teams

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  49. I hate that Lin went to his Rondo impersonation too far, without HOF teammates to boot as well. He needs to get some Westbrook attitude and balance the thing out.

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  50. Hey guys Anyone have a link to watch the match? i desperately want to see the match, Thanks

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  51. http://www.thefirstrow.eu/sport/basketball.html

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  52. 3 fts :) Dunno when its the last time I saw that

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  53. Off Topic:

    Did anyone else see Rondo get ejected for attack Kris Humphries after Humphries hit KG in the face during a shot?

    I dont know why I waste my time on these sick, violent clowns who have no real talent besides acting like monkeys. Disgusting.

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  54. Ok THAT was nice. Steal and finish. Now more damn it

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    1. Lots more. Good to see Lin taking it to the basket himself. Definitely picking up speed! Hes gotta keep going.

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    2. Man, that was sweet to watch. Stole it away from Westbrook and went straight to the other end for a layup. You see how Westbrook got pissed lol, priceless. That play ignited some fire for the team. The following play was a dunk by Cook; set up by JLin, nice, indeed.

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  55. Is Jeremy wearing a mouth guard yet? I was sad to see him chip a tooth last game, but thankfully there is the technology out there to repair it.

    Honestly, If I had the choice to put myself in that type of danger for $25 million, I would not take the money. Though thats probably why Im not in the NBA either lol.

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  56. Argh what a shame in and out almost a 3 from Lin...

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  57. I still don't know why JLin doesn't take charge of the offense? For all 3 quarters, he just want to get rid of the ball as soon as he got across the mid court. A few times he even got caught in the no man's land holding the ball with no one to pass to. I can't watch a JLin's game like this.

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  58. Smooth PnR with Cook and Patterson.

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  59. Lin can't be this passive on offense. Harden is the 1st option fine. But there is no excuse even Cook, Patterson, Asik got so much more shot attempts than Lin regularly.

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  60. It's one thing to be pass-first, but this is just getting ridiculous. Lin needs to look for his own shot a bit more I mean come on. Even last game he only took 9 attempts.

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    1. Even a scrub like Cook is more aggressive than him offensively. Sad but true. ;-(

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  61. He is getting more confident, blowing past Westbrook...He def has his speed back.

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  62. Replies
    1. They (Lin) can do it. Hes Mr. 4th quarter.

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    2. Lin shooting 50% from the field.

      A good shooting day.

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    3. Patterson with a new career high

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  63. jeremy just need his jumpshot back and he will be unstoppable...his speed is there.

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  64. I think Lin is trying to step it up calling out plays. Good news for 4th. Let's go Lin!

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  65. Nice way to finish the 3Q. Aggressive on PnRs with Patterson. Nice cut for a score. Good shot to finish, even though he missed.

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  66. Still got 4th quarter, also patterson having a nice game tonight.

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  67. lin is such a great passer unfortunately patterson missed.

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  68. C'mon Pat, at least give Lin an easy assist lol.

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  69. Pat will probably get 30+ this game if this combo keeps up, career high?

    He has Lin to thank today.

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  70. Lin running the show in the 4Q against a good team with the game in reach. No forced Harden one-man show this time. Progress.

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    1. Spoke too soon? Or just a quick blow for Lin?

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  71. Replies
    1. Might be just a quick blow. Let's give it about 2 min.

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    2. yea...but jlin has logged crazy minutes this game. he needs to rest.

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  72. Lin is definitely playing better...his jumper is suspect but i think that is one of reason why Jeremy is hesitating on taking over...I think Jeremy will win the team over if he continues to play like this...When he get his shot back..it will be his team again...i believe.

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  73. Heh, I've said it before and I'll say it again...

    NOBODY gets robbed of more assists than Jeremy Lin.

    His bigs can't even make half their layups/dunks! This is why the Rockets need Linsanity back. He doesn't have luxury of being Rondo -- racking up dimes because of HOF jump-shooters.

    He needs to average 18+ppg to lead this team to the playoffs.

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    1. he will be patient...Jeremy is waiting for his shots to fall..He will shoot it when he is confident...

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  74. That guy Cook is just not very good. Not sure why he got to handle the ball and shoot so much.

