Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tough Loss

Rockets 85
Trail Blazers 95

This was a tough loss in OT for our Rockets. However, I actually saw a lot that I liked:

The Bench play was much improved:

  • Marcus Morris shot the ball well and should be getting more PT
  • TD played great D but has just couldn't make a layup
  • Cole Aldrich gave us great backup minutes at Center

JLin played well overall and had a couple of nice finishes. He has cut down on his turnovers

Some things we need to improve:

  • JHardn forced a bunch of tough shots tonight (very unHarden like). After watching film he'll adjust
  • CP is playing a good overall game but he is shooting .32 from the field and .21 from 3. We obviously need those to improve a lot and very soon
  • JLin is struggling with his mid-range and still trying to find his offensive rhythm. Once he finds it, the flood gates will open up 
Got to give huge props to Damian Lillard. Lillard got the best of JLin in OT but it's not like he got totally dominated like what JLin did to Deron Williams. Also,  it doesn't hurt playing with LA, but he is very, very good. He'll either be ROY or the runner up. No doubt in my mind. He is that good. Portland played well down the stretch and their experience really showed, they were the better team.

 It's also very obvious right now that the Rockets main offensive is high pick and roll with Harden and not much else. It's very helpful that they have a few practices before they play Denver. The Nuggets will be very hungry coming in 0-3. Should be another tough match up for Jeremy with Ty Lawson.

Let's take it for what it was, just one game. This was a great learning experience for these young Rockets. Let's not forget that this is the youngest team in the NBA. They will continue to grow and improve. However, it wouldn't hurt to pick up a veteran big man who is a decent low post threat.

Lin highlights:


  1. People said they lost because of Lin was not aggressive enough,etc

    Look, it was close game. Rockets had a great chance to win. Lin made a few mistakes at the end, but guess what. That's how he can learn and learn from mistakes and experience.

    I can tell that next time they meet Portland, they win

    1. To be fair, they lost because both Harden and Lin choke in the 4th quarter and OT.

    2. What immature writing.

      2 guys can't beat 5

    3. Ok rock tank, explain to people here how Harden and Lin are supposed to beat teams when three other Rockets can't score?

    4. oh yeah.

      Rock tank, I was responding to neph and not you. I liked your original post.

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  3. Jeremy and James should play with more synergy. Bad game by both.

    The problem with Lin is he's not aggressive enough. Why doesn't he penetrate more? He was guarded by a slow rookie? A ROOKIE?

    The problem with Harden tonight was that he played selfishly. He thought he's KOBE or MJ. Reality will bring down the Rockets back to the ground.

    Their ball movement sucks. Too many bricks because of the contested 3s taken by the rockets.

    Harden will be guarded by an elite defender Iguodala. Lin will face the much faster Lawson. Harden better realize that this is a team game. If he thinks he's going to score 30+ on the nuggets then he might be delusional.

    Lin will have to play smarter and harder in this game. He was schooled by the ROOKIE Lillard who is 10 time slower than Lawson. He better start playing better defense; he cannot let all the point guards have a career highs against him.

    Both of them should PENETRATE to break down the defense. That way, they will open opportunities for the frontcourt players. Lin and Harden are not doing a good job creating shots for the frontcourt players. Maybe they should stop shooting contested jumpers. They have fallen in love with the perimeter.

    I blame Harden and Lin for not creating enough easy shots for Asik, Patterson, and Parsons. They need to give those players opportunities for Dunks and layups. They can do that if they drive into the paint and not isolate in the perimeter.

    - Go to the Paint = WIN

    The Rockets should WIN against the NUGGETS. NO EXCUSES, NO CHOKING by the backcourt. They are being paid superstar money and the will lose to mediocre team such as PORTLAND? RIDICULOUS and EMBARRASSING!

    1. neph,

      I only saw some of the game and none of its finish, so I'm working off your comment only.

      What you're describing is the risk side of signing Harden with the redundancy/overlap of his skillset with Lin's skillset. Since Harden has higher status than Lin in the same way Anthony had higher status than Lin, if McHale's strategy is for 'either Lin or Harden' to control the ball, then McHale will more likely choose Harden to control the ball with the game on the line.

      The issue was mooted when Lin was paired with Anthony and then Kevin Martin, because Lin controlled the ball by default since neither Martin nor Anthony run the point.

      The early signs of Harden reducing Lin's role are worrisome, but we have to give McHale a chance to sit down with his coaches and new star guards, and sort out how best to maximize Lin and Harden's similar skillsets so they multiply value rather than negate value.

      For you pre-Lin Rockets fans, how did McHale use Lowry and Dragic when both were healthy? McHale's prior history with 2 starter-caliber point guards may clue us into his thinking.

      As for the loss, look, the Rockets weren't going to go 82-0 this season.

      The Rockets should have beaten the Pistons, and they did. The Hawks game and Blazers game were both toss-ups. The Rockets won a close game against the Hawks and lost a close game against the Blazers. Of the teams that have played 3 games, only the Spurs are 3-0. 2-1 is a solid start to the season. Now they get a chance to rest, strategize, and put their ideas into practice.

      Woodson figured out how to use Lin with Anthony last season. McHale should be able to figure out how to use Lin with Harden this season.

    2. The rookie has 4 starting quality teammates, Lin has one.

      I resent the Lin bashing

    3. Hickson and Matthews are not starting quality teammates

      Lin has three : Harden, Parsons, Asik

    4. The same JJ Hickson that started at PF for Lebron James 60+ winning Cavs team is not a starting caliber player????

      The same Wes Matthews that did the "Jeremy Lin" in Utah and then got signed to a major contract in Portland is not a starting caliber player????

    5. So what if Hickson started 60+ games? Does he play like a starter? No

    6. So you think you're smarter than Lebron James, neph?

      Lebron James won those 60+ games with JJ Hickson as his starting PF for more than 2 seasons. You must think that a "starting" power forward for Lebron could've won 70 or 80 or 90 games a season, then.

      It amazed me how you'll degrade starting caliber performers for playoff teams just to FLAME LIN AND HIS FANS.

    7. How in the world is this related to Lin and especially his fans?

    8. You think we're a bunch of idiots for calling Hickson a starting player.

      You think Lin can just waltz into the lane against Batum (who you think is a $10 million SCRUB) and Hickson (good enough to be Lebron's power forward) and LMA (max contract) and dominate.

      So when you see Lin hesitate against that $35 million+ frontline, you flame Lin and flame me and Lin's other fans for having no heart.

      How about this. You tell me that Lin and his $5 million can get around #6 overall pick and that $35+ million frontline.

    9. You are just way UNREASONABLE

      You are putting words in my mouth.


    10. That's RIGHT I'm unreasonable to you.

      To me, you're not smarter than Lebron James.

    11. Neph,

      I agree with your analysis more.

      I don't think Neph is bashing anybody nor Lin, just telling like it is.

      Lin and Harden (more on Harden) did not play team ball vs Blazers. And it is the coach fault for not correcting that during the game.

    12. So you think JJ Hickson isn't a starting caliber player either, feltball?

      You should look at the FRONTCOURT before blaming Harden and Lin.

      Since when did you figure that Houston's inexperienced frontcourt was better than Portland's highly paid frontcourt?

  4. By the way, LOL at those people that said Harden will average 26-30 ppg while Lin will average 20 and 8.

    People must realize they are GOOD players not SUPERSTARS.

    The loss against Portland proves my point. The Rockets aren't ready for PRIME TIME. Both players have proven they are legitimate starters but haven't proven they are stars let alone superstars.

    Finally, we can put everything in perspective without jumping into the bandwagon. We can finally have a achievable expectations.

    I've actually changed my mind. I predict the Rockets will not make the playoffs. I was too hasty in predicting 46. MY BAD. Their bench will be pummeled when they face the likes of the Clippers. Their frontcourt players are mediocre and cannot finish layups. Their backcourt players are above-average players that are forced to play like stars. I expect 36 wins for the Rockets this season.

    1. You are the master of flip flopping, nep.

    2. Well this loss was a revelation of the true potential of this team. So it is not my fault why I had a change of heart. The first two games have no scouting reports. So we will see who is right after 2-3 months.

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    4. neph, I think you're overreacting because you're disappointed. It's just one game.

      Don't make prediction with 3 games as the sample size (otherwise Lakers won't make the playoff). Definitely not a good practice to project results. Wait until at least 10 games.

      Relax ... they'll figure it out.

    5. Of course I'm DISAPPOINTED....

      Especially Lin getting outplayed by the slow, inexperienced and unimpressive Lillard. I wasn't even impressed with that rookie.

    6. OK we get it neph.... You're a troll and a hater who can see the future of all 82 games ... Just by watching one game.

    7. Come on, neph is no hater. He is just disappointed in the result.

      The fatigue was obviously a huge problem and will continue to be as Lin and Harden are forced to play so many minutes for their offense.

    8. Plus Lillard didn't have to defer to anyone else to run the point guard. We will have to get used to seeing Lin standing around doing nothing, while Harden keeps the ball for himself.

    9. Who left Lillard open for 2 3s in the OT? Lin

      Who allowed Lillard to score in the paint in a backdoor play ? Lin

      Who chose to take contested jumpers all night long? Harden

      Who should be blamed for the loss? Lin and Harden.....

