Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rockets vs Clippers Game #39 Pre Game Thread

Jeremy's game against the Sixers was not as bad as it looked. First, off he was 2-13 but at least 6 shots were layups, 4 just missed and fouls could have been called. With 4 games in 5 nights, his legs just weren't there to finish. I'm also guessing he could still be dealing with some knee swelling after heavy minutes, thus his struggles with back to backs.

Jrue is true, like I said, an All-Star. Jeremy definitely had a hard time guarding him. However, 15 of his 30 points were not scored on Lin.

Once again, James Harden's transition D was horrid. Once again, nothing from McHale to call him out on it. If its Lin, he sits or gets yelled at. Harden, nothing, just more shots to pad his stats. I just can't believe people are saying MVP for Harden. Have you ever seen his defensive stance? You can't be more upright then that. Did you see Lebron guarding Al Jefferson? Case closed.

Oh well, on to the Clippers. It looks like JLin and CP3 are game time decisions.

92 comments:

  1. Rockets promote rookie Jones

    The Rockets recalled rookie forward Terrence Jones from Rio Grande Valley, their NBA Development League affiliate Monday.

    Jones has averaged 19.2 points and 11 rebounds in nine games over two stints with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2013/01/rockets-report-parsons-ponders-opportunity-to-guard-griffin/

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    1. Paul is day-to-day with a bruised right kneecap and missed his first game of the season on Monday, but the Clippers (29-9) matched their second-largest victory margin of 2012-13 in a 99-73 win at Memphis.

      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/clippers-rockets-preview-053713216--nba.html

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  2. Well, in defense of Harden--his standard of deviation is very low. Bad night, he gets you 20+ pts. Yes, he might throw up 20 FGA to get his 20 pts, but doggone it, he'll get you that 20. Good night, he'll go 30+.

    In support of your point, a scoring SG is the most fungible position in the NBA. Scoring SGs are such a common commodity. Morey just threw 80 million at a SG. I don't expect them to hold Harden accountable because

    (1) we are not privy to Harden's demands to OK extension with HOU. He had massive leverage, better than a no trade clause, because his trade were dependent on him signing an extension. Perhaps his agent and his inner circle said "we're going to score so we can establish his market potential as a star first" or "if you want a defensive star, why spend 80 million dollars" or "nobody plays defense anyways, why do you make my client do something 99% of his peers don't do" or "you can protect my client by having a defensive minded SF or PG if you want defense". All these demands I made up all have merit.

    (2) You're not going to alienate an employee who you gave 80 million dollars too. Yes, the owner can heap superlatives Jeremy's way (as some poster here have used as an argument) but the fact is, you judge a man by his actions not words. 80 million versus 25 million will show you the organization's loyalty quite simply. which leads into

    (3) no true NBA insider really thinks Harden is a defender. the NBA finals last year was pretty clear anecdotal evidence. Yes, you can argue about making at least an effort but going through the motions and exerting energy at his most inefficient skill that could potentially take away his most efficient skill (scoring) is not a true solution.

    Therefore, I think it is a waste of time harping on any teammate of Jeremy or making it into a "vs" argument. It would be more constructive to make witty remarks about his shortcomings. I would want to see Jeremy's cumulative effect (his hustle, heart, and skill on D) over a season to see if Jeremy can influence his teammate to a higher level of defensive intensity before I start with the nitpicking.


    Jeremy currently has a high standard of deviation. Bad night he'll go 7-5-5. He might throw up 10 FGA to get that 7, so the volume of FGA is less than Harden, but it can be argued it is the same inefficient rate as Hardens. Good night, he'll go 30+ pts /10+ assist. The big difference is no one knows, right now, where Jeremy's std of deviation will settle.

    With that said, a legitimte PG in the NBA is very, very hard position to fill. It might not be as rare as a true C, but the responsibility of a PG exceeds that of a C. I only chuckle that Jeremy had to go through the NBA as a PG--but he is what he is (6'3"). Or maybe a 6'5" scoring guard. Or maybe a 6'8 wing player. Maybe if he was 7'0" 270, life would have been much easier for both him and his fans. So adversity also is nothing new as a Jeremy fan.

    My support will not waver on the vagaries of a day, week, month, or season. If he turns out that his standard deviation settles to a 9 - 5 - 5 player or lower, fine. If his standard of deviation settles into a 18- 8 player or lower, fine too.

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    1. Thanks for the thoughts. Nice to know that there are like minded fans showing unwavering support. I think those are plausible explanations for why Rockets staff use double standard treatment when it comes to Harden and JLin. Consistency may also explain why Rockets fans are so enamoured by the Beard.

      I personally wouldn’t make the point that JLin is inconsistent (I take it when you say we don’t know where his standard deviation to settle to mean that there is high standard deviation, high variation, and thus inconsistency in his performance). JLin has been consistent. His performance has been consistently good. It seems to me it is the type of contribution that is inconsistent, but I would say that is hardly his fault.

      The type of contribution has consistently reflected the type of responsibilities he is asked to take on. Put the ball in his hands and ask him to make plays, he will produce assists and help the team score. The string of games after Spurs has shown us that. Not to mention last year with NYK. I think that qualifies as consistency.

