Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rockets vs Sixers Game #25 2nd Half Game Thread

205 comments:

  1. 6-6 FGs!!!

    Even our Asian parents can't complain about that!

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    1. :) They would have said, "Shouldn't he get 18 points?" lol

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    2. I jinxed it! Streak is over!

      Oh well. I'll settle for 12-15.

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    3. @k.smith, unfortunately that is the truth :)

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  2. OMG that ET replay. Ouch. I could feel that ankle exploding

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  3. I like that Lin drove to the hoop instead of settling for the 3.

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  4. Lin and Harden have to find a way to work off each other better. They make other players better but they need to work on each other. I know they did well at the beginning of the game but i hope to see more.

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    1. No one moving off the ball for the last two or three plays. People seemed to be expecting Harden and then Lin to iso. Forced both of them to end up with bad shots.

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    2. When the ball gets stagnant like that I feel it is up to the coach to call a few plays just to wake up the team a bit. I guess that's why McHale called a timeout.

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    3. @wifflewiffle, you're awesome. Appreciate your bball knowledge!

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  5. Lin missed a shot!

    Bench him! ;-)

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  6. Good to see lin did a pull up jumper .but didn't go in

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  7. The decision to make Harden play PG just resulted in 1 TO and 5-point swing there. I hope Houston coaches took a note on that.

    They need to protect Harden from making those telegraphed passes and TOs. Let Jeremy be the PG, please!

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  8. Great pass by Jeremy for Asik FTs.

    He's so clever at getting his guys involved, even if he doesn't get the assist.

    So much better than last year as a playmaker.

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  9. The Rockets offense is really unnatural right now. I guess it's a process, but it's forced and not free flowing...

    The NBA is a stupid league. Lin could actually stink but if he shoots 60% and gets a high ppg average, they will call him a superstar.

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    1. Yes. NBA just make money to me, using the players. But Lin makes game interesting to watch. They already called Damian lillard a rookie with 20 games proving. Maybe he is doing good? Not interesting in following him. But just remind me of how people always said lin's 25 games is flash of pan, luck, and still called him scrub.

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  10. I think 3 and 4 quarter are the most 2 important time of the game. The first two means nothing even with big leads. Then it comes to 3 rd and 4th and other team start to catch up

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  11. Replies
    1. I thought I was the only one who thought Harden was not human.

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  12. sad...all these missed assists for Lin.

    *expect knee jerk comments from me until the game is over...

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  13. Replies
    1. But nice steal and assist to Lin by Parsons on that play

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  14. Lol, I'm glad Jeremy didn't get that hard screen by Hawes.

    McHale better Lin back ASAP in the 4th. Should do it to begin the 4th, but no later than the 9 or 10 minute mark. Tops.

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  15. Holy crap, when Smith isn't in foul trouble he's great!

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  16. Lin only has 4 assists because the ball is not in his hands and Parsons and Asik cannot convert...

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  17. I LOVE Greg Smith. Great finisher.

    He could be HUGE for Lin and the Rockets next season. Just need to defend/rebound without fouling.

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    1. He is like Lin -> a phenomenon

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    2. You mean this season? It was so obvious he was great in pre-season...these coaches are pretty slow to take to the obvious.

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    3. Not this season -- like you said, the coaches are too slow to notice the obvious.

      Patterson will come back and take away Smith's minutes. I like Patterson's mid-range J, but he's not what the team needs. They need a catch-and-finish guy.

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    4. I like Morris a lot more than Patterson. I actually think Morris should start at SF...Parsons off the bench personally for me...there's a reason Morris was a 1st round draft pick in this case..

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  18. Love Smith and TD working together but i'm gonna be pissed if Mcfail doesn't bring Lin back to close the game.

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    1. At least for some minute. We be fair. How about this, Lin got 5 and TD got 5min.

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  19. Greg Smith keepin the bench alive!

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  20. Replies
    1. I dont like that. How about Smithologie?

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    2. Prounciation is not smooth... Maybe another one.

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    3. Smithologie is totally smoooooooth

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    4. Alright. Spelling looks weird too........haha

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    5. In- Gre-dibble actually sounds fun..

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    6. So its "the In-Gre-Dible Smith"?

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    7. Aha, In-Gre-Dible...clever.