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    1. And a guy like Asik who couldn't make FTs and layups has a bigger role and is way more involved in offense than Lin.

      Blow my mind. :-(

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    2. I am telling you Lin is 5th option in offense, by design or because of his own passivity or lack of screens, etc. I tend to think all of them. Asik sure is learning a lot and will get big contract from multiple teams after 3 years.

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  75. Replies
    1. Not when his teammates can't make more than 1/3 of their layups!

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  76. OKC just too good tonight.

    Ibaka 10-12. Harden ice cold. No Parsons. Jeremy not in attack-mode (but playing solid).

    Not a bad effort. Just not enough weapons/chemistry right now.

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  77. Wow just falls apart now, imo they should of kept playing Patterson...

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  78. The only thing I feel better is if look at stats, Westbrook got more turnover than Lin. And assists close to both. Lol. Not surprise if they didnt got this one since okc is not an easy team to beat. I think clearly they are more targeting at harden isn it?

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  79. Asik is improving slowly but surely on his offensive skills. He's getting good experience for big contract once his 3 years K expires.

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  80. My biggest problem for the Rox is that they never pass the ball back to JLin to reset or anything like that. Once the ball left his hand, it's long gone. They were all too dam busy jacking up contested shot instead of passing back out to Lin to reset. That's why his game is so stagnant. He can't create much in this way. Man, why can't they see this when they re-watch these games on video tape?

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    1. I don't think their approach will change, but it's partly Lin's fault also. This is why Lin might as well get some practice improving his shooting skills and moves. I just don't see Lin becoming an offensive force in Rockets -- especially against good teams. When you take less than 10 shots per game, it's very hard to score more than 12 points per game, unless your shooting average is very high, like Tyson Chandler.

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  81. Oh well, at least Lin logged 41 minutes. Looks like he is catching up in health, that's a good sign.

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  82. Harden had 7 shots blocked, 6 by Ibaka lol.

    His old teammates sure know his tendencies too well.

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    1. JHarden has only one move when he go to the basket. It's the euro step move that he kept on doing it over and over again. His old teammates know it so well.

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  83. The only thing I feel better is if look at stats, Westbrook got more turnover than Lin. And assists close to both. Lol. Not surprise if they didnt got this one since okc is not an easy team to beat. I think clearly they are more targeting at harden isn it?

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  84. I know this may sound silly BUT I hope this loss will not affect harden and Lin's chemistry.

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    1. Why?

      The Thunder are supposed to beat the weaker team.

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    2. During the ny match up, Harden scored for the team and i am afraid there is this expectation that Lin should have done the same for him even if it resulted in a loss. Yes, it is a TEAM effort but still..

      Anyway, I do not know why but I never really felt Harden and Lin were close (it is like they were teammates that was it ). This is just my opinion

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    3. i don't think so! no worry about it! I mean it just one game really like they said, it's not like oh..ok, i win for your former team, now you get it for me too to prove you also step up for me! harden should know better about his former teammates. he knew they are not that easy to shut down.

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  85. Lin seems uncertain about his shots and ball handling tonight. Didn't step up and try to get this win for Harden and his coach...oh well.

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  86. The only thing I feel better is if look at stats, Westbrook got more turnover than Lin. And assists close to both. Lol. Not surprise if they didnt got this one since okc is not an easy team to beat. I think clearly they are more targeting at harden isn it?

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  87. 22 point win for the Thunder

    Wow I was close in my prediction (21)

    Anyways, nothing they could do. Harden was cold, Lin was passive in the first half, bench sucks (totally), Thunder too good

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    1. At some point, the bench has to play more and step it up. Although Asik has been great since pre season , I am afraid it would not be good for him in the long season. Same goes for Lin , Harden and Parsons.

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    2. Lin isn't playing passive they want him to take 6-9 shots a game. How is he suppose to take over a game if they want him to give it to Harden and look for open guys before his shot.

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    3. If they tell Jeremy that he has a green light then he'll take as many attempts he wants. But he doesn't have a green light nor will he for the rest of the season. He will have to play a high efficiency game every game to get decent to good stats.