      Credit to the coaches for giving JLin consistent minutes, but they have also been guilty of being inconsistent in taking the ball out of JLin’s hands. One string of games the ball is in his hands and in others, especially the past game or two he’s not getting the ball back or sometimes even getting the ball to bring up court. Coaches should consistently put the ball in a pg’s hands whether he has a hot hand or not if they want ‘legitimate’ pg production, which I take to mean consistent play making production. Take the ball out of his hands and rely on non pg players to make plays, JLin’s type of contribution will reflect that.

      For all his shooting troubles and narratives about that being an indication of his inherent nature as an inconsistent player, one aspect that he has been consistent in has been his defense. 3rd leading steals guy is not small feat.

      [Btw, if his standard deviation settles into a higher number, I think this means (correct me if I am wrong) his performance is highly variable and thus inconsistent. I think I understand the sense that you are using standard deviation so I guess it is a matter of semantics, but technically and generally understood I think variation or unpredictability is what standard deviation stands for.]

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    3. Standard deviation is a measure of data's variability from the mean. In other words, the variability of the unknown value of Y given the known value of X.

      You need to include AT LEAST two more data sets to conduct a more accurate multivariate standard deviation calculation. These data sets include minutes per game and field goals attempts per game.

      Simply put, saying a player's points per game variance explains nothing if that player's minutes and shot attempts per game variance is also high.

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    4. Good post Pierrot. I agree with almost everything you said, especially that Lin's performance varies a great deal like a roller coaster ride. Now, if Lin doesn't reach the potential I think he can reach within next two years, I will definitely not watch that many NBA games but will still have a great deal of admiration for what he has accomplished and the kind of person he seems to be.

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    5. In terms of standard deviation, it also has to come with the mean. As Etan suggested, simply the pts/game may not be a good measurement for the impact of the game. Pts/game, min/game and pts/(shot attempts) need to be compared in order to have a better understanding. I personally want to see the usg% and pts analysis. Or, given that we do not know the parent distribution, we can do some bootstrap and/or jackknife simulated resampling to get some feeling what is going on.

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  3. Sounds like JLin is good to go.

    http://www.nba.com/rockets/video/2013/01/15/ZOOM0001MOV-2354921

    He took so long to answer the top of the to-do list question. It seems like there is much that is left to be done.

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    1. JLin can't afford to miss games. If TD starts and does well, we can see JLin lose his starting spot w/out hesitation from McHale. What is up with the constant ankle sprains, he needs to go back to high tops.

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    2. Agreed with the high tops. I wouldn't dare to go on the court without them. However, was someone here saying the the restrictiveness in the ankle region leads to the forces moving up the leg like the knee? I don't know if the is the case or not.

      As for the second part, are we really going back there again? That is, Lin is not a starter in the NBA? Really?

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    3. I don't think I've seen him wear high tops. I wonder why he likes low tops. Personally (but I am merely a recreational player), I like low tops as well. No real solid reason for it, but just feels less restrained (but I guess that is one of the main points of having high tops, to limit ankle sprains...)

      I don't think McHale will make such a bold move as to make TD the starter for the rest of the season once JLin sits. It has more to do with status on the team more than anything, I guess. Importantly for gaining experience, it is who finishes games that is important. McHale has already at times taken the 'finisher' spot away from JLin, but that was earlier in the season. It seems to me that JLin will continue to be starter and finisher unless there are reasons other than performance. Or maybe that's just me being optimistic. :)

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    4. JLin just started wearing low tops this year. Last year was mid. Prior to that was high.

      Lowry had issues with McHale last year for the similar reasons. If JLin's ankles aren't too bad, he plays so no worries there.

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    5. @xgametheory, JLin is definitely a starter, but the way McHale treats his PGs. He will not hesitate to pull the plug on JLin's starting spot.

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    6. I have knee problems. High tops are not bad for knees, imo. But, high tops generally have thicker soles. And, thicker soles are bad for knees. They put more lateral pressure on the knees.

      Personally, I prefer mid tops with minimal sole/cushion support.

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    7. It wouldn't bother me one bit if McHale pulls Lin from the starting spot. McHale would just be tightning his own coaches noose in Houston.

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    8. Ditto. Plus, whatever move that can help free Lin is good even if it means removing Lin from the starting spot.

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    9. The GM Morey's thinking from the following excerpt (the post after this), as well as how Lin was benched and marginalized for a while, makes me think that Jeremy Lin will be traded for a "big" sooner or later. It would be a LOT better for Lin if it's sooner so he can mesh with the new team sooner. Since the Rockets' centerpiece is Harden (which it should be, obviously) *AND* since "being in the NBA is all about fitting in around a team’s centerpiece", Lin does NOT FIT IN according to Morey's philosophy. How can it when Lin's skill set is redundant with that of Harden's skill set, rather than "complementing" Harden's? Morey now should trade Lin to a supportive team for that PF who will "fit" the "centerpeice" Harden.

