Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rockets @ Nuggets Game #48 Pre Game Thread

The Rockets have stepped their game up and I'm excited to see how they fare against the likes of the Nuggets and the Warriors. Jeremy has been getting into a nice rhythm offensively. I'm looking for him to continue his high level of play and for this one to be very competitive. We're also finally seeing some team defensive concepts and this is great for Jeremy. I've felt that his anticipation and team defense have always been one of his major strengths and we're really started to see it in the last few games.

94 comments:

  1. from the start of the season, i knew that the rockets have a lot of depth in the front court. all of their bigs, with the exception of their 3 centers, can shoot the 3...and they showed that last night. no need to give up prospects for a veteran 4 this season. the rockets can score 120 on any given day, whether it's at home or on the road. so if (or when) they play a top seed in the first round of the playoffs, the rockets will have a better chance than most would project. they are capable of outscoring the spurs or thunder. and even if this is not the rockets year to go deep in the playoffs, they will eventually get there in the next few years.

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  2. The single key to this game is that the Rockets big men have to match Denver's front line physicality.

    Denver, as a George Karl team, will eat alive any opponent that doesn't bring a full effort to the game. Unlike Utah where Jeremy Lin could step in and stop Patrick Patterson from taking a nap right on the court, Denver has enough perimeter shooters and ballhandlers to spread the court and force Lin away from providing the help defense that Lin provides.

    The other thing is that Denver is a very aggressive defensive team that plays the passing lanes. They'll fly all over the court and try to steal every pass. Thus Lin needs to be careful, particularly if his Rockets teammates are lazy coming to the ball as they typically are.

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    1. I really hope Lin can eat Lawson alive on both ends of the floor this time.

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  3. Reposting @michael_terry's excellent posting because it deserves more discussion:

    Michael TerryJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM
    Starting to realize? Or forced to recognize by the staff's video viewing party 4 or 5 games ago. I've been reading and thinking more about this. I've been reading more about how Morey analyzes stuff. He doesn't use box scores. He hates them. His staff compiles their own stats. His technical comments about Lin's game in the past have been fully perceptive of what I (and many here) think Lin's strengths are. I would bet that Morey was behind the film breakdown and I don't think it's a coincidence that Lin's new demeanor on court, McHale's suddenly buddy-buddy attitude with him, and his teammate's willing deferring of the offensive to him have all happened since. I think this is a true watershed moment for the team and everyone understands perfectly Lin's value as the offense initiator.

    This is all I wanted. Despite what CF thinks, most of us will be perfectly happy to have Lin run the offense and Rockets win games. As with Rondo, it may take a year or two to fully appreciate Lin, but it'll come. Everyone knows Jason Kidd controlled games despite not always putting up obvious stats, so there's precedent for recognizing this role. Some stretch Harden will be hurt and Lin will be forced to fill up the box score. They'll keep on winning. Winning gets attention and close analysis. Unexpectedly deep play-off runs do that too.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the timeline and dynamics were:

    1. Lin and Harden start out the year great and naturally. Lin took control of offense and things flowed.
    2. McHale and Sampson interfered because of their biases and reigned in Lin, which reduced his mechanical effectiveness due to clear rules on how he was allowed to play, but also reduced his own confidence and undermined the respect his teammates had for him.
    3. Lin got enough control to go on the winning streak. McHale and Sampson didn't really understand exactly why the winning streak was happening and reign in Lin again.
    4. The team loses so much that they hit rock bottom. They are ready to hear the truth. Morey doesn't like to seem to be meddling, so until now he's only been offering subtle suggestsion. Maybe he analyazed his data in a new way or collected new data. Anyway, enough is enough, and he has his team cut up video. The team's watches, and it's impossible to ignore the difference when Lin is doing the majority of the playmaking.

    Folks on CF are pretty dumb, so they can pretend all they want that it wasn't the staff's idea for Lin to cross half court and pass to Harden, but that's just not how it works. At any time, if Mchale didn't want that, he could have ordered it off. George Karl knew that. Calvin Murphy knew that. Everyone in the world knows that except a minority of Rockets "fans".

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    1. @michael, very good deduction based on changes (Lin as the main PG in 1Q starting from the Hornets game). it is a certainly a strong plausible theory that Morey originated the film session highlighting the positives during the 12-3 run.

      Perhaps Calvin Murphy was privy to this film session or contributed to the film session to emphasize the need to let Lin orchestrate the offense. Lin's confidence definitely skyrocketed and there was a definite change in how the games started since the Hornets game to make Lin get the ball to initiate the offense.

      No doubt that the film session's positive highlights impressed the need to make Lin the main PG from 1Q.

      More evidence:
      - Lin was more vocal to clap his hands to get the ball from Harden (in Utah and perhaps Nets game). This DOES NOT happen without this film session.
      - Lin and others get green lights to shoot more midrange jumpers to draw the big men out of the paint allowing penetration.
      - ...others?

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    2. Thanks psalm234, excellent post by Michael Terry. Seems like a damn good guess!