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    4. I was right also that Lin will not score more than 10 points. Several things should be obvious:

      1. Harden can be stopped and was stopped last year during playoffs by good teams.

      2. Rockets offense is built in such a way that without Harden's points and Lin not scoring much, other players are going to be jacking up 3's left and right.

      3. Lin, for various reasons, is too passive offensively. Rightly or wrongly, teammates are not looking to create good shots for Lin.

      4. Asik's offensive game is progressing with every game. Asik is in a very good situation to improve his game.

      5. Other Rockets teammates are not into playing team-oriented game and instead seem to be into padding their stats.

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    5. If they let lin shoot 15-20 shots a game he would have had the same stat line as Westbrook as far as points are concerned.

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    6. Where is a link that says Rockets is not giving Lin a green light to shoot? I only heard the coach saying Lin has to shoot his way out of whatever slump. If you can give me the proof, then I might as well stop watching Rockets games.

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    7. I fail to see why the Rockets coaching staff would think limiting their 2nd best player to 6-9 shots every game while giving the green light to lesser offensive players is a good idea. Why couldn't they see the problem when reviewing the film?

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    8. I am not even sure Lin is 2nd best player, offense wise. That place has clearly been taken by Parsons and now Asik.

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    9. @eb5attorney i think your analysis make sense.1,2,3,4,5.

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    10. @eb5attorney

      4. I agree that Asik's offensive game is progressing. But give credit to the nice passes that Lin is giving him. Lin sets him up for high percentage shots in the paint.

      3. I don't think Lin is playing passive. He is simply playing into the offensive system, which has him passing to the SG or SF for isolation plays. Which they put him in the corner to wait for a pass when the iso or pick n roll play develops in which they should (which they're not most of the time) passing it to Lin.

      They also have Lin acting as a decoy and sometimes as a cutter when they are running SG / SF iso plays. But again, the teammates are not taking advantage of passing it to Lin. I only saw Harden do it in the 2nd half where he passed it to the cutting Lin.

      The system is not setup like how D'antoni system was setup. This system is 100% different. It's a game oriented offensive system that actually if Lin's teammate were executing it correctly would give Lin plenty of touches. Instead, they would rather try to make a play for themselves.

      If you watch the Rockets, Jlin is the best playmaker on the court. Most of his passes to his teammates give his teammates a high percentage opportunity to score. But unfortunately, his teammates don't do the same for Lin.

      With Lin's low % USG rate he still was able to have a decent stat line, especially in the assist category.

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    11. @etymology I think ur analysis make sense too! you both make sense now I don't know who makes more sense!

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    12. I agree with number 4. Yes, a lot of offensive opportunities are being created by Lin. As to number 3, I agree partly.

      As to Lin being Rockets' best play-maker, I said the same thing all along. But I never heard that the coaches are limiting Lin's shots to less than 10.

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    13. @Etymology

      Totally agree, esp on #3. It seems passive and it makes sense because we're used to D'Antoni's JLin. Now it makes more sense to me: It took him a few games to get used to the system, as his friends were saying, which was then amplified by his injury and not being at top shape.

      You can tell in the past 3 games he is definitely more comfortable with the system now, he no longer looks lost, and with it confidence.

      He did well despite OKC's suffocating defense today, and made Westbrook pay. I say he had a great game today.

      I mean was I the only person that saw how JLin set the offensive tempo even tho Harden wasn't producing in the 2nd half? It was all Jeremy who kept the Rockets fighting 29 for 29.

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    14. "If you watch the Rockets, Jlin is the best playmaker on the court. Most of his passes to his teammates give his teammates a high percentage opportunity to score. But unfortunately, his teammates don't do the same for Lin." You got this one right on the money, Etymology. It's not that Lin only allow to take 9 or 10 shots per game, but instead Lin's always look out to find the best high percentage looking shot, either for himself or for his teammates. Most of the time, he teammates just couldn't connect, which is fine. The only problem i have is that his teammates never look for him when they have the ball. The only way Lin can get more shot is to go into a selfish, iso mode, which we all know too well that Lin won't do. So as a result, Lin's shot attempts have been minimized by this sole reason. Not sure you all watched the games closely, but every time the ball got swung around and back to Lin, Lin got all fired up and ready to attack, and most of the time, the result was phenomenal. Unfortunately, it only happened once or twice each game they play.

