Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rockets vs Sixers Game #25 Post Game Thread

178 comments:

  1. Didn't see the game.
    But, another win for Jlin and the Rox!!
    nice

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  2. It is worth pointing out that Lin only had 1 TO tonight.

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    1. and don't forget 0 floor-crashing and 0 elbows on the head. It kinda helps to play full season this way!

      I'm glad the coaches got to see 1 ugly TO by Harden attempting the telegraphed pass leading to a 3-point play on the other end. 5-point swing cutting the lead to 2 is unacceptable! Let Lin direct more of the offense and let Harden do his thing to score.

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    3. Didn't even notice he had TO.

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    4. if I hear of another Lin Hater rapping that Lin is not worth playing for NBA because he is a turnover machine I'm gonna slap his trap shut with a towel.

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  3. rockets future is looking brighter. jlin is showing that he can play even more efficient than he did in february. harden is playing like a true all-star. smith has been the biggest surprise of the season..he can finish, rebound, block shots, get to the line..i think smith should be the starting PF, although i don't think they would play him alongside with asik. morris and douglas also exceeded my expectations w/ their 3 pt shooting. talk about depth, d-mo and jones have great potential, yet they're stuck in 3rd string roles. by playoff time, the rockets could be a dangerous team to match up against.

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  4. JLin on he and Harden meshing: "We were in a good rhythm today for sure. He attacked and I attacked, and that’s how we like it."

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    1. aha, aha! On the 25th game, they finally realized it.

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    2. Harden's multiple penetration to the basket today is not going to work against Memphis. There will need to be balanced screen and rolls between JLin and Harden against Memphis too keep a good defensive team on their heels.

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    3. The rhythm was obviously there today for both.

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    4. Harden's ISOs and driving to the basket is what wanted to say.

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    5. The Rockets don't do very many screens though...

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    6. JLin and Harden does plenty of screen and roles. Today Harden mainly ISO his man and took them to the hole. Can't do this too much against Memphis cause they'll lock Harden down. Both of them will need to alternate running it. JLin can't camp out at the corner, which I don't think he will do much of anymore.

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  5. Rox are back to their winning numbers, stats that i've designated as goto stats for this team: fta/ft%, assists, steals. All areas are on par and exceeded except for steals. Steals should be up in the tens, that's when they will regain the D like the beginning of the season when they held opponents to the nineties and below.

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    1. the one constant has been the rebounding...in the forties. Without Asik holding down the defense, this team will be worse. His offense will come around once Lin gets total pg responsibilities and so will Lin's numbers go up. Having Smith as another pnr option is a plus when they go small. The team will become more lethel after the allstar break.

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  6. I didn't mean Harden ball-hogged this game. What I meant was Harden plays very well and effectively like this game when he does not ball-hog and tries to force many shots. He was deadly effective this game. Also, when Parsons is not playing well, Mac has to be willing to take Parsons out; no way Parsons should be playing 37 minutes when he's playing like this. His playing minutes should be reduced to around 20 when he's playing like this.

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    1. Gotcha man. Parsons is a glue guy that's why he still in there. They needed him for defense.

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    2. I can understand Parsons' minutes though. I mean, other than when McHale breaks out that strangely effective three-guard line-up, who else is going to play the 3? Morris and Delfino, yeah, but you give up a lot defensively. I won't address whether Parsons is an overrated defender or not, but he's definitely better than those two.

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    3. Good one. Hardens scoring goes down a bit when he is sharing playmaking and ball handling with Lin but his efficiency goes way up - just like JLins numbers.

      If coaches or Harden dont get after these two games I dont know what to say anymore.

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    4. Parson's D is not that impressive. Actually, Harden played like a superstar today.

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  7. Why do Rockets fans say this:

    "Harden needs to be a playmaker first and then scorer 2nd..."

    Shouldn't it be the other way around? I'm confused.

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    1. @k.smith

      I don't say that. I think Harden is an elite scorer and he should be thinking score every time. I would much rather Lin do the heavy thinking and distributing. Hulk smash. Harden score.

      I wrote a post that ended up being way too long in the previous thread and in the meantime this thread happened. I'm not going to repost, but essentially, the Rox "play" is the PnR, and Harden excels at that. If that makes him "playmaker", so be it. But he can get just as much (and in tonight's case, more) production doing the exact same things, but not being the primary ballhandler. He can do this playing less minutes, which doesn't seem like an issue to a 23 year old but *will* result in cumulative stress.

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    2. @nom, I agree with you. I just don't understand how blind some people can be...

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    3. Whomever is the playermaker is the face of the franchise. Rocket's fans don't want Lin to be the face of anything.

      Magic w/ Lakers, Nash w/ Suns, etc. were not leading scorers of their teams, but considered the face of the franchise and leader of those teams because they had the ball in their hands and made the decisions.

      Harden could score 38 off ball, but Lin would become the leader of the team with the ball, something nobody in the Rox organization wants and/or believes is possible/effective.

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    4. @swinglinezigzag

      You don't even have to look very hard to see that this isn't true.

      Let's just go up Interstate 35.

      We'll start south in San Antonio. Parker is the playmaker (that's what you mean, right?) and while I think an argument can be made that he is the face of the franchise today, there was a time when it was Duncan. Not a playmaker.

      Dirk is without question the face of the franchise in Dallas.

      I'd say KD is the face of OKC, wouldn't you? While I would hesitate to call Westbrook a playmaker (and that's only because I'm feeling snarky), he's more of one than Durant.

      I'm pretty sure up in Minneapolis Kevin Love is the face of the franchise. If Rubio ever fulfills his potential and expectations, this could change. Especially if Love leaves.

      If Lin is somehow able to deliver Linsanity 2.0, no one is going to have a problem recognizing him as the face of the Rox. Including Harden.

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  8. I still would like Jeremy to draw more foul shots. If he can just get a little more FTs, getting 20+ a game is not difficult for him at all. Last season, he loved to draw contact going to the basket and this season he seems to look to avoid the contact more. I don't know if it's the knee thing. Even he's 100%, he might just want to protect himself better becasue of that injury experience.

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    1. I don't think it would be necessary if he can get 18 points per game w/out too much contact. It does take a toll on your body after a while. It also depends on whether the team is a physical one, especially the bigs.