      And he's "ox-strong" too. ;)

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  21. Lol the 76ers have no answer for Greg Smith. Smith is singlehandedly winning this game for the Rockets so far.

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  22. Mac is going to run Harden to the ground by over playing him. He really has to play Lin more.

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    1. Go tell him. We been try to tell him but he didn't heard it.

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    2. Lin and TD is a perfectly viable back-court. An oversized PG and an undersized SG.

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  23. Replies
    1. That one was pretty tough actually. Asik and Parsons have let Lin down, not Smith!

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  24. Lin back in...with TD!

    Smith's secret, they say, is unusually BIG HANDS (even for someone his size). Catching and finishing are much easier.

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    Replies
    1. And you know what they say about men with big hands...

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    2. Why must i always catch these type convos...
      ;)

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  25. Replies
    1. Just in time. I think it was his first bucket

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  26. End of 3Q thoughts

    - There was a graphic that showed that the HOU bench only contributed 7 points, and the HOU bench would likely have stayed that terrible on offence if Smith hadn't exploded. The bench ends the quarter with 17 points... and 13 of those points are Smith's.

    - Smith knows how to pick and roll. He knows how to get position on the block (at least against someone as poor as Hawes). He is strong and fast. He is not a stretch 4 by any means but he is by far the best PnR man for the Rox out there.

    - There was one play where Harden came up to Lin to get the ball. Lin actually waved him off and started pointing for Harden to get to the corner. Harden is the king of scoring, but Lin is the field general. As the Chinese saying goes - when the general is on the field, the king's orders do not have to be followed.

    - The Rox offence got a bit stagnant in parts of the 4Q. I kind of blame McHale for not calling plays, but also Harden and Lin for not telling the guys to move around more. You can't expect Lin and Harden to carry the entire load of the offence.

    - Quietly Asik has another double-double.

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    1. great observation on third paragraph, I didn't even notice. I was too busy making knee jerk comments.

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    2. I like the third paragraph. Especially the general and the king thing. You know even the king needs to follow the general cause general is the one who go fight in a real war not the king thus he knows more about the situation and the circumstances.

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    3. I cocked up in the 4th para. That should be 3Q not 4Q obviously.

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    4. Actually its because the general is out on the field and the king is not. In old days they had no telephones so...

      Also - the general commands the army. The army is loyal to whoever leads them. A general can come and take down the king any time...

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    5. Yes. That's why king worry sometimes general might end up with too much power thus sometimes may limit his ability over the troop.

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  27. Oh a wedding proposal, how sweet... D:<

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  28. Damn! I wanted that 3! Jeremy always misses when he hesitates. I swear he makes 50% when he steps into it with confidence.

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  29. Smith is good, does he have a fan base forum like J Lin? Might get on it

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  30. Harden's drives are friggin mindblowing sometimes. Not fancy but they really get it done.

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    1. Holy crap, it's crazy how often he gets to the line. He's a really, really good player and he's only 23.

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    2. We'll see if he gets those calls in the playoffs. If the ref's swallow their whistles, Harden will look like a ballhog.

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    3. To be fair, he gets crazy superstar calls. But yeah, he is still amazing getting to the rim.

      He has Jeremy's agility but longer arms and the respect of the lame NBA refs.

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    4. LOL that ballhog thing again. Even when Lin is doing so much playmaking today. When Harden doesn't get fouled he makes the basket.

      If you think Harden is only good because refs like him, I don't know what to say.

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    5. I support Harden. Just saying he gets a lot of calls and at some point, in some important games, the refs WILL swallow their whistles and everyone on here will be wondering why he isn't passing because in games like this he was getting every whistle so why would he not drive it in all day. There was one play I didn't even see Nick Young touch him and they called foul. The entire Rockets team got some favorable calls, including Asik where it looked like the ball got swatted away clean.

      Yesterday, Lin's 2nd FT attempts where Tyson Chandler fouled him didn't even look like a foul yet he got the call. When Lin doesn't get those calls, he just looks out of control.
      When he gets those, it's linsanity and a 60% FG game.

      Refs can make or break players on the brink of stardom in this league. If Harden gets calls like this on every drive where he holds out his hands, he deserves to ballhog. I am just not convinced the refs will keep blowing their whistles. It's classic NBA basketball.