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  89. nephelauxetic is going to be the happiest guy on earth.

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  90. Real aggravating to see him still not asserting himself more. And I mean keeping his dribble, looking to shoot, just attacking. 2nd time he's had the chance. First when harden was sick, then today with parsons, AND he was coming off his best game. But he logged the most minutes and the fewest attempts. I mean seriously daequan freaking cook had the green light mentality lin could've.

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    1. You don't understand. He's following what the coach is telling him. If he was given the green light then he would shoot more.

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    2. Can you give us the link where the coaches is limiting number of shots?

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    3. @eb5attorney

      I don't have a link, but based on my basketball experience as a player most coaches like to give PG advice to try to get teammates involved and try to setup the offense. This happens most of the time, unless the offense is setup for heavy PG %USG.

      By looking at the Rockets offense for 15 regular season games, it's obvious that Jlin doesn't have the green light to shoot. Instead he's in charge of setting up the offense and try to get everyone involved. Even the part where he goes to half court and gives the ball to Harden and he stands in the corner. It's a designed play. A good PG always listens to the coaches orders and that's what Jlin is doing.

      On games where Jlin is given more of a green light to shoot & take over games you can see that his shot attempts are over 10+ vs. on games where he's given the assignment to try to get more people involved he's shooting less than 9 attempts.

      Based on my own experience this he's probably been told that a good standard of shot attempts to go by is between 6-12 attempts. Which I think Jlin takes literally.

      Also due to his shooting slump the coaches reduced his attempts I'm sure. But I think that will change over the course of a few more games if he continues to shoot at a high percentage.

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    4. I'm sad to say I've watched every game and its clear when lin's good: in transition, in space, off a pick, and when he can use his quick first step. His shooting is obvious to point out as a weakness but its also his inability to break his man down to shoot anything resembling a mod range stop and pop shot. And that's because his handles are very weak against on the ball pressure. His shooting will probably come around but without improved dribbling skills it will be very difficult for him to be a top pg.

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    5. I tend to believe what you say, now that you explained it in more detail, but how is Lin supposed to get better when he is limited to few shots per game? It's idiotic to keep telling Harden to go score when Ibaka and Shefaloka guys are tremendous defenders who will stop Harden time and time again. If other Rockets players are jacking up, why not Lin? Yeah, I know, you are telling me because he's a PG. That just shows me that Rockets coaches think Lin is just a role player. I rather be Asik in Rockets team.

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    6. As a player he just need to step it up on number of shots, then the points would come, in return the coach and team would have more confidence in running with him. Similar to Knicks. He made those attempts and landed shots, hence NYC was behind him.

      if he continue to be passive, hmmm I'm lost of words....

      JUst cant imagine, one game before he played very well and the next game he goes cold as well.

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    7. I've actually been told by a coach to try to get more players involved and to run the offense. I was having a hot shooting not from behind the arc 6/6 3pt shooting, and I got a pass from my teammate and was about to shoot another 3 point shot when my coach yelled at me to stop and not shoot and instead to try to run the offense and manage the game clock.

      So I'm sure Lin is playing the way his coach wants him to play.

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    8. @eb5attorney

      Yeah I'm not sure how they perceive Lin to be as a role player or not. In my opinion, I think they think Lin is a developing player who needs to polish his game. Lin as proven that he can attack the basket at will, but now they want him to polish his assist game in all aspects of playmaking, not just penetrate and dish. They want him to develop a true PG mindset where he picks his spots to attack, shoot, and dish. But most importantly, a PG that gets his teammates involved. Even if he stands in the corner and waits for a pass from his teammates so he can shoot 3 pointers. Because he can start making those open corner 3 pointers then he will become a real threat which will open up Harden's driving lanes. But more importantly, this kind of offensive system doesn't make Lin have to work so hard to try to setup his teammates or himself. It's actually alot easier for him which translates to him having a longer season and limiting possible injuries.

