Friday, January 11, 2013

Rockets @ Celtics Game #37 Post Game Thread



    1) Jeremy was superb all-around.

    2) Everyone else stunk. Really stunk.

    3) McHale has no idea what the hell he's doing.

    Microcosm of tonight game's: Jeremy pokes the ball loose with great defense...his teammates stand around and watch the Celtics get it back.

    1. That's pretty much the microcosm for the whole season thus far. Most starters on this team only part time hustle except when in iso or in stat pad mode.

  2. Sad to watch Rox lost again, besides missing FTs, we got beaten in the paint. Hopefully, it will be better

  3. Take a look Rondo and KD, why nobody screen for Lin in Rox team. The Rox may need to get Tyson Chandler for Lin.

    1. Lin always leave a larger room for his defenders, I do not understand why, I mean, once the screen is set, it is down to the guy who has the ball to decide how to use it.

  4. This is by no means a good game for JLin. Although JLin didn't turn the ball over once, he lacked the offensive thrust. If Harden is not doing well, JLin going 4/9 as the second best player isn't going to cut it. Although it was difficult to attack the basket, as a point guard JLin needs to find creative ways to score and own the offense. Maybe at this juncture in his career, it's probably asking too much. We talk about impact players. JLin did his part, but he didn't impact the game. He played with the same gear the entire night. On defense, he was solid but he could have showed a little more intensity in the 2nd half. He could have pressed Rondo and ruffle his feathers a bit.

    This is a game JLin could have taken over because Harden wasn't doing well but he didn't. Oh well, on to the next.

    1. Even the guy who calls the game said Lin can not guard Rondo..

    2. What's the problem for those who blame McHale for not playing JLin earlier in the 4th? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. TD came in and changed the momentum with his defensive intensity and McHale stuck with it. If there's an issue wit that, I can only see that maybe McHale should have started JLin in the 4th along with TD and let Harden sit. However, JLin wasn't really effective offensively, so is Harden, but the Rockets at that point needed scoring more than anything. So do you sit Harden or JLin? The answer is obvious, JLin. If JLin had been better offensively, McHale probably would have sat Harden and started JLin and TD in the 4th.

    3. He seems ok taking a backseat. He need a little ego to succeed. why is he so passive and seem reluctant to create his own offence? is it the coaching instruction or mentality problem?

    4. The guy that called the game is bias. I think JLin can guard Rondo, but JLin needed to pick up the intensity and press up against Rondo to try and force a turn over in the 2nd half. JLin sometimes needs to play at a different pace. He's seems to play with the same intensity/pace the entire game. This is something he must learn. When you're down, you can't play off your man and allow them to blow by you. As a result, you put pressure on the big because he has to help out on Rondo. JLin was doing this towards the end of the game. He gave Rondo too much space to operate and Rondo ran pass him breaking the Rockets defense down.

    5. It could also be argued that Lin's ability as a scorer is being underutilized since Harden is the only ISO option that McHale runs

    6. @bmzll, when JLin don't shoot well and can only attack, there's really not much he can do, especially when the perimeter shots aren't falling the defenders will pack the paint preventing penetration. This is why JLin's offense was ineffective today. When his teammates's shots are falling, it opens up the driving lanes allowing JLin to attack, but they weren't making it today. Jlin needs to find more ways to score. JLin is limited to either attacking the basket in a straight line or shooting 3s, and once in a blue moon a mid-range or two. JLin should find creative ways to score in the block.

    7. rather than micro-scoping his game. don't you think it's his personality and him trying to be a good christian on the court that are holding him back??

      if u heard his testimony in Taiwan, he mentioned that he was struggling with pride and how he worried about his stats during Linsanity. He said this season he's going to be more selfless and serve his teammates. Well he's living up to his words alright and sacrificing himself instead. The sad thing is no one even care and he ended up hurting himself.

    8. i agree with both you @Racha @bmzll but @slash29 ha a point : it could be McHale's instructions to pass the ball to Harden even when he's cold, and all offense run through Harden.

    9. slash29, JLin could have taken over today really, but he couldn't. I won't blame it squrely on JLin becuase there are issues with the bigs. Asik, Morris, and Patterson can't provide the proper picks. JLin thrives in pick and rolls and none of these fools can run it right. It's either a moving pick or they can't screen right. It's really hurting the Rockets, Morey seriously need to make a move in Feb before the deadline.

    10. Racha, my opinion is that Lin has the ability to take over every game because he has the elite skill to get into the lane every game off the dribble or PnR... but not in McHale's game plan

    11. I don't know if JLin has elite skills, but give him a good big like Tyson Chandler and he will pnr you to death.

    12. If we're talking about elite skills, Lebron, Kobe, Paul, and Durant, to name a few those guys have elite skills.

    13. LIN played WELL today. He was the only one holding together for three quarters until Harden and that group got it kicked into gear. Like the San Antonio game, McHale needs to recognize that if you put LIN in when game is on the line he will come through more often than not. Its when hes at his best. McHale should have found a way to get him on the floor with at least 6 minutes in the game. And I think he should come as early as 8 with LIN in 4th. Sitting him for 6-8 minutes of the 4th is disaster for him and the team. Who can get a rhthym, particularly when you know the last 4 minutes will be Harden hero ball anyway ...

    14. We ll never know since Harden is the goto guy in the 4th quarter in McHale's system, that's how we've been winning. McHale not about to change it up unless we go on a losing streak.

    15. @Racha:

      JLin is playing consistent right now. Thats what a PG is supposed to do. Thats what they are asking of him. You fantasise about Lin stepping up here, doing more there, working Rondo closer but how do you know this would work at all? How do you know it would not result in foul calls? Rondo is no scrub and even sport commentators said Lin played well (forget the anouncers).

      Its not a playstation game dude. The team has a gameplan and they have to stick with it. Its not just Lin - all the other guys (and the coaches) must do their part as well.

      Hardens D was not existent - and the oppoents are starting to exploit that. He is great on offense - sometimes - but havent you noticed there are times when he is nothing but dead wood? Im beginning to think that Harden is starting to wear out. Asik missing almost all his fts...???

      I really dont know what your problem is but you always seem to find a way to nag about Lins performance.

      "This is a game JLin could have taken over because Harden wasn't doing well but he didn't. Oh well, on to the next."

      How do you explain that you parden Hardens bad performance while you pick on Lin? Lins no superman. Gameplan, coaches, asigned roles, coaches yelling at him, benching him for not doing what they told him to do...

      Rox have made it clear that its Hardens team - not Lins. So - I dont mind Lin doing his thing. This way they only get a chance to realise what Lin is all about. GIVE HIM THE BALL!

    16. @willy,

      I think you are too harsh on @Racha on the nagging part. I don't think that is nagging. I think that is wishing. We are all(most of us) are Lin fans here. We are not going to criticize Harden on his below average performance, we don't really care how he performs. We all wish Lin to show off his skill. The perfect time is show some Linsanity is when the "Go To" guy couldn't do it. That is what we want to see. We all hope some how when McHale put Lin back in (which was kind of late), he can perform like a superman and save the day. That is what Lin fans want to show the world that Lin is the hero of this team. When no one step up to it, Lin will. May be we are in fantasy land to think that way but if it happens, it will really make us(Lin fans) very happy. Like the SA game that he showed what he can do.