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    2. I'd like Lin to study how Harden got his fouls when penetrating the lane without crashing on the floor. He just threw his hands up and his head sometimes looked at the sky, the refs just blew the whistle! He just mastered it into perfection.

      And Harden most of the time just "walked" on the court. At the end of the 3rdQ, Lin and Parson were sweating and got some rest but Harden had no sweat! His defense on Nick Young was suspect but man, he only Euro-stepped when needed to.

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  9. Replies
    1. Thanks for the link...
      hahaha...it was funny, i get the feeling atleast from the highlights, JH for distributing for JL, and JL was the SG.

      good combo, would like to see this going and improving. Once the mesh well, they are really unbeatable, except for one or two when then are tired with the back to back games.

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  10. 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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  11. The scary thing about JLin is that when he plays big, the Rockets win big.

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    1. Thats not scary. It aint rocket science - at least for us JLin fans. More ball handling for Jeremy (at least more than he had so far) -> better game for Rockets.

      Harden has done his thing well since he joined the team but it simply wasnt enough. We need the HardLiners combo. If that combo does well - everythings goes well.

      Cant say that often enough but Harden heroballing through 3 quarters has often left him gassd on 4th and JLin used to end up on the bench (cause he didnt really get to play his game). With JLin on his side Hardens scoring goes down a bit but so does his TO numbers. On the other hand -> JLins scoring goes up big time and Hardens efficiency goes way up as well.

      Their combined scoring numbers is what really matters. The better they do together - the better for the team.

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    2. Winning consistently and decisively is absolutely scary for opponents. JLin is one of those rare players capable of making everyone on the floor better night in and night out. As JLin builds his reputation around the league with more games, opponents will soon learn to fear JLin quarterbacked teams.

      Harden on the other hand is a monster in a different way. Although he does not facilitate ball movement as well as JLin, he is a one man offensive machine. Creating his own shots and setting teammates in pnrs, the man can play both aspects at a high level.

      As for ball-handling responsibilities, I have no qualms about JLin needing even more responsibilities beyond what he is given in the Knicks and Sixers games. As long as the balance is such that JLin is producing at a level which I know he is capable of, I am ok with it.

      On top of that, he is learning to play off-ball, he has the opportunity to practice catch and shoot, he is preserving his body as a consequence of his more well-rounded responsibilities, and the Rockets are winning.

      Particularly significant is the way the Rockets are winning. They are winning with a balanced attack, making it it difficult for opponents to just key in on one or two star players. This type of team effort on offense is the type that wins games in playoffs.

      Linsanity was about winning big. If JLin had put up those record breaking numbers, but lost all seven, as an extreme example, it would still have been a very special performance in its own way. However, it was the winning streak which saved the Knicks season that made Linsanity that much more significant.

      That is why I am as interested in the team's development as well as JLin getting the opportunity to develope his own game. In the overall team development, I appreciate that McHale is giving everyone a chance to grow. If JLin allowed to produce at a high level and is a key reason for the team winning consistently, JLin's doubters will have little left to say. You can't doubt winning.

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  12. Great Team Win–Especially for the Money Boys + Smith, Douglas, Morris. The chemistry between among the Money Boys (i.e., Harden, Lin and Asik) reminded me of the chemistry they had in Harden’s debut games–except it was even better tonight. That chemistry went away after the coaches over-emphasized Harden being the number 1 option and messed up Lin’s head. But that chemistry was back tonight, as Lin is playing with a lot of confidence. Lin also looked like he enjoyed himself out there and was having a lot of fun. It was the most comfortable and fun I’ve seen him out on the court (I missed the Knicks game).

    I saw the coaches play Lin differently tonight. Lin got screens whenever he wanted them (just like in the Spurs game). The ball was in his hands just as much as it was in Harden’s hands. When Lin went to the bench towards the end of first quarter and into the second quarter is when the Sixers made their run and McHale didn’t waste much time in putting Lin back into the game. So they’re showing a lot more confidence in Lin. I know that the Rockets have a good offense, but I think it can be even better if they let Lin play more of his game and they did that tonight. As a result, the Rockets had their best Field Goal percentage (56%) of the season, because Linharden played aggressively giving their Bigs high percentage shots! When Lin plays well, the Rockets do well. It’s that simple. Lin just needs to maintain this same level of energy and mental toughness to continue to play his game no matter what. I think it’ll be easier for him to do this now that he knows this is what the coaching staff want from him. I think up until the Knicks game, he still wasn’t sure if the coaching staff wanted him to play aggressively or defer to Harden. But now it’s clear that the team is better when Lin plays aggressively. And Lin’s aggressive play does not affect Harden’s scoring in any way, as evident in the Knicks game and tonight’s game.


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    1. you need to post your your blog on here!

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    2. great! sounds good! agree! I understand everything you said! some other post, too much basketball language for me to handle!

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    3. Thanks! Here the link to the blog:

      http://jeremylintelligence.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/rockets-put-away-sixers-great-team-win-especially-for-the-money-boys-smith-douglas-morris/

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    4. Key words...Lin got screens whenever he wanted them! Instead of his teammates waving him off

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    5. just have to repeat it night in night out, every quarter, every down ;)

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    6. great points! Now coaches know that Lin needs to handle the ball more to be confident and aggressive more so than Harden. Harden can play off the ball and still be an amazing scorer. Finally, the coaches' eyes were opened in the Knicks' game.

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    7. Confident, having fun.

      [I hope realization had indeed finally dawn on the coaching staff and this is not a one-off thing.]

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    8. I think the Knicks game really helped him mentally. I think just being in the arena again reminded that when he plays his style of basketball he is helping his teams. I think that helped convince him to be aggressive. Just as McHale is putting more trust in Jeremy, Jeremy is putting more trust in himself as a guy capable of logging big win-share numbers on any given team.

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    9. Stepping into MSG -> Like fish to water.

      I'm surprised it took all this time for McHale to see this/ make some adjustments. Wasn't he going to sports bars watching Linsanity last season? Mchale should know when JLin plays HIS style of bball -> W.

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    10. Nice gifs!