      For example, look at Lillard, he's having knee pains already and we're only into 15 games of the season. Especially Lin after just having knee surgery over the summer, they're not trying to break down his knee early in the season. Playing a lot of minutes doesn't necessarily mean his knee is 100%, but the way this offense system is setup, Lin doesn't have to go Linsanity mode.

      I also think that they're developing Lin this season, because they don't expect to make the playoffs this season, They want to be able to get a good lottery pick in the PF position. Unless they make a mid-season acquisition All-Star caliber PF, they're not going to push Lin to the limit just for him to get injured again.

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  91. Parson would have made a difference but not enough to win the game. I put this loss entirely on James Harden and the coaching staff. When your main scorer is shooting 0/4, getting his shots blocked over and over, and getting stolen twice in the first 10 minutes of the game; please set up plays for other players! Obviously the D was laser focused on Harden tonight. He cannot drive to the right and OKC forced him to the double team trap to his left. But they kept going to him the fourth quarter. Why? He is good but sort of a two trick pony: Driving and finishing on the left side of the rim, and shooting 3's. He's no Durant but as good as Westbrook.
    I thought Lin played very solid. He took his opportunities when they came but I noticed very few plays designed for him. His D on westbrook was phenomenal. I wish they could have drawn up more plays for him on the offense and make Westbrook work a bit more on defense.
    Other teams will follow OKC and the Heat's strategy against Harden. Rockets must draw up plays for other players.
    Kudo's to Patterson. Another excellent night. Asik looked tired but still solid. Gave up too many Off rebounds, though. Cook played selfish and turned the ball over many times.
    It was close at times and Rockets had their chances. But too many plays for Harden. They need to mix it up more.

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    1. @damny

      nice game assessment. I totally agree about how they need to draw up some plays for other players. Especially Jlin, because more and more teams are finding out that shutting down Harden is all they need to do to beat Rockets.

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    2. You're right Ety. And even the announcers tonight mentioned that after Harden's 80+ games at the start of the season, he's shooting % is barely above 40% and going down every game. But unfortunately, his TO's are not going down.
      On a slightly different topic. I noticed that many people post on here complaining about Lin's minutes. Except for the time when he was benched in the 4th quarter and OT, I'm actually glad he's playing less. They'll need him to be injury free. I hated how D'Antony "rode him like the Secretariat." Lin was playing 40+ minutes back to back. And D'Antony was like..."he's young. whatever..." And lo and behold, knee injury just before the playoffs. In the same token, Sampson needs to make sure Asik and Harden are not playing as much minutes as they are now. They have great bench in my opinion, please use them. Terrance Jones, Aldrich (when healed up), Morris, D'mo, Douglas, etc.

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    3. @damny

      yeah I agree that the coaching staff have to start limiting the minutes of these guys and let the bench start playing. But I think since Cole Aldrich is injured, there's no one else that can play tough D and rebound like Asik.

      I think Harden minutes needs to go down, but I can't think of anyone else to carry the scoring load for the Rockets. Until Jlin starts shooting the ball at a high percentage, they will need Harden to score.

      The reality is Jlin has to make open 3 point and jump shots. This is actually good for Jlin in the way that he doesn't have to go Linsanity mode every time they get down the court. They mix it up, to where Jlin get's his rest when they let him camp on the corner baseline, which sets him up for easy open 3 pointers due to Harden penetration. However, I think the problem lies in his teammates loosing confidence in Jlin's 3pt shooting. The only way to fix that is to start making them.

      Other than shooting Jlin makes the most of it to setup up his teammates for high percentage shots when he initiates the offense. Only reason why P. Patterson is scoring all those points is due to Jlin's dribble drive penetration. I know most people are going to say why doesn't Jlin do that more. He could, and it will be like a coach riding him like Secretariat again...but this is the Rockets. They are on a rebuilding mode, not championship mode. They want to preserve their players, while they wait for an oppurtunity to nab a player that could make them a potential contender. Harden is only a piece to the puzzle, they will need 1 more star caliber player.

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  92. It's ok! on to the next one then!you know you need to cheer more up when you lost a game than you win a game!

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    1. :) what is more important is that the coaching staff must come up with a plan on how to maximise the talents of the team and most importantly put the team in the position to win. What is frustrating is that they do not know how to adjust. The whole team has to step it up in general.