    10. Yep, this ain't North Korea where Jeremy Lin is Kim Il Sung/Jung Il/Jong Un and we have to put on a happy face all day, every day for Dear Leader.

      If we can't vent over a loss and shaky performance here, where can we do it?

    11. Stop with the bashing of people here, neph.

      Lin and Harden are our heroes. You are never going to change that.

    12. It's one game.

      I do believe Harden and Lin are capable of putting up that stat line but they've got to share responsibility. It can't be all James all the time because that will reduce his efficiency.

    13. Yes we all admire Lin but someday, he can play bad and we are entitled to point that out.

      Neph is just pointing that out.

      I blame, in order of responsibilities, Harden, McHale, and Lin.

      They are the stars and the coach on the team, they get the glories and the blames.

    14. So Lin and Harden and McHale get blamed when Omer Asik can't hit simple layups?

      Is that what you really believe?

  5. I still don't believe Lillard got the better of Jlin. If you look at the whole game, through out most of the game Lillard was shutdown by Lin. When did Lillard actually break Lin's ankles and leave him in the dust. Most of the assist he got was just feeding LMA and LMA doing is usual 15footer jump shot.

    Lillard hit open 3 pointers because Jlin was trying to help the bigs from LMA.

    I don't know why everyone is so high on this guy. He will get exploited by other point guards in the league.

    If they let the offense role through Jlin more, Jlin would have exploited Lillard. But instead Harden was their acting PG on tonight's game.

    1. I'm actually seeing the positive in this loss, @Ety.

      Houston just followed the winning formula to put the ball in Harden's hand because he's got the hot hands. Nothing wrong with that. All teams would have done the same thing.

      This game shows that Harden can't be expected to carry the team by his hot shooting. It's just not fair to him. Wesley Matthews defended him well. Now, Houston will be forced to figure out how to run plays for Harden and Lin off each other, especially in the last 2 min. It's a good loss for them to learn and get better.

    2. Lin could have gotten past Lillard but it was the tall trees that would greet him that was an issue. Asik has shown he is unreliable at finishing, so drawing the big men doesn't necessarily lead to a dish and easy basket.

      They needed to have more people moving when the guards drove the lane.

    3. It is tough for a guard to make a play on a pick and roll with a big man who can neither shoot a jump shoot nor hit a lay up.

    4. "Now, Houston will be forced to figure out how to run plays for Harden and Lin off each other, especially in the last 2 min."

      I hope so. We saw the 1st sign of Iso-Harden in the 4Q of the Pistons game. While Harden controlled the ball more than Lin in the Hawks game, I thought they trended the right way toward figuring out a balance. I missed most of the Blazers game, but it sounds like they regressed back toward Iso-Harden in the Blazers game.

      We should think of cases where teams successfully *synergistically* blended multiple ball-handling combo guards and/or point guards.

    5. Running Lin and Harden together is not enough.

      It takes 5 guys to beat 5 guys. 2 cannot beat 5.

    6. Lillard didn't get the better of JLin.

      Just make a couple of shots at the end.

      JLin is too unselfish in this case but it may be the coach's call.

      Hope the coach realizes and makes adjustment or else, I hope D'Antoni come to Houston next year.

  6. Lillard was, for the most part, effectively contained by both JLin and especially Toney Douglass in regulation.

    However, once overtime arrived, Lillard came up huge with those three point shots.

    Big time players make big time plays.

    Lillard made big time plays. Lin Harden ... not so much.

    1. Tony Douglas did a good job of hands on defense on Lillard. But when Lin gets subbed in, he gets whistled for a shooting foul, just for standing next to a shooting Lillard.
      Lin also got whistled for a travel on an inbounds play, where he barely took 2 steps after catching the ball. Looks like he's been getting some bad calls lately.

    2. Make some excuses for Lin @ABC Baller

    3. Closing out games is where players make their reps. When Kidd signed with the Knicks, he stressed that playing the decisive last 5 minutes mattered the most to him, and he could take or leave the rest of the game. Jordan would let Pippen run the point for 3 Qs, then take over in the 4Q of close games. Nash has a surprisingly low career scoring average and FGA/game. We think Nash has scored more because he's hit so many clutch shots and game winners.

      Closing out games is a Lin specialty. It would be a shame if he was kept from doing it.

    4. Lin had the chance to make plays in the 4th and OT.

      - the careless alleyoop attempt that led to a turnover. Could have closed the game if not for that rookie mistake.
      - Didn't show up in the OT

      Same goes for Harden

    5. Same goes for Asik, Parsons, Patterson (Did OK), Delfino (Supposed to be the oldest veteran, wasn't), etc.

      All the players and the coach probably expected Harden to score 40 points again ... he didn't... and they didn't have a backup plan.

    6. Those frontcourt players are mediocre. There aren't offensive threats.

      Lin and Harden are supposed to produce at a high level due to the hype and the money.

      If Harden wasn't hogging the ball and Lin started being more aggressive, the rockets would have won without Harden scoring 40 points.

    7. Delfino puzzles me. I have high expectations for him based on what I've seen him do for the Argentinian team. But he seems just okay as an NBA player despite that he's a gamechanger in international play.

    8. Delfino SHOULDN'T puzzle you, Eric.

      I wrote this summer that he had flawless fundamentals but limited athleticism. Because of that, he relies on guys like Lin to create shots for him. But not even Lin (or Michael Jordan) can create shots when defenses get stiff enough.

      Delfino is a guy making $3 million on a 3 year contract with only this year guaranteed. Against $10 million players like Batum, Delfino will perform like a $3 million player.

      Like I've written to you in the past, don't open a Happy Meal and complain that you find prime rib inside when you were expecting filet mignon. That's not a flame of you either, but merely a comparison.

    9. KHuang,

      I agree Delfino isn't a top-flight NBA athlete, but he has enough athleticism, mental game, and as you pointed out, the fundamentals to do more with his 2/3 bench role for the Rockets. But yeah, I could be wrong. Delfino has an established track record in the NBA by now that's long enough to say he is what his career stats says he is.

      I didn't expect a lot from Delfino before the Harden signing. But I thought playing with Lin, Harden, and Parsons, Delfino could bring forward his mental game and fundamentals, and play a role with the Rockets more like what he does with Argentina.

      Maybe it'll take sorting out and clarifying the Lin and Harden dynamic first before Delfino can define his niche playing off of the stars.

  7. At the end of the first half, Rockets had a foul to give but did not use it, then gave up an easy layup to close the half. At the end of the 4th quarter, Rockets up by 3, on defense, all they needed to do was not give up a 3. Then Harden leaves Matthews to help on Aldridge, leaving Matthews wide open for 3 pointer.
    Even fouling Aldridge and sending him to the FT line for 2 shots would have been better than giving up a 3.

  8. Lol one off game and people starts pointing fingers.

    I remember people wanted to crucify Morris after the first game. Hey surprise he improved in the last two.

    People wanted to shoot TD after Hawks performance. Yes we know he needs to work on his streaky shooting just like Lin, but he adapted today didn't he? Haha he shut Lillard down, ROY my butt. I bet TD will get better and those missed layups will become easy 2s.

    Personally I'm more worried about our lousy 3Q...Its been the case all 3 games, to the point that it completely nullifies any lead we earned in first half, so we have to work that much harder in 4Q. Portland is NOT a better team. We should have won today, 3Q except for bench was terrible and we took too long to adjust.

    And gawd, sub Asik out when he's tired, he gave up 4 points then a lousy layup that should of been a DUNK in 4Q from Harden's miss, Aldrich would have dunked it, and the game would have been won.

    And no I don't think Lillard is that good. JLin should have burned him but every time he goes on help defense I wanted to scream, sure enough Portland saw through that and boom goes 8 points, it wouldn't be a stretch to say Lin lost OT for Rox. He could have shut Lillard down, I mean Damian couldn't get past TD for goodness sakes.

    For a few drives we saw the old JLin, that's a good sign. He needs to get smarter in that respect, and be a better judge as to when he should attack and not wait for his teammate to get open, and when his attack is getting nowhere and step back and facilitate.

    And Batum wow...Blocking machine.

    1. The angst over Morris and Douglas carry over from last season, so it's not about impatient fans, it's about the fans who haven't forgotten.

      "He needs to get smarter in that respect, and be a better judge as to when he should attack and not wait for his teammate to get open, and when his attack is getting nowhere and step back and facilitate."

      Good point. To paraphrase Celtics coach Rick Pitino's famous line about Larry Bird, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler aren't walking through that door. Lin could trust his veteran teammates last season to do their part and make his job easier. This season, Lin has to compensate for inexperienced, less savvy, less talented teammates.

    2. Eric, you are an annoying Knicks fan. Do you have to mention Carmelo in your every post here? Lin has already left the Knicks, move on!!

    3. Cara,

      Lin's NBA experience is limited to the Knicks and Rockets. If Lin played with the, say, Bulls last season, I would be referring more to Rose, Noah, Gibson, etc..

      As is, Lin's Knicks history is the preponderance of Lin's NBA history. So what we know of Lin is based mostly on his play with Anthony, Chandler, etc..

      Therefore, Lin's experience with the Knicks is the most instructive baseline to compare/contrast his play and teammate dynamics with the Rockets.