      Swag, turning the corner with power and quickness, "weaving and achieving", guy living out his dream career.

      Doubters can be keenly observant as well. Trolls may spend as much time studying JLin as fans (not that McHale is a troll....well he trolls fans occassionally when he benches JLin...)

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  13. JL Post Game interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQx3q4jZ-d8

    KM interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysulsFxVMmc

    JH interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxKXVm5v_Iw

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  14. Two thoughts:

    1 Harden is tall and lanky for a guard. Mchale should explore more prn plays between Lin and Harden. I saw it before on one of the game highlights. I will be beautiful to watch once that gets going. So many positives can come out of this prn combo.

    2. Lin doesn't really need to go left that much as most pundits think. The great Bob Cousy once said ( i don't have the quote), Lin just needs to go left 20% of the time and he'll be fine.

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    1. Bob Cousy: "You don't have to go five times to the left and five to the right -- two and eight is fine, and Lin will be able to develop that part of his game."

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    2. "if they're giving you the right, you take the right" - me.

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    3. Here's a question for anyone who has seen JL play in person this season: I know this is hard to qualify, but how quick is Jeremy's first step and acceleration in person?

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  15. Key Moment of the Game

    The key moment of the game was TEAM DEFENSE and it happened with 5:56 left in the 3rd quarter after Harden had a costly TO causing a 3-point play on the other end cutting the lead to 72-71.
    All night long they had let 76ers coming back over and over again with porous defense.

    76ers just made 12-4 run after trailing by 8 points (60-68) due to a combination of defensive lapses (Morris lost his man twice, Asik once) plus offensive hiccups (Harden and Lin went one-on-one missing 19ft and 15ft jumper without extra passes)

    After a timeout, they showed much better defense (tighter defense, 1 Parsons steal) to make 9-4 run stretching the lead to 81-75 accompanied by Lin's PnR with Asik and Parsons plus 1 Harden's penetration resulting in 2 FT (which were not great decision going 1-against-4 but poor 76ers can't stop him tonight).

    With 3 min left, Douglas/Smith/Delfino came in to sub for Lin/Asik/Parsons. Then Greg Smith show led to another 8-4 run to close the 3rd quarter with a comfortable 89-79 lead. The defense was also superb with TD drawing offensive foul, Harden with 1 block on Nick Young esp. after he lost Nick so many times on defense.
    Note: not allthings were great. Harden went iso to the basket too often (lost the ball going 1-against-4) but he learned quickly in the next possession with spectacular between-the-leg-pass to Greg Smith for the easy dunk.

    Closing Thoughts
    Overall, the offense was more balanced with 60% Harden iso leading to an unbelievable 18 FT attempts (who could blame him with 76ers being so bad?) and Lin taking 40% (when both were on the floor) to run PnR with Asik and Parsons. Defense was a bit better when needed some stops.

    I still don't see Lin and Harden playing together off each other, more like sharing the offensive loads to give the other rest. But am glad to see Lin has more confidence to penetrate or run his PnR so the offense is more balanced. Harden still played loose D with Nick Young but perhaps he saved his stamina for his offense.

    I'm loving the small lineup with Harden/Lin/Douglas that worked for the 2nd game straight to pull away in the 4th quarter. I'd like to see them paired with Asik and Greg Smith at the same time.

    They still have lots to improve but 25 games into the season, who would have thought they improved this quickly? Kudos to the young players and the coaches for sticking together unselfishly.

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    1. Correction: I see Harden set at least 1 screen and gave the ball for Lin to create in the 1st half. I'd like to see Harden be more involved in the PnR.

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  16. "Lin just needs to go left 20% of the time and he'll be fine."

    Exactly. Lin's like a pitcher who has a 100mph fastball and throws it almost all the time. Some people focus on the fact that his curveball isn't good and that he can't keep throwing a fastball because the hitters will catch up to it. Which is true, but like you said, 20% is a good ratio. 50/50 is actually not optimal because hitters will crush a hanging curve. The pitcher can work on his curve ball during offseasons, and as it gets stronger, gradually increase the ratio.

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  17. Lin can drive with his left hand just fine, from what I've seen. But he's still not great at finishing the layups with his left hand.

    He's not finishing good at with either hand whenever there is some contact. Last season, he was getting the and-one's at a ridiculous rate, even more than James Harden. This season ... I can't even remember the last game where he finished a layup, drew contact, and got an and one.
    Maybe he needs to work on his upper body strength.

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    1. That and maybe he's still getting stronger and more confident? Even tonight, when his body brushed up on someone, he looked down at his knee afterward...so maybe it's still a mental thing and he's being more careful?!

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    2. and the other obvious thing is, he received more call from the refs, due to his linsanity highs.

      Thats norm in NBA, stars like kobe, lebron, carmelo etc would got more protection from the refs.

      Similar to JH as well. Once JL gets more aggressive, I'm sure the refs would start to protect him like last year and get more calls as well.

      I'm happy to see the way things are going in the last 2 games.

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    3. @ABC:

      Dont overanalyse. Watch 2:32
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMijjjgKYJY

      He can go left, drible left handed and layup left handed.

      Everyone favors one side. There is noone who can finish with both hands equally well.

      I dont know about his and ones this year. Last season he finished pretty well dispite the contact. Otherwise it wouldnt have been and-ones right :) This season - hes just started to play his game and attack the way he used to. He will get those calls.

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    4. Lin's trips to the free throw lines are definitely down this year.

      Even in this game, where he attacked the basket, he only got 2 FTA.

      I think he is still gun shy about drawing contact when getting to the hoop.

      Harden not only attacks the paint but also seeks to draw contact.

      Free throws are something crucial that Lin must reincorporate into his game, as he gains more confidence in his knee.

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    5. Ian O'Connor ‏@Ian_OConnor
      Jeremy Lin has gone strong to his left a few times tonight to get to the hole, a past area of considerable weakness
      5:40 PM - 17 Dec 12
      [Nyk game]

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    6. Manu finishes a lot of his right side layups with his left hand, too.

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    7. People like Manu basically have to be able to do that, since if you want to attack the side where you are weaker at (the right), you have to lead off with your left foot in the Eurostep, then right to get to the right of the basket. Since you are launching from your right foot you have to shoot with your left hand even though you are on the right side of the basket.