  5. This rough stretch of games in January could be a blessing in disguise:

    1. If Jeremy can hit those three's consistently, he's going to gain the trust of his teammates and coaches to score more points and stay on the floor. He's already showing he's a better defender than TD to me. The coaches are bring TD for his hustle and pick-up in pace since TD only plays 15 - 20 min. a game

    2. If more teams are adjusting to our offense, McHale has no choice but to adjust our offense in order to score more points. Since we already run a high paced offense, shoot more threes, lead the league or top of the league in transition offense, there's really not much else McHale can do but to run more PnR on our offense to create points or make plays for our bigs.

    3. This is going to take time, ROX will need on court practice time to make their adjustments for 2nd half of the season

  6. McHale is a lazy coach who doesn't care much about low post games and relies too much on 3 point shooting and hero ball . he's a HoF 4, but he doesn't seem to teach his moves to the Rockets bigs. seems to me he's just waiting for a household PF to land the Rockets roster and let the guy take it from there. this is the same McHale whom Barkley said gave him nightmares on the offense and defense. Asik, Morris, and PP got good stats because Jeremy knows how to run PnR with the bigs, same as he did with Tyson during Knicks.

    1. McHale TRIED to teach his moves, but those guys have NO TALENT.

      No amount of teaching will help if the talent is not there.

    2. IDK KHuang...Greg's a raw talent. teachable if only someone dedicated to shaping him up could do so.

    3. Greg Smith has no defensive awareness and loses his man countless time. Don't let his offense fool you. There is a reason he does not get more playing time. The only D they guy knows to play is to foul. Someone who averages 6 fouls per 36 minutes can't be on the court long.

    4. Greg is a defense neophyte but is not more of a defensive liability than any other big on the Rockets now. But, he's got major upside. For one thing, he doesn't clog up the driving lane like Asik does. Notice, after the second half (that's when I started watching the game), Lin and Harden hardly drove to the hole during this game whenever Asik is on the court.

      And, notice that Jeremy was trying to box out the Boston bigs as the Rocket's bigs weren't doing so.

  7. For anyone interested,

    Live streaming on right now for Joy Dunk Club Episode 2 (Jeremy Lin google hangout talk show).

  8. Rockets are at 8th(tie 21-16 with Nuggets) spot of the western conference after losing this game.

    1. if Trailblazers win this one vs Warriors, will Rockets slide?

    2. They're now at 6th spot already... ((:

    3. It's gonna be tight. The Rockets needs to pick it up, they're playing like crap. Asik is a bench player and always will be. He's crap.

    4. Well GSW doing a number on them so far. Hopefully Portland will take a loss.

      I don't expect Rox to win tomorrow tho, only saving grace is Jazz is 2.5 games behind.

    5. I want the Rockets to be in the playoff because they're worthy of being in, not at the expense of other teams not playing well.

    6. my early season prediction was Rockets might be tied with Nuggets... seems like it might happen for real

    7. What a drop! Hope blazer lost.

    8. @Racha: I actually dont think the Rockets are worthy of being in the playoffs. I hate to say it but our wins may have come from teams known for defense (bulls, celtics and memphis) however their D on the Rox team was uncharastically bad. If you look at how the bulls and celtics played with the knicks you would realise their intensity is so much higher when they played ny. I am not discrediting the Roc team but in the playoffs they have to play defense. This team has no experience except harden and if they get cold feet and start bricking at least they can rely on defense. Our backcourt can score but the way they score is limited.

    9. @mint:

      Sometimes you win by an inch - sometimes you win by a mile. Anyway - winning is winning. You say Rox won against some teams who had a bad day. Same argument goes for the Rox. They lost some games on bad days (bad shooting, bad refs, bad whatever).

      Point is -> if they make it into the playoffs - they obviously have deserved it. If they dont -> they didnt.

  9. I have to laugh at the Rockets fans' bball knowledge. They think Parsons is their 2nd best player and a superior player to Lin lol. What does Parsons have on Lin? The green light to jack up more shots? His crap D? Or his shaky handle and endless TOs?

    1. his gorgeous face lol. he's more good looking than Lin

    2. discerning Jeremy fans won't get fooled by good looks

    3. another ball hog who only cares about padding his stats

  10. Lin is having a good game then he got benched again... wonder how he felt or what he was thinking because this is the first time he tweeted during a game!

    Oops just checked it, he deleted the tweet already...

    1. yeah saw that too, and I thought cellphones should be kept in lockers during game time

    2. What did ge tweets?

    3. he tweeted #NBAGameTime. just a hashtag.

    4. I mean he. G is next to h. Lol.

    5. Just that? Tweet it during benching time maybe?

    6. yeah but according to Jason:

      bobfinn ‏@bobfinn33
      @Jonathan_Feigen @JasonCFriedman Why is Jeremy Lin tweeting during the game?

      Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
      @bobfinn33 @Jonathan_Feigen He's not, obviously. I'm guessing it's an accidental tweet from his social media person.

    7. I guess so. It seems not something like jlin will do during game

    8. McHale should have kept Lin in with the B team. Sad to say it but Lin has better synergy with the B team. Asik kills the drive and Harden kills the momentum. I hope McHale would stagger the minutes in a way that Asik and Lin doesn't play together and try to minimize the minutes Harden and Lin plays together.

  11. Howard Chen ‏@ho_chenCSN
    Lookin at the Rockets' nxt opponent, the Sixers... they've lost 13 of their last 16, including their last 5. #strugglin #RedNation

    Jonathan Feigen ‏@Jonathan_Feigen
    Rest of those numbers -- usual free throw %, etc. -- hold up. Can't win often w/ 17 missed fts, missed corner 3s. Would've stole win if had.

    Jonathan Feigen ‏@Jonathan_Feigen
    If Rockets hit usual ft % (theoretically) would've scored 104 pts. Lost 103-91. They're 1-8 when scoring 96 or less; 17-6 when over 100.

    Jonathan Feigen ‏@Jonathan_Feigen
    Kevin Garnett is such an NBA icon, goaltending is permitted. He's got away with two so far.

    Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    Rockets rallied and then the defense disappeared again. Absolutely right call to go with Smith over Asik, but Rox D sans Omer just not good.

    1. Lol how would you have fluent offense when you have non PGs like Harden, TD, Parson running the show?

  12. Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    Storylines don't get much simpler than this. Rox couldn't shoot FTs; shot themselves in foot as result. Cs win 103-91.See you tmrw in Philly

    1. We've found via's successor! Kudos to IsabeliJane!

    2. nah Via is still a better researcher...

    3. Great job, IsabeliJane! via would have been proud :)

      Asik and GSmith are a combined 1-12 FT. smh
      Lin and Harden were also missing FTs (3-5 and 4-7)
      That's the ball game there.

      I wonder if Asik has hit the rookie wall after playing 37 games as a starter.
      McHale should lock the team for 1 hr and practice free-throws.

    4. @IsabeliJane

      "nah Via is still a better researcher..."

      Don't sell yourself short. Your kung fu will grow.

  13. Welcome isabeliJane keepvup the good work...

  14. Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    And for what it's worth: Fourth quarter has been Celtics worst quarter this season by far. Cs are -50 for season in 4Q.

    Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    McHale just incredulous at mental mistakes being made right now. Rockets falling asleep on D repeatedly, Cs lead balloons to 10.

    Long Lam ‏@LongLiveTheLam
    Losing always puts me in a shitty mood. Gotta bounce back tmrw night.