    4. * Oversight: Lin played for the Warriors, too, and technically the Mavs, but you know what I mean.

  9. The Rockets are a work in progress. JLin isn't 100% yet and is adjusting to new teammates. Houston doesn't have a 3-point shooter like Steve Novak or a center who can finish dunks like Tyson Chandler. Omer Asik is a great rebounder, but he has a hard time making a layup. James Harden just ran out of gas in the loss and shot poorly after a hot start. He went 8-24, but is still shooting 53% in 3 games. Lin is under 40%. 2-1 is a good start for the Rockets. I thought Lin outplayed Damion Lillard until overtime. I'd like to see Jeremy average about 5 boards a game in addition to over 2 steals per game.

  10. By the way, McFail (new nickname for the coach) better start playing the rookies. Play at least JONES, he can finish a layup. He should have left Morris in the floor. Also Aldrich. They were balling

    1. If he does what you ask, the Rockets will be a 30 win team for sure.

      Don't play inexperienced guys who can't even find the court against All Stars. That only works for Jeremy Lin.

  11. Yesterday i watched the game and stayed up til 3.30 am... Probably it'll be the last time cause of the lost :D

    i didn't like the match at all and i can't blame jeremy cause harden choked yesterday and most of faults is on Mchale. I hated the way hardengot tough shots and i hated more that jeremy just brought the ball in the opponent's half to give that in harden's hands.

    Saw jeremy is getting better thought the 3 point play could be the play of the game but harden wasn't there yet. Neither the coach.

    Parsons patterson Asik need to step up. Asik scored with p'n'r with Lin, have you seen him receiving the ball in a single p'n'r with harden? No.

    So i see positives in loss like psalm said, harden can't always be the go to guy, jeremy must have the ball more.... Yesterday some coach's decisions were questionable at least. Even a sitting jeremy with 6 minutes left on clock....

  12. @nephelauxetic
    the loss against Portland proves nothing of your point. This team is young and will make mistakes which will they learn from. I would understand your ranting if its already the middle of the season and they're like 10-30. But we're in the first week and
    2-1. And are you even a rockets fan? because you sure don't share their general sentiments. They're not ranting like its the end of the rockets season run.

    1. No, I'm no Rockets fan

      I only watch them because I'm a Lin fan. But I'm very disappointed in Lin because the 4th quarter is his time and he didn't show up. That is why I'm hard on him after this game.

      Too many mental errors in the end.

      I wouldn't be ranting if they lost to the Heat, Celtics, Spurs, OKC, and the elite teams but PORTLAND!!!!?????

      Inexcusable loss

      Jeremy, James and McFAIL deserved to be blamed for this LOSS

    2. i know what you mean cause knicks lost to the bobcats last season. but i'm guessing ur a Spurs fan. But then that would be surprising because harden averages almost 19 points in the play-offs against them so a 25-30 points in a regular season where he is the focal point of offense is not really a LOL worthy projection by fans. Plus he will be playing 10 minutes more per game.

      And Portland won against the Lakers who is in paper is WCF champion and the win is not even close. Portland was also rank higher than rockets. So can't they use the same excuse that we need time to gel because harden just came in just last week? I know the fans are over reacting over the two wins but ur also over reacting over the one loss. At least in the knicks we waited until the middle of the season before calling melo cancer and chant fire d antoni and to think we were rank 9th last season in the projected ranking.

    3. okay i didn't called melo cancer but he was under performing but i wanted d'antoni fired.

    4. I don't really care if this is the first game or the last game or even the playoffs. What I'm ranting about is the fact that Lin got outplayed by a ROOKIE in his 3rd freaking game. Unless that rookie is MJ, Lebron, Larry Bird, or Majic Johnson, Jeremy should NEVER BE OUTPLAYED by a ROOKIE (not even for 1 GAME) NEVEEERRRR!!!!

      I understand if he gets outplayed by Chris Paul, Rondo, Parker, Westbrook, Williams, Nash and the like. But a much slower, smaller, more inexperienced , and simply a great three-point shooter should not dominate him.

      Would you leave Novak from 3pt line? Never

      Why would you allow Lillard to shoot open 3s if that is the only DAMN thing he can do? Unacceptable defense

      I don't care if it is one game, Nov 3 is already part of History.

      The day Jeremy Lin was outplayed by a Rookie who is simply a 3pt shooter and nothing else in his 3rd game.

      jeremy could have easily scored 25 points against Lillard if he wasn't deferring too much to Harden.

      I don't know what happened to the real Jeremy. That Jeremy last night was nothing like the Jeremy I've watched in the Knicks. I don't know if he lost his confidence or simply choked. Frankly, I don't care.

      What I care is that he starts being more aggressive. It doesn't matter if he becomes turnover prone like last season. He can have 7 turnovers for all I care. What I don't accept is that he plays like a role player waiting for others to create a shot for him. He is very much capable of creating his own shots. He's like invisible for 75% of the plays. Sometimes he simply becomes someone to walk the ball into the frontcourt and pass it to Harden. Then, he doesn't get to touch the ball. He shouldn't allow that to happen. He should demand the ball more.

    5. I'm going to have to agree with part of what nephelauxetic is saying, he ended up slacking on the D in OT and it reminded me of people complaining of his lack of D on the Knicks where he tried to help D but not guard his own player. If the game is on the line, you don't try to help other players you guard your man, especially if they're a great 3 point shooter.

      Also more importantly I saw glimpses of Linsanity in the 4th when Harden was down. I was thinking they would go down more because he was away but then the ball started moving, Jlin drove in got that 3point play and they were back again.

      I think Jeremy Lin understand the importance to be grounded and not try to be the next KB and Carmelo. I think Harden is not really a ball hog, its more that the offense runs around him. In the 4th quarter he DID become more of a ball hog taking spotty 3s which I was disappointed in but I don't think he was thinking too much after he sprained his ankle tripping on Patterson's foot.

      I don't want Lin to be getting 7 TOs even if he's more aggressive, I just want Lin to shoot better. He did shoot but I think he got intimidated by their interior presence, it was ridiculous the # of blocks they had.

      I hope they learn and give Denver a good show because they are a LOT better than Portland, that's a fact.

    6. Completely disagree with neph bashing Lin because of Lillard's cherrypicking.

      LMA and Batum were destroying the hapless Rockets frontcourters. Lin tried to help. Better to let the rookie try to shoot the game down than the max contract guy and the super dynamic dominating forward.

      Don't blame Lin for McHale's gameplan. Like McHale, I'd live with a rookie's outside cherrypicking over $30 million of guys taking shots.

    7. Btw, KHuang, your assessment of Batum is spretty spot on!

    8. lol you didnt answer if ur a knicks fan but oh well. but i still think ur a spurs fan. what can i say im forgiving i rant a little then moved on. If i dont ill be angry the whole season with the drama and losing streak. No point in stating out the obvious over and over that he got outplayed by a rookie. I'm sure his coach is doing it for him and then those tapes that he probably need to watch numerous times to remind him that yeah he was outplayed by a rookie and not even the number 1 pick.

    9. romz, don't be fooled by neph into thinking that Lin was "outplayed" by a rookie.

      That's completely WRONG thinking.

      The Rockets let Lillard shoot because Batum and LMA were dominating inside. Better the unproven rookie shoot than the $30 million frontcourt. I'd take that gamble 11 times out of 10.

      janelin7, I usually don't gloat when I'm right about guys like Batum. But this time I WILL.

      I said before the game that Batum was the difference maker on the Blazers. I was afraid of him doing what he did yesterday - going into pogo stick mode and wreaking athletic havoc.

      neph was all gloating because Batum had a zero first half. Then Batum woke up and PUNKED neph. That's why Batum is paid his $10 million, more than any Rockets player outside Harden.

      I was right about Batum and neph was WAY OFF. WAY OFF.

    10. Batum is doing his job as a role player. He needs to help aldridge carry the load. It is like Duncan making Parker and Ginobli better. Both Parker and Ginobli need to produce to help Duncan lead the team to a WIN. Role players such as Lillard and Batum need to produce for the team to win. How do they produce? because Aldridge gets double-teamed. Remove Aldridge, let us see if the Blazers can even have an open shots. Batum cannot create his own shot. Compare him to Marion and Aldridge is like Nash that makes Marion better. Aldridge is like Duncan that makes Parker and Ginobli better

    11. Aldridge scored his 15, and Portland was down at the half anyway.

      Batum explodes in the 2nd half, making you look like a fool for saying he couldn't play. Portland wins.

      End of game.

    12. The Spurs wouldn't win if the role players did not produce.

      You want to win? Star and role players must produce

      1st Half: Aldridge produce , Batum zero ==> Down

      2nd Half: Aldridge produces, Lillard produces, Batum Produces ====> Win

      I WIN!!!!!

    13. Nope, you LOST AND LOST BIG.

      Yesterday, you tried to punk me by saying Batum couldn't play.

      He played, just like I predicted against your wishes. Batum made me look smart and made you look like the Lin hater you are.

    14. You are again lying

      I said that Batum is not the best player because Aldridge is the best player in the Blazers.

      You truly like to put words in my mouth.

      I win and I win BIG TIME!!!!

      I just made you look like a troll that you are.