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    8. lack of and-1's this year has a lot to do with how the games are being called this year. the refs are letting a lot of stuff go, especially body contacts.

      they have to call the stuff on harden, though, since most of the fouls that he draws are reaches and blatant slaps on the arms. notice the harden always holds the ball away from his body to draw contact on his arms. and once the ref starts seeing them and calling them, he will get even more calls because they will assume that he is being fouled more times than not. i guess sort of a confirmation bias, if you will.

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    9. The beauty of Lins game is that he can layup right and left, switch to right midair, make reverse layups if it suits him better, shoot or drive along the baseline.

      Im really not worried about JLins abilities around the hoop. There is a former player who has pointed it out -> JLin does not need to go left and right 50/50 -> go left 2 times and go right 8 times. If he scores on either side thats enough to get respect from defenders.

      If Lin continues to attack the paint the calls will come. Gotta keep in mind -> JLin probably avoids contact to protect his body. Also - opponents now know that its not easy to stop JLin. If you try stop him late and make contact - chances are you turn JLins 2 pointer into a 3 point play. Thats the last thing you want -> make it worse :)

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    10. Also - it really depends on where JLin plays. Even during Linsanity there have been refs who decided in Lins favor and some who were really hostile. On the bright side - I remember a NY game where Lin made a three (I think against LA). One of the refs was so happy he tapped Lin on the shoulder when he ran by :)

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    1. "toney douglass knows how to finish you off." ... "lin has the biggest smile on his face."

      o.O

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    2. They should put some Harden highlights in there as well :)

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    3. Have the gerraldd39lin highlights been posted yet?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrjkVph_C8Y&sns=em

      Anyone else notice that drop off pass to the perimeter and then JLin standing around effectively setting a screen for the shooter. Reminds me of what Nash would often do.

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    4. What a nice highlight! Love it! Always fun to see Jeremy play like that and how he got his teammates involved。I think Jeremy is really a good passer and pretty quick. Game like this is very enjoyable to watch. Should more to come like this or even better.

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  20. [Overheard]

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    I stand by it...I'd take Jeremy Lin over Felton, both now and going forward.
    5:36 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Haroon ‏@HR8886
    @robinlundberg lol u say that now but if the Knicks had Lin we would be #1 in turnovers
    5:38 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Tommy Larsen ‏@TL504
    @robinlundberg I guess u don't watch basketball. Houston stinks, he's really made a difference
    5:38 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    @TL504 Houston is .500 with youngest team in NBA
    5:38 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    @HR8886 Lin's turnovers way down
    5:38 PM - 19 Dec 1

    Kyle Linares ‏@Kay_Smoove
    @robinlundberg no way. No way. No way. 3 times no way. Money, passing, shooting. All better.
    5:39 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Greg Edwards ‏@GWORDS604
    @robinlundberg I respect your bball sense but I cant believe you don't realize Lin is a system guy. Coach D-run and gun. Houston-run and gun
    5:39 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    @Kay_Smoove money matters not bc didn't count against cap
    5:40 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    @GWORDS604 Lin could play Felton's role, drive and kick is his strength
    5:41 PM - 19 Dec 12

    PLaymaker ‏@LZP9
    @robinlundberg still has one hand and doesn't light it up like his contract indicates. For the dollars 4 ray compared 2 Lin it's not close.
    5:42 PM - 19 Dec 12

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    @LZP9 Lin's 24
    5:42 PM - 19 Dec 12

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    1. it's pretty clear to me that this whole time the problem in houston was that shuhow was not being aggressive. in order for the double threat to work, Lin had to attack and stop being so passive. All is well. Rox are going to win in memphis and establish themselves as true contenders in the west this year.

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    2. Calm down dude

      Calling the Rockets true contenders in the TOUGH WEST is too much.

      They do have a chance to get a low seed playoff spot.

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    3. Those tweets are full of ignorance.

      Do these people even watch the game?

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    4. The true potential of the JLin and Harden combo is unknown (this sounds like a phrase from some kind of Manga, perhaps Slam Dunk, lol).

      I don't think they are contenders yet, but I think if McHale continues to allow JLin to handle the ball as start PG should, the Hardlin combo can compete in a playoff series against the best of them.

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    5. @neph: obviously they dont. :) Lin's weaknesses was also amplified during his run in ny so people are just going to believe that even if it is the contrary especially for knick fans. That is why as what Jlin#1 fans said, the upcoming games would be very important especially those on national tv like against the bulls. Even if Lin performs well, people are still going to be picky about it that is why it is important for Lin to be consistent.
      I still think he needs to be more solid in ball handling. While Lin is more aggressive, I also hope he works on his outside shot. Lin's knee needs to be FULLY recovered . The coach cannot completely rely on Harden all the time so Lin should also work on other areas.

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    6. i dont like making prediction but it wont hurt i guess. depends on the seeding i think the Rockets might get deep in the play-off. They will upset one of the top seed not named OKC or Spurs.

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    7. Don't count out the Clippers and the Grizzlies. If the Rockets manage to get to the playoffs and is matched up against these two teams, then I have strong doubts that they will pull an upset. They are too talented.

      Remember, the Rockets still lack frontcourt talent. Elite teams would be able to shut down the backcourt if they do trap the pnrs. Unless of course Greg Smith plays so well like this every game.

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    8. i really think the rocket season has begun to shift. true, they're a young team battling for the latter end of the playoff spots, but still, once you're in the playoffs it's anyone's opportunity. Doesn't it depend on the health of your team, when the team peaks together, and rising to the occasion? the Rox have big heart. they play competetive basketball throughout each of the games. i'm telling you, i think they will surprise the west.

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    9. Consistency is their biggest challenge.

      Also, I'm still skeptical about their untalented frontcourt.

      Yes they were able to punish the Sixers who have no inside defender. Holiday was not playing (their offense highly depends on him).

      Basketball is about adjustments. After a few games, other teams will explore different options in stopping the Rockets. I'm won't be surprised if they double team the guards in the pnrs forcing the frontcourt to produce more than they are required.