      I NOW SEE that when McHale and Sampson used Lin as a pure 100% spot-up shooter for the first 1.5 months, it was likely from a meeting made up of their "basketball minds", which explains why the coaches continued the practice with ease until the Spurs "audition" game. They probably felt the pressure to stop totally marginalizing Lin after that, and because Lin's quasi-PG role had a positive effect on the team, they must have decided to leave it at that, at least for now.

      Forcing Lin to suddenly play a 3-point catch-and-shoot specialist ("specialist" is also the word used by Morey in the article) - that I still think they prefer him do - was so unfair to Lin. This is what the Lakers' PF Antawn Jamison (who is quite good with 3-pointers) had to say about about being "pulled out of his comfort zone" when his former coach Brown was experimenting: "It was difficult to get into a rhythm when my first three or four shots are three pointers. You’re going to hit one here or there, but it was just tough for me to get into a rhythm. And I’ve always been a guy who can get it from anywhere," ... "Whether it’s driving to the basket, a put-back, or something off the dribble. Pick and pop. Those are the things that kind of get me into a rhythm, and honestly it was tough getting into one coming in, trying to come in and knock down three’s after sitting down for eight or nine minutes." - Source: http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/34700/lakers-benchantawn-jamison-and-jodie-meeks-show-improvement

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    10. Excerpt from USAToday's HoopsWorld, January 9, 2013 http://www.hoopsworld.com/morey-sees-rockets-roster-as-stable/

      .... As Morey explained, being in the NBA is all about fitting in around a team’s centerpiece. The Rockets now have theirs in James Harden, which means [Terrence] Jones can focus on complementing Houston’s star.

      “To make it in the NBA you do need one skill at a pretty high level and if you are well rounded with that, you are probably already in the NBA so generally sometimes guys will start as specialist,” Morey said. “Greg Smith was someone who really finished around the basket and then we were hoping he could round out his defense and rebounding and he’s really done that in NBA and that’s why he’s panned out. We do like to see a guy who has at least one thing that’s NBA quality.”

      A quick look at the Rio Grande Valley [Rockets' D-League affiliate] stat sheet reveals just about a half dozen players who are within earshot of a spot in an NBA rotation. Besides Jones and Motiejunas, the Vipers also have point guard Andrew Goudelock, shooting guard Terrel Harris, centers Vernon Macklin and Hassan Whiteside as well as former Georgia Tech swingman Glen Rice Jr.

      ..... As it stands, the Rockets have 15 players on their roster, so unless they package a few players together in an attempt to acquire a big-name NBA player, there won’t be any room on the roster.

      Morey said. "We were aggressive until we got an All-Star to build around, and we feel like we have that with James [Harden], so you will see us a little stable, build around James and obviously we are going stay aggressive to improve but probably won’t see as much turnover as in the past.

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    11. Heh I don't think we'll have to worry about TD replacing Lin over ONE game.

      Not resting when he should = short career.

      Whether he plays or not I don't have much confidence in Rox beating Clippers with or without CP3, Clippers bench is just so much better than Rox bench and I expect Lin to slow down this game.

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    12. What does Morrey mean when he said "that's why he's (Greg Smith) panned out"? Is he saying that's why Greg Smith gets to play 4 mins per game?

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    13. Morey must have meant that Greg became a rotation player in the NBA (he was undrafted . He's just turned 22, so he has a tremendous upside. He'll probably become a starter real fast. He said that working hard on his conditioning and practice all Summer really paid off. He will continue to do that every offseason - like all good players do.

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    14. Greg was undrafted and was the Rockets "pet project" to turn him into a starter in the NBA. It paid off for both Greg and the team.

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    15. Without Jeremy Lin feeding him the ball in perfect spots, Greg Smith would be a ZERO.

      He lacks moves, doesn't have court awareness, cannot create his own shot, and can do little with the ball other than dunk it.

      No matter how much Greg Smith cherrypicks off Lin, the hard truth remains that he just doesn't have NBA skills. He may an NBA body, but I don't know if there's an NBA game to go with it!

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    16. I would counter that although Greg Smith has a year or two of defensive awareness to develop, he's still Houston's best option on the interior offense. He's the only one that can finish Jeremy's perfectly placed passes. The alternative is one who convert's Jeremy's perfectly placed passes into a perfect Jeremy turn over.

      Greg has the physical talents. It's up to McFail to decide whether or not he wants to develop Greg further.

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    17. It's on GREG SMITH to develop Greg Smith, not McHale.

      Until Greg Smith learns how to catch the ball, make post moves, read the court, and shoot free throws, he doesn't deserve one minute more than McHale has already gifted him.

      The NBA is not a league where a one dimensional dunker like Greg Smith can be successful every night. Guys like Greg Smith who look good in dunking, they grow on trees and wash out like autumn leaves. To be a big man in the NBA playing big minutes, you gotta have GAME.

      McHale is one of the greatest big man coaches of all time, as can be evidenced with his track record with developing Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, and Luis Scola. But no big man coach at any level has ever taken a D league talent like Greg Smith and molded him into a serviceable big man with NBA level moves and court sense. It would be unfair to blame McHale for failing to accomplish what no other NBA coach has ever accomplished.

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    18. Well, it's on both Greg Smith and McFail. Greg puts in his time in the gym and practices. But, he also needs guidance on what his coach expects him to accomplish. And, it doesn't hurt to get more minutes.