    15. Batum KICKED YOUR BUTT at halftime, just like i predicted he would.

      I am a troll to you because I'm RIGHT about Batum taking over the game, which you said he couldn't.

      Let's keep fighting.

    16. How did he take over? Shooting threes? Why was he open? Because they were double-teaming Aldridge

      So without Aldridge, Batum could dominate as you said.

      Ok I just keep on Winning.

      Lol at this TROLL!!!

    17. Batum: a whopping 6 steals and double figure scoring in the 2nd half.

      That is a ZERO TO YOU because you're only interested in flaming me and everybody here.

    18. @khuang
      actually i do share the sentiments of neph that Jlin was outplayed but not just him but the whole team. I made the statement somewhere before seconds after the game so cant retract it (definitely heated emotion, i already cooled off) lol. but Jlin was not outplayed in the whole game.I infact thought during the game before the OT that he was doing a good job defending against Lillard. Its the OT that our back court got outplayed. I'm not saying lillard is way better though. i also agree with you that those block shots can be a little disheartening especially for a young team. Harden was blocked and if im a young player and i saw my star player team mate get blocked my level of play might become a little jittery in the paint. The front court was out hustled through out the game. And true id rather be killed by 3 pointers than be beaten in the paint. Its not like portland front court are missing their shots like Asik. Its a defensive gamble not lapse by the rockets. Actually i was surprised that Portland made those threes. the Knicks won against Miami because of our 3 pointers. 19 made out of 36 shot. Wont happen every game though. We are an extra inspired team that day.

  13. I'm rather new to basketball since I stopped watching for quite a number of years but it felt to me that a big issue was the fact that an effective pick and roll needs two threats, but someone like Asik is, well, not much of a threat.

    I also felt that Harden's USG got a bit too high and the turnovers he had illustrate that. I actually think that Lin needs to be the on-the-ball man more because Harden is, in my opinion, a more effective off-the-ball player than Lin, especially in the catch and shoot. Lin, right now, is not a shooter that defenders are scared of and does not stretch the floor as well as someone like Harden does.

    But I might be very wrong!

    1. Tyson Chandler wasn't much of an offensive threat as a post player, but he timed his roll to the basket very well. He understood how JLin played. Also, Tyson has more jumping ability than Asik. Asik will improve in terms of timing and knowing when to roll to the basket to create that open passing lane. One passing lane which will not open up will be the lob pass for the alley oop dunk that Tyson was able to create. I don't see Asik with enough explosive jumping ability to catch a lob pass and do a direct dunk.

      While I'd like to JLin play make more, especially at the end of games, from a team basketball point of view, I understand why Harden has the ball at the end of the game. He was hot the precious two games, so coach probably felt he could do it again.

      I think JLin would also have done a great job handling the ball down the stretch. I felt the coach should have requested a time out and draw up a play for harden and have JLin deliver the ball to him for this particular game. Quite surprised coach didn't even bother with the time out.

  14. They'

    1. They should

      Losing is not an option

    2. @neph

      Care to enlighten "Losing is not an option"? Does it mean winning 82-0?

    3. Losing to the Nuggets

      Losing to a non-elite team is not an option

    4. Nuggets held the Heats to 116 until Ray Allen dropped a winning 3. Nuggests ain't non-elite team.

    5. Holding an opponent to 116 points is not an elite feat my friend.

    6. The Nuggets have Javale McGee at $10+ million coming off the BENCH.

      They have Ty Lawson who is nowhere near Lin's caliber at a player but earns over twice as much as Lin.

      They have Olympian Andre Iguodala that is a big time player despite his inconsistent scoring.

      They have an entire team of proven NBA playoff performers.

      The Nuggets are a playoff team in the loaded West. Expecting the Rockets to beat the Nuggets is just HATERADE.

    7. You are overrating them.

      McGee is way overrated; you said that Lawson is not good as Lin; Andre is a defensive player and nothing more

      Expecting the Rockets to beat the Nuggets is for someone to believe they are that good.

    8. The Heat won last year's championship and have retooled this year.

      It's totally irresponsible to say the Nuggets are not a good team just so Lin can be blamed if the Nuggets beat the Rockets.

      Beating a championship team like the Heat is no small feat.

    9. They didn't beat the Heat.

      No one is blaming Lin yet. But if he continues to defer then maybe. He needs to stop DEFERRING. He's a star so he better act like one!!!!

    10. Stop lying again.

      All you've done since coming here is flame Lin and his fans.

      You expect $5 million Lin to carry Houston past this Nuggets team where $10 million McGee is a BACKUP?

      You're a Lin hater. You're no fan.

    11. I agree with Neph that he should act like the "STAR". It's funny that i'm actually agreeing with Neph = ). I wouldn't worry about Mcgee- skill is there but no brain. Igoudala and Lawson I would. They'll adjust their game plan when they face them. Can't wait for the next game. BTW Neph I agree with you sometimes but you need to take a chill pill.

    12. LOL at you KHuang

      Money is irrelevant. Rashard Lewis used to be paid 20 mil, Eric Gordon is being paid 15 mil despite being injured, and others being overpaid.

      Lin is a star but he isn't playing like one. Don't believe me?

      Just compare him this season and last season. I guarantee you he's not the same player. He isn't aggressive enough. If you still didn't spot the difference, then I cannot help you. The numbers do not prove it.

    13. Money is irrelevant, neph?

      Only when it comes to flaming Lin fans for you is money irrelevant.

      Only you would expect $5 million Lin to completely dominate $10 million Batum and $20 million Aldridge.

      That's like Cinderalla trying on the glass slipper and then putting it up on ebay.

    14. What the HEll are you talking about?

      There are a lot of overpaid players.

      Rashard Lewis was once paid 20 mil. Do you expect him to play like a 20 million dollar man? No

      Same goes for Stat, Eric Gordon, Batum, Hibbert, Jeff Green, and others.

      Lin might be underpaid but I don't use money in my expectations. I know Lin can play better.

      You are actually the one underestimating Lin because of your very LOW expectations. You are easily satisfied of a 13 and 7 game. Really?

    15. Damn straight I'm satisfied with a 13 7 OVERTIME game against swarming tripleteams that knocked James Harden out of the game.

      Rashard Lewis was a 23 point 10 rebound guy for Seattle before the Magic signed him away. Why wouldn't 23 point 10 rebounds over the course of a budding NBA career NOT EARN a max contract? Even though Lewis failed after, not even your crystal ball could predict that a 23 point 10 rebound player like Lewis would suddenly turn lazy.

      I also disagree violently with you flaming Roy Hibbert to make me look bad. Roy Hibbert is one of the great centers in today's game, the heir to Ewing and Mutombo's and Mourning's center legacy. Behind Hibbert, that low paid Indiana team has battled mightily into the 2nd round of the playoffs. Hibbert was nearly signed to a max contract by This very same Portland team you think sucks.

      Amare Stoudemire is a multiyear All Star with many years of 20 point 10 rebound proven seasons. Despite the Knicks signing him with no medical insurance, he has PERFORMED. Saying that he's not worth his contract just to flame me is utterly ridiculous when we're talking about an All Star dominating forward who's proven himself repeatedly.

      I do agree with you that Jeff Green and Eric Gordon are overpaid. But Batum? NO WAY. That guy is being paid $10 million a season to do his human trampoline act. Minnesota went after Batum HARD this summer because they knew he's way better than 2011 #2 overall pick Derrick Williams. Batum is a dynamic game changing player who beats teams to death when he gets going, as you just found out the hard way despite me warning you it was going to happen.

    16. You have your own world. You need medication.......

      LOL at you TROLL

    17. Gotcha.

      When you get punked for hating people here, neph, don't blame me.

      Blame guys like Hibbert and Batum that EARN their fat NBA paychecks. I'm merely the mouthpiece, as those guys are the ones on the court killing your haterade with their play.

    18. I'm tired just reading all your posts Khuang and Neph. Khuang definitely overrate Lin but he is a fan who loves Jlin and he is in Jlin site. So this over flowing love for Jlin is acceptable here. But you neph you are border line trolling. I keep reading the same thing from you. And when you typed that u expect Jlin and harden to play like superstar because they're getting superstar salary but at the same time LOL at 26-36 ppg projection for harden and 20-26 for lin. So if i understand correctly you expect them to play like superstar because of their salary but you also expect them to not exceed 20 points. then u proceed to say money is irrelevant when Khuang state Batums salary. lol. Im giving you benefit of the doubt. Ur ranting so much ur no longer thinking straight. So i was right that u are a spurs fan. I kinda check your posts after the harden trade. Im suspecting ur hating on harden because he helped tremendously in beating the spurs last season. Like most Knicks fans hated Pierce with a passion. By the way i was rooting for the spurs against OKC last season. But i think spurs fans are spoiled, you racked up so many wins in the regular season that one lost upsets you so much. I wonder how you would react if spurs lost to the bobcats. The only thing that might have appeased you is if they win against the heat in the finals.

  15. Yeah, this team composed of rookies and bench players, is supposed to develop chemistry within a few weeks and beat every team that has been together for years. Very unrealistic. Even the Miami heat struggled when Wade, Noah, and Lebron first got together.

    They went on a losing streak that nearly got coach Spoelstra fired, anybody remember that?