  15. Celtics Town@CelticsTown
    Sully. RT @SteveBHoop: Rockets go on 12-0 run after Sullinger leaves game with his fifth foul.

    Jonathan Feigen ‏@Jonathan_Feigen
    Harden got away with a small shove of Sullinger after the foul. Not much, but a rare sign of some frustration.

    Jonathan Feigen ‏@Jonathan_Feigen
    Rockets hanging around, down 14 as head to line. Have 7 double-digit comebacks, but tough to see lighting up from arc; 5 of 21 on 3s so far.

  16. Celtics Hold Harden In Check

    Thanks in large part to Avery Bradley, the Celtics held James Harden to a modest 24 points in Friday night's 103-91 victory. It stopped the guard's team-record 14-game streak with at least 25 points. Here's where he ranks:

    Years Player Games
    2012-13 James Harden 14
    1981-82 Moses Malone 13
    1968-69 Elvin Hayes 12

  17. When McHale FINALLY subbed out Asik and Morris for Smith and Patterson late in the third, the Rockets finally got some momentum going. That's when Jeremy started driving into the lanes as Asik is no long there clogging it up. Too bad just when Lin was getting warmed up then McHale subbed Lin out for Douglas. McHale should have rested Harden a bit instead.

  18. The Celtics scored 20 points in transition Friday, including 7 points from Courtney Lee on 3-of-3 shooting. This was their most efficient performance in transition this season, averaging 1.67 points per play. Entering the game, Boston was averaging 1.07 points per play in transition, ranked 23rd in the league. [+]

    NEXT LEVEL: Jared Sullinger scored 14 points (six second-chance pts) and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Celtics win over the Rockets Friday. Sullinger is averaging a double-double (10.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game) during the Celtics five-game winning streak, where they have outscored opponents by an average of 23 points per 48 minutes with Sullinger on the court. [+]

    The Celtics outscored the Rockets by 11 points with Sullinger on the court in the first half. Over its four-game winning streak, Boston has outscored opponents by 26 points per 48 minutes with Sullinger on the court, while being outscored by nine points per 48 minutes with him off.

  19. I hate Rockets fans, so ignorant.

    TD at it again! The coaching staff just love him!

  20. "We wanted to control the tempo, but they got the shots they wanted and we didn't make them uncomfortable enough."
    -- Jeremy Lin

  21. I think we need something positive.

    9:30 left in the second, Lin takes it down the right, passes to PPat at the top of the key who passes it back, Lin curls under basket to the left and dribbles just inside arc... rest of team backs away giving Lin the ISO. He takes a no hesitation mid-range jumper and makes!

    There was 10 seconds left on the shot clock, so no clock pressure there. The team respected the position, or *gasp* it was a play called for him? And a mid range shot to boot?

    Yes, I hate ISO, but this is good news. Unless you think he openly defied his coach, maybe there isn't a moratorium on him after all.

  22. "Little things" help Celtics beat Rockets for fifth straight win

    Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked Friday night to point to reasons his team has won five straight games.
    "I think there's a lot of little things," Rivers said after Boston defeated the Houston Rockets 103-91. "We've decided to defend as a group, full-time, and stay committed to it. Avery's (Bradley) return (from shoulder surgery) has helped, the second unit now (is) a second unit -- Jet's (Jason Terry) not in the first unit, or Courtney (Lee), it's solidified who the second unit is.
    "Now, when we practice, that group's always together, so I think there's a lot of little things to it."
    Wednesday night, the bench outscored the starters 47-40 in a win over Phoenix. Friday night, the bench, again led by rookie Jared Sullinger, was again a key, totaling 40 points.
    Wednesday, the Celtics were hit by a 17-0 run in the second half and had to escape against the Suns. Friday night, in the second game of a season-long five-game homestand, they were up by 17 in the third quarter and by 14 in the fourth before a 12-0 Houston run cut it to two.
    But Paul Pierce, allowed plenty of rest because of the play of the bench, hit a tough jumper to trigger an 11-2 run that included an old-fashioned 3-point play by Pierce with 5:57 left. That gave the Celtics a 10-point lead and three consecutive Kevin Garnett baskets broke it wide open; Garnett also the beneficiary of proper rest.
    In short, it all seems to be working, something noticed by former Celtics star and current Rockets coach Kevin McHale, whose new team beat his old team in Houston last month.

    1. "They're playing crisper, they're moving the ball better and they have a little swagger about them," McHale said. "They're really playing much better basketball than they were just two weeks ago. I don't know if it was Bradley coming back and he's fully healthy now, I don't know? They are just a better basketball team now."
      The Celtics are also playing defense, Friday night holding the league's top scoring team to 91 and allowing the five opponents in the streak 84.4 points per game. Bradley returned a game before the streak began.
      Pierce, playing 29 minutes, led the Celtics with 23 points and six rebounds, while Garnett had 17 and seven boards and Rajon Rondo 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Those were the starters; Sullinger, averaging 10.2 rebounds the past five games, had his second straight double-double (third of the season) with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Lee also had 14 points.
      With Bradley leading the way on defense, the Celtics guards helped end James Harden's streak of 14 straight 25-point games, a run that started after he failed to get 25 against Boston last month. Harden scored 24 points Friday night but was just 9 for 19 from the floor, 2 for 8 from 3-point range.
      Chandler Parsons had 18 points and Harvard product Jeremy Lin 12 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Rockets, who killed themselves by going what McHale called "a stunning 12 for 29 from the foul line," and 9 for 33 from 3-point range.

  23. Big man Omer Asik had 11 rebounds for Houston, but was just 1 for 8 from the foul line. He had the first two baskets of the game and Rivers made it clear to his players to send Asik to the line, where he came in at 54 percent.
    Houston lost its second straight after a five-game winning streak.
    After the Celtics led by three at the end of the first quarter (with the help of Houston going 1 for 6 from the foul line), the bench was responsible for blowing the game open in the second quarter. Sullinger had eight points and five rebounds, Lee and Jason Terry hit 3-pointer and Jeff Green scored six points.
    The lead was eight at the break and the Celtics came out with nine straight points, the first eight by Pierce, one more than he had in the first half. The lead was 17 when the Rockets scored seven straight points, but Houston couldn't get it any closer in the quarter. Then came the rally in the fourth.

    1. IsabeliJane ... are you some type of bot? ... thanks for all the factual data. But how about a comment to prove you are human.

    2. hi 10/10.. I'm a human fangirl who loves cartoons, anime and Jeremy Lin... lol

    3. Anime fan here too. Was watching Chihayafuru season 2 episode 1 during the half time break.

    4. Hi Isabeli! Glad to know you are human! ... but wait could these answers have been programmed?! hmmmm... :)

    5. nope ;) just filling up for my boss Via until she's back

  24. Celtics had eyes on Parsons
    Chandler Parsons thought he would be drafted by the Celtics, who are coached by longtime family friend Doc Rivers. Parson instead slipped to the Rockets in the second round.

    Rivers still got a chance to gloat recently at a Rivers family dinner.

    Rivers long thought Parsons would be an NBA success while others in the family predicted greater things for Nick Calathes, a Florida teammate now in the Russian League.

    “I actually brought it up at the table three or four weeks ago,” Rivers said. “It was hard for them to say, but they had to say I was right. That was a good moment because that’s a rarity.

