Tonight was a mixed bag for me. JLin started off strong, hitting a three and then getting Tony Allen off his feet and going to the line for two. Then he seemed to just coast a bit. Fortunately, Chandler Parsons found his shot and the Rockets played some decent defense, helping them to a 46-42 halftime lead.
The Grizzlies turned up the intensity to start off the 2nd half, playing strong d and hitting the boards. The Rockets kept it close but Jeremy seemed to keep hesitating when open, instead settling for tougher shots. The third quarter was a nightmare for Lin as he was totally outplayed by backup Jerryd Bayless (11th pick in the 2008 draft) as he threw up an air ball and had some ugly turnovers. Marresse Speights also dominated Marcus Morris and I'm not sure why we didn't see Greg Smith or Terrance Jones here.
Jeremy finally awoke in the fourth, showing us a glimpse of Linsanity, as he started the comeback by hitting a three. He then forced a few turnovers and had 2 breakaway layups including an and one, eventually pulling within a bucket. However, like the last game against Denver, the Rockets were not able to get over the hump.
I think the 4th quarter was big step in the right direction for Jeremy. He really stepped up after struggling mightily in the 3rd, making shots and showing his heart. He needs to carry this type of play over to tomorrow night against the Pistons. This is the kind of play needed to gain the respect of the players and coaches. Right now, he is being treated as an average player by his coaches and teammates, even though he has actually played very well besides his shooting. He needs to step up and be the 2nd leading scorer on this team. They don't have anyone else who can average 18-20 pts besides Harden. He needs to be that guy. He has to stop hesitating and take at least 15 shots per game.
Let's get it started tomorrow night against the Pistons.