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  93. Ibaka is great player defensively, and his offensive game is improving. I always felt that if I could build a team out of OKC players, I would choose Durant and Ibake as corner stone, and then Shefaloka guy and Collison guy. They are all unselfish players. And then I would want to add J Lin to the mix.

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  94. I'm not upset. Progress was made.

    Yes, the Rockets lost. It was the Thunder. No Parsons. Harden was shut down and didn't seem to try to dig out an extra effort late - due perhaps from exhaustion from the back-to-back games, mourning Sasha McHale, and playing his old team, with close teammates with whom he competed hard in multiple post-seasons and the Olympics.

    So where's the progress? Lin ran the point against a good team, down the stretch of the game, with the game still in reach. Lin had what - 2 points and 2 assists at halftime? Something miniscule. The pattern has been Lin starting games well but then the ball being taken away from him. This time, Lin started slow, but the ball was given back to him late. Lin active with the ball from start to finish is better, of course, but in terms of progress at this point, I'll take the trade-off of Lin starting weak and finishing strong over starting strong and finishing weak.

    Good ball-hawking D and rebounding from Lin, again, but I take that for granted by now.

    Lin and the Rockets also found things that worked well against a top contender. Smooth PnRs with Patterson from different spots on the court, and not just with Lin. If Patterson is now a reliable PnR F, he will help Lin's floor game. Asik with a presence in the post, scoring and passing, as well as his usual elite defense and rebounding. Lin, after a tentative start, was able to get to the basket on Westbrook. (I expected him to get past Maynor.)

    My favorite stand-alone play for the 2nd straight game: Lin made a nice sharp cut from the top of the 3-point arc for a lay-up. Lin was more active moving off the ball in general; hopefully, more sharp cuts for scores will be forthcoming.

    In sum, Lin had the ball in his hands late with the game still in reach against a good team. I consider this game a step forward for Lin.

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    1. Great analysis Eric :)

      Was hoping they would of kept Patterson in, the PnR they had going was working. Tho Patterson got burned a few times by Ibaka due to being on help defense...

      Definitely a plus for Lin...I think he is getting comfortable with the system, even though he was up against tough defense, he looked confident...

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    2. True, too many open Js for a player who lacks scoring skills outside of his outside shot and putbacks.

      To be clear, I'm not satisfied with 6 points on 3-7 in a game where a Linsanity burst would have been useful, but before tonight, his shots would have come early and then he would have been pushed aside down the stretch of the game. If Lin's going to score 6 on 3-7, better late than early.

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  95. I predicted before this game that Serge Ibaka was the guy to watch out for.

    Indeed, he DESTROYED the Rockets.

    Jeremy Lin not aggressive? Blame not Lin, but IBLOCKA shutting down the paint.

    It's one thing for IBlocka to control opponents defensively. But he can't be allowed to score 20 points on nearly 100% shooting either.

    I was afraid of OKC sending out Ibaka to be a one man SWAT team. That's exactly what happened!

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  96. I also disagree with people here that blame Lin for the Rockets losing due to his supposedly "passive" play.

    OKC is a big time shot blocking team. They are a Finals team with a huge expensive frontline. OKC's perimeter players outside of Sefolosha are easy to beat off the dribble, but then their inside shotblockers swat shots away. That's why OKC is so tough to beat.

    Jeremy Lin cannot simply attack against a super shotblocking team like this. OKC's shotblockers are nimble and close out great on shooters. So Lin did the only thing he could do: make OKC's shotblockers pay for coming out on the guards.

    What Lin couldn't have done was stop Westbrook AND OKC's inside scoring. Lin really did shut down Westbrook, which I didn't even know was humanly possible until this game. But Ibaka went wild on offense and that's what beat the Rockets.

    The Rockets are very vulnerable to big time athletic forwards who jump around on pogo sticks and go on uncontested scoring and defensive binges. This is why I wanted the Rockets to get a guy like Renaldo Balkman. Balkman as an athletic dunking Dennis Rodman type of player would come in and jump around with a guy like Ibaka to at least stop Ibaka from getting in an offensive rhythm. Had Ibaka been disrupted, Houston would have had a better chance of competing.

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