    “He (Parsons) had a great workout (with the Celtics.) Obviously, I was always high on him. That’s all I’m going to say.

    “He had size, shot and he’s athletic. He didn’t shoot well at Florida, but I watched him shoot his whole life, and he’s a great shooter.”

  25. Rockets misfire from free-throw line, 3-point arc in loss to Celtics

    There are a few shots the Rockets prefer to corner 3-pointers and free throws. The euro step fast break James Harden completed in the fourth quarter and the breakaway slam Chandler Parsons finished moments later leap to mind.

    But the Rockets’ problem was not getting the shots they want most. They got their shots and missed them.

    The Rockets had dug their way into the familiar double-digit hole, but this was different. They took care of the ball, passed it well and hit the boards well enough. But the Rockets had spent their margin for error long before they made their fourth-quarter run.

    After spending the night shooting nothing as well as they shot themselves in the foot, the Rockets’ rally ended 7½ minutes too soon and did little more than awaken the Boston Celtics, who took over down the stretch to brush aside the misfiring Rockets 103-91 on Friday night at TD Garden.

    The Rockets had little doubt what went wrong.

    “We missed,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said in the most concise and accurate description possible. “We had a lot of corner 3s we have to shoot. We were 9-of-33 on 3s and a stunning 12-of-29 from the line. For us, for our team and how we have to play, we’re going to have to make some shots. We missed way too many free throws.”

    1. The Rockets made just 41.4 percent of their free throws, by far their worst shooting from the line of the season.

      The horrid free-throw shooting — even with the 12-0 fourth-quarter run — was too much to overcome. Making 75.3 percent of their free throws, the Rockets rank 15th in the NBA. Had they made their usual percentage, they would have been on pace to score 104 points. They are 17-6 this season when they top 100; just 1-8 when scoring 96 or fewer points.

      “It’s like we dug ourselves a little hole and spent a lot of energy coming back,” said Jeremy Lin, who had 12 points and six assists without a turnover. “There were a lot of fouls and our foul shooting was terrible. Those things combined — a lot of fouls and you’re not hitting your free throws — we don’t have the ability to get the rhythm we normally get.

      “Actually, we had a lot of good shots today, to be honest. We had a lot of good, open looks that we normally hit. We just did not hit. You need to hit shots to win.”

      Harden’s streak ends
      James Harden finished with 24 points, ending his streak of games with at least 25 at 14. Parsons had 18 points. But the Rockets’ offense never sustained a roll, thwarted by missed 3s and free throws.
      The Rockets don’t have a lot of ways to win. Most involve scoring.

      In New Orleans on Wednesday, they didn’t move themselves or the ball well and spent much of the night turning it over. A 10-point fourth quarter sealed the deal.

      In Boston, they took care of the ball and moved it to open shots or attempts the Celtics had to stop with fouls, committing more (29) than any team had against the Rockets this season. The Rockets even ran well, scoring 24 points on the break, making nine of 12 fast-break shots.

      They made their run in the fourth quarter when McHale went with his small lineup — with Parsons and Carlos Delfino at the forwards. Both hit 3-pointers. Greg Smith scored inside. Harden and Parsons finished breaks. With a 12-0 run, the Rockets were within two points with 7:23 left.

      But Boston had Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who had seen a few runs before and had seen enough. With the game on the line, they took it over. In a four-minute span after the Rockets’ run, the Celtics outscored them 15-3, scoring on seven of nine possessions to ice the game.

      Losing formula
      “They’ve been there before,” Parsons said. “It’s tough to get down that much to a team of that caliber. When you miss that many free throws … it adds up to us probably not winning a game.”

  26. McHale on thrash talking and Kevin Garnett:

    Rockets coach Kevin McHale defended Celtics forward Kevin Garnett for his role in the altercation this week with Carmelo Anthony. But McHale did not cite his seasons with Garnett in Minnesota as much as his own years as a star power forward.

    Perhaps inspired to reminisce with his return to Boston, McHale offer a rare ‘in-my-day” outlook on trash talk and the current reaction to it, including Anthony’s. Anthony later confronted Garnett and was suspended for Thursday’s game.

    “So some guy says, “I’m going to kick your read end” or “What have you got” or ‘You can’t guard me,” all of a sudden in our politically correct world, that’s bad?” McHale asked. “If you heard half the stuff we used to say. I chuckle at that. Look, the guy is a competitor. So he says “I’m going to kick your butt.” Here’s the thing, ‘Tell him no you’re not’ and go out and play against him. If that’s the only thing you got, go out there and whip his butt if you don’t like it. Whip his butt on the basketball floor.

    “None of our guys are fighters, believe me. Just go out and play basketball. The rest of that stuff is absolutely silly. So he talked some smack. Big deal. Everybody talked smack.”

    McHale, Garnett go way back
    Having played against Kevin McHale and coached McHale’s protégé Kevin Garnett, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said they have little in common other than their position and first name.

    “We laugh about it now,” Rivers said. “He (McHale) joked around half the time and ended up with 30 points and 20 rebounds. He would always ask me, ‘When are you trapping. I just want to know so I can shoot it quicker.’ He was a fun-loving, great player.

    “He and (Hakeem) Olajuwon, as far as footwork, are as good as we’ve ever seen.”

    McHale said he taught Garnett what he could, but not everything sunk in.

    “He had such a unique skill set,” McHale said. “We worked on some fadeaways. We worked on some post stuff. Especially when teams got more physical … we worked on positioning. He was such a great high-post passer, low-post passer. He’s going to get 25,000 points before it’s over and he’s a pass-first player, which is amazing.

    “I did not pass. He did not get that from me. I told him ‘pass’ was a four-letter word.”

    1. Ahh this explains a lot, now I know why Lin never sees the ball back.

      Pass is a four letter word hahahahaha...

  27. IsabeliJane are you the next coming of Via???? Love your post n insiders info n input keep up the good work.... : )

    1. nope.. just doing my best I can for this forum. via is still the beast in researching.

    2. @IsabeliJane,
      Your kung fu is growing at an exponential rate!!!

    3. Wow lots to read, thanks IsabeliJane!

    4. @janelin7 - hahaha cue in Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting"

  28. IsabeliJane are you the next coming of Via???? Love your post n insiders info n input keep up the good work.... : )

  29. Rockets at Celtics from

    While Boston's core of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo remains one of the more prominent in the game, the Celtics are proving to be much more than a three-man show.

    Boston tries to extend its season-high winning streak to five Friday night against the visiting Houston Rockets, who found themselves in a similar stretch before a disappointing loss their last time out.

    Since dropping a season-worst four in a row, the Celtics (18-17) have strung together four consecutive victories while giving up 82.8 points per game. That defensive prowess was on full display Wednesday in an 87-79 win over Phoenix, which was limited to 39.3 percent shooting and committed 16 turnovers.

    Boston, though, also struggled to get much going offensively and managed just 34 points in the second half. Jeff Green, Jason Terry and rookie Jared Sullinger combined for 39 points as the bench carried the offense, scoring 47 points on 59.4 percent shooting, compared to 40 and 36.7 from the starters.

    "We just gotta keep defending the way we're defending. Keep doing what we're doing, but getting better at it," coach Doc Rivers said. "(Wednesday) night, we won the game but I didn't necessarily think we played great. ... Our starters have to be better every night, not just the bench."