      I think your entire second paragraph fits Omer Asik perfectly and doesn't resemble Greg Smith at all. Greg can catch and dunk with the best of them. I've not seen enough of him to have an opinion on his interior moves. However, he is enough of an interior threat that teams cannot leave him alone.

      OTOH, teams do no care whether Asik can get the ball because he can't do anything with it even IF he can catch a pass. That's why the Rockets fast breaks are halted to a stall because the defense can collapse on the running and perimeter game and completely ignore the interior when Asik is on the floor.

      Can't fault McFail if he tries and fails to develop Greg Smith into a more rounded player. However, I can surely blame McFail for not even trying. It's not like his bench is filled with talented big men that also can use some developing. It would only help the team by trying to make his best big man even better.

      Bottom line, when Greg gets minutes, he contributes positively with points and to team synergy. Even if he's not a well rounded player yet, he's way better than the alternative.

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  4. I'm glad that Lin is going to play.

    I'm OK with Lin having a few statistically low scoring games if it means that he plays the entire season.

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    1. <= 9 pts = 18 games
      10pts - 19pts = 13 games
      20pts - 29 pts = 5 games
      >= 30 pts = 1 game

      JLin has more than a few statistically low scoring games. Virtually all of the games he played are low scoring games. The low scoring category is for Toney Douglas, not JLin. JLin needs to consistently rise above that and score in the teens more often.

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    2. Correction. Virtually 1/2 of all the games he played, not all of the games.

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    3. Missed a game in the 10pts - 19pts category, it's 14 games not 13.

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    4. Scoring in the teens is not Linsanity, just on average that's where he needs to be at.

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    5. racha,

      although i believe there are roles for everyone, i have to agree with you that jeremy needs to score consistently in the mid teens in order for the rockets to win.

      i like his mentality of getting other into the flow of the offense early on but he needs to look to score a little earlier rather than wait till second half. he needs to score early to break the cycle of rockets falling behind in the Q1, and he needs to score in mid-teens in order for them to win.

      their defense is not at a point yet where they can win with jeremy scoring in single digits.

      i don't believe offense is an issue with this team at all.. they score quite enough points to win most games. however, their defense is not close to being there, and with the way their defense is right now, jeremy will need to score for them to win.

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    6. Unlike you guys, I don't care what Lin does in the stat sheet (even though he usually does something amazing, like be 3rd in the NBA in steals).

      What's important is that Lin keeps making the right play. It's hard to do on this weak Rockets team with big men that are all so bad.

      Lin has taken a lot of hits and is not being refereed fairly. That probably contributes to his shooting woes. When Lin is officiated properly, he tends to shoot over 50% from the field.

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    7. I also rather see low scoring performances from Lin for this season if that means it will prolong his NBA career, especially since my expectation to begin with was 12 points per game anyway. I already knew Lin didn't have a dependable long jumpers. If Lin improves in making wide open jumpers alone, his per game average would increase to 15 points per game.

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    8. Another reason I feel this way is that if Lin no longer plays in NBA at all, I really have no strong reason to watch NBA games (Rockets' games), whereas if Lin averages 12 points per game, I can at least view some NBA games time to time. Therefore, it's a selfish reason but that's the reason.

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    9. Personally. No Lin No NBA games. I'd prefer to do some interesting things than seeing some selfish guys padding their stat.

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    10. I expect Lin to start accelerating his game in the 2nd half of the season.

      Just as Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic eventually figured how to play under McHale, so will Lin.

      I predict that Lin will average about 14 to 15 ppg by the end of the season

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    11. Ditto. Personally, if Jordan, Bird, Donnie Nelson or Lin is not involved in the game, I am not interested. I grew up a GSW fan, and their games were always infectious even when they sucked big time. They were boring to watch when Monte Ellis was on the team though. Something about having a super star on the team makes them uninteresting.

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    12. Addendum. Monte Ellis was fun to watch when he played with Baron Davis. But, not after Baron left.

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    13. I wonder if there is a survey for the following questions:

      1. Are you a new NBA fan or came back to NBA because of JLin

      2. Are you paying for League Pass because of JLin

      3. Will you still watch NBA games if JLin no longer in the NBA.

      My answers are Yes, Yes and No.

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    14. I came back to follow NBA more closely because of JLin.

      I definitely paid for League Pass because of JLin.

      I won't watch NBA games regularly without JLin, but I will watch only in limited circumstances e.g. if Nash makes conference or NBA finals.

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    15. No, I was an NBA fan before Jeremy Lin was even BORN.

      No, I don't have League Pass because I manage to catch games here there and everywhere. Plus my work conflicts with games.

      I watch games and follow the NBA whether Lin is playing or not. I am probably also the only person here who'd be following Lin if he were not Asian! I have a special interest in undervalued NBA stars who have a dramatic impact on winning basketball games, and I actually now regard Lin on the same basketball impact I regard a guy like Isiah Thomas or Magic Johnson. Lin doesn't have Magic or Isiah's stacked teams though, plus nobody doubted Magic or Isiah the way Lin gets doubted.