      More evidence (maybe):
      - Lin was allowed to play his floating defense. At the start when the score was 6-3, Lin "overhelps" and Tinsley hits a 3. Instead of getting benched Lin gets to continue playing his help defense. Film from the big win against Memphis in December?

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    3. Lin's "floating" defense only works against teams that isn't a 3 point threat or his man isn't a good shooter.

      If Lin pulls that stunt against any of the top PGs, he will get benched for rest of game after 1st half.

      Besides I think it was a directive from someone to Lin to play like he did, he certainly didn't leave Vasquez open like that against NOH, that would have been a disaster.

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    4. Maybe this has been done already but anyone care to explain why they are allowed to shoot the midrange Js now?

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    5. well done michael_terry! missed the original post. I agree, showing the team highlights of them playing well would invariably have included a lot of J Lin doing good things/ initiating offence.

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    6. Well done Michael. Very good perspective on the issue. I do think Morey do follow all the games closely because after all he assembled this team and wants the team to do well because it will define his legacy. On the note of the floating defense, I do agree with Kenoshi that this defense was directed by the coaches based on film and how the Jazz guards cannot shoot well from the outside and how they rely more on their bigs to carry them. If it was against a good quality guard then Lin will have to stick close to him and not really help out. He does occasionally free lance and try to help out, but the majority of time he is playing D on his man. +1 for Michael Terry

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    7. If this theory of Morey allowing McHale to err in order to make a point is what truly transpired (as opposed to the one pointing to Morey for Lin's benching instead of McHale/Sampson,) then Morey has got my utmost respect. It is difficult to patiently endure scrutiny in order to achieve the greater good, especially in today's NBA where anything less than instant gratification leads to media barrage or even terminatin of employment. It takes guts from a great leader to pull something like this. I guess only time will prove Morey's capacity.

      What we know for certain is that as long as the Rockets play together as a team like they did in the Jazz game, they'll become a formidable force that can compete with the best of the best.

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    8. @Kenoshi, in regards to the green light to shoot the midrange Js, there is a good chance that it is one of the apparent conclusion from their film session reviewing what they did right in the 12-3 run.

      PPat midrange Js disappeared in the losing streak but came back in the Utah game. I touched on this on the coffetime highlights, I've never seen them shooting 4 long midrange Js (2 by PPat, 1 each for Parsons and Lin) in the 1Q enabling them to take 15-6 lead. I found that quite funny because usually they would brick their 3PT attempts until they are 10-15 pts behind.

      I'm really glad that they modified their system to allow for open midrange Js to draw the big men out of the paint. This is also Lin's strength besides off-the-dribble 3PTs (not spot-up 3PTs) so I expect increase in Lin's scoring when Delfino and Harden don't have hot shooting nights.

      I watched coffetime highlights again and I couldn't believe how Harden actually "looked" to give the ball to Lin on the wing to make some plays. Clearly a directive from coaching team (or Morey blessed by Les) because Lin didn't get yanked to the bench :D

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    9. Morey's tweet after the win vs. Nets indicated 8 Offensive goals and at least 2 Defensive goals (possibly outcome from the film session)

      Daryl Morey ‏@dmorey 27 Jan
      Impressive W vs BKN-hit all 8 of our O goals. Will have 2hit more D goals 2beat UTH tomorrow. Lots of potential playoff implications vs UTH

      If I care to guess, it would be something like this:

      8 OFFENSIVE GOALS
      1. Lots of ball movement (Give the ball to Lin first- Sincerely Les)
      2. Limit TOs (Give the ball to Lin first- Sincerely Les)
      3. Not sin to shoot open midrange Js (Give the ball to Lin first to find you - Sincerely Les)
      4. No bounce passes to Asik
      5. No layups for Asik
      6. Asik, when Lin asks for screens, picture Les' smiling face
      7. Harden to repeat "Let Lin make the good TOs, not me"
      8. Go back to 1

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    10. Thanks for the interest. :)

      I have been a proponent of Lin aggressively playing outside the system, but it's also clear that the system exists. You can tell where system rules leave off and player decisions take over.

      These are some of the items I take as evidence that Lin was restricted during the losing streak and how it's changed:

      1. Harden would position himself to receiver a pass from Lin as soon as Lin crossed half court and wait expectantly. He does this much less.

      2. On team rebounds or steals, Delfino and Parsons would bring the ball up court on their own if Lin and the ball handler had approximately equally good position on the court. This suggests that they did not or were told by coaches to not consider Lin a better decision maker (or ball handler) than they are.

      3. If out letting, and there were a choice between Harden and Lin, they would only choose Lin if Lin's position was significantly greater than Harden's.

      4. During the losing streak Lin tried very hard to avoid criticism for "over dribbling". I remember Lin saying earlier in the season that he was told by McHale to "just make the easy play". Once, I saw Parsons reprimand Lin for losing the ball on an attempted man beater dribbling move. It's hard not to infer that Lin was to understand that his playmaking and ball handling isn't better than anyone else's and to just be a cog in the machine. Parsons should never be criticizing Lin's ball handling.