    Sullinger in particular has given Boston a huge boost of late. The former Ohio State standout, listed at 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds, grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds Wednesday and leads the team with 14.4 boards per 48 minutes. He's also scored in double figures in five of his last nine games.

    "Obviously his timing, body positioning. He has the perfect body for rebounding," Garnett told the Celtics' official website. "He can take the pounding and bump a little bit and he has great anticipation when it comes to the ball, and he has great hands. Put all that in the pot, you got Jared Sullinger. That's what makes him great."

    Sullinger now looks to keep things going against a Rockets team that's taken four of five in this series - including a 101-89 victory Dec. 14. Pierce, who scored 18 points on 5-of-18 shooting in that game, has gone 21 for 61 (34.4 percent) from the field in his last four matchups against Houston (21-15).

    The Rockets entered Wednesday having won five straight and 10 of 12 before coming up well short of their league-leading scoring average of 106.0 in an 88-79 loss at New Orleans. They're still in sixth place in the Western Conference and on pace for their most wins since 2008-09, the franchise's last playoff team.

    "I think the energy that James Harden has brought to the team and city, has really enthused them," Pierce said. "A lot of people think they're overachieving, but they're right there with some of the better teams in the Western Conference."

    Against the Hornets, Houston, which gave up 16 offensive boards, took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter but was outscored 29-10 over the final 12 minutes. It was 4 of 19 (21.1 percent) in the fourth - its worst-shooting period of the season.

    "Any time a team gets that many offensive rebounds it's going to be hard to run," Rockets coach and former Celtics star Kevin McHale said. "We were not sharp. We couldn't get anything going in that fourth quarter and it just ballooned from there."

    Harden was the only player to reach double figures with 25 points, but he committed a career worst-tying seven of the team's 23 turnovers. He had 21 points on 6-of-17 shooting against the Celtics last month.

    Houston, which finished with its fewest points of the season Wednesday, has gone 3-9 when scoring 98 points or fewer.

  30. How Houston rank week after week, from training camp until week 10:

    Week 10

    What gets the Rockets through all of the Royce White drama? I'm guessing it's the fact that James Harden, after that ridiculous start of his, is somehow on even more of a roll now, having scored at least 25 points in 12 straight games to move within one of Moses Malone

    Week 9
    James Harden has been living at the line as a nightly threat to score in the 30s all month, but routs absorbed in both OKC and Houston suggest that the Rockets -- as much as they'd love to make the playoffs -- would be best served avoiding the Thunder in Round 1 if they can at all help it.

    Week 8
    Since a frustrating loss at Toronto on Dec. 16, James Harden's Rockets have played about as well as they can play, ripping through the Knicks, Sixers and Griz and improving to 7-1 when Harden scores 30 or more. Beardsanity managed only three 30-point games in his three seasons in OKC.

    Week 7
    It was just last Monday that Jeremy Lin, taking the ball back with James Harden felled by an ankle sprain, rediscovered some Linsanity and uncorked 38 points on mighty San Antonio. Who's to say, on another Monday night, that Lin won't recapture some more magic in his ballyhooed NYC return?

    Week 6
    Saturday night's James Harden versus O.J. Mayo shootout briefly took you back to that unforgettable T-Mac versus Dirk laser show in 2006 ... but the true highlight came before the opening tip when the Mavs, one by one, walked to the Rockets' bench to welcome Kevin McHale back to work.

    1. Week 5
      RANKING: 15
      Might be on to something: James Harden averages 29.4 ppg on .528 shooting in Houston's wins ... and 18.9 ppg on .318 shooting in losses. Should also point out: Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik are all exceeding expectations while most of us fixate on Harden and Jeremy Lin.

      Week 4
      You might not see another offensive eruption all season from the Rockets like the one they mustered in the Jeremy Lin Bowl, but talking about basketball in Houston any further, quite frankly, feels incredibly empty in the wake of the terrible tragedy Kevin McHale and his family are facing.

      Week 3
      The focus inevitably is going to stay mostly on the ever-swarmed James Harden or Jeremy Lin -- or absentee rookie Royce White for different reasons -- but don't forget about Omer Asik. The 7-footer has five double-doubles already after managing only one in his first two seasons in Chicago.

      Week 2
      Call it a back-to-reality week for the increasingly smothered James Harden and his new team. Harden shot 15-for-47 from the floor (.319) in three games, averaged just 17.7 ppg and ran out of games against that friendly Detroit D with the Rockets' season series with the Pistons over now.

      Week 1

      You only get one guess to work out who'll be named as the season's first Western Conference Player of the Week. But please note Jeremy Lin is Linning again, too, with GQ's November cover and the arrival of Beardsanity to help him share the spotlight and burden after a sluggish October.


      Harden's arrival takes pressure off of Jeremy Lin in the midst of Lin's camp/knee woes. Lin's presence should eventually absorb some of the brighter spotlight all over Harden now. The Rockets still need a lot more, but those two -- with Asik -- form a core to start with. At last.

      Training Camp
      RANKING: 26

      Better to be stockpiling trade assets and scheming from lottery land to finally pull off a blockbuster than chase a playoff spot. The Rockets, sporting J-Lin and Kev Martin and not much else these days after Orlando spurned all their Dwight proposals, are about to seriously test that theory.

  31. Hahaha had a good laugh at this post, figured I share this here (esp Asik's FT LOLOLOL):

    Lucky Charm's take of tonight's game

  32. Celtics Lead Wire To Wire, Defeat Rockets 103-91

    The Boston Celtics lead wire to wire in their matchup tonight, and its hard to find anything that went wrong for them.

    Their old core players, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, had good nights. Their young core weirdo, Rajon Rondo, made an odd running hook shot and on that fact alone you could predict the result. Boston's bench did what Celtics fans thought they'd do all along, play D and make 3s, though Jason Terry was not able to able to muster his usual spiteful ass pain effort. (Is it wrong to hope that one day I'll see an NBA player circling Jason Terry, pretending to be a little airplane, while Terry writhes in pain on the hardwood? Probably that's wrong.)

    Courtney Lee came alive against his former team, scoring 14pts on 5 of 7 shooting, with 3 ast, a steal and a block in 21 minutes. Boston draftee Jared Sullinger was unstoppable in the first half, showing that jumping ability is overrated, notching 14pts on 7-8 shooting and grabbing 11 boards.

    Overall, Boston shot 52% and 40% from 3pt range on 23 attempts. Essentially every thing went perfect for Boston, and they lead from the start. And yet, the Rockets had closed the game to 2pts in the 4th before Boston pulled away again.

    Rockets fans shouldn't despair, but its tough to say what the Rockets did well tonight. Even James Harden's 25+ points per game streak ended this evening. Boston played its usual slappy, whiny, defense, but the Rockets had plenty of opportunities to make them change plans, if only they'd hit a FT.

    As you probably know, the Rockets offense is a three-legged stool, drives for layups, three pointers, free throws off drives. Tonight two legs were missing with a predictable result.

    1. The terrible FT shooting was contagious tonight, with the Rockets going 12-29 from the stripe. If the Rockets don't hit their FTs a team that plays D like Boston or Utah won't stop what they're doing. One would expect a large FT discrepancy tonight, given the Rockets rim-attacking style and Boston's "They can't call everything defense." The Rockets got enough calls, and it didn't help.