  16. The reason they lost is fatique, the back to back really got the best of them, they look tired after 3rd quarter, standing around waiting for harden to make a play... This is why they loss, if mchale manage the minutes better, the last 2 minutes wouldn't be iso harden..

  17. The Article by Chris Baldwin is exactly correct about Lin:

    "Where is the Lin who turned New York on its ear and seized game after game in the clutch? Where is the Lin who loves the big moment?"

    He needs to dictate the tempo. He is no role player. Role players pass the ball to stars and wait for them to make their move. He may not be the 1st option but he's also a star if he forgot.

    1. This kind of article is what stirred the relationship between Lin and his teammates. Lin was right to defer to Harden at this moment. Harden is the 1st option, the superstar, the franchise player, however you want to call it, and most importantly the coach called the play for him. Lin doesn't need to fight for the last shot with teammates like a Scottie Pippen. Over time when the defense loads up Harden, the ball will naturally go to the next best option that is Lin and he will step up when called upon. But not right now when Lin had difficulty making an open shot.

    2. Lin Bash-O-Meter: 3 games, 3 flames.

    3. The coach need to call the shot here. Look at the end of the Spurs vs Thunder game. Tony Parker, the best shooter on San Antonio, got the last shot off a screen and from a pass by Green. Popovich took a time out and called the last play.

      If it was D'Antoni, Lin would have the ball in his hands and create or take the last shot as the situation dictates.

      Harden just simply tried too hard to live up to his $80Mil in the first home game.

  18. Here's a good take on last night's game.

    1. That is exactly where I got my quotes.

      I want to see the ultra-aggressive Lin that plays FEARLESS. I haven't seen that Lin in a Rockets uniform yet. I'm getting impatient.

    2. Hey neph, I rather Lin play safe now for the sake of his knee. Trust me, I realise we all know Lin can do it and thus frustrating when he falls short but he needs to take it easy. The first pre season game was very painful to watch, but if you watch him in each game, he is slowly penetrating and making progress. I would give him a month .. I know it is long but the future is more important. However, he had better bring his A game especially against ny.

    3. I'm sick of the anti Lin haterade.

      He can't do any more than he's doing, nor can Harden.

      The Hardliners are so good that even friggin' MARCUS MORRIS is producing. Even though Marcus Morris has no game, he at least can hit a shot. Nobody else is pulling their weight.

    4. There is nothing anti Lin about the article KHuang. The writer actually believes Lin is capable more than what he is showing. The writer believes Lin can replicate what he did in New York.

      So am I

      We have high expectations for Lin.

    5. My expectations for Lin are HIGHER than yours, neph.

      I expect Lin to do everything in his power to win games. That includes sacrificing his own scoring opportunities if that's what it takes to win. Lin's satisfied me completely.

      Unlike you, I don't consider Lin "WIMPY". I actually am amazed this season at how he nearly carried this vastly inferior Rockets team to victory against a much better paid and rated opponent. Only Lin can carry an underdog team like that, especially when Harden finally tasted REAL defensive pressure for the first time.

      Lin is the ultimate warrior. Now I know why he was a great player wherever he went.

    6. Sometimes , like this game, it is better to be selfish and do the important things by yourself. He shouldn't have trusted his incompetent teammates.

      "sacrificing his own scoring opportunities if that's what it takes to win"

      But they didn't win. Sacrificing can be overrated sometimes you know.

    7. NO, sacrificing is NEVER overrated when it comes to winning basketball games.

      Lin nearly won this won too. He put the team on his shoulders because Harden was muzzled and Houston's other players couldn't get things done on their own against Portland's superior and better paid players.

      Besides, I don't see Lin helping out on defense and creating shots for people as "sacrificing". Maybe Lin "sacrifices" by not jacking up shots against triple teams, and I'm OK with that even though you are not.

    8. Lin would have won the game if he wasn't deferring to Harden.

      Lin had an average outing: 13 and 7 while shooting below 50%

    9. You're a Lin HATER because you blame Lin exclusively.

      You don't care that the Rockets frontcourt got pummeled. All Lin's fault.

      None of us are drinking your haterade.

    10. I blame Lin, Harden and McFAIL.

    11. Settle down guys. No one here is hating on Lin. The blame for this is not on Lin, but on the coaching staff. McHale calls the plays and its up to the players to execute. I have the feeling that very soon Lin is going to have the ball put in his hands more.

    12. I won't settle down.

      Neph hates us Lin fans and thinks we suck. I will defend the intelligence of people on this forum.

      This is NOT about Lin. Anybody reading this can see this is strictly about Neph flaming Lin in order to stomp on Lin fans here. He even flamed Administration in the previous thread!!!

    13. LOL at you again KHuang!!!!

      I don't even care about his fans. I surely cannot tolerate your flawed reasoning. But I don't remember flaming anyone maybe except some trolls like Nemo and you.

      In the previous thread, I said that the moderator prematurely declared this backcourt as the GOAT. I personally think it was premature. But that is all. I'm not stupid enough to insult the Moderator who can actually ban me anytime. And Why would I flame the moderator? I'm actually thankful for his site. I get to know updates about Lin and discuss basketball.

      Please, don't accuse me of flaming JLinfan#1, I did no such thing. I will not have the audacity to do that in his own website.

      I don't hate Lin fans but I detest trolls here. Good thing there are only few.

    14. You just flamed JLinFan#1 again!!!!

      You don't like his predictions, you don't like the people on his website, you don't like what you read here. You DON'T LIKE IT HERE.

    15. It is absolutely premature to brand HardLin even potentially as the GOAT backcourt. At the same time, I have never seen big center guy like Asik play like a beast defensively but like a wimp offensively. Someone has to tell him to just go up and dunk the damn ball. I admire Douglas for playing a tough D when his easy shots were not falling. I give a pass to Harden for being tired, but he should not think he's MJ. Yesterday's Harden was the Harden I saw quite often at OKC and yelled at for not passing at Durant. Even though other Rockets players screwed up before, it came down to Harden and Lin at the end to play smarter, and they did not do that.

      Yes, Lin made some stupid mistakes at crucial time -- what's up with throwing an alley-hoop pass to Parson (?) at such a crucial time? He should have held it for a high percentage shot. And he has to stick close enough to Lillard and not let him take an open shots because that guy can shoot.

      What concerns me -- and I keep harping on this -- is that I do not think Lin's jump shots skills level is at the level that will allow him to average even 18 points per game; like I said, he will average at max 14 points per game with his current shooting skills, and despite many who say one can improve shooting, it probably is not that easy to do. I disagree with Neph's assertion that Lin should drive and attack the basket more, because opposing players are guarding him more closely this season, so that if Lin cannot make jump shots, really he has no other way to score points. If Harden lacked a consistent jump shooting and has to rely on his driving to the basket, no way he's scoring more than 25 in a game. What has impressed me so far is that Lin consistently makes "high quality" passes that leads to, or should lead to, very easy baskets if the receiving team players don't screw up. Not all assists are the same, and I can say Lin has a better passing skill than Lillard, even though Lillard has a better shooting skills. Yes, Lillard is not that quick, but the guy sure does not make rookie mistakes.

      Lastly, during the crunch time, more often than not, the team that makes better decisions and does things that lead to higher percentage shots end up winning, not the team that takes more chances.

      I do think Harden will end up averaging 25 points per game -- he is too good a shooter -- while Lin ends up averaging around 14 points per game; I see that as the ceiling with his current inconsistent shooting. I strongly disagree with some people who expected Lin to end up averaging 20 points per game, because it is obvious to me that Lin's shooting ability is lacking at this point. It was also obvious to me when I saw Lakers play during preseason that they lacked that speed and team cohesiveness. Nash was consistently outplayed by younger PGs, and their bench really sucked. It would not surprise me to see them get knocked out early in playoffs.

      I look forward to Lin's matchup with Lowry whom I consider to be a very good PG, certainly better than Dragic.

  19. The issue I have with Lin is that he seems more concerned about what the media /fans think of him. While it may be true for most athletes, I feel that he cares for it more than last year.
    I know Lin can do whatever he wants off court but I do not know where he has the time for interaction with the fans(google + hangout) . It gives people the wrong impression, should he not be concentrating on his game? That is why people are not taking him seriously and think of him as just a "media" star. After the loss, he tweeted thanking the fans for coming out and said he will get better. Parsons and Harden had a more serious tweet and if I just looked at the tweets without their names, I would think parson and harden were more upset about the loss than Lin. I am not justifying the hate people have for Lin, but he needs to be smarter . GQ cover, commercial, the supposedly face of the franchise, and the 60 min interview.. it can rub people the wrong way .
    I dont know about you guys, but when I see Lin play, there is something different about him. He kind of lost his "toughness"? Last year, he had this "I do not care what you think about me" kind of swagger which I liked. Now, he seems like "I want to be liked" kind of attitude.
    This is just my opinion, but I am saying that Lin needs to be smarter and most importantly, bring the goods.

    1. Exactly, He needs to find his swagger back. Play like you have nothing to lose. Play like there is no tomorrow

    2. I found nothing wrong with Lin's attitude. A loss is already lost. The best way is to forget it quickly and move on to the next one. Totally no need to get upset and too down with one loss.