      5. The team used to take no mid range shots. This has been a very significant change and you'll remember that some of us identified the stagnation that ruthlessly avoiding mid range shots caused in the offense. Someone here, I believe, was at a game in person and said that McHale actually punished Lin for MAKING a mid range shot. That rings true because that sort of iron clad restriction is the only way NBA players would so consistently avoid them. I'm a huge fan of avoiding too many mid range shots, but not for punishing players that take them as a palette cleanser.

      This can't all be explained away by Lin being passive. This sort of offensive agenda comes from top down mandate.

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    11. And I want to touch on another thing specially: Lin's help defense. Lin is the best help defender I've ever seen. His team defense is elite. His "gambles" are superb (most of the time). Lin was able to be especially aggressive because Utah's guards are slow and poor shooters, but make no mistake: Lin helps his team win games when he gambles against the vast majority of teams.

      Last year, Lin played for D'Antoni. D'Antoni doesn't care too much what you do on defense and Lin took full advantage of it, cos Lin just wants to win. With the Knicks, Lin would help off his man whenever he could get away with it, and with his elite speed and quick hands, that's a lot. The Knicks rose from a bottom third defense to #5 in the NBA. The Chandler/Lin two man lineup was #1 on the Knicks in defensive efficiency. They were the #17 pairing in the entire NBA!

      How about this year? For the first few games of this season, Houston was #5 in defensive efficiency. No one expected that. Lin was playing his natural style of aggressive help defense. But then it got reigned in. And the team defense fell to pieces.

      Folks always have excuses for why it's not Lin that's making the defense. Last year it was "Carmelo and Amare were out when Lin joined the team, and they're horrible at defense". This year, the opening stretch could be explained by weak opposing offenses. But Lin had the #1 DRtg in the entire D-league his year there. Last year, Lin was #2 among all starting guards in steals-blocks-charges taken/40. There is too much support, too many teams and too much of a pattern. In a disciplined team defense where Lin is given freedom to be aggressive, that defense will be elite.

      So, why is Lin "reigned in" all the time? Because of the stuff you see here, even from fans of Lin. It's really easy to see when someone makes a shot because Lin was too far from his man. What's NOT easy to see is the numerous threats he neutralized by making some big man pass off, or hampering a driving guard so he took an awkward shot, or cutting off whole wedges of court so the ball cant' be passed into good position. No one posts comments about those points he's taken off the table. All they do is say, "Damn, Lin, why are you on the other side of the court and your man just embarrassed you!"

      If you care more about stupid people making fun of Lin for getting beat, then yeah, you want Lin to stay on his man. If you want the team to win, let him do his thing.

      Morey's team provides more information on opponent tendencies and strengths than any other in the NBA. Lin is all over these scouting reports. You better believe he knows what the appropriate trade-offs are.

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    12. I love Lin playing this type of defense because it's how I used to play and people could never quite understand why my teams would win so much. A great and aggressive help defender simply compresses the space the other team has to play in and all the missed opportunities add up over the course of the game.

      I will say that I think Lin could be a little better at swiveling his head. He doesn't notice as quickly as he should when his man has back cut or moved. And, probably the most frustrating case was when he let Lillard beat him[1]. Maybe he relied on scouting reports too much, but it was clear to me what was going to happen. Lillard is extremely gifted and clutch. And, he's highly motivated to show Lin up. He was the biggest threat at that point of the game and Lin should have focused more on him.

      So, when you occasionally see Lin beat a 2 or 3 times in a row, don’t immediately jump to “Lin helps too much!” That’s the exact wrong reaction and that sort of overreaction is what leads to the coaches restricting him too much and hurting the defense long term. Basketball, like every other sport, is a game of percentages. The offense has the upper hand. It’s a high scoring game. Sometimes, over the course of hundreds and thousands of plays, the offense is going to get the upper hand for a stretch, just like you’ll land heads 5 times in a row if you flip a coin enough times. That doesn’t mean he’s doing it wrong.

      [1]I'm talking about the first game now. The second game wasn't his fault at all. The second game is a super interesting case because it highlights the corruption at ClutchFans. Lillard scored 9 points in the last 5 minutes, but aside from the big last shot, which Lin defended as well as anyone on the Rockets could have, I think Lin was guarding Lillard for only 1 of the other baskets (if that). "Clutch" tweeted that fans shouldn't be upset Lin was benched for OT because Lillard scored 11 points, implying that Lin was responsible for that. Someone corrected it to 9, which Clutch reposted to suggest that he was being objective but still knowing that 9 would seem like a lot. However, anyone who watched the game knew Lin hadn't been guarding Lillard. When someone broke it down in a thread on ClutchFans, the thread was deleted and the person was banned! Someone here in this forum tipped us off to this event.

      It's pretty hard to take that forum seriously when rabid Lin haters are supported from the top. Clutch is willing to twist the facts to make Lin look bad. Of course, CF has had a lot of influence throughout Rockets fandom as even, for example, thedreamshake.com gives only the most grudging attention to Lin. Morey has said that, due to Lin's amazing start in the NBA, Lin has a small chance of becoming a star. No supposed Rockets fan ever says anything publicly that suggests they share that sentiment.