      Rockets also shot 9-33 from 3pt land. That is also almost certainly a kiss of death if the poor free throw shooting wasn't enough. The past two games the Rockets have dealt with teams that both defend the paint fairly well against drives, and come out on threes with a lot of energy, while playing a deliberate offensive game. Two low scoring losses have been recorded. This is not a coincidence.

      Some sort of mid range game, or post threat, might help here. Despite the percentages in normal usage, it can be helpful to do such things at times. Many have pointed out problems with the Rockets power forwards, and it is true, there are problems. There's no solution in the near term, I'm afraid, though.

      Tonight's offering was not a recipe for success. I hope the team will look a bit more energetic tomorrow night in Philadelphia. We are all missing the fluid high scoring Rockets attack.

      Since people have grown tired of Three Up, Three Down, I'll offer some awards.

      Can't Hit Water From A Boat Award - To Omer Asik's FTs.

      Can't Find Sand In A Desert Award - To Greg Smith's FTs.

      Drunken Yak Award for Graceful Movement - To The Rockets Half Court Game

      Protocol of Regret Award - Jared Sullinger

      Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Award - Rockets 3pt Shooting

      Most Boring In Game Tweet Award - Jeremy Lin

      Patience is a Virtue Award - Rockets Fans

  33. Boston Celtics 103, Houston Rockets 91: Free Throws are kind of important.

    Most basketball junkies, especially ones who follow the Houston Rockets, know of the importance of the free throw shot. Moneyball or Moreyball eschews the mid-range long 2 pointer in favor of free throws and 3 pointers. The latter gives the most reward when a shot is successfully made, and the former is the easiest shot in basketball, as most basketball players can shoot the ball at percentages which normally outclass the points earned per possession during a game. There are exceptions to the rule, which is why the Hack-a-Shaq can be a viable tactic at times, but teams avoid giving up fouls for this very reason. The Houston defense in particular emphasizes avoiding fouling and at times seems to prefer giving up layups to fouling, especially since the former means that they can still push the ball at their high pace.

    Yet while earning free throws is an important offensive strategy, it also requires that one actually make them. And tonight, the Houston Rockets accomplished something I personally have never seen before, where their field goal percentage of 43% surpassed their free throw percentage of 41% with 12 of 29 shooting from the foul line. Combine that with a poor 3 point shooting night against a Boston team that takes its defensive rotations very seriously, and it is surprising the Rockets managed to put up an effort and fight for three and a half quarters at all. To make things worse, this was not something which you could hang on an off night by any one player. Asik in particular was miserable as he missed his first seven gimmees before finally making one for the night, but Greg Smith, a 69% free throw shooter, went 0-4, and Beardsanity combined for 7-12. Even Motiejunas in garbage time missed his one free throw at the very end, for a performance which Rockets fans will hopefully never experience again.

    1. To be perfectly fair, there were plenty of other problems that occurred for the Rockets throughout the night. For once, Houston actually managed to play decently during the first quarter, but the Celtics bench made baskets at the end to take the 24-21 lead at the end. From there, everything went downhill as the defense and rebounding collapsed to the Celtics’ bench, who at one point during the second quarter had 34 of Boston’s 46 points, as Courtney Lee broke out of a difficult season to take revenge on his former team and Jared Sullinger mauled Houston’s frontcourt (more on that below). While the Celtics led by as much as 13 during the quarter as a result, Houston managed to shrink it within 8, only for Paul Pierce to come out shooting at the start of the half to a 71-54 score. The Rockets would have one last chance in the fourth quarter where they finally played defense and rebounded to shrink the gap to 2 at 83-81, but the Celtics made another run to effectively end the game with 5 minutes to go.

      Perhaps a more normal night from the free throw line would not have necessarily changed the outcome, especially since Asik has been noticeably struggling from the free throw line as of late. His once relaxed form, while not showing the hitch of other notoriously poor at the line big man such as Shaq and our very own Chuck Hayes, is flinging the ball at the net more than it was earlier and his percentage has visibly dropped. However, it would have made this game more competitive and perhaps opened the door to some late-game heroics from Harden. Instead, the Bearded One’s 25-point streak came to an end at 14 as he finished with 24 points but also compiled six turnovers in the face of Celtics pressure and double teams. The final result is an incredibly disappointing loss, one from which the Rockets will need to rebound against tomorrow on the second night of a back to back as some grow worried about a losing streak.

    2. When the 2008-09 Rockets squad was assembled, the team that with Ron Artest was supposed to finally make it to the NBA Finals, John Hollinger noted in his season preview that the Rockets were championship caliber at every position but point guard, where Rafer Alston was still in charge (as an aside, I do hold the belief that Toney Douglas is Mr. Alston’s long-lost cousin, with both the good and bad that entails). This current starting squad, led by the Beardsanity combo, Parson’s versatility, and Asik’s defense, is a team that has a realistic shot at the playoffs…with the notable problem of power forward.

      It is frustrating for a team which has young power forwards with some potential and Royce White and which last offseason dumped Scola after all of his years of loyalty, but the facts speak for themselves. A large part of the manhandling which the Boston bench delivered in the second quarter was thanks to Jared Sullinger, a rookie selected with the 20th pick in 2012. Sullinger and his rear end worked together to outmuscle and outrebound Morris and Patterson repeatedly, drawing at least 8 rebounds in the first half alone and finishing with 14 points on 7-8 shooting and 11 rebounds, which was more points and rebounds than Patterson and Morris compiled combined in 38 minutes of play. Patterson has fallen to 35% from beyond the arc, barely above average now, and Morris was hardly better shooting tonight. It was an ugly, ugly game at a position which has been Houston’s weakest by far. If the Rockets intend to make a push for the playoffs (something which it should be noted is not necessarily an urgent and overwhelming priority), a solid, stronger PF will no doubt be useful.

      While I did just finish lambasting Morris for his poor play tonight, there was one play which occurred during the middle of the third quarter that I thought was particularly interesting, where the Rockets passed it down to Morris at the baseline, who promptly tried to back it down and use dribble drive to get past his defender. It failed and Rondo stole the ball from Morris, but hopefully it does showcase that McHale, the post master supreme in his playing days, realizes the importance of an interior presence. Championship teams have always had a big who can take it inside, a formula which I believe still has not changed even in this new era of faster basketball. I do not know whether Morris, who was advertised to have a strong post game when Houston drafted him but has hardly showcased it, will be the answer to that problem, and in fact I doubt it. But a simple acknowledgment that Houston must improve the inside offensive skill of their big men is an important first step.

      Among the few positives in this game was the return of Chandler Parsons to his original form as he scored 18 points on efficient shooting, and Jeremy Lin, who had six assists without a turnover. Parsons made two threes, one from the top of the key, which is a good sign given how much his shooting has struggled over the past few weeks.

  34. Lin flat out needs to shoot more and McHale should give Lin more green light to shoot or even encourages him to shoot. 9 FGA in 35 minutes of play is simply unacceptable. Even TD nearly shot as much as Lin in way less minutes and Rondo who can't shoot also shot way more. At least getting to 15 FGA per game would be way better.

    1. ageed^ Mchale is a fucking joke of a coach in how he views Lin, a FUCKING JOKE...JLin not shooting at all in the in the 2nd half WHY?...