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    6. I think Lin will be fine. He is producing even without getting to the line.

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  31. Life is so much better when Mchale is doing the right thing...

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    1. more like, the players playing well in spite of him. I kid...

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  32. I feel sorry for Doug Collins lol

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  33. McHale really has a thing for Douglas, trying so hard to get him minutes. Don't understand why he is still in even when both Lin and Harden come back. Can't be a matchup thing considering the 76ers guards are big guards, not small quick ones.

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    1. May be he does. How about play some more min for that guy with long name motie...

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    2. And Parsons too. The 2 most rubbish Rox players today both get big minutes. Nice way to instill confidence to them, the only problem they are not doing it to Lin. Unfair and double standard.

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    3. Maybe he does. How about play some more min for that guy with long name motie..

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    4. Dougie is Mchale and Sampson long lost son..

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    5. Oh...sorry. Do it twice. Yes. I agree with you. That's why fans not happy and then we spill it out and then we got blame.

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    6. This small lineup worked wonder in the past 2 games so it's good to see how well they really work together against different teams.

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    7. I actually don't mind how good Is him to TD or parson, as long as it's the same to Lin.

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  34. Lin is making a lot of passes to guys who get fouled going to the basket, but can't finish. Are there stats for these "near assists".

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    1. That would be a great stat...not sure why Hollinger or someone doesn't keep it.

      Even if it isn't officialy, Synergy Sports should track "semi-assists." Jeremy would probably lead the league, lol.

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    2. I know right? Instead of 6, he'd have like 10.

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  35. For the 2nd straight game, the small lineup of Harden, Lin and Douglas worked wonder. Each of them provide threat of FTs, mid-range/layups and 3PT shots.

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    1. They are giving up a lot defensively though. Douglas imo is way too small to be considered a "wing defensive stopper".

      Harden is an offensive star. He will never be a good defender with his slow footspeed but I wish he at least put more effort sometimes.

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    2. If Harden becomes semi decent defensively, I bet Douglas would play less. I believe McHale now sees Douglas as a defensive safety net just to cover up Harden's defensive woes.

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    3. It probably won't work against teams with big men like Portland and Lakers but I see these three (Lin, Douglas and Harden) played very well together in the past 2 games so it's good to experiment.

      It's great to hear the announcers commented how happy Lin was smiling giving that assist to Douglas' 3PT shot. Guys want to play with Lin because he makes basketball fun.

      This is a very impressive game how Houston can quickly pull away with 25 points after the lead was cut to 2 at the end of 3rd Q.

      The playoff outlook just looks brighter! Off to vote for Lin's All-Star now.

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  36. ughhhhh I hate these announcers...really Clyde? This team is going to be fighting for a championship in 2-3 years? WTF.

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  37. blergh Lin done for tonight, good game

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  38. GREAT GAME from Jeremy despite limited minutes (due to 2 early fouls not McHale's usual idiocy).

    Should have had 9+ assists, but hey, his teammates aren't exactly stars beyond Harden.

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  39. Replies
    1. Big lead. Time to give reserves some time.

      Remember! Jeremy was once a reserve...you need to give young players experience.

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  40. That's how u guys play to win games .

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  41. I said earlier that an optimal time for Lin today is about 31-33 mins after that tough NYK game on his body and he gets 31 min tonight - pretty good.

    Why on earth Harden is still out there playing with the bench players I don't know.

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    1. I guess I spoke too soon. Harden is also sitting now.

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    2. Let me tell you a secret. Actually Mchale dislike harden, so he make sure he works him reallyyyy hard!

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  42. Lin will consistently get 18+ points and 8 assists once he improves his wide open long jumpers.

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    1. I just hope he gains a jumper before he loses his athleticism, unlike others before him.

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    2. @wifflewiffle, i agree. His athleticism isn't going to be around forever, so he needs to continue to improve on his jumper.

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    3. Lin can get 18+ points even without a long jumper. Now that McHale is letting him handle the ball occasionally.

      With a reliable 3pt shot? He'd be virtually unstoppable and a super-elite PG on par with CP3 instead of merely a future Top 5 PG.

      As for 8+ assists, he just needs teammates that can finish most of their layups/dunks!