      I regard Jeremy Lin as the best young point guard in the NBA over Kyrie Irving and John Wall and Damien Lilliard and everybody else. If Lin were respected for his game as opposed to disrespected for his name, opponents and teammates alike would treat Lin like the HALL OF FAMER he is going to inevitably become one day.

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    16. Personally, I won't follow JLin very closely if he weren't any good. I'll only show a passing interest in JLin if he were merely a mediocre player. I certainly wasn't very interested in Wang Zhi Zhi, for example. Heck, I wasn't even interested in Yao Ming even though he was very good.

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    17. @eb5attorney, @2fc: me, too, No Lin, No more NBA, I stopped watching when John Stockton retired, and came back because of Lin.

      @bto: YES, YES (first time in my life), NO (even Kobe and King James' games don't interest me at all)

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  5. Darn. I was hoping Lin would sit out this game. I think this would have answered a lot of questions.

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    1. Nah, JLin is stubborn like that. If he can play, even if he is banged up, he will play. I like that he has the fight and suck it up attitude in him. I don't like that this may mean he doesn't know how to protect his health. It's all a balance though, and as a professional and smart dude, I am sure JLin knows how to balance it out.

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    2. Well, when I said "Lin would sit out" I didn't mean it literally. I meant the team doctor or coach decided Lin should rest his ankle.

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    3. I hope he's really ok for this game. Not just a little bit ok. Sprain ankle can be a small thing that takes one or two days and big thing that can takes a week to fully good to go.

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    4. JLin needs to come back strong this game and show everyone why he was calculated to be the FASTEST PG in the league.

      http://wordzhavemeaning.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/jeremy-lin-is-one-of-the-fastest-in-the-league/

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    6. Well, we've seen what happened when the Rockets are playing without Harden. Would be nice to also see how the Rockets play without Lin.

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    7. Yeah. I personally want to see how Harden can lead the Rocket. With Lin, I trust. Others? I do not know.

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  6. Play or not doesn't matter,McHale is gonna bench him anyway.

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  7. It seems 95% of the time, Rockets win whenever Patterson plays well (9 points or more).

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    1. They really need the whole bench to play well. When 3/4 of the bench guys (TD, sausage, patterson, smith) rockets will do well. That is when 3/4 of them ave about 10 points each.

      The starters finishing close games seem shaky to me.

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    2. That's why I want to see what happens if Lin couldn't play today. When Harden had that ankle injury, 5 Rockets were in double digits.

      It could've been 7 players had Delfino not go 2 for 12 and Patterson at 8 points had scored one more FG.

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  8. I thought it would be interesting to look a few facts from Basketball Reference JLin Shooting Splits :

    1. Lin definitely is much better at long 2PTs (16ft-3PT distance) with 41.5%FG vs only 27.6%FG from 3PT line but the eFG% (considering points produced) is the same at 41.5%.
    So nothing new here but the interesting number is %Assisted at 55% and 88% for 2PT made and 3PT made. Perhaps Lin is much more comfortable shooting 2PT off the-dribble resulting in higher FG% than having the ball passed to him to make 3PTs? If yes, it just means that Lin needs more time to be more comfortable to be a spot-up shooter after the ball is passed to him. And perhaps sometimes he can take 1 dribble to shot-fake before launching 3PTs to get the feel of the ball.

    2. How effective is Lin's 3PT% by the quarter ?
    Quarter 3PT% FG Made-Attempt
    1Q 14.3% 3-12
    2Q 40% 12-30
    3Q 35% 14-40
    4Q 18.2% 2-17
    Surprisingly it varied a lot by quarters, Lin's best 3PT% is in the 2Q and 3Q at 40% and 35% and he attempted them 30 and 40 times. Perhaps he was not warmed-up or confident yet in 1Q or 4Q? Or perhaps he trusted others with higher 3PT FG% to take it in 4Q.

    I'm confident that with time his 3PT% in 4Q can be as high as 35%-40% in 2Q and 3Q.

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  9. First time here, hello all Lin fans!

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    1. Welcome to the board, von!

      This is as intelligent a basketball forum as there is.

      Enjoy!

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    2. Glad you found your way here, Von.

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  10. Not enough soul in the game when Jeremy isn't playing. I would forget about the NBA if it wasn't for Jeremy Lin. Hope he will excel tonight.

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  11. ESPN is advertising tomorrows' Rox-Mavs as "Jeremy Lin and the Rockets take on Dirk and the Mavs."

    Funny how Lin has the marketability factor still over Harden even if most people view Harden as the MVP/All Star of the team.

    I feel the reality is that Lin is somewhat better than his currently stifled role on the Rox, but he's not nearly as good as what we want him to be.

    Systems can make most good players look like great players - for example, Lin in D'Antoni PnR spread system, Dwill in Sloan's system. Only true greats like LBJ can play great in any system or lack thereof. Sometimes players can play in a system but the coaches put them in the wrong spots within the system. That's basically what was happening to Lin on every play earlier this year.

    Lin struggling along this year is actually great for him. I think it helps him identify his weaknesses so he can work on them this summer and throughout the season to some extent. I expect big things from him next season once he corrects the major shortcomings we are seeing in this current season.