    2. I don't think that's all McHale's fault, Lin was not being aggressive.

      He was playing careful. 0 TO looks great and he played great D, but he should have turned up the heat and take some pressure off Harden as JH was obviously struggling. He kept passing up shots again and looking to dish but 3s just weren't falling.

      Rox is so one-dimensional that way. I say fk Morey and his moneyball, let them bring some midrange game into the mix already. 9/33 treys SMH.

    3. And they've said it over and over in postgames that they would want Lin to be more aggressive. If that's not green light I don't know what is.

    4. Uh, the Rockets just faced a team with a midrange max contract shotblocker in Kevin Garnett.

      Lin's seems the guy most affected by the max contract shotblockers, but that's not actually true. He'll go right at them and either score or pass.

      No, the max contract shotblockers intimidate the heck out of the WEAKASS ROCKETS BIG MEN who have NO GAME. Then when those guys cower into nothingness because of their lack of game, they leave Lin playing 2 on 5 with Harden as the sole passing target.

      It's very simple. Anytime the Rockets face an opponent with the size and footspeed to jam the midrange, the Houston fake big men disappear.

  35. Mchale is a fucking moron from coaching stand point lol...I saw that he always finds a way to stop the flow of JLins game and doesn't discern when to not go for ISO HARDEN as well as making key coaching decesions...damn I dislike this coach's mindset on things

    1. His rotations are predictable, he is finding a pattern in getting both Lin and Harden rest. Its almost clockwork when he sits and plays Lin.

      A couple big problems today:

      1. bench sucked
      2. FTs...SMH

      And he has a habit of playing the hot hand. Although its not a bad thing to do, he should have just recalled bench after they brought the energy and closed to 2, you know Doc calling timeout is to break their momentum and come back attacking the paint which he did and KG got all over that a$$, they needed Asik's defense and JLin making plays.

  36. Thing about Lin is that I think after what happened with carmelo , he really didnt want to step on anybody's toes .So I am assuming even if Mchale had given Lin the green light, Lin would still defer. The reason why I think Lin plays better with the 2nd unit is because he is playing with the "regulars" and NOT with "superstar" Harden. I am not sure about everyone but Lin seems more comfortable and I think it has to do with the fact that Lin isnt worried about offending anybody. I think Parsons is also trying to find his role on the team. I think I can understand why some are frustrated with Mchale because he has said that Lin needs to be more aggressive but yet benches him in the 4th. I think he uses TD to stretch the lead because TD can score . I am not sure how things would turn out once Lin can become a good shooter. I will stand by what I say but the chemistry that Harden and Lin has is severely ovverated for NOW.

    For those who are wondering why Lin doesnt really play the way he did while in NY (in terms of swagger), steph curry talked about how after he got his big contract, it messed with his head abit. (read it somewhere/ heard from some commentator, cant remember).

    I know when the team losses, we tend to over analyze but I have always observed how Lin plays more relaxed with the 2nd unit . Anyway hope he continues to keep those turnovers at 0!

    1. McHale likes to use TD in 4th because he plays much less than Lin. They expect him to go out there, pick up the tempo (when Lin is tired), irritate the the other team, shoot 3s (best 3pt shooter so far) and play d. TD is a SG - he doesnt have a Harden type offense but he does move, he runs and he does play d.

      That is why I would have prefered - not to see Harden/TD but Lin/TD in 4th (right from the start of 4th). If Rox want to win games where they are behind - they have to step up their D. No blame for Lin there - he always plays D. But Harden doesnt.

  37. One question raised by the Chinese media is that McHale benched Lin almost the whole 4th Quarter in both BOS games. The previous game HOU won but this time HOU lost. Had Lin be put in longer before the game ended, HOU could have won the game, says the media.

    1. I don't know, Lin played great D but he wasn't exactly an offensive juggernaut today.

      Although had he been given green light and he went Linsanity on them he may have been able to draw a lot more fouls and get more freebie points to close it out.

      This is the problem I have with Lin, I know he doesn't wanna step on people's foot, but imo he is selfish when he does that.

      Team players do their best to help their team win, when someone is off they cover them by stepping up their game and take pressure off and open the floor for them, not continue to feed them the ball hoping they'd "get better". Change it up, move the ball, call for screens, get aggressive, otherwise offense stagnates and becomes even more predictable.

      I mean come on if you have 0 TOs and Harden is getting killed, do him a favor and turn the heat on, stop stressing him out by putting the ball in his hands. If he has problems doing this then he should really reconsider his career in the NBA. In the end of the day, a win > hurt feelings, even Harden said it himself when Lin is aggressive the game becomes easier for the team.

      IMO they should have pulled bench once they got close, I had thought they were going to sub out TD and put Lin back in along with Asik when Doc Rivers called time out, but they didn't and went small.

      Kind of a gamble on McHale's part, he was hoping they'd be gassed, but Celtics weren't, and some bad plays from TD plus bs calls for Celtics sealed the game.

      Note however when the game was falling away refs gave calls to Rox, but soon as Rox got close refs hit us with another set of bullsh*t calls.

      Celtics aren't that good, we SHOULD be able to beat them had we hit our freethrows, with Asik subbed in at the right time for some interior D, but missing more freethrows than Celtics took all game is just bad bad bad, had Rox even matched the same FT percentage of 77% vs NOH Rox would have won.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Jeremy Lin came to PLAY.

    However, Houston's big men were so intimidated by Boston's mid range max contract shotblocker that they couldn't hit anything including free throws.

    As good as Lin was, he cannot solve the massive imbalace caused by his minimum contract big men being outplayed by max contract shotblocking opposing big men. McHale shouldn't be expected to solve it either, as there is no coach in NBA history that can transform the minimum contract big men on Houston into max contract stars.

    Think about it. Boston beings $9 million a year Jeff Green off the BENCH. Meanwhile Houston STARTS $900,000 Chandler Parsons who struggled predictably.

    McHale and his staff need to alter their strategy to create a new gimmick for his pathetically untalented big men. I'm interested to see what McHale and the coaching staff come up with.

    1. I would love to see more screens set for Harden and Lin. Jeremy got screened by KG quite a lot and of course set more plays. I forgot, the coaching staff needs to encourage Jeremy to take over when Harden is out and take a bit more shots. He only had like 9 shots in this game and stop setting up the dudes that cannot finish. There were quite a lot of blown up assists. Man, he would have had more assists had these scrubs finished at the rim.

    2. Houston untalented big men simply don't know how to set a good screen, much less at the level of KG who is one of the best of all time at setting screen.

    3. Seriously, how hard is it to teach an NBA player to set a solid screen? Shruggg.....

    4. Not as easy as it sounds, 1st you preferably need a wide body, then you have to learn the timing, the angle or it would easily be an offensive foul. And if the screener is a zero scoring threat, a screen not only does not help the ballhandler, it actually helps defenders to trap the ballhandler. Then you need to learn to roll in or out, catch the ball and finish if the ball is passed to you. Being a good screener is really a very underrated part of the game.

    5. One example, individually Asik's numbers looks like at the same level of Tyson Chandler. But I can bet you if it was Tyson in place of Asik playing with Lin on the Rockets, Lin's scoring average went up at least 3-4 points and assists at least 2 more per game. Only for Tyson's sheer ability of setting a good screen.