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    4. Come on. Id rather see JLin driving and cutting hard for 5 years than see him shooting for 10. JLin is so exciting because of his penetration. Besides - he can shoot - he is just streaky.

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    5. He can do both.

      Tony Parker transitioned from an Attack-The-Rim Guy to a Hit-The-Midrange J Guy.

      Let's not forget that Jeremy was a truly AWFUL jump shooter with the Warriors. Couldn't hit air! Now he's up to a not-awful 31% from 3.

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    6. You know what's exciting? Lin can actually learn from Harden in developing Euro-step and drawing fouls while driving to the basket. Harden had 33 Pts although he only had 12 FGs because he got 17 FT out of 18 attempts! That's crazy good...

      Lin would have his first step for 8-10 years but if he can add the lethal Euro-step to his arsenal from Harden who doesn't have Lin's athletic first step, he would be unstoppable!

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    7. Hrm Lin with an euro step...That would be something...

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    8. I strongly disagree that Lin can get 18+ per game without his jumper working. Not against good teams. Not all teams are going to be slow as Knicks and Philly (injured players). Against teams with good D (Memphis, OKC and Miami, Denver, etc.), Lin is not going to get more than 12 without making those jumpers.

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    9. To be fair, Jason Kidd did manage one 18/8 season even without a jumper.

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  43. Replies
    1. Haha, I bet a lot of people will see stats and think Douglas has a good game. But props to McHale to keep giving him opportunites to give him confidence. I wish he would do the same for Lin.

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    2. I have said this many times over Yahoo boards - TD is better as an SG. while defensively, it may be a mismatch, it's either there's a switch or TD use speed to stay at the offensive player's face

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    3. That site that shall not be named will be on td's nuts, clamoring for him to "finish games" because he can shoot the three.

      Happy for him though!

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  44. I just saw the crowd and thought they have left already. Then I remembered - it always looks like that.

    Good/OK game today. HardLin starting to click.

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    1. JLin and Harden combined for 51 pts and 13 assists tonight...

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    2. This was better than "good/ok" considering how few minutes he played and how many assists he was robbed of (with Hack-Asik and cold Parsons). Only one TO too!

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    3. Im not saying Lin was OK. Lin and Harden were playing good. They are starting to click. Lins is definitely more comfortable out there - hence his active and agressive play.

      Im saying Rockets as a team were OK. They should straighten out some things - like NOT letting Parsons bring the ball up, guys should finish when Lin passes, they also blew the lead a couple of times and they made Lin play statue of liberty in the corner again.

      Considering how they used to bench Lin in the past they should have benched Parsons for his shooting. Im just bickering over little things... Now that Lin is starting to play like he should my standards and expectations have gone up :)

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  45. McHale went with a smaller line up - Lin (PG), Douglas (SG), Harden (SF), Parsons (PF), Asik (C)... worked with a 76ers lineup.. hmm looking forward to the line up vs Grizzlies with M. Gasol and ZBo clogging the paint.

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    1. Grizzlies are indeed a challenge. Conley and Allen are tough enough on the perimeter.

      But then you got the Twin Towers inside. We'll see! Spurs were supposed to be a challenge for Jeremy, too...

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  46. On a whole separate note, are any of you having very poor streaming with League Pass when you watch games live? I'd like to complain to NBA if they are not dedicating enough server resources when the Rockets are playing.

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    1. No. Cause I don't have one. U should complain because you pay money for it!

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    2. Not that I want to pay money for crappy service, but a spike in League Pass subscriptions for the Rockets this year could only demonstrate the economic value of Lin. Gotta be a fan anyway I can!

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    3. It happened to mine, too. I thought it was due to my running too many apps at the same time.

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  47. Some one predict it right in pregame that Lin with 18 pts. Good prediction. I think I will happy for this result. Maybe more minutes and more good double pts in future, but tonight is good like this though. Lin made few good assist to Douglas. That's good.

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  48. Lin wasn't used enough, feel he can do more, but you cannot argue with the result today. Other players are capable too. When Harden iso's come back and when Lin looks like he is misused this issue will rear it's ugly head again. For now, I feel like the Rockets will win at least 60% of their games through all star break.

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  49. When Lin starts getting more minutes than Parsons, that means the coaches will finally be coming around.