      With Asik's sub par finishing ability and Parsons' recent struggles (or maybe he's just regressing to the mean), they would have a hard time scoring.

      The last two games, the opposing teams played terrible transition defense. In the playoffs (if they even get there), transition opportunities are very rare.

      But the backcourt indeed breaks down the defense so well. Their problem will be if they started to send multiple defenders.

      Too early to tell the future of this team this season.

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    10. Okc and spurs have been playing high level basketball for a few years now. Memphis and clippers are talented but not like okc stacked or spurs well oiled system. Gsw is playing well too. Dlee and the baby faced assassin (does he still go by this nick name?) are around the time when players become great. They also have klay playing well at the sg, especially for a rook. it's still their first year playing this well though, so don't think they are out of reach either. Lakers.... Nash fan here so I'm going to say they will make a push and be tough once he returns (yes I know the idea that a 38 year old can revive a team sounds illogical, but hey gotta have faith in the Canuck two time MVP).

      Agree with be4, think Rox has the potential to surprise in the playoffs.

      Delete
    11. Lol I am as big a Lin fan as anyone here. But Lin and the Rockets have no chance in the playoffs against any top West teams. In fact I doubt if they will even make the playoffs. Teams will eventually load up on Harden and Lin and force Rockets' inexperienced and generally untalanted big men to beat them and I don't think Houston's middle level at best bigs are good enough.

      Delete
    12. they came close to beating SAS. that tells me that they're a serious threat against these quality teams. mind you, this is BEFORE Lin/Harden figured out how to play with each other.

      Delete
    13. I can stand anything but the turnover. Lol....still bothering lin's turn over. Hello, Raymond Felton had bad and many turnovers in some games too. Not just mention raymond Felton, check rondo's every game or harden's game they tend to have more than 3 turnovers a game too. Can they pick anything but the turnover to said??? Even people like me who have no basketball knowledge knows better than them. Oh..I think in first Knicks game with rockets, camelo has 7 turnovers.

      Delete
    14. No way Rockets will even come close to beating top Western Conference contenders such as OKC and SAS. Playoff is an entirely different game played at a different level and tactics in which the opposing teams will stop your team's key players. Harden can be stopped, and Lin, without a consistent long jumpers, will not pose too much threat. Perhaps Rockets can win one game when playing against SAS or OKC. The maximum accomplishment Rockets can hope for is make it to playoffs and give a tough competition during first round of playoffs.

      Another area in which Lin is impressing me is his super fast speed in transition plays -- seems like Lin runs faster with ball. And he is finishing like Parker. If and once Lin improves his jumpers and stop and jump shots, Lin can be a potent offensive weapon and will add to his confidence to take his game to the next level.

      Delete
    15. If they can manage to get to playoff and win one or two games, I think most people will happy and satisfied. Most of you are right. Not undervalue Lin or the rockets but I don't see them able to get pass top teams like okc or spur too.Maybe in the future. There's still chance.

      Delete
    16. I posted before the season started that Lin's Rockets could potentially win 50 games.

      Right now, the Rockets are on course to do that. Lin is playing extremely well and the Rockets are coming together. The better Lin plays, the more responsibility he gets.

      To see how well the Rockets are doing, read the press articles and listen to player interviews from other teams. For example, the Sacramento Kings have a team that's WAY SUPERIOR to Houston in talent and payroll. Yet due to Keith Smart's predictably poor usage of young promising guards in favor of washed up overpaid veterans, the Kings are imploding and complaining in the papers!

      Houston would be a bottom feeder team without Lin, even with James Harden. Lin is very unique in today's NBA in his ability to make ANY player on his team better. I have no doubt that Lin could turn around some of those bottom feeder teams, even with the bad coaches those teams have.

      Delete
    17. I agree with Khuang's analysis here. WIsh other GM's in the league had the guts to truly hand Lin the ball and lead. Maybe his next FA contract...

      Delete
    18. Also, the Rockets are still 3-10 against the West while 10-2 against the East.

      Their last four games:

      Wizards
      Celtics
      Knicks
      76ers

      All from east.

      So, like what the others are saying, the Rockets will really struggle against the tough West.

      Delete
    19. Anytime a Jeremy Lin team takes the floor, two things happen.

      The first is that Lin's teammates are going to play well. Lin knows how to get his teammates going.

      The second thing that happens is that some scrub materializes out of nowhere and starts attacking the yawning gaps on the court created by Lin's presence. Last year it was Steve Novak, this year it's Greg Smith.

      Lin's teammates are gaining confidence and game simply by Lin creating opportunities for them. As the season winds along, the Rockets are getting stronger with each game. They will beat a few Western powerhouse teams en route to the playoffs.

      Delete
    20. yes they can beat some teams in the West but I don't see them having the slightest chance against the likes of OKC, Spurs, Clippers and Grizzlies.

      If Greg Smith can play like this throughout the season, then maybe they can make the playoffs. But their lack of talent in the frontcourt will make it difficult for the backcourt.

      Recently, Parsons is now showing his true self. He's regressing to the mean in my opinion.

      Asik is ok.

      Patterson and Morris are just bench players.

      They have many holes to fill in that frontcourt.

      Delete
    21. To me, the bane of the Rockets is aggressive midrange shotblockers who have the footspeed and court awareness to rotate quickly onto Lin and Harden and also can run wild on offense.

      Thus Houston's nemeses to me are these teams jn this order (toughest matchup first)

      1) Portland (Batum and Aldridge, toughest matchup)
      2) OKC (Ibaka by himself)
      3) San Antonio (Duncan despite his age starting to show)
      4) Miami (Lebron by himself)

      These are the only teams that can really beat Houston consistently, even if Jeremy Lin and James Harden have great games simultaneously.

      I don't consider Memphis a threat because Gasol and Randolph have the court awareness but not the athleticism to shotblock the midrange. Similarly I don't consider LAC a threat either because Griffin and Jordan have the athleticism but not the defensive court awareness.

      What about defense? While the Rockets outside of Lin are susceptible to being beaten by trampoline athletic forwards that can shoot accurate midrange jump shots, they're actually OK in the halfcourt simply because they are young and willing. Once Houston's young players really get in shape, they'll be just fine defensively against anyone.