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    13. Whew, what a great read! I particularly concur on that last part about lack of recognition for Lin. At this point, even if the Rockets won the NBA Finals, Lin would neither be praised nor recognized as legit.

      Haters' gonna hate, hence the name.

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    14. Michael Terry:
      I really like your posts! You are unbiased and smart. You are one wise man!

      About the haters:
      In life its always the same. Everyone thinks hes smart. Everyone thinks hes better than the guy on TV. No one raises his hand to say "Im the village idiot and I know it" - even when proven otherwise. When proven otherwise -> denial kicks in and people still think they are smart.

      I call it the "who wants to be a millionaire" effect. People like to watch the show and laugh about the contestants. But when faced with the questions all they do is turn red.

      Not everyone is able to understand what Lin is all about. They say he cant shoot, cant go left, loses the ball too often, cant defend. But when asked why JLin could score 38 on Kobe while making his team better - they just cringe and back off. And the moment no one looks they start to nagg about Lin again. As if nagging would prove how knowledgeable they are.

      Im glad we have you Michael Terry. You are not just wise but also very eloquent! When you analyse - its not about yourself - its all about Lin. I like that!

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    15. Lots of theories about why Houston is playing better all of a sudden. I didn't watch the whole game but did anyone notice how engaged Sampson was on the side lines?

      My theory is less Sampson, more Jeremy, more wins - however you like to decipher that. So far, including last year, whenever Jeremy is the floor general, he more often than not will finds ways to win. Only his own team finds very creative ways to lose by setting up weird rules like no excessive ball handling by the point guard and no Js.

      That's like asking your Ace pitcher to not throw curveballs because it is deemed less efficient than fastballs.

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    16. Without having much inside knowledge, we can only take educated guesses about who is pulling which strings. It's claimed that McHale isn't an X's and O's coach and it seems like Sampson has a lot of influence on the sidelines, so it wouldn't surprise me if some or most of the boneheaded tactics and demoralizing rhetoric comes from him.

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    17. I honestly think that Lin helping out on the defense and players are allowed to shoot 2 were not from the incompetent coaching staff nor Morey, but I think Lin might have expressed those strategies to them during their film sessions. He is very intelligent and would make an excellent coach some day should he wants to pursue this path.

      I can see Les telling Morey that I didn't pay Lin $25m to stand at the corner 3. Because if this came from Morey, that means he admitted that Finch's everybody is a point guard philosophy is a flaw. In addition, he hand picked Finch himself. I just don't see it.

      I honestly think the pressure from Les is too great. Somebody or people was/were going to get fired. Morey is not high on Lin. Whoever said that Les was using Calvin Murphy to get the message out has a very valid point. I think Les must have a private conversation with Murphy and asked for his opinion on the coaching and why they were losing prior to him stating his views publicly.

      I guess I am one of those who don't think highly of Morey's IQ.

      Michael,

      I always love reading all your posts. You are very intelligent, but your common sense always make reading all your posts very enjoyable. BTW, I was the one that tipped off about Clutch. His character is as low as Sampson and his basketball knowledge is as clueless as McHale.

      No joking here, but I was at the gym on Sunday and a man working out on the stationary bike looked exactly just like Les, I swore I was about to go and chat with him, but then I thought a billionaire working out at the Y...? Never mind.

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    18. BTW, Morey is on his last year of his contract.

      Since I think Morey is a control freak, I think letting Harden padded his stats during garbage minutes came from Morey and not the coaching staff. There was games where they losing, and had to play the next day, any low IQ coach would like have waved the white flag and let their star player rested. As dumb as I think McHale is, I don't think he is that dumb. I think he pulled a quite a lot of strings behind the scenes. Morey is extremely high on 3s and against 2s. The only reason is maybe his ass was on the line too.

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    19. Michael Terry,

      Thank you for your analysis. I feel like I just doubled my BBIQ. I think we are lucky in this forum to have someone like you to share your wisdom. I don't have to flip thru all those pages in CF to look for these kind of analysis. You confirm my inclination that Lin got the "License to roam" in the Jazz game to double team big Al.

      Keep up the good words and enjoy whatever you are drinking.

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  4. Denver will key in on jeremy and he will have all their attention. george karl said it himself that as good of a player as harden is, he believes that lin is the motor of the team and if he plays well the rockets are very hard to stop.

    lin's teammates will need to step up and recognize when lin needs an outlet out of a double team. they need to come to the ball and help break the traps.

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    1. Right on!!! Please Please Please come over to Get the ball!
      The time is running out and it might be another turnover!

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  5. Lin was able to help on defense this time because the Jazz don't have any real perimeter shooting threats. The same cannot be said of Nuggets, Spurs, Warriors, etc. He cannot leave his man open. It only worked against this team in this game. in the future the Rockets big men need to learn better low post defense, or rotate defensively if they want to gamble on double teams. Asik can hold his own against most NBA centers. It's Patterson and Morris who need help on isos.

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    1. This is why they need to play TJ and DMo more :/

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    2. Agreed. Without Gordon Hayward and Mo Williams, that Jazz game was a one off in terms of how Lin was double teaming. All the championship calibre teams have great team defence, which is something this team has to develop.

