Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rockets @ Sixers Game #38 Pre Game Thread

I thought Jeremy had a very good game last night. He took care of the ball well and basically played All-Star Rondo to a standstill. In the end it was too much pick and roll with Rondo and Garnett. However, I thought the game was lost at the free throw line and in our weak play in first half.

Going 12-29 from the line, you're not gonna win many games no matter who you're playing. In the first  half, Sullinger (14 pts, 8 rebs in first half) totally dominated our bigs. Not having Greg Smith in to play Sullinger, was a big coaching/scouting mistake. Smith's the only Rocket big with the size or athleticism to keep him off the boards. Secondly in the first, Harden stunk it up with 5 turnovers. His ball stickiness really shows against strong defenses. He can hold on the ball and break double teams agains weaker D's, but this bad habit killed them against the Celtics.

I really believe these Celtics will be a top 3 team in the East, with Miami and Indiana. Lets remember how much Championship experience they have with Rondo, Garnett, Pierce, and even Terry. Now, with Bradley back, Sullinger, Green, and Lee off the bench, look out. However, this is the kind of game experience a young team like the Rockets need. I was pleasantly surprised to see Greg Smith play in crunch time. Lets remember he is 21 years old and like the rest of the Rockets, have basically zero experience playing in crunch time. Keep playing him McHale.

Some may complain that Jeremy didn't do enough in the 2nd, but I just didn't see much opportunities. He was going against the top defensive back court in the game with Garnett to protecting the rim. He of course defers to Harden when they're both in. I saw only one pass from Harden to JLin for a corner 3, where he was setup for anything. Harden was out for a few minutes and thats when JLin got more aggressive going to the basket. I thought he got fouled by Sullinger, but was surprised how quick he was cutting off the lane. What a steal for the Celtics in the last 1st round. He's gonna be very good.

As I said earlier, the Rockets need to make a move before the deadline. They're gonna have trouble beating the Warriors and Blazers of the world without more help inside.

Finally, tonight will be another challenging one. Even though the Sixers have been struggling, they do play solid defense. Jeremy will have his hands full with Jrue Holiday who should make the All-Star team this season.


  1. @JLinfan#1:

    Awesome comment! I absolutegry agree!

  2. Last night's game was a McFailure through and through. Gotta give credit to Boston for their superior athleticism though. They made the youthful and high scoring Rockets look old and inept.

    Of course, the Rockets made it easy for them. Boston did not have to D against any picks. This allowed two bigs to set camp at the free throw line to stop drives and one more big at the rim to swat away any floaters. Asik provided additional defense for the Celtics by clogging up the driving lanes hence further preventing Lin and Harden from driving.

    I question, does McFailure know how to set picks or how to guard against the pick? Can one of the most successful big man in history refuse to coach his bigs how to defend the pick? Or, he doesn't know how?

    Also, why does McFailure demand the point guard to move the ball but not the shooting guard to do the same? That doesn't make any McSense.

  3. I did not see the game last night. I read the recap and stats. Writers are finally taking note of Harden's propensity for handling the ball too much and giving up turnovers. He is now no. 2 in the league at 3.7 TOs per game. Jeremy is 10th at 3.1 per game.

    I'm a big ten guy so I watched a lot of Jared Sullinger while he was at Ohio State. He's a beast. He is gonna be one of the better PFs in the league. An injury threw him off during pre-draft workouts, but He shouldn't have fallen as far as he did on the draft board.

  4. Rockets-76ers Preview

    After spending most of the last three weeks on the road, the struggling Philadelphia 76ers are hoping to make the most of a heavy slate of home games.

    The 76ers try to avoid losing six straight for the first time in three seasons as they open a stretch of 12 of 13 at home Saturday night against a Houston Rockets team coming off back-to-back losses.

    Philadelphia (15-22) enters the weekend having dropped 13 of 16, 12 of which came in opposing arenas. The 76ers, though, would appear to have a good chance to get things turned around with only one road game scheduled through Feb. 11. They've gone 9-8 on their own court compared to 6-14 on the road.

    "Coming back home, getting a little rest, it gives us an opportunity to find ourselves," center Spencer Hawes said. "We have to look at this chance here at home as a great option for us to get right back in the mix."

    Philadelphia, which has averaged 84.2 points and been outscored by an average of 18.2 during its five-game skid, is coming off Wednesday's 90-72 loss at Toronto. Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young scored 16 points apiece but the 76ers shot 39.2 percent and posted their lowest scoring output of the season.

    "I think what happens when you get a little fatigued the ball sticks, guys don't move," coach Doug Collins said. "I think as much as anything as a basketball player you struggle to score the ball, that's probably as deflating as anything and then you throw in fatigue, you throw in the schedule, there's no question it all rolls together."

    Despite its struggles, Philadelphia, which hasn't dropped six straight since March 30-April 9, 2010, sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference - four games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot.

    "As poorly as we've played and as bad as the results have been, we're not that far out of it," Hawes added. "You get one game, you get two and then you start rolling. ... I think we have to get our defensive identity back and start playing together on both ends, start having fun again."

    The 76ers will likely need to clamp down with Houston (21-16) coming to town. The Rockets, averaging 105.6 points to rank second in the league, shot 56.0 percent to run away from Philadelphia in a 125-103 victory Dec. 19.