      Delete
  21. Mike Greenberg ‏@Espngreeny
    We need your feel good sports story of the year 2012. Best ones on the air... #MikeAndMike
    Retweeted by Mike & Mike
    3:15 AM - 20 Dec 12

    Robin Lundberg ‏@robinlundberg
    @Espngreeny Linsanity
    3:34 AM - 20 Dec 12

    Kxxxx Wxxxx™ ‏@xxxxxxxxxx
    @Espngreeny Jeremy Lin going from sleeping on his brother's couch to Linsanity.
    4:21 AM - 20 Dec 12

    Jxxxxx Lafakis ‏@Jxxxxxx
    @Espngreeny In the blink of an eye, Jeremy Lin captured the hearts of millions across the globe.
    4:22 AM - 20 Dec 12

    Cxxxxx Sxxxxxx Cxxxx ‏@cxxxxxxxxxx2
    @Espngreeny it has to be jeremy lin!! A guy sleeping on his brother couch and playing in the dleage, to do what he did, was amazing
    4:23 AM - 20 Dec 12

    Dxxxx Mxxx Sxxxxx ‏@dxxxxxxxxxxx
    @Espngreeny Jeremy Lin. Duh!
    6:06 AM - 20 Dec 12

    Jxxxxx Sxxxx ‏@Jxxxxxx
    @MikeAndMike Jeremy Lin has to be on the list. It was a global story!
    6:11 AM - 20 Dec 12

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  23. nice read here
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1451689-jeremy-lins-struggles-are-told-through-more-than-just-the-basic-stats

    ReplyDelete
  24. This game was a lot closer than the final score reflects. Sixers hung around most of the game and got to within 1 in the 3rd quarter. Greg Smith's 4 baskets in a row and Harden's free throws were the game changers. I really like Smith, he was 5 for 5 from the field including a monster dunk and a pretty baby hook. He always takes good shots. Jeremy showed a lot of quickness and finished fast breaks. Rockets have been much more consistent at home. I see them winning the Memphis game at home by 6.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I can't help but bring up the crusty burned out Micheal "Sugar" Ray comparison again.

    Right now, Lin is playing as well as Sugar did in his prime. They're both big athletic guards who overwhelmed opponents with superior size and athleticism.

    Beating the Knicks in his return to Madison Square Garden is something that Jeremy Lin and Sugar now both share. Like Lin, Sugar was ejected off the Knicks but came back to haunt his former team.

    I've been using Sugar Ray as the template for predicting Lin's career. That'll stop probably next year because Lin is made of far tougher inner stuff than Sugar was. The drugs and high society life will never touch Lin, and thus I am predicting a higher ceiling for Lin than I did for Sugar.

    I am beginning to feel that if Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas could be fused into one guy, the result would be Jeremy Lin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael Ray's prime numbers were like 16+ ppg/ 11+ apg/ 2+ spg.

      I doubt Lin can ever achieve this type's level of numbers but you never know, ha!

      Delete
    2. Oh, I think Lin can easily do BETTER than those numbers!!!

      I also think Micheal Ray himself would've outdone those numbers had he not snorted and partied himself into oblivion.

      Lin now vs Sugar in his prime. Edge, EVEN.

      Delete
    3. In my opinion, burning out with drugs, beautiful women, and high society for an Asian Palo Alto 2%-er kid from Harvard would the ultimate American middle class to riches to the mountain top then back down to earth story. Jeremy will probably not do that, but that would certainly be entertaining.

      Delete
    4. Where's Tigeramus when we need him?

      Lin could have 2 or 3 continents worth of beautiful women if he wanted them.

      Lin can defend better on the NBA court than off it!!!

      Delete
    5. The 11 ast might be difficult but I see him scoring more than 16 ppg in his prime.

      Maybe next season, he'll surpass that scoring average.

      Delete
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      Delete
    7. Gonna be real hard averaging 11 asts without an elite PnR partner and on a team that doesn't take many in the way of midrange shots

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. Thanks for the article.

      "The Knicks are winning, but it's not because they replaced Lin with Felton. It's because the rest of the Knicks are playing well enough to make up for it."

      Props to this writer. Like his work. New Yorker being honest.

      Delete
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      Delete
    3. We all know the Knicks never made an offer to Jeremy to re-sign last year. Could the Knicks have made a lower offer to Jeremy after the Rockets offered 25 million/3 years or was that not an option according the the free agency rules? I'm just wondering if the Knicks offered 20 million/3 years (hometown discount) whether Jeremy would have re-signed with the Knicks. I miss seeing Jeremy play with Tyson Chandler at MSG. I really think the key for Jeremy to have long term success in the NBA is to be paired with a big man who can set picks for him and finish, like Tyson. I really don't see Asik as being that guy.

      Delete
    4. @Smoovies, Greg Smith has the potential to be a Tyson Chandler prototype. We already saw how DHoward can't back him down on defense and offensively his 63%FG shows he can definitely finish well especially compared to Asik. Asik has more natural instinct on defense. Perhaps they can learn from each other.

      In 2-3 years, this young team can be very scary to deal with.

      Delete
    5. to be fair, howard is a terrible post player. he needs to take lessons from zbo and elden campbell. lol.

      Delete
    6. I've criticized Omer Asik more than anyone here, bit I'll also give him a full vote of confidence as the Rockets starting center for the next 3 years!!!

      Asik is playing his position solidly. Lin has gotten Asik the ball more than Asik got it in 3 years besides Derrick Rose. As time winds along, Asik is adding to his game and is getting accustomed to taking and making shots due to Lin's ability to make guys better.

      I still would like to see the Rockets go after Darko Milicic next season. I LOVE Darko's game and feel he would really blossom on Jeremy Lin's team. Unlike Asik and even Greg Smith, Darko can block shots, pass, and make post up moves. Kevin McHale would TRANSFORM Darko into a PLAYER.

      A healthy and committed Darko on this Rockets team would enable the Rockets to go toe to toe with any "battleship" frontcourt.