      Faried/ Koufos/ McGee is gona be a tough matchup and Iguodala will make it hard for Harden. They need to put the ball in Jeremy's hands to get the whole team going.

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    3. I just hope MANIMAL will not make Asik and PPat looked like a little girl

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  6. have you guys read this:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1506012-who-has-the-brighter-nba-future-jeremy-lin-or-james-harden

    "in the future...
    Lin roams the sidelines as coach of the Rockets, where he emphasizes teamwork, ball movement, and good essay skills."

    hahaha....funny...LMAO ;p

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    1. Always appreciated Zweig's insightful and unbiased analysis, he shows true understanding of the sport. Which is why I was thoroughly surprised to see him start writing fiction. :) Zweig and Ogden are the reason I still bother with B/R.

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    2. he used to be a screenplay writer as well, hence he just thought to write a fiction just for a change in topic.... no ill intended, just laugh it off.

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  7. George Karl recognized the value of Lin to Rockets; therefore, he will try to make it very difficult for Lin to do what he has been doing for the last 3 games. I expect a very close game.

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    1. I most certainly think George will be planning to stop Lin and Harden. Hopefully it will be a better game for the Rockets this time around. Last time was just flat out embarrassing.

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    2. Seems like it will come down to Portland, Houston, Utah and Lakers fighting for the 8th spot. I would be surprised if Rockets can make it to 6th or above spot. In this sense, Rockets need to beat Denvers today. It will be a big success if Rockets could even make it to playoff this year.

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    3. Actually for the 7th and 8th

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  8. Jeremy LIN > Lil Scrappy > Denver nuggets

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  9. Linsanity:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/linsanitymovie/linsanity-the-movie

    Now with 1004 backers! 94,904 USD -> 81.1% with 16 days to go! WOW!!!

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  10. Let's go Rockets! Let's go Lin!
    It's going to be a very tough game especially on their home count. BUT if you get this win, you will make playoff even on seed 6. Watch out Gallinari's long range shots. Be careful on ball handlings. Don't do long risky passes. Handle Lawson and Miller and not allow them to score much. Make those damn FT. Everybody plays defense. Contest those shots. Big guys do more on offense. They have quiet a few vets and they play fast tempo too. Good news Magee is out. Lin should drive to the paint more today! They don't have big to be a threat!!!

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    1. No, no the risky passes are good. Morey loves those even if some fans don't. It's a lot like Lin's defense, some folks only notice the failures. When Lin throws a pass over the top, it leads to an easy basket. If the receiver scores 90% of the time, which seems about right, even if the pass is intercepted 25% of the time, that's well over a team's normal offensive efficiency.

      Morey understands this. If you google search, you can find Morey defending Lin's TOs on Quora, also, explaining that his TOs often come from being aggressive. Morey likes aggressive.

      When I played I would always, always try to throw over the top whenever possible. I'd throw to a big guy in traffic. When you're playing and you really want to maximize winning and you're smart, you intuitively get a sense of the plays that give you the best chance to win long term. And the numbers back these plays off. It's just so satisfying (and demoralizing to the other team) to get unexpected easy baskets. A punch in the gut to the other team.

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  11. Hey guys, I just saw this on Jason Friedman's twitter >

    Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    @jxxxxxxx Long 2s are never part of the game plan. That's why Rockets are near league leaders in high value shots (corner 3s, rim attempts)

    Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    @jxxxxxxx and dead last in midrange field goal attempts.

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    1. Seriously? I guess he never met Racha. Please Racha - get on twitter and explain to Friedman that no one forces the team (Lin) to shoot 3s like you have done a billion times in the past. You have to enlighten him the way you enlighten us. It seems like Friedman cant handle the truth. Lecture him Racha! I got your back!

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  12. Jason Friedman ‏@JasonCFriedman
    Congrats to @ChandlerParsons on being named to Rising Stars event All-Star weekend. Should have been there last year. Very well deserved.

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  14. Predictions for tonight: Ok this is a tough matchup because Denver is so similar to the Rockets. I honestly think Denver is one of the toughest matchups for Rockets. I think the main thing will be team defense. You can't just clog the paint because Denver can shoot the 3's and you can't just defend the 3's because you will suffer in the paint. That means that team defense is going to be very important. Harden needs to be careful to not get carried away and go ISO Rockets need to play team ball. If Lin can get going and have a really good game it will make it easier for Rockets to win.

    Team defense, Team offense and if Lin gets going into semi-Linsanity it will make it a lot easier for Rockets to win this one.

    Sidenote: I kinda hope that this will be a close game. We either win by a lot or lose by a lot. Bobcats game was close but that doesn't count. I want to see what plays McHale comes up with for close game. Is it just going to be Harden ISO? Cause that won't work that good in a playoff situation.

    Anyways, I feel confident that Rockets will win but it's a tough matchup. I'm not saying is going to be a close game, it can be but it doesn't have to be.

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    1. I hate close games. Bad for my blood pressure.

      Rox plz blow them out, maybe not by 50, but at least by 49...