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    1. Parson is his son. In a game like tonight Its all good. like you said other players are doing good too . But yea definitely hope to see Lin with more play.If parson can get more minute so is Lin. Or maybe some of parson's minute go to some bench players like smith, like TD.

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    2. JLin getting more minutes than Parsons or vice versa doesn't go hand in hand. Parson is a glue guy that's why he's out there more.

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  50. End of game thoughts

    - I am going to start with Harden. There's a reason why Harden worked so well with a ball dominant player like Westbrook, and it might well be that Harden works best next to a PG who is willing to dominate. While tonight is probably not the best example, since Lin didn't play 35+ mins, Harden again reached an INSANE level of efficiency because he didn't have to do much playmaking from the point. 33 points on 12 shots (17-18 from the line) is a breathtaking stat. He had 7 assists too, coming from the flow of the game. 33 points on 12 shots! Ballhog, my a$$.

    - Greg Smith scores 13 points in 13 minutes... Lets hope he stays lucky despite that unlucky number. 5 of 5 from the field, 3 of 4 from the line, what a player. He's got big hands, and he's got a bright future. Undrafted players have to stick together.

    - Lin had 18 points and 6 assists. As the posts above tell you, Lin could have had 4 more, easily if Parsons could make the open threes and Asik could finish layups. Opposing teams are looking to foul the heck out of Asik because there's hardly any chance of an and-1 and Asik isn't terribly good at the line, although he made 7 of 9 FTs tonight.

    - Lin is still looking for his jumper.

    - What I really liked about Lin's performance tonight was that it wasn't particularly "Linsane". He didn't really have to go balls out to his points. He hardly even had to draw fouls. He didn't have to risk his body. And all that even without a semblance of a mid-range game at the moment. I am not holding my breath for him becoming a three-point sharpshooter any time soon, but I do think that he can develop a decent mid-range game within this season.

    - The Rox are going to chew up teams that can't prevent penetration into the paint.

    - I kind of wish the Rox would shoot less threes... but heck if they shoot 40% from beyond the arc like tonight, feel free to keep taking them.

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    1. great analysis, especially the first paragraph...hopefully we'll continue to see Lin dominate a little more on playmaking/distributing so that Harden can focus on his thing, scoring.

      Lin's going to need his jumper as the season progresses. smart teams will know what to take away from him.

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    2. Also, looks like Lin is slowly getting stronger/healthier and gaining more confidence as the season progresses. So I hope to see Lin hesitate less...he still does a some of that.

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    3. Oh, Lin is definitely becoming more confident. Maybe it is related to his improving health, as you mentioned?

      About the hesitations. Weirdly he is beginning to play a bit more like Harden. He takes more time just standing at the perimeter without actually moving. Can't decide if it is a good or bad thing yet.

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    4. you do realize although the stats only counts 12 shot attempts...they dont count the shots he attempted when he was fouled and earned the free throws. So in actuality, he attempted more than 12 shots. 18 fts is 6 two-pt shots. But its all good if you you are getting to the line and making them.

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    5. sorry my math was off..18 fts is equal 9 two-pts shots

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    6. You also forget that it is not 12+9 because you also have to account for and-1s.

      And since this is true for the whole NBA, no matter how you slice it, it still makes Harden an unnaturally efficient player.

      In any case, it's a GOOD thing that Harden is still getting the bulk of the Rox shots. He should be, since he is the primary offensive option. What this shows is that he doesn't need the ball in his hands at the point all the time to get those shots.

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    7. Nice game Greg Smith. He gave Rockets a boost when they needed it.

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    8. Really like G. Smith's composure.

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  51. with Smith definitely improving, no need to clamor for Pau Gasol trade. I'd like to see more Lin-Smith or Harden-Smith PnRs . what Rockets need is another big man in the paint, somebody who can play D better than Asik.

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  52. I think Lin will be fine playing 2nd or 3rd fiddle (should be 2nd but Rockets want him to be 3rd fiddle). If they get that elite big man as as FA, Lin will then be 4th fiddle. I truly truly hope some team gives Lin a shot when his contract ends, or that the Lakers implode this year, trade Pau for Lin, Morris, Smith,Dmo, Tjones, etc. and 1 yr after that, Lin will play together with Nash in 2014-2015 after Kobe is gone.