      Delete
    7. I'm sure Asik will have a decent career in the NBA and get his rebounds, but in terms of a big man complementing Jeremy style, I don't think he is a good pairing. In order for Jeremy's assists and points to go up. He needs a guy he can alley oop to for easy assists and needs someone to set good picks so he can drive the lane for floaters and layups. Last I heard Darko was heading back to play in Europe. Greg Smith is only 21 so he has time to develop. Is there anybody else you see that might be available who can complement Jeremy's game?

      Delete
    8. Yes Smoovies, there is an ex teammate of Lin's out there currently playing in Puerto Rico who would flourish with the Rockets.

      That player is ex Knick Renaldo Balkman.

      Balkman is an excellent high flying athlete and an amazing defensive player. He's a true defensive stopper like a young Shawn Marion who can guard all 5 positions. I'd use Balkman as a midrange defensive stopper and let him float on offense all over the court. Jeremy Lin would find Balkman cherrypicking around the basket and in transition.

      I'd play Balkman 5-15 minutes a game, primarily to check the scoring forwards like Lebron or Ibaka.

      Delete
  27. Smart Guy Wednesday
    [Bill Simmons talks to Zach Lowe]
    0:41:48
    Among ideas thrown around: Trade JLin for Jameer Nelson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL you should have posted Lowe's immediate reply to Simmons' suggestion: "I think Daryl Morey just threw up a little bit."

      Delete
    2. *suggests a trade for jameer nelson for jeremy lin*
      *rationale is that rockets needs a spot up shooter from three more than lin's ball handling*
      *doesn't realise nelson is shooting worse than lin from 3P*
      *is bill simmons*

      Delete
    3. Go easy on the guy. Jameer was a former All-Star. That is no shame being mentioned getting traded staight up for him!

      Delete
    4. I am not going hard on the guy because he insulted Lin or anything - I am perfectly okay with people being hard on Lin, actually, reasonable people can differ on material things - but the fact that he didn't bother to spend 10 seconds to check the stats, and he is a journalist.

      Delete
    5. Never mind Jameer Nelson.

      That rookie Andrew Nicholson? Send him over!

      Glen Davis has just gone done with an injury. I look forward to seeing if Nicholson can produce more with Davis out.

      If Nicholson can get stronger on the block, he'll become a very solid NBA big man.

      Delete
    6. Bill Simmons you idiot. Do some research before you spew s.hit. And shame on you, Zach Lowe for not correcting Bill's ignorance.

      Delete
  28. I still can't believe that Keith Smart insinuated that Jeremy Lin was not an NBA player (and treated Lin like he wasn't one). What an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen A Smith is willing to speak how many people feel in the NBA about Jeremy. Keith Smart isn't as outspoken as Stephen A Smith but they are in the same camp. Besides a tremendous amount of evidence on the contrary, they believe Jeremy doesn't "look" like an NBA player. Oh yeah, what does a NBA player look like?

      Delete
    2. I know. Either dark skin or light skin. No between. And also lots tattoo will do so look like a NBA player.

      Delete
    3. I'm surprised he has a job. I think he's just a filler coach until sac front office gets their act together, then he ll be gone. The maloofs are down on their luck with their casinos and investments. Keith comes cheap for now. On another note, mark Jackson is doing a tremendous job with gsw. I didn't think he would. Didn't sound like he was high on lin either, but he is getting max play from steph curry.

      Delete
    4. Actually, if you listen to SAS' recent "First Take", he sort of changed his tune and now says Lin is a NBA starting PG material but is not a good fit with Melo driven Knicks and maybe actually become a very good player in 2 or 3 years.

      Delete
    5. Sad prolly signed some deal with a Chinese company after talking to some Taiwanese people as reported by some poster here

      Delete
    6. Ha, ha, maybe. I was surprised that he suddenly toned down his attacks on Lin and even complimented him.

      Delete
    7. Wow Lin is winning over SAS, that is something else.

      Being recognized by someone who hates you speaks volume of how far Lin has come.

      On that note he's probably right, but who knows what Melo and Lin could have worked out given time.

      Delete
    8. I don't think SAS is racist, but he is a self-serving punk who's only out for his own self interests. I can't believe he was dumb enough to admit that he hard heard from the Taiwanese reporters he (Steven A Smith) had a lot of fans in Taiwan. I think once he heard that, he probably realized that there might be opportunities for him in Asia, and that he shouldn't speak badly of Jlin. SAS is a grade A scumbag.

      Delete
    9. But I have to admit SAS is very entertaining when he talks; he talks like a black minister preaching his gospel of truth. I mean the way he bullshits is entertaining at least.

      Delete
    10. What? He got fans in Taiwan? Seriously? For what reason? How?

      Delete
    11. What? He got fans in Taiwan? Seriously? For what reason? How?

      Delete
    12. When did Keith Smart insinuate that Lin wasn't a basketball player? Just wondering.

      Delete
    13. I'm shocked that he got fans in Taiwan?? Can anyone clarify this? People in Asia need to be educated!! They should know how most mainstream American are racist!!

      Delete
    14. @JLinisasuperhero:

      Reporters didnt say he had fans in Taiwan. He himself said that he heard he was popular in Taiwan. He thought that it was "love" but being popular doesnt neccesarily mean your are being loved. I think its the opposite of that.

      What he is doing is backpedaling. Now that JLin had some good games he probably came to realise that JLin is not a fluke. Had he been asked three weeks ago - would he havebackpedaled? I dont think so.

      By the end of the season - when JLin will have established himself - SAS will be running out of arguments (not playing enough games, being young, not going left bla bla). He knows - he will end up being the biggest idiot ever.

      That new "JLin is not good for the Knicks" argument - after the Knicks game - can you really say he would not be good for the Knicks? I personally believe JLin and Melo could have made it happen.

      However - whether he is a racist or not - we cant really tell. What we can say is that he made racist or at least - borderline racist comments. IMHO he is like FOX news. They now they talk shit - there is no way they dont know - but they know it serves them well.

      FOX news is known around the world for being the crappiest channel and yet - see how much money they are making. Its the same with SAS. In a society that wants controversy he knows that he will have a job as long as he acts the way he does.

      Delete
    15. About the popularity thing - would we all know SAS if he haldnt trashtalked and bashed JLin? I wouldnt know him...