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    1. Hmm... I wonder whether Houston Rockets did a focus group on Houston basketball fans and found Lin to have a low favorability with local fans, hence, that's why they had to trade for a marquee player, any marquee player, before the season started.

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    3. @Etane,

      According to Woj's article, Morey had been calling Presti (OKC GM) for months to inquire about Harden trade so he just jumped at the opportunity in Oct 2012.

      So I don't think the Harden trade was due to Lin's low favorability with local fans who are still fans of Lowry/Dragic.

      I believe Morey sees Lin as a potential All-Star while Harden is a more established All-Star player with more experience. And they are looking an All-Star big now to complement Lin and Harden.

      Inside look at James Harden's trade to Rockets by Woj
      For months, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called on Oklahoma City's Sam Presti, probing him with a simple question: Want to discuss a deal for James Harden yet? Over and over, the response had been an unwavering no.

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    4. But no doubt Lin is already a "Marketing All-Star"!

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    5. Thanks for the link. Call me glass half empty, but I focused on this paragraph:

      "Veterans Derek Fisher and Perkins laid into Harden, telling him essentially: We just won an NBA Finals game and the last thing in the world that ought to worry you are your individual statistics. Harden apologized, but it was clear his mindset wasn't right. He never found his way back into a proper rhythm in the Finals."

      Also, it seems kind of awkward for Morey would go after two players that play similar positions to fill positions they weren't particularly weak at?

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    6. well, no doubt Morey wanted to go after any All-Star caliber players who wants to go to Houston even if Harden and Lin have similar skillsets in being playmakers and ball-dominant. Les and Morey's strategy is to get one All-Star to attract other free agents to come to Houston.

      HOU's previous attempt to get Pau Gasol was cut short by David Stern so HOU is quite desperate.

      We still have to wait to see if Harden will choose his own numbers over team wins but so far I see positive development in more chemistry between Lin and Harden.

      I'm sure if this Harden-Lin experiment doesn't work in 1-2 years or there is a better offer, Morey and Les will trade Lin. It's a business after all but they would be wrong for the 2nd time if they give up too soon on Lin.


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    7. If Morey had his way, Lin will be used as a trading chip to get another all star player. Morey has never been very high on Lin and will never be. His actions toward Lin tell me that. I know that that he was quoted in GQ that if he were to bet, he believes that Lin will have an all star season. But he had to say that because the marketing campaign was built around Lin and that was before the Harden trade.

      The soonest Lin will be traded is this off-season and the sooner he is traded the better his career will be. Some of you believe that McHale loves Lin, but his actions say otherwise. McHale is not about protecting Lin, he is all about winning and protecting his job. I am surprised some of you painted McHale as a Lin's guardian angel or some sort of saint. Please come back to the real world.

      Les is all about the money. He will have his people crunch some numbers and if Lin is not good of an investment, he will have Lin shipped out for another all star.

      I hope history repeats itself. Lin gets traded and he shines elsewhere. Houston was bad for Lin the first time around. It's bad for him this time.

      Knicks fans are far more knowledgeable Clutch fans. The majority of Clutch fans know shit about basketball, including Clutch himself (David Harsity). His basketball IQ is extremely low. I bet he has never played the game of basketball in his life. And don't get me started on his integrity and ethics.

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    8. I think Lin IS like a Lebron James that can flourish in any system.

      This season, Lin has had some utterly amazing games as a Houston Rocket. Those games cannot be disregarded or discounted as mere flukes.

      Lin is feeling a bit of fatigue at this point. That is totally understandable considering that this is his first full season as a NBA rotation player, let alone starter. Remember that less than a year ago, Lin was fretting over whether he'd be cut right out of the NBA. Look at HOW FAR Lin has come in LESS THAN A YEAR!!!

      There will be continued ups and downs as Lin plays through his first full season as a starter. Notice that I didn't say "Lin's a rookie", because no rookie has undergone 3 training camps and worn NBA jerseys in regulation for 3 different teams.

      When Lin is not overly fatigued, his game is great to watch. Stick Lin in any system and he will produce.

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    9. @Psalm. Might be my own imagination but Harden is like one of my pathological ex girlfriends who always need to be the center of attention. Is it just me or did Harden insert himself into Parson's and Lin's kung fu handshake?

      I don't see Harden backing off his stat padding any time soon. At least at OKC you had people who put the clamps on Harden's selfish ways. You only have coaches that feed Harden's ego in Houston. And, we've seen Harden freeze out Lin during the early part of the season.

      I just don't see the two co-existing for the long term.

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    10. If Lin is not traded, then I hope Rockets continue to lose games where they were supposed to win (due to poor coaching), so McHale is gone after this season. He is not a coach. He can't even make in game adjustments in a regular season. How the hell is he going to make adjustments during the playoffs?

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    11. It wouldn't shocked me if Clutch, himself posting around here under one or many names and calls fans as "disillusion." That is how low of a character I think he is. After all he had implied that many times over at his site.

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    12. ha :) Etane, pathological ex-GF

      well, here's how I see it. Harden certainly wants his gaudy All-Star number to shove it to OKC that they were wrong to trade him. But he also wants to win so compared to the beginning of the season, there has been a lot less Harden ISOs in the 4Q. He now knows that Lin is the real deal with his own strength to attack the basket although Lin's shooting is still inconsistent.

