Revisiting the McFale/Lin Dynamics and Other Ruminations

I’m not such a big fan of the All-Star festivities. I was when I was a kid, but it’s meaningless to me now. The dunk contest is pretty cool still, but that’s about it. I think the actual All-Star game itself would be cool if the guys really tried hard, but they’re basically just goofing around, which is completely understandable. But not anything I care to watch, although I guess some of the fancy plays are fun to watch. I guess what makes it uninteresting for me is that there’s really nothing at stake. It would be different if it was about proving how good you are against the best, but the players don’t take it seriously, so it just becomes a goofing-off session.

What is good about the All-Star break is that it allows the players to recharge their batteries. And I think for Lin, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I think McHale’s frustration for Lin reached its height in the Clippers game (I hope it was the height), so it’s good to have this break to calm things down. Also, Lin got really banged up in the Clippers game, so it’s nice to have the break to recover.

From what I’ve gathered from some of the recent comments here, talk has picked up within the Linosphere about the McFale/Lin dynamics and I can understand why. So I thought I’d re-visit this topic some during this All-Star break.

It’s pretty clear to me that McHale is not a big fan of Lin and there are several reasons for this, in my subjective opinion (of course, since I can only guess what goes through McHale’s head). McHale is a very no nonsense-type of person. And you know what irritates no nonsense types the most? Hype. So I think he really gets annoyed by all the Lin hype. At first, when McHale would downplay all the Linsanity questions from interviewers, I thought he was trying to protect Lin from all the overblown expectations from the media for how Lin will do in Houston. And I still think that’s a part of it. But I’ve also come to realize that it’s because McHale is really annoyed with the media for continuing to talk about Linsanity. And I think this annoyances sometimes carries over to when interviewers ask him any questions about Lin–even if it has nothing to do with Linsanity. I think whatever attention that Lin gets from the media annoys McHale. This is why McHale doesn’t really mention Lin in his interviews unless he really feels the need to. For example, in McHale’s post game interview for the Warriors game (in Houston), a reporter asked McHale about Lin’s performance specifically and McHale flat out didn’t answer the question and went on to talk about the team and didn’t say anything about Lin. This is the game that Lin scored 28 points or so and had, perhaps, his best offensive game of the season! I thought that was pretty telling that McHale wouldn’t give Lin props. McHale just sees Lin as a player who was over-hyped in a big market. McHale is clearly a Lin Doubter, as I characterize in my post about Lin Haters and Doubters. So, no matter what Lin does, McHale will continue to see Lin through preconceptions that Doubters have about Lin. This is why McHale continues to not show much confidence in Lin and doesn’t give Lin the benefit of the doubt and continues to bench Lin for every little mistake. Although McHale’s benching of Lin had gotten better. As a Lin Doubter, it will take McHale a lot of time before he will give Lin respect and the benefit of the doubt.

A second major reason for McHale’s annoyance at Lin is that he was really pissed that the Rockets let Dragic walk, so Lin subconsciously reminds McHale of the fact that he no longer has Dragic–the point guard he really wanted. Instead, the owner and GM stuck him with this inexperienced, over-hyped marketing machine. This is not something McHale actually thinks, but it is something in the back of McHale’s mind that he can’t shake. If you want to go the conspiracy theory route, you would say that McHale is not putting Lin in positions to succeed so that he can prove to the GM and owner that Lin just doesn’t work in Houston and prompt them to bring back Dragic. I think that’s pretty far fetched, so I wouldn’t go there. But just thought I’d throw  it out there for people who want to go there. It would kind of explain how McHale has misused Lin and how McHale’s management of Lin’s minutes is somewhat erratic. Although, I would say that McHale’s management of Patterson’s and Asik’s minutes is even more erratic. And, as of late, I’ve also seen McHale surprisingly bench Parsons in the fourth, which is something that would have been unthinkable earlier in the season. On a side note, one guy that I think McHale needs to stop relying on, until he gets his elbow back in shape is Delfino. Delfino’s been terrible, lately, and McHale continues to give Delfino the benefit of the doubt, because he loves veterans. McHale has a lot of confidence in Delfino’s game, even though Delfino is a turnover machine. McHale did finally bench Delfino in the Clippers game. I hope he starts favoring Anderson over Delfino–at least until Delfino is fully recovered from his injuries. I really like Anderson’s game. I think he deserves more minutes going forward. As long as I’m on this side note, how good was D-Mo in the Clippers game? He played exactly how I expected him to play, when given significant minutes. D-Mo is a potential star to me. He just needs to bulk up if he wants to play Power Forward in the NBA.  But his offensive game is as impressive as I expected it to be. He’s got post up moves and he’s got range. He can also roll to the basket off of screens and he can catch the ball. I’ve always wanted to see Lin play with him, because I think he has the quickness and speed to get open and is always looking for the ball. It was nice to see a little of that in the Clippers game. I hope to see more of it.