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    2. No,No,No, save 50 pts for the next 10 games, win by 5 each game. We will have 10 games winning streak.

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    3. That Utah game was boring because both teams weren't dynamic. They were doing the same thing over and over again. Utah weren't changing their offense, either post up or kick it out, therefore the Rockets didn't need to adjust.

      I think the Denver game will most likely give Kenoshi a heart attack. I hope it does. Not that I want to see Kenoshi die. Just hope and think Denver will run a more dynamic offense that will look for holes in Housto's defense as there were many that Utah wasn't exposing.

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    4. Sadly I won't be able to watch the game, but a couple of close games would do us a lot of good to prepare for the playoffs.

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    5. Bah darn you etane :P

      I predict 8/17 23pts 11ast 3 to for lin and harden with 11/20 32pts and nuggets gets blown out so bad GK praises lin for being the next john stockton to the press.

      Just so I dont have a heart attack.

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  15. @michael terry:

    I've really enjoyed your last few posts. What you point out is almost a catharsis of sorts in the last 2 games, because it's been so fun to see Lin be able to play more his natural style and become the primary ball handler where Harden is not in a better position, as you noted. It's real hopeful team ball, to take advantage of the players strengths. I like your light reference to playing a style that illustrates how a smart player can make his own choices, and pointing out where he has been burned (and where LOHs and trolls use those mistakenly to incite).

    I also agree with your CF assessment. I like a few posters there (Torocan, Mike Lu, and others). Clutch himself just jacked the "loser" thread with a gleeful picture of his home page and how he feels about seeing that thread stay alive. He's 'coming out' even as Houston sorts out the mess coaching made of it. I don't think it was the players, knowing coached sports. Anyway, they say follow the money, and one wonders who butters Clutch and how he monetizes. He's definitely a Houston fan, but somehow, he doesn't see that Houston has a chance in playoffs with a strong Lin, and for me, if they go 2 deep, that would be just wonderful. I wonder how Clutch thinks we'll get there, with the glee he expressed. Y'all can look that up if you want to see a roadside accident.

    I'm only 1 hr away from the Nuggets game, on a b-trip. Alas, too many things to do for work, but it's the closest I've been at game time. I hope today's game is more of the same joyful play we've been seeing. Your writeup helps, as I can see in my minds eye those very plays.

    And thanks to all who post during the game ... It's a great read before and after I watch LP. Now if only NBA would get LP cust svc in order so I can upgrade to more devices :-)

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    1. Michael Terry is my favorite poster here (Khuang is a close second). He says things that make sense and backs them by stats.

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  16. Base on the past record Rox's winning chances against Nuggets are not very good, so if Jeremy has a good game and is able to lead Rox to a win, his position with the team will be solidified.

    Godspeed Jeremy & Rockets.

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  17. Hey guys and gals,

    Linsanity movie has so far raised $97k (of $117k goal)! They will certainly meet their goal before the deadline. Some people wondered why Lin doesn't just give them the money. That would have been SO EASY, but it would create a bad perception that Lin is producing his own documentary, which wasn't even his idea.

    Also I wanted to share a very interesting info about the The Movie that Anthony posted to 'Linsanity at Sundance' article. He posted late, so most people probably never read it:

    Anthony January 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM
    I have inside information from the director of Linsanity The Movie. The director was offered 6-figures $$$ from ESPN for the exclusive rights to the movie -- but, with the condition of not showing the movie in any film festivals. As you know, the film was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. The director is committed to making this documentary the best it can he. So he turned down the offer from ESPN to get feedback from the audience. He's hoping someone in Asia will eventually buy the movie rights.
    - - - - - -- - --
    Phew! it's a good thing that they didn't sell the exclusive rights to it to ESPN. It would have been a major rip off! Thank God the film crew didn't go for the quick (I'm sure they could have used it) but tiny amount of cash for all the years of hard work. Maybe ESPN saw the Kickstarter funding drive and tried to take advantage of them. ESPN may also have thought that Lin isn't marketable anymore, since Linsanity happened one year ago and the Rockets marginalizing of Lin has kept him quiet so far this season. They are wrong. It would have made me sick to my stomach if ESPN made a killing on the film at the crew's expense.

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    1. I'm going to contribute. I had a surprisingly strong urge to donate $10k if it would get me a 1 on 1 meeting with Lin. I've never wanted to meet an athlete before. I don't really have enough savings to really justify it though.

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    2. whoa, @michael. don't go bankrupt on us or Lin :D

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    3. Hahaha... I couldn't even *think* for one second about donating 10k. What was cool though: While I went back to the Kickstarter site to monitor the progress, RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES, another 10k pledge came through. It was fun to see 2 contributors to that category turn into 3.

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    4. Damn, 10K! Luckily this is a low budget film or else you definitely need to contrib 10K, lol.

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    5. I contributed a lot more than I initially planned on. At first I just wanted a copy of the DVD, but then I thought... the impact of this movie will be huge. It's going to inspire kids and stuff. So anyways, see you guys in the credits. :)

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    6. Dave T
      Man, you made me think of giving more, i was really planning to make another contribution but then, reading here that 3people are giving 10k, i guess linsanity team will reach their target.However, it would be nice to see your name in the credits!