      Who knows if Harden truly want to make Harden-Lin to work? All we see if a little progress during games when they talk to each other more and try to win together.

      Don't get me wrong. Harden wants to be #1 guy in HOU. Lin only wants to WIN because he doesn't care if he's #2 or #3. I believe it will work because teammates recognize that Lin can ball out and he's not looking for the spotlight. But stranger things have happened.

      I wish Lin would be more aware that he also needs to show that he's the 2nd best scorer by getting his 12-15 PPG to deflect criticism and show coaches that he can score consistently. But understandably, Lin puts the team first and keep feeding Parsons, Asik and Morris even when they're struggling in 4Q. I wish he would take over more in scoring when his teammates struggle in 4Q so there will be no doubt in coaches' eyes that he needs to play in 4Q even when Douglas plays well.

      It's so funny watching Douglas tried unsuccessfully to score (blocked by KG) in the 4Q during BOS game while Lin was ready to check in because BOS got the lead back. "Don't sub me, coach!" lol

      This is another concern. HOU coaches will play Douglas extended time in 4Q when he's on a roll because they haven't seen Lin can contribute consistently in 4Q scoring. Lin needs to be more 'selfish' to score in 4Q for the betterment of the team and gain coaches' confidence in him.

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    13. @Psalm:

      I noticed that desperation last second stat padding by Douglas too. He knew he had no chance in hell of making that lay up but had to try since he knew he had 2 seconds left in the game.

      OKC didn't trade Harden because they wanted to but they knew Harden was going to leave because Harden wasn't going to accept OKC's offer. (I learned of this from your link).

      So, it's not like Harden has a chip on his shoulder or at least he doesn't have the right to have a chip on his shoulder like other players who were actually jilted by their former teams.

      I think it's impossible for Lin to play the way we want him to play as long as he plays for Houston. Sure, I want him to take more shots and lay ups. But, he's physically spent as he's the only player on the entire team playing unrelenting harassing defense.

      Notice during the 4th quarter with less than 45 seconds left in the game, Lin tried to trap the opposing ball handler. Harden was right there but let the ball handler pass him. Only after the ball handler crossed the half court line did another player help Lin trap the ball handler. I think they were able to get a turn over off that play if I remember correctly.

      Harden is no doubt talent. But, as the article you linked me wrote, none of his OKC teammate was surprised or sad that Harden got traded.

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  12. I know a majority of us Asians are good at Math, but why do we have to analyze all of these statistics just for JLin. JLin is a baller. If there was a new hella good Asian American surfer, would he get a site just for the stats of which waves he did well on? 1-2 foot waves, 2-3, 3-5. Please do all the statistical analysis for your fantasy leagues and post all of your SAAS/Matlab/R JLin centric analysis at some other site. This site is getting hella Linsipid.

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    1. A part of the reason is because doubters do not recognise JLin is a baller and feels the need to come to this same site to bash JLin and his fans. They criticise fans for being 'blind', 'delusional', or 'irrational.' Providing numbers is just one way of refuting their attacks on JLin and JLin's believers.

      In short, they started it. :)

      Fans here use the eye test, too, if that is what you are advocating.

      I personally find the statistics quite fascinating in how they align and support our opinions of JLin.

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    3. Well, surfing isn't a sport, it's a lifestyle. So, why bother quantifying anything surfing related.

      When Ichiro came over to the states, stats were used quite frequenly to try to break down his game as his game was so different from the typical steroid ingesting freaks.

      In fact, Lin fans that I see here and there that discuss Lin related stats are usually doing so in a way that sheds light on how stats are cherry picked by naysayers who are trying to prove their assertion that Lin doesn't belong in the NBA.

      High turnovers? No higher than your average point guard and much lower than most star players'.

      Slow? Empirically, the fastest point guard in the NBA.

      Weak defense? One of the best +/- in the league plus top 5 in steals consistently.

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    4. Jonathan, you posed an interesting question on why there are so many NBA Advanced Statistics out there while there are no Surfing Statistics. I'm sure if surfing is a billion dollar industry like the NBA, there would be Surfing Advanced Statistics.

      In fact, why do we measure statistics at all? Why do MLB, NBA, NFL use advanced statistics to gain competitive advantage? What kind of stats did Daryl Morey use to believe Lin is a baller deserving $25M/3year contract? I believe it is an intelligent attempt to compare and standardize players. Players even use them to improve their performance.

      If someone asked me "Is Jeremy Lin a poor 3PT-shooter?", I can intelligently answer that he is improving because statistics and data show that he performed quite well in the 2nd and 3rd quarters this season using the stats posted above. There is no logical reason to believe that he won't improve. Otherwise, I can resort to a yelling argument with Lin haters.

      It's unfortunate that you think statistics are only useful for fantasy leagues. Especially as a software engineer who I thought should have an appreciation for data analysis. But, to each his own.

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    5. Thanks for the insight Etane and Psalm.

      As psalm says, some GM's rely heavily on stats to predict performance and to make important decisions such as where and how much to spend their money and play time.