Anyway, getting back to McHale and Lin. McHale basically sees Lin as a young player who still has a lot to learn. And this is basically the way McHale treats Lin. This is why McHale doesn’t give Lin the benefit of the doubt and won’t hesitate to bench Lin. McHale is also very hard on Lin, because McHale feels like Lin is new to the game and has a lot to learn. He doesn’t see Lin has having a high basketball IQ like most of us Lin fans. Because McHale is a doubter, he fixates on Lin’s flaws and overlooks some of Lin’s strengths. In an interview with Ultimate Rockets before the Warriors rematch, McHale revealed perhaps the most he’s ever about Lin. How McHale talks about Lin in this interview conveys some of these things that I’ve pointed out about his attitudes towards Lin:

“I think there is a misconception just because there is a movie about his life and everything else,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “He’s started less than 80 games. He is a rookie player in a lot of senses. Is he going to (be) up and down? Of course he’s going to be up and down. All young guys are. That’s the thing a lot of people forget. I think it’s frustrating for him at times, too. They expect him to be a finished product. He’s not. He’s learning the NBA game.

“He just happened to catch an unbelievable run in a major market, in New York, and it actually became a story that was bigger than he was. That’s hard. It’s a lot easier to go out and play this game when the expectation level for you is realistic, not Linsanity.”

McHale said he has seen signs of improvement in a variety of areas but did not hesitate to produce a list of ways in which he believes Lin needs to grow.

“Decision making, moving the ball, playing with the ball, cutting without the ball, playing without the ball,” McHale said. “He’s got a lot of room to grow. Defensively, just being disciplined. There’s a lot of stuff. But you know what? They are all the stuff I would tell you all the young guys are doing. There’s no difference. He’s a young guy.

“He’s very typical of a young player. All the things you would think (would happen) are happening.”

One of the things that bother me about how McHale treats Lin and how he talks about Lin is that he disregards everything Lin did during Linsanity. To McHale, it’s as if Lin has no relation to Linsanity. And McHale doesn’t really make a point of saying that Lin is being asked to play a new role for Houston and doesn’t give Lin credit for the fact that Lin is being asked to make a lot of adjustments to his game. Almost everything that comes out of McHale’s mouth is to criticize Lin and to talk about Lin as if Lin is a little kid that has so much to learn. Notice how in the above interview McHale didn’t hesitate to roll off a laundry list of things that Lin needs to improve on. There’s not an ounce of respect when he talks about Lin. He’s always talking down and treats Lin like every other young player–not giving Lin any credit for Lin’s Linsanity run. Like most doubters, McHale just dimisses Linsanity as some sort of a fluke that was overhyped by a big market team.

All this being said, I CAN understand McHale’s attitude towards Lin and I don’t necessarily think it’s all that detrimental towards Lin. The harder McHale is on Lin, the more Lin will learn. And Lin has the type of attitude that will allow him to learn and grow from criticisms. So I don’t think McHale’s criticisms hurt Lin for the most part. Although, I think McHale does go overboard and it does cause Lin to play on egg shells sometimes. I think that was definitely the case early in the season. But as Lin gained more confidence, it became less of an issue. I did see it come back again, however, during the Clippers game. I think McHale’s over-the-top reaction to Lin’s turnover late in the game really made Lin feel like he has to play on egg shells again. So that’s why I’m grateful for the All-Star break so Lin (and McHale) can leave it all behind him and play without worrying about making mistakes again.