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    7. NOT 3 $10k, It's 3 backers for $1,000. I made a mistake.

      I posted my mistake earlier, I saw it, but then disappeared for some reason. Sorry about that.

      It's now almost reached almost $100K mark. Great to see. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/linsanitymovie/linsanity-the-movie/posts

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    8. @jlin74ever: Haha it's a nice chunk of money and I'm far from rich, but somehow it feels worth it. I think this movie will be a good positive influence so it's kind of like giving to charity. :)

      Anyways I'm really glad it looks like they're going to meet their funding goals through lots of small contributions on kickstarter and not some outside source. This way there's no outside influence.

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  18. "Rockets marginalizing of Lin has kept him quiet so far this season"

    I enjoyed your post until I read the above. So tired of the excuses. While his circumstances haven't been ideal (which is true for MANY NBA players on many different teams), he hasn't been denied, remotely.

    I'm glad they didn't sell the rights to ESPN. That I think would have been short sighted.

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    1. Are you kidding? Everybody knows that Lin HAD BEEN marginalized for the first 19 games.... and semi-marginalized for many more games after that..... But he was used as a full-time (or much of the time) PG during their winning streak (in the midst of 9-12 or something, after The Spurs "audition" game) prior to the 7-game losing streak..... And now it seems like they are going back to the optimum formula of everybody knowing their specific roles on the team, plus spacing and passing.

      Their is no excuse for the way the Rockets coaches have treated and utilized Lin, until the edict from above, because, unlike some players, Lin's strengths were already known to everyone. No other coaches in the league would have a player play to his weakness.

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    2. It's called the NBA. "Marginalized" is a loaded word. You know, not everything works out to perfection for a player in this league. Sometimes they are put in systems that aren't ideal for their skill set (though the elite will work in any system). Sometimes they have players who are selfish on their team and the list is endless.

      He's getting serious playing time. He has the whole time. There were times when he was taken out of the 4th quarter which I didn't agree with.

      But other than that, and based on my overall assessment: I'm dead serious.

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    3. Lin has enough leverage to do what he wants or needs to, a lot more than TD. I think Lin deferred or felt pressured to defer, but instead of using the word " marginalized", I think Lin was played the wrong way or not very productively. Is it the same thing? :)

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    4. Webster definition of MARGINALIZE = "to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group"

      It refers to the state of being relegated to an unimportant position, which fits Lin's situation well because he was misused as a SG instead of a PG.

      It's fair to say that Lin was marginalized as an SG in the 1-8 losing streak. Whether the coaching or the system is to blame, that's beside the point.



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    5. @psalm234

      Thank you for that!

      I didn't want to have the last word because it felt like to me Bamboo might want to do that.

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    6. @eb, it's not the same thing.

      'Lin deferred' has connotation that he's to blame but 'Lin was marginalized' attributed the blame to the system, which is quite accurate.

      The funny thing is that Harden was also marginalized (with higher TOV% and lower eFG%) in the role of PG during the 1-8 losing streak.

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    7. Lin certainly was not relegated to powerless or worthless position. His strengths did not fit the system Rockets wanted to play. If Lin was a good 3 points shooter, Lin might have fit the initial system; therefore, he was not marginalized. This word carries a connotation Lin is powerless, but as I pointed out if push comes to shove, Lin has a lot of leverage.

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    8. well, we can agree to disagree but let me put it this way.

      If you are a bright, talented attorney got hired by a private law firm whose owner believes in you, but you work for a direct manager who doesn't really think much of you.
      So the manager assigned you in a project where you need to work in insurance law although your strength is in criminal law. (You can be good in insurance law but you need time to study it). He gave the criminal law to your teammate whose specialty is in insurance law.

      I would say you are marginalized because the manager doesn't utilize your strength for the goodness of the project but you can say that you deferred to your teammate because you're supposed to be good in insurance law immediately (not in 2-3 years).

      See, to me that's how I would see Lin's situation but perhaps you have different interpretation of the situation.

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  19. ESPN is the same media machine that tried to bury Lin and LInsanity after that Miami Heat game where he was "exposed". I'm glad they didn't buy the rights to the film, otherwise they would probably usr it as a platform to further tarnish his image and attack his character like Stephen A. Smith was doing.

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    1. True. ESPN was all about $$$ only. Lin certainly warranted the hype, how could it not, but ESPN and others "over-extended" the hype just to make money, which made some people dislike Lin..... And then they hyped and milked the Miami "exposed" thing as long as they could ALSO for $$$. Chris Bosh warned Lin about that sort of stuff.

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  20. Another thing to keep in mind about Clutch: He was very much a proponent of tanking to win. He did not believe in Morey's strategy to try to get ahead through clever trades. He didn't think that could work. I assume he'd say it were possible, but the odds of winning a title through tanking are so tiny that any strategy that has worse odds is essentially worthless.