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    1. Lin having to move AGAIN when he's settling in and gaining the trust of his teammates is the worst thing ever.

      Seriously.

      Don't make me quote KHuang here. :)

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    2. Don't make me quote KHuang either either!!!

      fft fft

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  53. You know when JLin is shooting better than you, you suck (Parsons)...

    Hahahahaha just joking y'all only caught 1st quarter and 2nd quarter but looked like an easy win for the Rox.

    Now beat Zbo and company and establish yourselves!

    Parsons has gone cold, wonder if its his shoulder still bothering him. And is Asik still getting hacked down low?

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    1. Memphis is going to be tough. They're strong at every position.

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  54. My favorite part of tonight? Watching Lin bark orders at everyone and pointing everyone to their spots. Could it be as simple as getting over the specter of the NY games?

    I said this after the first NY game (oops) but I hope with this last one, Lin has turned the corner. It certainly looked like it tonight. Granted, it was against a ho hum Eastern conference team, but then again I felt pretty crappy losing to the Raptors so I'll take the W.

    Lin had no hesitation tonight. I thought he forced one shot (his first miss), otherwise I was pretty happy with everything he took. There was that one drive he passed up and passed out (clock winding down), I wish he took it, but otherwise, solid decisions all night.

    His 32 minutes is pretty much his average for the season. The difference was that he was making the most of them. No deference.

    Incredible play by Harden, Asik, Smith and Douglas.

    We all give Jeremy so much leeway and understanding, but I think Harden has been trying to find himself as well. These past two games (and perhaps the media?) should hopefully show him that he does not have to dominate the ball; he can still dominate the scoring.

    Asik went back to game one in terms of offensive efficiency. If we could somehow combine Asik and Smith...

    The commentators mentioned a stat that I've been following myself regarding Douglas' 3 point percentage (around 50%, gonna be higher after tonight). They mentioned he has been bringing his percentage up in the past few games; actually, he has quietly been performing at this level since game 7. I've been watching Toney because he is the only other PG for comparison purposes. He is better rated offensively, but obviously (at least to us?) does not have the potential for that special overdrive we call Linsanity. Defensively, they are surprisingly close. Over the season, they have gone back and forth, but after 24 games they are identical in PPP allowed (0.79) with Lin being the superior ISO defender and Douglas being better at defending PnR and Spot Up shooting.

    Looking forward to Memphis on Saturday. Best defense in the NBA, look for a bunch of 3's from Rox and if we're hot...

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    1. Nice commentary, Nom.

      I too was cringing a bit at that first miss. A bit of poor shot selection from Lin, but I've been wanting Lin to take more pull-up shots so I didn't mention it. That pass out to Douglas in the corner with 1 sec left to go might have been a disaster if TD didn't have such a fast release haha.

      I like your mentions of Synergy related defence stats (I assume that is where you got the defence stuff from?). I don't really pay enough attention to those. Would love more analysis on that front.

      I must say that on paper the Grizzlies look like the worst possible matchup (other than OKC) for the Rockets. Even worse than Spurs. At least the Spurs are kinda old.

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    2. LOVED everything you wrote nom! Everything.

      "does not have to dominate the ball; he can still dominate the scoring."

      100% AGREE

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    3. @(wiffle)(wiffle)

      Thanks. And let me take this opportunity to say nice commentary by you, not just tonight but over the last several threads. I really feel like you have a fair and balanced approach and want you to know I agree with probably 95% of what you say.

      Two random things:

      1) Where are you from? I only ask since you spell "defense" incorrectly ;)
      2) Did I read you were going to stop posting? Please don't.

      The Grizz matchup does look horrible, but I think we did well against them last time (I didn't get to watch it as it was blacked out of LP). It will be interesting from a Lin perspective, because I do not think he is going to get the easy drives to the hoop. Those are his bread and butter shots (he owes almost all of his rapidly improving FG% to them) and when he makes them, his confidence grows, and when his confidence grows, he produces, and when he produces, he doesn't sit. We're certainly not going to beat Memphis playing a low pace half court game, so like I said look for a load of threes, and if Lin isn't making him, I'm not certain he is going to get a ton of minutes.

      Yes, my numbers are from Synergy, I have been playing with their numbers a bit, there's some interesting stuff re: Harden I'll post if you want but I'm not sure if you are just talking about stats on defence *ahem* i mean defense.