What is MOST concerning about McHale as it relates to Lin is that McHale really doesn’t like point guards who dribble too much. I couldn’t figure out why McHale took Lin out so early in the Denver game, which I still feel is Lin’s best ball-handling game. But I realize now that what I saw as Lin’s incredible ball-handling skills, McHale saw as Lin over-dribbling. In that Denver game, Lin kept penetrating the lane on every possession and kept his dribble alive if he wasn’t successful on the first attempt to penetrate the lane and had the patience to wait for the play to develop. I thought that demonstrated mature Point Guard skills, but McHale doesn’t like his Point Guards to dribble too much. He prefers his Point Guards to just keep the ball moving, mostly by passing. He wants his Point Guard (and everyone on the team for that matter) to get rid of the ball quickly and keep it moving side-to-side and in-and-out. Now, I don’t have a problem with this philosophy. In fact, it’s one of the things that I do like about McHale’s coaching. He really emphasizes ball movement and player moment. I think that’s all great and I do think it helps Lin’s game to learn this skill to make quick decisions and move the ball. But I think McHale should allow Lin the freedom to hang onto the ball a little more than he would allow other players, because Lin is, after all, the floor general. I’d hate for Lin’s ball-handling to suffer because of a coach that would bench him every time he keeps his dribble alive by penetrating the lane and coming back out to reset and find another play. That would hurt Lin’s game as a Point Guard. I’m not saying Lin should hang onto the ball all the time or even of the time, I’m just saying that McHale needs to allow Lin the freedom to do it every now and then, because Lin has the skills to keep his dribble alive and wait for the right play to develop. I’d rather have my Point Guard hang onto the ball, even if the ball gets “sticky” at times, than for him to pass it to some other guy who then has to find the right play. But McHale has ABSOLUTELY no patience for this and I think that’s a HUGE mistake. He’d rather Lin immediately give up the ball right when Lin crosses the half court, just so the ball is moved than for Lin to hang onto the ball a little bit and see what play develops, before Lin gives up the ball. McHale just wants his Point Guard to either play downhill and attempt to score right away or immediately give up the ball. He has no patience for Lin to penetrate the defense and then keep his dribble alive and try and find the right play after an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the defense. This is what concerns me most about McHale’s relationship with Lin, because I think it will hurt Lin’s development. So I’m fine with pretty much everything about the McFale/Lin dynamic, except this one. The way I see it, it’s only a matter of time until McHale gains more confidence in Lin and starts respecting Lin and Lin’s game. So I’m not that worried about how McHale treats Lin like a little kid now. It’s annoying, sure, but it’ll just take time. McHale’s intolerance for a Point Guard to hang onto the ball, on the other hand, is something that will never change. And so that’s why I’m most concerned about it. It’s just what McHale believes is the right way to play. And the thing is, McHale is very valid in feeling this way, because I also think it’s the right way to play. But where I differ from McHale is that I think a Point Guard should have some free reign to hang onto the ball in certain instances to wait for the play to develop. But McHale is absolute in his belief that the ball should NEVER be “sticky” and that’s where I think McHale is wrong and it’s where he’s really hurting Lin’s game.

So those are my thoughts about the McFale/Lin dynamics. I’m not sure if it’s what Lin fans are talking about int he linosphere. As for the Rockets, they’ve looked good ever since the January slump and they have a considerably easier schedule in March and April. I know it may sound like I’m  just being a delusional fan, but I really do believe that the Rockets have a great chance of losing no more than 7 games the rest of the season. This puts them just short of the 50 wins mark and should give them either 5th or 6th place in the west, which is a bold prediction that I made for them back in December. The difference between 5th and 6th is the difference between them making it past the first round of the playoffs. But in order for them to make it to 5th, they’ll need to win teams that they’re not expected to win. The Rockets, during December and recently have been remarkably predictable in terms of winning games they’re supposed to win and losing games that they’re supposed to lose (with the exception of the Kings game, of course). If they remain doing what they’re supposed to do, then they will very likely lose no more than 7 games the rest of the season.

One game I think they’ll win that they’re not supposed to win is the OKC game after the All-Star break. I think Harden will finally get revenge on his former team. The first two times that Rockets faced OKC, the circumstances were far from ideal for the Rockets. I think this third time, they will finally triumph, because it’s not on a back-to-back and the superstars always seem to have a bit of a let down after the All-Star break. The one concern I have is that OKC have already lost two in a row and will be very hungry for a win. However, I think with the All-Star break, that dampens a lot of the hunger. I would have been a lot more concerned and probably wouldn’t predict a Rockets win (due to OKC’s two game losing streak) if it weren’t for the All-Star break that serves as a psychological re-set.