    Right up until Harden was obtained, there were loads of threads discussing the merits of tanking. These threads shared one thing in common with Lin threads: All the logical and evidence-based posts were on one side. In the case of the tanking issue, lots of intelligent posters demonstrated that tanking had painfully long odds and it was better to assume that Morey was smart enough to find an alternative. And In the case of Lin, of course, the only evidence based commentary comes from the pro-Lin side.

    After Harden was obtained, Clutch STILL said that tanking was the best strategy but that Morey had lucked out. I can't remember his exact wording, but he refused to admit he was wrong.

    What you should take away is that Clutch hates some things and likes some things. Morey has been awesome for this team and Clutch was (is?) a vehement opponent of the Morey philosophy. He's "old school" which means anti-evidence based, anti-intellectual, knee jerk, stubborn and etc.

    He has a history of being very wrong about what's good for the Rockets and no history of having influence on team decisions. Thank God.

    PS - Do we know his real name? Clutch is far too grand a name for someone so petty.

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    1. @Terry thanks for the great posts! His real name is David Hardisty.

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    2. I think the "no tanking" philosophy is from Les, and not Morey. I remember reading somewhere that if Les let him, Morey was going to use the tanking strategy.

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    3. The Crutch guy is creepy looking. Someone said so, so I checked it out in one of the Rocketcast Live and..... OMG he *does* look creepy. I got scared, so I turned it off, since someone said what it was about, that basically the Crutch was acting as if he doesn't hate Lin that much. Jason is a smart and good guy, thus he felt he couldn't.

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    4. ztrta,

      That was me. There are things I want to say about him on this forum, but have to reframe myself. He gave me the creep.

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    5. This is new to me. How can you tank to win a game? I thought that's what NBA superstars only do to get their coach fired?

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    6. lam,

      Some teams tank deliberately when they know they're not playoff bound, in order to be able to pick a lottery player in the next draft, which is what the OKC Thunder and NO Hornets have done.

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    7. Don't understand your thinking Terry because you are not consistent.

      Liked your spirited interpretation of Lin's passiveness and non-effectiveness. Skipping the wall of text, a TL;DR summary would be Lin is hampered by the system, don't blame the individual.

      Then you turn around post something
      |What you should take away is that Clutch hates some things and likes some things.|
      well, this is USA and opinions roam freely. I'm always skeptical of people saying "what you should take away" but that's my own personal red flag thing
      |He's "old school" which means anti-evidence based, anti-intellectual, knee jerk, stubborn and etc.|
      |He has a history of being very wrong about what's good for the Rockets and no history of having influence on team decisions.|
      These are all veiled personal attacks? Using a label such as old school in the negative sense...by sly redefining it as what your wrote

      The second part is just repeating what we already know--the guy has an opinion. If someone is wrong on their opinion, that doesn't mean he is "petty" or "stubborn." I do concede for the possibility that you know him personally or you have some scientific background that qualifies you to make a certain projection based on analyzing his website actions, posts, or comments. Otherwise, the street lingo for fundamental attribution error is, correct me if urban dictionary is wrong, talking out of your ass.

      I don't like the clutch site, but when you defend Jeremy's ineffectiveness due to the system...I think you should defend the clutch dude's ineffectiveness due to the system too--mainly, it's a site that MONETIZES for ALL fans of the rockets (It's not a Jlin fansite). Stirring up debate, engaging and taking positions that are not popular, is part of the website GAME.

      Don't hate the player in Jeremy's case but you can hate the player in Clutch's case. You're not consistent.

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    8. Thanks zrta. Tanking the whole season!!, I guess I need to look up wikipedia to find out more about the NBA game.

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    9. @Pierrot,

      I think it was Emerson that said "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of the little mind".

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  21. Just found out Ron Jeremy was a porn actor. Must really keep up with the real world. :)

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    1. lol. what get you to search that out?

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    2. Tsk tsk tsk. Welcome to the real world eb5attorney.

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  22. Why do i feel that this is another blow out game for the rockets? I don't want to jinx it, let's see... :)

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  23. Here's a fun and contentious suggestion for the site:

    Let's keep an ongoing tally of which posters consistently: show bias against Jeremy Lin in their posts; or possess poor understanding of the importance of roles; or are just blissfully ignorant; or a completely inability to make rational arguments without resorting to name calling/dismissive conversation-killers; or, lastly, are maliciously trolling;.

    We can pin this list on the right hand side or something; just to let other readers know that we all understand and sympathize their bewilderment at some posts/posters and that they really don't need to respond to these bait train comments.

    My top votes are:

    1) TVN
    2) TVN - I can't stress how much we need to ignore him
    3) Bamboo Forest

    I feel like if we don't do this soon, some posters here - myself included - will blow a gasket.

    I also think we need to pitch a list of votes of confidence to represent the happy, moderate Linhards:

    1) Michael Terry
    2) Kenoshi
    3) Psalm234

    I feel like these two lists will allow site frequenters/posters to show their loathing towards some, support for others, and all the while not having to spend too much time/effort making the same arguments again and again.

    Rules could be:
    1) Can't vote for yourself
    2) Max 3 candidates in each
    3) Posters who have made more than 3 posts in at least 10 threads will be allowed to vote

    Again, just an interesting thought.

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