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. 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.