      Delete
    16. Fox News is "crappy" only to far-left nutjobs. Open your eyes and you'll see it's the liberal mainstream media who put up with and showcase race-baiting loudmouths like SAS in the name of their beloved affirmative action.

      Delete
    17. You are right. Its not like Fox News is especially famous amongst far right christian rednecks who at least own 10 rifles and 20.000 rounds of ammo who wont stop believing that chrismas is under attack - right?

      By the way:

      far left -> punks and communists
      far right -> nazis

      How is it living on bullshit mountain?

      Delete
    18. I'm ethnically Chinese, don't own a single firearm, and I'm one of those Fox News viewers who believe multimillionaires like Jeremy Lin should be allowed to keep as much of their income as possible because success and hard work shouldn't be unfairly penalized.

      How does that make me a Nazi?

      When you are in the same Fox News hating camp as folks like Jason "Asian men have 2-inch d**ks" Whitlock and Rob "cornball brutha" Parker, isn't it time you questioned your own values and worldviews?

      What's worse is that this is a Jeremy Lin fan site, but you never miss a chance to bash Fox News here, thus disrespecting other Lin fans who don't share your political views.

      For all the flak that the so-called Christian extremists catch, it's always, always, always the leftists who go around looking for fights.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  30. It's funny that Celtics and Knicks lost to Rockets, when it was Rondo and JR Smith making claims about beating them:

    Rondo was pretty respectful: "We plan on beating the Rockets pretty bad this year and hopefully I have something to do with it." Eventually, people took this out of context and made it sound worse than what it was in a bunch of other articles.

    http://blognbasketball.com/2012/09/translating-the-talk-rondo-vs-lin/

    (I found the original quote somewhere else).

    And J.R. Smith said he'd kick Jeremy Lin's ass.

    http://www.rantsports.com/nba/2012/09/17/j-r-smith-im-going-to-kick-lins-ass/

    Meanwhile, Lebron James was very respectful of Lin, saying he was a very good player shortly before the season started. And then the Heat won. There's a lesson to be learned here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I thought Rondo was respectful because the full quote was,

      "It’s a different season,” says Rondo. “He’s going to be in all the scouting reports. I’m sure he’s up for the challenge as well. He’s played against the best so he knows.”

      "I hope he has success with the Rockets, except against the Celtics. We plan on beating the Rockets pretty bad this year and hopefully I have something to do with it."

      I shouldn't take his quote out of context either!

      Delete
    2. I remember years ago when a team (Indiana, I think) left a scouting report in the Jazz arena by accident.

      The report was totally SCATHING.

      It said that Carlos Boozer was lazy and bad on defense, that the other players were a bunch of scrubs, that Deron Williams was the best player and had no weaknesses. That was a formally prepared scouting report that was leaked to the media.

      Not one comment was made by the Jazz or their players.

      Why? Because ALL NBA teams, including Lin's Rockets, talk trash about each other's players behind closed doors. Lin's probably added some of his own junk to the pile.

      In the NBA, talk means nothing. Production is everything.

      Delete
    3. "Meanwhile, Lebron James was very respectful of Lin, saying he was a very good player shortly before the season started..."
      - True, he was. :)


      Not bad for PR too.

      Delete
    4. Never liked JR Smith, even when Lin was with Knicks. dude got "thug here.." written all over his face. karma bit his butt and Rockets kicked Knicks arse - TWICE!

      Delete
  31. Al Iannazzone ‏@Al_Iannazzone
    Jeremy Lin not only spoiled the Knicks' shot at perfection at home; he derailed Mike Woodson’s hope that the Knicks would be 22-5 by Sunday night.
    5:11 PM - 20 Dec 12

    ReplyDelete
  32. coffeetime has super long and awesome Lin highlights too.

    Lin - HOU vs Knicks
    http://youtu.be/nq2SKNxOToQ

    Lin - HOU vs Sixers
    http://youtu.be/D7yevQa2PBU

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rockets at Knicks: Can McHale Make Lin & Harden Work?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3FTAWs3dy1g#!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a great on target review of the status of both teams. Someone should tweet this link to McHale lol
      Thanks for the link Gene.

      Delete
  34. Replies
    1. Thanks @via. I've been wanting to hear some other opinions on our defense.

      Keep up the stellar work. You're worth every penny, and more! ;)

      Delete
    2. Glad to contribute some info [to go with all the great posts/ original content on this board.] :)

      Delete
  35. JLin signing autographs @ Rockets Season Ticket Holder Holiday Party [Toyota Center]

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think mama and papa lin should come to watch JLin's games more often. When they sat in for the Knicks and this Sixers game, they won. Maybe sitting in the audience also puts pressure on the Houston coaching staff to let Jlin play more :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JLin said he always plays better when his mother is there watching.

      I personaly think that the Lins should always sit close to McHale. If McHale does somethin mama Lin doesnt like she can take him down imediately.

      Delete
    2. omg the last thing i want are newspaper reports about stereotypical overly pushy asian mothers in the nba lol

      Delete
  37. Just some random thoughts:
    1. when Jeremy is in command, every player is in full alert, b/c they know if they are open, most likely Jeremy will find them, or direct the one holding the ball to them (there was one case in this game where Jeremy directed MM to pass to Parsons, who was wide open, and Parsons nailed that 3 ptr). Harden is a great player and very valuable to this team, but a lot of time when he had the ball, everyone just stood there watching.

    2. the 2 times when Rockets played against NYK, I saw Lin hugged Novak, Shump, Tyson, even Melo and assistant coaches, but I never saw he and JR do so. I wonder if JR felt too guilty (or maybe too embarrassed) to face Jeremy after all those trash talks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 2nd game in NY, I didn't see Lin hug Shumpert...did he?

      Delete
    2. Oh, yeah. I didn't see Shump in court, though, maybe he didn't show up.

      Delete
    3. JR is a thug who feels no guilt for his jealousy about JLin's contract and the trash talks to JLin.

      Delete
    4. Shump was there. How can you guys not see a guy with a gigantic flat top? :)

      JLin is no fool. He is always nice and respectful but not overly repsectful. He said so during that taiwanese interview when asked about his fistbump with Kobe.

      I think if he meets people he greets them. But he doesnt go searching for them or so. I wouldnt interprete too much into that.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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