      Damn you guys are too serious. Lin won't play well every game and his team won't go 82-0!

    3. If they lost to the Heat, Celtics, OKC, Spurs, Lakers, Clippers and the like, I wouldn't even complain.

    4. @Cara: Ha ha I am not upset trust me. As stated, I rather them lose now, learn for mistakes. That is more important. What I am saying is that Lin is different.. like he is more concerned about what people thinks of him. I liked how he was last year. He does not give a *bleep * about anyone. LOL.

    5. @mint

      Exactly, I want to see the Lin that played his heart out. That is reason why I even became a fan of him rather than other point guards. He may not be the best but the way he played is obviously so FUN to watch. I haven't seen that Lin yet.

    6. I couldn't care less what people think of Lin, but I do care what they think of US.

      There are a lot of people like neph who harbor a deep resentment against Lin fans. Lin is merely the platform he uses to express that dislike.

      Contrary to what neph says, Lin is not a slacker or fake player. Nor are we idiots for seeing the immense good that Lin does.

      I've seen all the great players come and go, so I know a truly great player like Lin when I see one. Lin can't make his rookie teammates outplay the All Stars every night, though amazingly he can get them to do it on SOME nights. Nor can Lin play NFL free safety and help everybody on defense while shutting down his own man.

      For me, Lin is doing GREAT. He's doing as much as a single point guard making less than the league average (or the MAX for that matter) can do. Linsanity rages on for me because Lin plays like a WINNER even when his teammates cannot produce.

    7. In nba, every team can beat another team on any given day. Even Bobcats won't go 0-82. Losses just happen, no matter the opponents. Not to mention the Blazers are a team with an All-Star forward and another near max forward, compared to the so so Houston frontcourt, there is not really a big deal to lose to them as you wanted to make out to be, nep.

    8. This Lin in the rockets uniform is not the Lin I've watched in the Knicks uniform. The Jeremy I've watched in the past will not just stand around and wait.

      Jeremy needs to SEIZE the moment like he did in New York. I need to see that FEARLESSNESS.

    9. @neph: I have a feeling Mchale trust harden more than Lin mainly based on experience. However, I do not think Mchale doubts Lin, for now, I think he is experimenting and most importantly, I think if I was Mchale, I would let ask Lin to defer to harden for the MEAN TIME. Reason 1) knee , Reason 2)to take pressure off Lin. If Lin struggles, not only will the rocket organisation be blasted, fans would complain and it could turn ugly.

      For now, we see how things develop in each game.

    10. The Lin in NY had two max contract players, a $12 million center, a $12 million amnestied point guard backing him up, a starting SG that just earned a $7 million contract with Toronto, two veteran perimeter shooters that earn more than Carlos Delfino, a highly touted athletic rookie SG, and a whole squad of veterans known for defense and rebounding.

      Sure. Get Houston those things (one max contract player in Harden is looking GOOD). After the tripleteams and overmatching go away, THEN complain about Lin.

    11. McFAIL is absolutely bad at time management. Also, No Floor balance. He's using Lin like a role player.

    12. You obviously do not get what I'm saying. The Lin I've watched never deferred as much as he is now. Regardless of the teammates, he should just drive.

      I haven't seen any triple teams. He's just guarded by the slow Lillard.

    13. Your vision of the game SUCKS, neph.

    14. Your low expectations of Lin SUCKS too. You expect me to believe that this season's Lin is as aggressive as last season's Lin.

      No way.

    15. I'll say this. Harden was great the last couple of games but WAY TOO MUCH Harden ISO without ball movement. I believe Lin is capable of a lot more than what we've seen.

      There were too many plays where Harden dribbles down the shot clock and either had to hoist up a bad/contested shot or make a pass for a rushed shot.

      Still allow Harden to ISO but also allow Lin to create a bit more.

    16. Exactly what I was saying

      All I'm saying is Lin needs to be more aggressive. Even if he doesn't make all the shots at least be aggressive. Most of the time, being aggressive can bring more good than bad.

    17. Sure.

      Shoot hotly contested jump shots against perimeter defenders jamming perimeter.

      Drive inside and try to score over max contract players who are laying in wait for Lin.

      Leave guys open that are left unguarded because they're not good enought YET to score.

      That's neph's game plan. FAIL.

    18. Overpower triple teams more!!!!

      That's what you're fantasizing about, neph.

    19. He did it last season, so he better do it again.

    20. Lin already IS beating those triple teams.

      James Harden has had two great games in a row, and Marcus Morris who couldn't score with Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic is producing in the gaps created by Lin.

      Lin is facing completely different defenses this year from last year. Opponents are all over him OFF the ball, which wasn't the case last year. Plus, defenses are quick to collapse on him because Anthony and Stoudemire made teams pay when defenses loaded up on Lin.

      Parsons and Patterson aren't Anthony and Stoudemire. Asik isn't even Chandler. It's easier to cheat on Chandler Parsons defensively than it is to cheat on Carmelo Anthony.

    21. To be fair, many shots missed by Lin were not hotly contested shots. Neph, if you are hoping for the same type of Linsanity, you are going to be disappointed. The only thing you can hope for realistically is that Lin becomes 16 points/10 assists type of PG as soon as possible and Rockets make the playoffs, so Lin can gain more experience at a higher level of basketball.

    22. For me, averaging 16 points and 10 assists would be a dream come true!

      Given how UNSELFISH he is, Lin would be playing at his absolute human limit to average 16 points and 10 assists for a winning team.

      I predicted in January this year that the best case scenario would be Lin averaging similar stats in the NBA as what he got at Harvard. 16 points and 10 assists would be well within that lofty NBA prediction!

      Could Lin average more points and assists? EASILY. He'd also become the second coming of Stephon Marbury, hated by his teammates for playing by himself for himself in losing games!

    23. 16/10 would make Lin elite.

  20. Rocket's goal is to make it to the playoff, it is not to win all games, hence what's all the fuss over an ugly loss? The team will learn from this loss, retool, and prepare for the next game. Give them the confidence and stop the armchair critics. They have the experience professional coaches to help them.

    1. I agree with 99% of your post.

      The only thing I disagree with is that the loss was "ugly".

      Anytime Lin leads his team to a nail biting overtime game, that's a thing of beauty to me even if Lin's team loses in the end.

      An "ugly" loss to me is a 20 point blowout that results in 4th quarter garbage time. An "ugly" loss is also a winnable game in the 3rd being lost by a star player hogging the ball when there are other star players left unguarded.

      Lin and Harden fought valiantly. I am proud of them both, as well as Marcus Morris who is finaly showing up to play. I have good faith that the young Rockets frontcourt will learn how to play eventually.

    2. re: experience and professional coaches

      You'd think that an organization that sports McHale as the coach and Olajuwon a phone call away would excel with technically correct big men.

      I really wish we had picked up the option on Cole Aldrich. Unless Asik finds his legs and can handle the minutes, I have a feeling CA is going to be seeing a lot more playing time, and if he becomes valuable to the team he's going to be a lot more expensive than the $3.2M it would have cost. I really liked what I saw last night.

      I was bullish on Marcus Morris (and his bro) last year but he never got going, so my opinion on him dropped to a "meh". I'm glad it looks like game one's fumbles and foibles were just nerves; his growing confidence is definitely a positive to take away from last night. Now if only a certain someone we know and love can get his mojo back as well...

      Completely agree with everyone above who want the rookies played. I respect and like the fact that McHale is old school, but it's time to see what the puppies can do.

    3. @KHuang

      Those examples you give are certainly ugly losses... but surely you don't find missed layups or wide open put backs pretty?

      The "quality" of our misses vs Portland's couldn't be more stark.

    4. I don't find those missed shots pretty at all, Nom.

      McHale and Olajuwon are INCREDIBLE big man coaches, but not even they can tutor late first and second round draft picks like Parsons and Asik and Jones and Morris and White to score at will against max contract players like Aldridge or the Western Conference Josh Smith in Batum - at least not consistently.

      I wrote this summer that the Rockets frontrcourt's inability to score would result in defenses cheating on the interior and jamming the perimeter. As a result, Lin and Harden have to expend EXTRAORDINARY effort to get basic shots. When guys have to work that hard to score, the result is often a missed layup!

      Lin and Harden are HUMAN. They need help. And I'm still confident that the young Rockets frontcourt is talented enough to produce just enough to keep defenses honest. There will be learning pains i games like these, though.

  21. Sigh...

    This KHuang vs nephelauxetic debate is getting too long and is flooding this thread. As much as I don't like to lose, this site isn't mine and I don't want this thread to be dominated by our debates. I couldn't care less what KHuang thinks but other readers might be annoyed by this endless discussion. Let us face it, Khuang will never agree with me and I will never agree with him. There is really no point in continuing this debate because it might reach 200+ if I don't end it right now.


    Why don't we have an agreement that you ban me from your consciousness and I ban you from my consciousness. I know you hate me and I definitely detest you. I still want to go to this site since it gives a lot of Lin updates. So, why not I don't reply to your posts and you don't reply to my posts.

    This is not for our sake but for the sake of other readers here. I'm pretty sure they have no interest in reading our endless debates.

    How about it?

    1. Nope.

      You don't own me, and you don't tell me what to do.