    Houston, though, hasn't been able to find its groove on the first two stops of its three-game trek. Two nights after being limited to their fewest points this season in an 88-79 loss at New Orleans, the Rockets went a season-worst 12 for 29 (41.4 percent) from the free-throw line Friday in a 103-91 defeat at Boston.

    "That's the second game in a row where we haven't shot well, haven't moved it really well," said coach Kevin McHale, whose team hasn't dropped three straight since Dec. 7-10. "We've got a lot of stuff we've got to clean up. We've got to hit the open man, make the extra pass - just clean it up a little bit."

    McHale is surely at least partly referring to James Harden's sloppy play. Harden turned the ball over six times Friday after committing a career worst-tying seven against the Hornets. He's averaging 3.7 turnovers, just behind Holiday's league-worst mark of 3.8.

    Harden, who had 24 points against the Celtics, scored 33 against Philadelphia last month. Holiday missed that game due to a sprained left foot.

    Friday's loss dropped the Rockets to 14-3 against East opponents.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Replies
    1. To many, Jlin is playing great. To me, he's playing mediocre most of the time with spots of greatness. I can't bear seeing those stats, but that's a true reflection of his game. Those who constantly argue how good everything is just cant come to grips with reality. Oh well, on to the next game in hopes there's another spot of greatness. Hope JLin can shine brighter against Philly.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Thats only your opinion Racha. You seem to believe you are the most knowledgeable person here. You believe you have to enlighten the fans on this site by nagging about Lins performance all the time. Jokes on you though. You are missing the point!

      This is a fan-site. We are optimistic - not blind. If you wanna talk about how mediocre JLin is -> there are places where people are less biased. You behave like a party pooper. You claim people say JLin is awesome - best PG in the lague - but who said so? You are the one with the false dilemma. You constantly expect Linsanity performance from Lin and you nag if JLin fails to deliver.

      Most people here see JLin as who he is -> a great young player with lots of potential.

      He knows what good about his style of play - he knows whats bad. So do his real fans. You? Tsss...

  7. from newsobserver:

    Houston Rockets (21-16) at Philadelphia 76ers (15-22), 7:30 p.m. (ET)

    The next month could get a bit easier for the slumping Philadelphia 76ers, who open a four-game homestand Saturday night versus the Houston Rockets at Wells Fargo Center.

    The Sixers will play 12 of the next 13 games in front of the home crowd and just completed their 11th road game in 13 tries Wednesday in a 90-72 loss at Toronto. Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young ended with 16 points apiece, while Evan Turner tallied 10 points and seven boards for the 76ers, who have lost a season high-tying five straight games and are 3-13 in the past 16 games.

    Turner is averaging 10.6 ppg in his previous 12.

    "We just had nothing left," Sixers coach Doug Collins said.

    Philadelphia has gone 5-16 since a promising 10-6 start to the season and defense has been an issue lately. Opponents are averaging 101.8 points per game in the past six and the Sixers have scored below 90 points in seven of the past eight games, averaging 87.3 ppg in that span. Philadelphia is 7-3 when scoring 100-plus points.

    The 76ers are 9-8 as the host this season and have won eight of the past 13 games at Wells Fargo Center.

    Houston has lost the first two tests of a three-game road trip and looks to salvage the swing against a slumping Sixers squad.

    The Rockets had a five-game winning streak stopped Wednesday in New Orleans and dropped a 103-91 decision at Boston two nights later. James Harden paced the Rockets with 24 points and Chandler Parsons added 18 in defeat. The Rockets, who are now second in the NBA with 105.6 ppg, shot 43.8 percent and made just 9-of-33 3-pointers.

    "That's the second game in a row where we haven't shot well, haven't moved it really well either," former Celtics great and current Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "We had 22 assists, but when you miss a bunch of shots, you just don't get assists."

    In the midst of playing nine of 11 games on the road, the Rockets, who are 7-10 outside of Space City, will return home for a battle with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. They will then hit the road for four straight.

    The Rockets and Sixers will close out their season series tonight, and Houston has the upper hand courtesy of a 125-103 victory on Dec. 19. Harden had a game-high 33 points to go along with seven assists in that one for the Rockets, who have still lost seven of the past 10 meetings between the teams.

    Houston has won six of its last nine at Philadelphia.

  8. IsabeliJane, your efforts are appreciated. But, pace yourself. It's a long season....

    I'm just happy there are likeminded individuals here and the trolls are at bay.

  9. im half troll half australian :).. watch the racism xgametheory

  10. Lin Is always the first one to sub out!

  11. I hate to say it, but Harden is just a stiff, personality-wise. He's not much of a likeable person. He should never have left the Thunder because Durantula made him who he was there and he is just unable to replicate in Houston simply because there is no Durant to take all the pressure. I noticed that when Jeremy is on the bench, it seems like Harden all of the sudden tries much harder in creating team movement on offense (it is not effective either).

    As for the whole Jeremy and aggressiveness factor, it's complete Bull. When TD subs in and tries a little too hard to be aggresive, it actually made them worse off on both ends of the floor. On offense, being too aggressive leads to too many forced mistakes an lack of thinking... It's basically meathead style and leads to lack of finesse. On defense, it seems like the teeam ends up leaving too many guys open and results in open 3's or an easy dunk.