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    4. @k.smith

      Thank you for your kind words. I have a random question for you too. I initially thought by your name that you were an old school Rox fan, but over time I'm not so sure. Is it a coincidence you share a moniker with "The Jet"?

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    5. @Nom Hey man, thanks, I appreciate it. I am from Singapore, which means the games happen in the mornings here. I've been catching them and commenting because I am between jobs right now. I start work in January and I don't think the partner will be too happy if I spend precious billable hours watching Jeremy Lin.

      Also, I apologise for my poor command of the American language, haha.

      Actually, I appreciate any and all insights regarding Synergy stats because I am not very sure at how to best make use of them. The mix of subjectivity/objectivity is not something I really understand very well. Doesn't help that Synergy refuses to let me sign up so I can actually see the plays.

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    6. @nom, no, i'm not a long time rockets fan. If I share a moniker with The Jet then it's just by coincidence.

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    7. @wiffle+wiffle

      I love S'pore. More accurately, I love eating in S'pore :)

      So something you might find interesting (especially since you have exhibited a respect and appreciation for Harden):

      Houston ranks #1 in the NBA in offense by the PnR handler (before tonight we were #2). While Harden is technically #2 with 1.10 ppp, World Peace(!), who is #1 at 1.12 ppp, only has 42 plays vs Harden's 167, so Harden is the best in the NBA in my book.

      For comparison's sake, Bryant is #5 at 1.03 ppp, Paul and Lillard are #14 at 0.94, Parker and Rondo are #20 at 0.9 ppp. And because we will have to talk about McHale and the Rox, for reference Lowry is #8 with 0.99 ppp.

      If you are of the sentiment that McHale likes the PnR, I would say you are correct, 20.4% of the Rox plays come from that. The only "play" that is more frequent is the spot up shot, at 23.5% (I don't have a number, but my guess is that the majority of these are our 3's).

      The Rox as a team get 0.92 ppp for the PnR handler, so while Harden is exceptional, the rest of the Rox aren't.

      So the dilemma I have is, given how the Rox offense is for the most part PnR dependent, and given we have the #1 PnR handler (btw, our PnR man ranks 14th in the league, which is remarkable when you consider the attention bias on Asik's butterfingers), the question is why wouldn't you put the ball in Harden's hands?

      The initial answer is you would. But then you (ok, we?) have the issue with Lin. What's he to do? He's like a caged bird in the corner (although he stays there a lot less than people think, he does get relegated there).

      Tonight was a really good example of how we can have our cake and eat it too. Harden had 7 PnR handler plays. That's essentially the same number (6.95) as his average.

      Tonight he did not dominate the ball. He also had only 2 TO's. He had almost 2 more assists than his average. He scored above his average. He played less minutes. Coincidence?

      I don't think he's a ball hog either. I actually think he is incredibly unselfish. I think circumstances thrust him into the role he has been in thus far (just as Lin thought he was going to be a Knick, I think Harden thought he was still going to be a Thunder) and he is learning along the way. It just looks easier when it results in you being a top 5 scorer.

      If he can see what he accomplished tonight and last game by playing off ball (and I mean this in a relative way) and embracing Lin (these are two blowouts in a row), though, this really will be the backcourt we thought it was going to be at the beginning of the season.

      Dang this turned out long. But one last thought, and another bonus of Lin being the primary handler... less Harden ISOs. When the refs are in our favor, like tonight, it seems like the "smartest" thing in the world. I'm not a big fan of relying on others to control your destiny, though.

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    8. That's good stuff. You should post it in the new thread so more people get to read it.

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  55. Everyone here should watch this guy's YouTube channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FTAWs3dy1g

    "Coach Nick" does these great video analyses of teams and players, including several on Jeremy. He's infinitely smarter than any ESPN analyst and agree or disagree, he backs it up with evidence.

    He's definitely a Jeremy Lin fan (even during the pre-draft process), though he doesn't like J-Lin overhelping with a 3pt shooter one pass away (I agree!). He loves smart players with great defensive fundamentals, and obviously, Jeremy is usually superb there.

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    1. My only disagreement with Coach Nick is his overpraising Rondo.