      When you bash Lin and his fans, I come to the defense. Doesn't matter whether it's you or anybody else doing the bashing.

      I am no mere Lin worshiper. I criticize Lin just as much as anybody does here. But Lin is a great player who gives me very little to criticize. That's why I'm here in the first place.

      The crazy thing is that you are MORE of a Lin fan than I am, and that's why you're so passionate about his every perceived mistake. But because I'm actually an NBA fan and not strictly a Jeremy Lin fan, I am looking at the rest of the NBA when evaluating Lin's game. I'm not going to elevate Lin beyond players like Duncan that are way better than Lin, but I'm also not going to undercut Lin in favor of players that produce less than he does.

      I have great respect for the intelligence of Lin fans on this board, more so than I do for the majority of NBA front offices. I don't like it when people come in from "outside" to insult people on this board by using Lin as their pulpit.

      I can take the HEAT when it comes to defending Lin and his fans. Those who want to go after Lin and his fans can do so as long as they recognize that they'll have to take the heat too!

    2. At least let us stop our debate for this thread. More than half is from us. For the sake of other readers I mean.

      I may not be as well informed as you in terms of other players.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm a Lin fan (a big one). I can be hypercritical and sometimes sarcastic but I do that not because I hate Lin but because I'm disappointed due to my high expectations from him. You will never see me complain after a good game like in Atlanta and Detroit.
      I can be overly passionate with Lin sometimes. I just don't see the same Lin as last season.

      I still stand firm in my original claim that Lin still can perform better than what he is showing.

    3. What you or anybody else thinks of me has ZERO effect on me.

      The interesting thing is that I feel that I have HIGHER expectations for Lin than you do yet feel that I'm not as much as a Lin fan as you are!

      That's totally fine that you feel Lin can perform better. I feel that Lin is Lin whether he's piling big numbers or not. I also feel that when Lin's young teammates learn to play off him, Lin's numbers will improve not because Lin got better, but because his teammates produced.

      Lin is just one of many NBA players I closely follow. I am a true student of the game, so I am acutely aware of what's going on outside Lin and the Houston Rockets. I happen to follow Lin the most because his struggles with racism mirror the struggles with racism I face in my real life, but in terms of basketball Lin isn't my favorite player.

    4. Neph, look at it this way. Lin has made you follow NBA games (at least Rockets games) more closely and with more interest. It's good for you (maybe not) that you have some interest to follow. :) I decided now just to watch Rockets games only when I have nothing better to do and check this site time to time to see the results. Hopefully, Rockets will make playoffs, at which point, I will watch all their games.

    5. I've been following NBA games my friend. I've watched NBA since 2004. I've watch the Spurs-Suns battles. I've watch the La-Boston battles, Dallas-Suns, Billups-led Pistons, Heck even the 2009 Nuggets (that reached the WCF), the Cavs of Lebron and many more.

      I agree that I've watched the Knicks for the first time daily upon the emergence of Jeremy. Who cares about the Knicks during the previous decade? they were pretty bad from what I've heard.

      I also didn't follow the Rockets (with T-mac and Yao). Not really my favorite players.

      I've closely followed the Duncan Spurs for a long time. I felt they could have won more championships.

      Lin has made to follow the likes of the Knicks and Rockets but I've been following the NBA before I even know he existed :)

    6. Who cares about the Knicks during the previous decade?

      I DO.

      I cared very much about the Knicks last decade, and the decade before that too.

      Lin was the best point guard to play for the Knicks since the long departed Micheal Ray Richardson. He was one of the few shining lights in an otherwise dim Knicks era.

      The Knicks were good in the Patrick Ewing years, though a young Patrick Ewing experienced plenty of on-court beatings in a way not that different from Jeremy Lin. That only turned around once Knicks GM Al Bianchi (a true basketball genius) drafted Mark Jackson at 18, picked up Johnny Newman out of nowhere, and traded Bill Cartwright for Charles Oakley. Action Jackson, Spider Newman, and "Oak Tree" took TONS of pressure of Ewing who I felt was unfairly maligned the way Lin is today. Those players set the Knicks up for Ewing to lead the Knicks into the playoffs season after season.

      After Ewing retired, NY went into a tailspin. They actually tried to replace Ewing with all sorts of mediocre talent and overpaid badly in doing so. Things didn't get better until Isiah Thomas stepped in and turned things around by drafting good players and eliminating the horrifically bad contracts that his predecessors Checketts and Dolan had burned the Knicks cap with. Isiah took the fall for that, and that's why I find Dolan's ongoing friendship with Isiah completely justifiable. There's a neat little article out there that says this better than I do.

      Jeremy Lin was a breath of fresh air in NY. That's why I predicted last spring that he wouldn't last. NY owner James Dolan always ships out his good young players in favor of old highly paid washed up veterans.

    7. error: I meant "Checketts and LAYDEN", not "Checketts and Dolan".

    8. I just don't feel them. Marbury, Jerome James, Eddy
      Curry, and others aren't appealing to me.

    9. I don't feel those guys either, neph.

      That's why though I follow the Knicks, I'm not truly a Knicks "fan".

      Now Mark Jackson? Bill Cartwright? Charles Oakley? Anthony Mason? John Starks? Allan Houston? Latrell Sprewell? Xavier McDaniel? Rod Strickland? Derek Harper? Even Rolando Blackman who I felt should've gotten way more playing time? Even Charles Smith? Those players I was huge fans of.

      I liked Jeremy Lin as much as I liked Patrick Ewing or any other Knicks star that passed through. Patrick Ewing sure could've benefited from having Jeremy Lin on his team, though not even Lin could've gotten Ewing past Jordan in Chicago or Olajuwon in Houston.

  22. Lin would have a double double if Asik learns to Dunk when he's under the rim.

    Imagine if Lin took the last shot and hit the game winner at the home opener
    The fans would go crazy. It would be like LINSANITY all over.

    BUT that would only happen if Lin gets to take the last shot. Why should I be happy thay harden gets the last shot? Eventhough Lin had the amazing drive to put rockets up 3. Harden already had 2 great scoring nights. Why couldn't he give this one to Jeremy? That's bull shit.

    F**k you harden and your beard. That's what I'm feeling right now. Now I'm going to be pissed until the next game.

    Portland ain't better than the Rockets.

    1. Easy does it, damon houston.

      Lin's simply NOT OPEN. Teams are zoning him with or without the ball, though it appears to be Lin seemingly going against one guy on the perimeter. Harden's much more open. If Harden can get a shot off, COOL.

      You are right that Lin would be a double double guy if Asik could score at all underneath. Now you are learning why Asik was a 2nd round draft pick due to his inability to score at the NBA level.

    2. Should have used Harden in a different situation or as a decoy to open up others. The isolation play was very inefficient.

    3. Exactly, Lin is NOT just a bench point guard, it is HIS team and HE'S the one that decides who shoots last. It is a team game and Harden should've passed knowing he wasn't going to be able to make that shot. Pass once to Lin, then let Lin decide who to make the last shot. THAT is true team-ball, this is hero-ball and we know what happens in Hero-ball when they stop the hero.

    4. The coach at this point indicated in his post-game interview that he does not mind Harden having the ball in his hands for the last shot and then making a decision. McHale said something like "Since Harden is the best player, in those situations, he should do that and good things will happen more often than not."

    5. I'm totally Ok with James Harden getting the 4th quarter nod over Lin.

      I don't believe in any basketball player ramming through a triple team when there are other guys on the court that can make shots too. Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook do that, and I disagree because they play with guys like Gasol and Durant who are great scorers.

      I said right after the Harden trade that Lin was still THE GUY that teams want to stop. All the other players outside of Harden rely on Lin to create for them. Stop Lin and you stop the Rockets, hence the zone tripleteams without the ball that aren't obvious to casual viewers but are easily noted by true viewers of the game.

      Harden is a dangerous threat, but he has yet to prove that he can elevate his teammates like Lin can even without the ball. Besides, he's a max contract player who's supposed to produce like one. Jeremy Lin shouldn't be doing James Harden's job!!!

      Let Harden have the ball in the 4th. If he can't do anything with it, back to Lin it goes anyway.

  23. On another issue:

    Royce White tweeted before the Porland game: 3-0

    Way to go White. He was already absent from the game last night and he JINXED the Rockets.

    I heard he had a migraine but he also tweeted recently:

    "It is not in me to fake"

    I found out in Clutch that in the past, the Rockets tried to deliberately inactivate players that are disruptive to the team. Maybe White wants some playing time. So, he got a "migraine".

    Anyways, the rookies talent are being wasted in my opinion. I still think Jones should play more. Patterson just shoots two many 3s. Dmo needs more muscles and some more footspeed. I feel those rookies can be a productive bench players. They might be better offensively than the incompetent frontcourt

    1. Don't worry, the rookies WILL get their chance on this Rockets team.

      They have a lot to learn, but they'll get their NBA chances.

      The power positions on the Rockets are essentially unguarded. There are ample opportunities for any of the young Rockets to seize the chance.