  39. If the Rox shoot even close to their normal free throw percentage they would have scored 8 more points (20/29 = 69% vs 12/29), plus the two goaltending calls that didn't go their way = total of 12 points. That was the game right there. The whole strategy of 3 pts or layups is sound as long as you make the 3 pters or layups. They missed a ton of layups but got the foul call, but then failed to convert the free throw.

    I know it's hard for the coaches to have complete faith in Jeremy because they never had that faith before, but sometimes they just have to believe and roll the dice. I bet they win more than they lose by putting the ball in Jeremy's hands when it counts. But then Jeremy has to do better as well. Putting up 9 shots is not enough as the shooters were cold around him. He needs to look more for his shot and play his game. I bet the coaches told him to watch his turnovers, and he went a little too much the other way. He needs to be a little stubborn sometimes and continue to play his game, like all the great players do. I think he will get it by the end of the season to find that balance.

  40. c/o Bleacher Report:
    Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics: Postgame Grades and Analysis

    Jeremy Lin, Rockets: B

    Jeremy Lin may not have blown anyone away, but his evening defined the term "solid."

    Lin finished the game with 12 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Perhaps most impressive of all, he didn't commit a single turnover.

    Minus the latter, this is becoming a typical stat line from Lin. One that people would be crazy to reject.

    So, how did it all happen?

    From a scoring perspective, Lin was relatively quiet. When given the opportunity to score, however, he took advantage of the chance at hand.

    Coming off of a screen, Lin drew Jared Sullinger off of a Boston rotation. This allowed the third-year point guard to catch Sullinger off balance with his dribble and rise up for a smooth jump shot.

    Just one minute later, Lin spotted up and drained a 25-foot three-pointer.

    It wasn't his best outing, but Lin was impressive. From packing a stat sheet to limiting Rajon Rondo to an average outing, Lin earned himself a solid mark.

    A well-rounded evening.

    Rajon Rondo, Celtics: B-

    Much like Jeremy Lin, Rajon Rondo didn't perform at a level that will shock or awe an individual.

    What Rondo managed to do, however, was have a positive impact on a victory.

    Twelve points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals suggest such. His four turnovers are reflected in a plus-minus of positive-5.

    Shooting 5-of-13, however, is always going to hurt.

    Rondo struggled from mid-range and failed to display his usual burst off of the dribble. He defended Lin's penetration skills relatively well, though, which mattered most in the end.

    By his standards, Rondo played a poor game. By average-point-guard standards, however, Rondo played well.

  41. Rockets Current Ranking - 9 (Previous Ranking: No. 13)
    Record: 21-15

    Last 10 Games: 7-3

    Last Five Games: 4-1

    It's true that James Harden's offensive responsibilities have resulted in a decreased level of defensive play, but that's not of much concern right now for the Houston Rockets.

    Things are clicking for this team, and it's due primarily to the exploits of the bearded shooting guard. He's proving on a nightly basis that his scorching start to the 2012-13 season was no fluke.

    He's scored at least 25 points in 14 straight games and is showing no signs of slowing down while maintaining his trademark efficiency. Harden's field-goal percentage might not be sky high, but his three-point shooting and ability to get to the free-throw line and convert on the freebies makes up for his missed shots.

    Grade: A

  42. From BleacherReport:
    Each NBA Team's Achilles' Heel This Season

    Houston Rockets: Turnovers

    What, a team with Jeremy Lin is actually having trouble with turnovers? I know you're just as shocked as I am.

    Although Lin's turnover problems were a little bit overblown last year for the New York Knicks, he does have the frustrating tendency to end possessions far too early by coughing the ball over to the other team.

    And sadly for the Houston Rockets, Lin isn't the primary culprit. That would be James Harden, whose 3.6 turnovers per game outpace even Lin's 3.2.

    Between the two starting guards and the rest of the turnover-prone lineup, the Rockets are sporting a turnover percentage of 14.9, which makes them the absolute worst in the NBA in that regard.

    1. Ugh. This is why I don't read Bleacher Report.

      Yes, the Rox have the worst turnover ratio with 14.9% of possessions ending that way. The second and third worse teams? OKC (14.8%) and SAS (14.4%).

      I'm not saying we (nor anyone for that matter) can't take care of the ball better. To me, however, our Achilles' heel is clearly transition defense. Our transition offense is 9th in the league at 1.18 points per play. Our opponents score 1.28 points per play in transition. Thank goodness we run more than they do (17% vs 12.5%), or we'd probably lose *every* game. For perspective, OKC scores 1.27 ppp in transition. That's good for #1 in the league. So, against the Rockets, opponents average *higher* than the best in the league. Blech.

      We haven't even played GS yet. They also average 1.18 in transition... but might feast against us unless we get our act together in this department.

  43. [blaiyan highlights]

  44. From Taiwan's media, Lin is considered to be traded. O_o...

    1. Source? You guys know that HK and TW media is like NY media?

    2. @willyilly @Adrien They are not reilible at all to me, anyway, just saying.

  45. Rox problem is defense/transition defense. They also need a better, more reliable center. TOs will go down as the team delevop more chemnistry.

    1. @willydilly

      You beat me to it, I agree completely. I must have been typing my reply to the BR post when you posted as I didn't see it until now.

      Re: center, any ideas? The "true" center is a dying breed. Al Jefferson? Or should we give our big PF's and OA more time to develop (granted, his O may never come to fruition, but have we been fair enough in giving him time?)

    2. I think we need better 4 not 5. ASIK just can not beat 2 guys at once.

    3. Rockets reasons for losing to Celtics are because:
      1) No defense on perimeter shooters. Example Pierce and Bradley were having a field day at the 3 point line.

      2) No boxing out of Sullinger in the paint and letting him get 2nd chance scoring opportunities.

      3) No defensive rotation on screens.

      4) SF, SG and PF were shooting and clanking two many open threes.

      5) No rebounding from the bigs. Come on, Jeremy Lin was trying to box out Sullinger.

      6) Bad coaching substitutions at critical moments of the game.

      7) Harden seems lost when he is defended well and his moves are taking away and resorted to iso Harden by jacking up shots and not letting the offense set.

      8) Nobody could make consistent free throws especially Asik and Greg Smith.

    4. You can blame on several factors but the core of the rox's losing is SIMPLY Jlin was not involved in the 2nd half from an offensive stand point as well as odd substitutions and bad coaching decisions again from Mcfail.

      I have yet to see if this impudent coach will ever say "you no, what I made a mistake tonight etc etc. on his coaching"

  46. Traded or not, Lin and crew will be ready tonite against philly. We all know that Lin is always ready to play his best no matter what team he is with......

    1. No max contract shotblockers on Philly.

      If the inept Rockets big men can hit their free throws, this is a winnable game.

  47. Only Harden, Asik and Parsons will not be traded this season.
    Then Lin has chances to be traded.
    Houston search a all star level player that can play the 4 and also 5

  48. Replies
    1. I agreed. No way Morey and Rockets owner will trade him after making the mistake once. The owner is high on Lin and his marketability. I see Rockets trying to move Marcus Morris, Patterson, Tony Douglas and perhaps Parsons for a significant player.

  49. Oh no they will traid Lin?????? So sad!!!!!

    1. Where is the source coming from????? If they do traid Lin can u send him to the sixers please.............thank you : )

    2. Sixers love Lin we love Lin we want to treat Lin the way he deserves MVP lets go Lin....

    3. Sixers love Lin we love Lin we want to treat Lin the way he deserves MVP lets go Lin....