      "It's harder than it looks to consistently hit guys in the numbers while in rhythm." Yes...but also no. Not when it's Pierce, Allen, Garnett, Terry (four HOFs) not to mention very good shooters Lee and Bass.

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    2. And his strange loathing of Pau Gasol.

      I too am a fan of Coach Nick but man, that guy really has a thing against Pau Gasol.

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    3. He HATES players who are lazy or unfocused on defense. Which Pau has been of late.

      He also HATES Russell Westbrook for that same reason. "Look at Westbrook! He doesn't even get back! Instead he argues with the ref, can't figure out who to guard, gets lost in no-man's land, and screws the pooch! Just terrible!"

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    4. Love him too. I think he focuses too much on NY/Brooklyn/Lakers/Heat though...Yes, I know those are huge market teams with the most fans but i'd like to see what he has to say about other teams too.

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    5. Not to mention Westbrook's constant hero balling ("he's still not a point guard").

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    6. Coach Nick also said the job of the point guard is to manage egos, initiate the offense with the right pass, get people shots when they need them, and score when the team needs it.

      Harden asking for the ball but Jlin waved him off to the corner - managing egos perhaps or it could just be managing the offense

      Parsons and Delfino constantly missing shots but JLin continued to seek and pass them the ball. He also seeks out Smith, Douglas, and Asik - get people shots when they need them and initiate the offense with the right pass

      JLin not forcing shots (except one)but find openings and taking it to the hole - score when the team needs it.

      Nice to see JLin rounding into form.

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  56. Jeremy should have a double-double if only his team mates wash of the sweat off their palms. I'm happy though, that he's back to scoring. I miss those dish-and-drive plays of my guy. that win vs Knicks surely brightened his confidence, which rubbed off with his team mates. yep, guys like to play with him because he likes giving them the ball.

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  57. I have to say Harden is a great player if he doesn't ball-hog and tries to force bad shots. Rockets probably would have lost this game without Harden. I feel if Lin had his jumpers working Lin could approach (not equal but sort of approach) Harden's level offensively and be a better passer than Harden. Of course, a better D also.

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    1. I have to say wiffele is going to disagree with you the word " ball-hog" again. If they win a game with harden ball hogging I don't think people will see it as a problem. I don't see it as a problem too as long as Lin get his minute and his play. Yea. That's the thing I care most about.

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    2. As long as Harden/Lin and then the team continue to improve and trust one another (big test will be on Saturday against an elite team), Harden iso's won't get so over the top.

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    3. disagree with James Harden being a ball hog. Westbrook is actually more of a ball hog than Harden. case in point - last Finals. Thunder could have gotten Game 3 if only Russell moved the ball around and involved his team mates.

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    4. Thought Harden was effective today. I would consider it ball hog only if he cant produce. He was obviously very efficient today taking it to the hole and getting to the free throw line. Good job Harden.

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    5. westbrook is definitely a ballhog and harden learned from the best. :)

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    6. I didn't mean Harden ball-hogged this game. He didn't; that's why he was so good and effective.

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  58. This game today in Houston shows how bad the coaches were with Lin
    Lin in games that were not playing well did not have the trust of his coaches
    TD playing very bad and has the trust of his coaches

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    1. I disagree. I thought it was a balanced effort today, but McHale should have taken the bench players out a bit earlier in the 2nd when the lead was trimmed.

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  59. morey on lin
    http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/rocketscast-live-ask-gm

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    1. @radd

      Thanks so much for this. Is this a regular thing (the interviews with DM)?

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    2. Nope, usually it's just the two talking heads. Think DM does some weekly thing somewhere else... check CF.

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  60. Didn't get a chance to see the whole game, but caught a bit of the 3rd Q. Did anybody notice Lin sorta barking back at Mchale at the timeout hudlle end of 3rdQ. That's awesome, man. Mchale still sat him down on the bench to start the fourth. Baby steps, lin. His confidence is climbing...I'm not taking this shit any longer than i have to. The fighting spirit is back.

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  61. Couldn't watch the game tonight. So how was it. Was Lin playing in the fourth. Any bad decisions by McHale? I'm hearing good things. I also predicted 18 points for tonight and he was efficient in stats 8/12. So how about the game. Was it more like the knicks, was his handling the offence more?

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