Another Ugly Game for Linharden as Rockets lose to Grizzlies

To be honest, I fully expected the Rockets to lose tonight, so was surprised to find them up when I started watching late in the first quarter. They didn’t look very good against the Nuggets and the Grizzlies are looking like a better team, so I expected the Rockets to have a tough time, but the game was pretty much close the entire time. Just wasn’t a very exciting game to watch. Rockets still don’t have chemistry, as expected.

I think tonight was Lin’s worst game of the season, if it weren’t for the fourth quarter. Up until the fourth quarter he wasn’t contributing much to the game. Scoring stats look good, only because of the fourth quarter, but in terms of contributions he made to helping the team and all of that, I thought it was his worst game. Parsons had a good shooting game. Other than that, there wasn’t much that looked good for the Rockets tonight, but I fully expected that. So it didn’t bother me too much. McHale did play Lin without Harden tonight. So that was nice to see. I feel like Lin is still not getting much help (or respect?) from his teammates and it’s understandable, because he hasn’t been very aggressive. I did see one possession in the beginning of the fourth quarter, I believe, when the clock was winding down and Lin called Patterson for a screen, but Patterson refused and Lin had to throw up a three pointer that was way off as the clock was winding down. Not sure what that was about. Maybe Lin called the screen a little too late, because time was sort of running out. I was happy to see Lin call for a screen though. He’s gotta do that more.

It was nice to see Lin turn it on in the fourth and Lin’s teammates actually gave him the ball quite a bit in the fourth, because he delivered. This is why I think it’s all up to Lin, because if Lin performs his teammates will start trusting him more. Grizzlies had such a big lead with a little over 4 minutes to go that Lin’s clutch play wasn’t enough, though. The key possession was Asik fumbling a Lin pass right under the basket that could have pulled us within two. After that possession, the Grizzlies just pulled away and got some bounces that went their way.

I think it’s gonna take a while for this Rockets team to gel. For some odd reason, they actually had great team chemistry with Martin in the preseason. But it’s hard to judge, because it was the preseason. But I remember being very impressed with the Rockets team in the preseason. They were shooting so well and moving the ball so rapidly. Guys were moving without the ball. The Rockets with Harden remind me of the Knicks last year with poor shooting and poor ball movement. They aren’t nearly as bad as the Knicks last year. No one can be that awful when it comes to poor ball movement. But this Rockets team looks terrible compared to the preseason Rockets team when it comes to ball movement. I think the Rockets coaching staff is focusing too much on Harden and it’s hurting the Rockets ball movement. I think they need to go back to more of a free-flowing offense. I think Harden works better in a free-flowing offense. Just let Harden and Lin do their thing. Just let them play. I felt like Lin and Harden had great chemistry before all of these practices. Just keep it simple. But maybe I’m jumping the gun, because it takes time for the chemistry to build. Just need to have patience as they work things out. Β I still say they should do some Linharden pick-and-rolls. They’ve gotta get Lin and Harden to play more off each other. Not sure why they haven’t tried that. Probably because it’s unconventional. But I think they have to find was to take advantage of having both Lin and Harden on the court together. The most obvious way to me is to have them set screens for each other. I know it’s not ideal, because they don’t have big bodies, but they have the speed to burst out of screens and get open. I would love to at least see it just to see how it would look like in games. I doubt they’ll do it, though, cause I haven’t seen too many interesting plays from McHale.

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  • MrPingPong

    Yep, passing the ball around the perimeter is not going to help regain confidence in one’s shot and will not gain respect from your teammates.
    I am sure Lin knows it. 5 downs, 77 more to go. The season is still young. I patiently await.

    Beat the Pistons, OK!

  • MrPingPong

    Here’s the pre-game video of the Rockets-Pistons game for the readership of this blog.

    http://youtu.be/9kZdPli8MqY

    Enjoy!

  • MrPingPong

    Texas size scoreboard for EMZ!

    http://youtu.be/etXoyPU-ADg

    Enjoy!

  • MrPingPong

    Here is the tip-off and bits of the first quarter. I only taped roughly the first two minutes and the last two minutes of each quarter.

    http://youtu.be/osz9P5zfrkQ

    Enjoy!

  • MrPingPong

    Here is the second quarter.

    http://youtu.be/NyilDrwYnrM

    Enjoy!

    • standupphilosopher

      Thanks for the videos, MrPingPong! I actually didn’t have a chance to see this game. Hope you had fun watching it.

      • MrPingPong

        Check out this youtube link for full replay of the Rockets-Pistons game.

        http://www.youtube.com/user/gamezonezero

        (in case some weird video shows up, just search youtube for gamezonezero).