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    6. To answer your question, Jonathan, the reason Jeremy Lin gets statistically analyzed here is that there is a huge GULF between the criticism of his so called weaknesses by the "expurts" and what he is actually doing on an NBA court.

      The press believes that Lin, as an Asian, is racially incapable and undeserving of a spot in the NBA. We have many fans on this site that agree wholeheartedly with the press's criticisms of Lin, and if you look closely you'll see many Lin fans here who really do agree with the press that Lin does not belong in the NBA. Those are the fans that pop up on this site to criticize Lin and his fans whenever Lin had a statistically subpar game.

      But then there are other fans who don't need fancy statistics to appreciate the GREATNESS of Lin's game. We see the hustle, the positioning, the setting up of teammates, the grit, and the leadership that are plainly obvious to anybody who appreciates winning basketball. Those traits Lin demonstrates are not always statistically quantifiable, but they do occasionally pop up as seemingly random outliers. In short, Jeremy Lin is always at the top of the NBA in SOMETHING.

      There is a growing divide between people who believe Lin is a SCRUB and people like me who can SEE that Lin is a great player who occasionally has bad games like all other great players do. Stats are the common language that both groups use to prove their points that Lin can or cannot play.

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    7. @Khuang:

      I agree. Very well written.

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    8. You can't prove JLin's "greatness" through statistics. At the end of the day, media people judge you by the number of championships you have. JLin has not won anything. He is a good player, he most likely will be an above average point guard with good court vision in the league. Perhaps when JLin gets 10,000 assists like Nash, Stockton, Magic, Jackson and Kidd then we can talk about JLin in a statistical sense as a point guard.

      Let him play, let him make mistakes, learn from the mistakes and apply the knowledge to future games. He is not an Asian American messiah which this site sort of idolizes him to be. He is a 2%-er from Palo Alto, CA with a Harvard University Bachelor's degree in Economics. I think JLin would have been ok, if he had gotten cut last year with the Knicks. Perhaps all of this NBA is just a finite brief blessing. ;-)

      Here is a Linteresting thought when there are too many statistics. "Figures never lie, but liars sure know how to figure"

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    9. You have fallen for the media anti Lin garbage hook, line, and sinker Jonathan.

      Like the dumbass media who say Lin is a below average point guard because he hasn't produced Hall of Fame numbers like Stockton or Nash, you criticize Lin and especially Lin's fans for supposedly misreading statistics.

      Here's why you hate stats: On a statistical level, Jeremy Lin as a 3rd year player who has not even played a full season of games has MASSIVELY OUTPRODUCED all of the Hall of Famers in asany games except for Magic Johnson. The question isn't is Jeremy Lin is good as those guys, it's whether those guys are as good as Lin!

      Jeremy Lin is a great player doing great player things that show up as great player stats in statsheets and win loss columns. Haters like to argue otherwise, and thats why guys like you hate stats.

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    10. Jonathan, you just showed that you are okay with using statistics (assists > 10000) to measure if JLin is comparable to all-time PG greats like Magic, Nash, Jackson and Kidd :)

      And how about Oscar Robertson at 9887 assists and Isaiah Thomas at 9061? We would say they're almost as great as the list above.

      Let's not stop there. What about # assists/game in the first year for these all-time greats?
      Nash 5.5 with 40 games started in his 3rd season (98-99)
      Magic 9.5 with 78 games started in his 3rd season (81-82)
      Stockton 7.4 with 38 games started in his 2nd season (85-86)
      Can we attempt to compare Jeremy? Of course, why not?
      Lin 6.2 assists with 25 games started in his 2nd season (11-12)

      So Lin's assist/game when he started is slighly above Nash but below other all-time greats. What does it mean? It only means Lin has the POTENTIAL to be great. A lot of things still have to be right (longevity, right team, etc.) for Lin to be great. But noone can't say Lin has the potential.

      Believe me, we know statistics can lie if used improperly. My old professor said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics".

      I can see your point that we should let Lin grow as a player and not burden him to be an Asian-American messiah BUT statistics serve its function to bridge Lin believers and Lin non-believers to have intelligent discussion. Wouldn't you agree?

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  14. I'm getting tired of negative comments about JLin fans who are newbies to basketball. I am one of them. JLin opened a lot of doors for Asian-Americans in sports. Besides basic rules, I don't know much about soccer but I still cheer for team USA too. Is there something wrong with that? I guess Team USA soccer and JLin in basketball makes me proud of who I am: ASIAN and AMERICAN!!!

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    1. I have no problem with newbies or experts. It is perfectly legitimate to support a player and a team because you identify with them. Basketball reasons are not the only good reasons for showing your support.

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  15. Lebron James can't shine in a system that he's not given consistent touches either.

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  16. I don't know about you guys, but I wished CP3 is able to play and match up against Lin (sprained ankle and all). At least then Lin will see what he needs to improve upon if he gets schooled by CP3. But, you will never know what Lin is capable of. He always shows up against a challenge as he has shown in the past. It seems as if the more pressure is placed on the game, the more he thrives. Keep our fingers crossed boys and girls and hope it is a good game tonight.

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