  24. Ok about taking the last shot, it was coach McHale's call. He wanted the ball in JHarden's hand and wanted Harden to take the last shot. There's nothing JLin can do about it. About JLin, it seems like he doesn't have the kind of confidence like he had during Linsanity run. He even said it himself. He kept referring to his success in NYK was somehow a gift from God, a miracle of some sort. He couldn't believe it himself either. Talking like that to the media is like telling everyone that he's just a bench player, a D-league player at best. It's like telling everybody that only a miracle can he perform like he used to perform in NYK. C'mon man. I know he's a modest person and all but he got to build on Linsanity. He was successful in NYK because he played his heart out every single time he stepped on the court. It's not a miracle or whatever; it was all on JLIN's strong will and determination to win, and that's Linsanity right there folks. About the Rox, I really don't like the way they use JLin at all. Seem like the ball never make its way back to him once he let it go. All of them are too busy jacking up shots after shots without resetting even when they're well guarded. I like JHarden. I think he's a good player, but he's "I'll shoot first and if I'm not open or got caught in traffic, then I'll pass to you" mentality. Most of the time, he will take the shot even though he's not open. Right now, it's do or die with JHarden. JLin's role has become very passive and very limited in McHale's offense. I hope McHale's doing this because JLin's not 100%. Keeping my fingers cross!

    1. They could have executed better. Isolations are too predictable. Should have called a timeout and run a play for Harden. Look at what the Spurs did in their home opener against OKC. They freed up Parker.

    2. Get Lin a Duncan and Lin will be free to FLY.

    3. Lamarcus Aldridge is basically a younger Tim Duncan clone. Everything except the bank shot. Unfortunately he was on the other team.

  25. The game was lost becaues McHale did not differentiate the difference between JLin (PG) and JHardin (SG) roles. JHardin was out there playing like he was both the PG and SG, while JLin was playing like a 2nd class citizen (assuming by coach's direction). JLin was barely anywhere to be seen during the OT. Hardin is a great shooter, but not "the" team. McHale needs to let JLin lead the team as the PG, as DAntoni did in NY. The Rockets will continue to lose as long as McHale and JLin continue to defer to Hardin. Just as things went south when Lin sat down and Hardin was playing with TD. This article sums up last night in a nutshell and hopefully McHale, JLin, and Hardin takes note or the Rockets are going to see more losses.

  26. I think the offense is ok for now. This allows him to get his legs back under him without having to drive to the hole with every possession. His 3 point shot is looking good overall. I like how he's playing second fiddle while he gets stronger. When he is fully healthy and ready, he will go off on some nights, easily 25+ pts.

    1. I was thinking along the same lines. However, the 2nd unit must step up. Also,Parsons seems to be "off" . I hope it is not a case of the coach not trusting Lin. I always felt that the offense CURRENTLY implemented will at least allow Lin to be less aggressive

    2. Parsons was a 2nd round draft pick because of his inability to score.

      He is not "off". He's just being Parsons!

  27. IMO, Lin's lack of confidence could be due to some reasons
    1)Unlike in nyk, no one was expecting anything from him .This season , is supposed to be the season that Lin proves he is the real deal. So there is alot of pressure.
    2) when Lin signed with the rockets, he was seen as the "Face of the franchise" even though he has denied it but it is easy to see that the Rockets wanted that,
    3)Knick fans think he sucks, rocket fans are not happy, thinking he was brought in for the money.

    At the end of the day, Lin is still human. Its really not easy but he has got to be tough and find his confidence back.

    Assuming that Coach is limiting Lin due to injuries, then fine . However, if it is because he does not trust him, it would hurt Lin's confidence even further .That is why it annoys me when he has those commercials, videos, interviews and stuff like that. At the end of the day, you have to produce. He already knows he has a target on his back, so he needs to get back his confidence and not let anyone get him down.

    Although he is not playing aggressively, I will not expect too much from him because of his knee. In fact, I think he is slowly making progress. I will wait for a month before I judge him .

    1. When McHale was playing as a Hall of Fame power forward, he had this quote:

      "When two guys are on you, shoot. When three guys are on you, PASS".

      Lin has three guys on him with or without the ball, which is far more defensive coverage than McHale himself ever faced.

      Lin is confidently passing the ball out of those triple teams, from what I can see in the games this year. But Lin cannot shoot shots for the people he passes to. Even McHale advised Lin to just throw the ball to people and not worry if they can't score.

  28. I'll be honest. I HATE when they run lin to a corner and have him stand there. He should be generating, starting the offense on most plays. I don't know the exact number but I know he was standing in the corner far to much. I also think jlin should be bringing the ball up on most of the plays. Not CP and Harden. Mixing it a little is okay but there was to much of that last nite. jlin is the best creator on the team period, they didnt use that ablity particularly for the end of the game play. Terrible terrible call. Top of the key isolation? Lord. jlin needs to grab the ball, call for the ball and play his game...just to much deferring. I'm not going to candy coat it I'm a huge jlin fan and I want to see him step up take the ball start creating. I sure hope the coaches recognize this.

    1. So Lin gets the ball.

      He dribbles upcourt against stiff defensive pressure from Lillard who knows that Hickson, Batum, and LMA can easily cheat off Lin's unscoring teammates. And since Lin is likely to pass off when the triple team comes, the Blazers can live with Asik bricking layups or Patterson hoisting jumpers or Parsons firing from 3 instead of Lin driving to the basket. Lin's first target would be Harden, but . . . .

      Harden was covered by Wes Matthews, one of the better defensive players in basketball. Harden sees defenders leaning toward Lin, so Harden attacks. Easier to beat one defender than 3, Harden figures. All Lin can do is SUCK those defenses away from Harden and hope that Harden can score on his guy.

      Now if Asik could hit those layups or Patterson could hit that jumper or Parsons could put the ball on the floor and create plays, NONE OF THEM would be playing for the Rockets because other teams would've signed them for more money!!!

    2. I still like jlin initiating and creating offense more then he is right now. I agree Asik is way to weak on offensive side which really hurts penetration scoring but he can still create more with the ball in his hands comming down court. I sure hope he breaks out of this shell he seems to be in right now.

  29. i cringe every time jeremy leaves his man. he tends to gamble a bit on defense. also it seems like he's not even trying to fight through the screens and always goes under. i actually thought his best defensive game was against Rose last year when he fully took on the challenge and played tough against him, even had a block i believe. that's the D we need to see.

    1. On the pnr those where done very well. Some of those you either go around or behind thats it. I think the coaches may have had him pull off to help ppat on a double team which burned them in OT.

    2. I loved the way he defended Rose last year. Maybe it's his health that makes him not that defensive YET. Let's pray for him (also Harden) and hopefully he stays healthy the rest of the season.

  30. The sky is not falling my friends. All is not well but Lin is rounding into form, with every passing week. By February, if not sooner, Lin will find his groove. If he is the real deal, the ball will eventually find him and he will be a cog in this offense. You cannot keep down a good player forever. If he turns into a Derek Fisher or Avery Johnson, that's on him and that's all he is capable of.

    Everyone on here makes good points, some I agree with some I don't. I think what we can all agree on is that we wish Lin were doing or could do more and at least maintain his PG duties in the 4th quarter. It makes no sense he can't even survey the floor on at least a few possessions to mix it up. Just as I thought Linsanity couldn't last because it was too predictable, so is this Harden going iso via the PnR style all 4Q long.

    I hated watching Lin against Portland. I could see Harden was off and Lin was capable of more in the 4Q but the gameplan was designed for Lin to stand there on the weak side doing absolutely nothing. But Harden came through the last 2 games, so the team just wanted to keep on riding Harden to see how long this run could last. I can understand why they did that again last night.

    What I can't understand are Lin fans and article writers who think this is Lin's fault. He is asked to do that by his coaching staff, and he is being blamed for it. They are giving the ball to Harden yet Lin is being called wimpy, it makes no sense. How can Lin be criticized for following his coaches' orders? Only Lin would be criticized for that. Those article writers and fans need to email and write about Mchale, Morey and the Rockets, not complain that Lin is too passive.

    Give it 2 months to see if Mchale and the team figure it out and max out everyone. I'm sure Les, Morey etc Mchale realize Lin is not being properly utilized that way it is right now. But they need to balance that with winning as well so give it time.

    If you notice after Lin made the 3 point play, Harden gave Lin the ball on the next possession and did defer to Lin to see if Lin could produce magic yet again. Lin just has to show he can produce and his teammates will trust him more and more and the ball will find him.

    TIME my friends, 2 months before we declare the sky is falling.

  31. Lets not overreact to the Rockets' loss last night and Lin's play against the much-improved Trail Blazers.

    The Clippers also lost last night (at home, to Warriors), despite CPaul and Griffin combined were given 36 FTs (30 went in) . And CPaul is a still-young, 7-year lottery pick veteran, the guy who is widely considered the current #1 PG.

  32. MM needs to play more. he stretches the floor with his 3pt shooting ability on offense and is a good rebounder on defense.

  33. Where is TJones? Where is that Pick & Roll from JLin to Asik?
    The coach can not run these two men to the grounds like this.
    Harden was tired and missed some easy layups. All rockets players should practice the FT and 3 pointers. We just needed 1 point to win and yet we blew it. Lillard is good @ 3 point shootings but his overall skills is not as good as Jlin's. All those 3 pointers are deadly weapon. We all know that. Next game Rockets meet Denver at home. Rocket can do it but not that easy. One game at a time and the goal is to make playoffs.