        I had fun watching the game last night. ‘Did not get as good a seat as the Nuggets game, though! Lin played a little more assertively. He just needs to make a few more baskets to reassert his role as a floor general. Lin will have to prove himself over and over again. (Did you see the post game video of coach Sampson?)

        The one thing that impresses me about this young man is he seems quite calm about it. No anger, not a bit of hate in Lin’s heart.

        Go JLin!

        • standupphilosopher

          Yeah. I saw the post game interview from Sampson. Sampson doesn’t seem to be such a fan of Lin. That was my take, at least.

      • MrPingPong

        This one I made especially for you, Philosopher! πŸ™‚

        http://youtu.be/obF5ui1IU5Q

        Nope, Sampson does not appreciate Lin’s game, I don’t think. The only coach that believes in Lin is D’Antoni. Lin opened his eyes to a different dimension of the game.

        May be the Lakers will hire D’Antoni and Lin will end up migrating there. But no, this is not good for me, living in Houston and having to watch Lin on national TV playing for the Lakers!

        On a separate note, I am holding out hope for a “cheap” ticket to the Heat game tomorrow. If I don’t go to this game this time, I will have to wait until the NBA final to see Lin/Harden/Asik going against Wade/Lebron/Bosh live! πŸ™‚

        Hey, I am no basketball pundit, just a somewhat delusional Lin fan!

        Have a good night/morning/afternoon/evening wherever you all are on the WEB.

      • standupphilosopher

        Ha ha. Thanks, MrPingPong.

        I think D’Antoni would be the wrong coach for Lakers and Lin also won’t be happy with the Lakers. I’m sure you were just joking.

    • MrPingPong
      • standupphilosopher

        Thanks for the videos.

        I just heard the news that D’Antoni is going to the Lakers. That should be interesting. I know he’ll be good for Nash, but he may clash with Howard and maybe Kobe, since I think he’s all about a more democratic offense. I also can’t see him being able to direct superstar players. I think D’Antoni is better for a team like the Rockets. Could turn out to be a disaster for the Lakers. Although anyone is better than Mike Brown. He’s probably one of the worst coaches in the NBA (just my subjective opinion). Not sure why Lakers didn’t fire him last season.

      • MrPingPong

        OK, Philosopher, now that D’Antoni is the Lakers coach, you know I wasn’t joking! πŸ˜‰

        I am working on a movie script for Linsanity:

        “… During the 2011-2012 NBA lockout, the Gods of Basketball (GOB) got bored. So they said, ‘Let there be Lin!’, and there was Lin, a Knicks bench warmer, and the whole basketball world went Linsane…

        Then came the off-season, and the GOB got bored again. So they said, ‘Let there be Moreyball!’, and there was Morey, playing Moneyball The Devil, tempting the Knicks with a poison pill. The GOB then added, ‘Let Dolan be Dolan!’, and Dolan, being Dolan, rocketted Lin away for nothing… The whole basketball world went into shock… The Standup Philosopher proclaimed, ‘It’s a miracle!’.

        By the end of the 2012-2013 preseason, the GOB were not amused because rookie Royce White refused to grow a thicker beard. So they said, ‘Let there be more Beard!’, and Beardsanity Harden landed in Rockets town. The whole Red Nation celebrates and stops shaving.

        Meanwhile, in Tinseltown, Steve Nash mysteriously came down with old age syndrome. The Lakers front office goes into panic mode, fires the coach, hires D’Antoni and offers the Rockets World Peace (Harden’s old body guard) and Jack Nicholson for Jeremy Lin. Though tempted, Morey is playing it cool. SAS, ESPN (in)famous insider, angrily denounces that Morey is all about money by asking for an additional 10% stake in Spielberg’s upcoming production of Linsanity The Movie. Tinseltown impatiently awaits…”

        OK, so I am joking. On a more seriously fun matter, Jeremy Lin will get a chance to redeem himself against the reigning NBA world champion, Miami Heat, tonight. Basketball pundits are betting against Lin for obvious reasons. I’d never bet against Lin. Basketball is a team sports and Lin is a team player. The whole Rockets team needs to be playing as one team in order to win. And they will.

        Go Lin! Go Rockets!

        PS: Spike Lee, are you reading my script?

      • standupphilosopher

        Ha ha. Nice one, MrPingPong! If Spike Lee is a reader of this blog, I’m sure he’d snatch up your script.

        Yeah, we’ll see if Lin and Harden redeem themselves (remember Harden had a bad finals against the Heat). So you’re predicting a win, huh? I wish I could be as optimistic as you. I hope you’re right. (Hey, you were wright about the D’Antoni thing.) That would be a big confidence builder. Should be a fun game to watch, regardless. We’ll see how much Sampson plays Lin tonight.