Anyway, hope you’re all enjoying the All-Star festivities. Feel free to post them here. Hope Lin wins his skills challenge.

Related Post:

Jeremy Lin Haters/Doubters are Like The Flat Earth People

About JLintel

NOTE: On June 11, 2016 I switched the comments section to Disqus's platform. As a result, all comments from previous platform have disappeared from all articles.
  • CH

    McFale hates Linsanity because he was part of it. He was one of those people who decided to cut Lin. So every time people mention about Linsanity, it reminds him of his failure to recognize Lin when Lin was with ROX. Knicks picked up Lin right after ROX cut him. Then Linsanity reached its peak. Even Morey said he didn’t knew Lin was this good. Anyone says they knew misleading you. So Linsanity indeed has been an embarrassment to McFale. When Lin comes back to ROX, of course, McFale will prove himself by demoting or belittling Lin. Why will he be a Lin fan? Why will he respect Lin’s game? But Lin is a tough guy, I truly believe that, physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually. Lin will be excel eventually.

    • standupphilosopher

      That’s definitely another theory that’s floating around in the Linosphere, I’m sure. It’s not a theory I buy into, though, because I don’t think it’s that much of an embarrassment for people to miss on Lin, since basically everyone passed on Lin. So it wasn’t like McHale was the only one. Everyone did. It’s not like deep down, McHale thinks Lin is great and is trying to do everything he can to make Lin fail to prove that he was right in passing up on Lin. That idea is pretty far fetched to me. To me, it’s pretty simple. I think McHale is just a Doubter and it’ll just take him time to come around. But, hey, just because I don’t buy into your theory doesn’t mean it’s not valid. At the end of the day, I guess only McHale really knows.

      Yeah, I’m not too worried about Lin, because he’s mentally tough and has the right attitude. Like I said, the ONLY big concern I have is how Lin doesn’t seem to appreciate what good Point Guards do (i.e., keep the dribble alive).

  • MrPingPong

    Linsanity is one strange case of ‘seeing is not believing’! I venture to claim that the majority of the basketball experts are FEP (Flat Earth People). Paradoxically, I bet you anything that, because of Linsanity, all teams playing against the Rockets have extensive scout reports on Lin and design plans to contain Lin. The question I would like to ask McHale and his coaching staff is whether or not they anticipate any of that, and prepare the team to counter. Do McHale and his coaching know that other teams “fear” Lin?

    In my opinion, McHale is as much a rookie in coaching as Lin is as a player. McHale is an inexperienced coach. His task becomes that much more difficult when he is given a young team with minimal NBA experience. Screaming and yelling at players during the game is a way to cover up your weakness as a coach. I can only hope that McHale improves his coaching skill quickly in time, so that the Rockets can make the playoff.

    As to the upcoming OKC game, as much an optimist and a Lin believer as I am, I don’t think we are going to win. Why? I have this nagging suspicion that Lin is playing hurt, wrist, elbow, ankle and all. And Harden? He is playing hurt too. That ankle roll was nasty! OKC knows Harden’s game. They will have plans to contain Harden. And yes, they will have plans to contain Lin too. One positive thing is they don’t play dirty, I don’t think.

    How does McHale prepare the Rox for this game? I can’t wait to find out. And I will be ecstatic to be proven wrong in my prediction.

    • standupphilosopher

      I don’t think McHale and his coaching staff think other teams “fear” Lin, so I don’t think they prepare anything for the team to counter it. I also think that teams gunning for Lin has dissipated a lot since Linsanity. So it’s not as much of a factor anymore. There are still individual players that gun for Lin, but it’s more of a one-on-one thing than a team thing for the most part.

      Yep, McHale is still new to coaching and makes erratic substitutions. But overall, I don’t think he’s a bad coach. There are much worse out there. And what’s good about McHale, to me, is that he’s developed a game plan that fits a young team, inexperienced team even though coaching young players is not his forte. I think he’s made the right adjustments. He just has an issue with Lin and that’s the biggest complaint I have about McHale.

      Wow, MrPingPong! I think this is the first game that you predicted a loss for the Rockets. Yeah, Lin got really banged up in the Clippers game. Hope he’ll be fully recovered by game time. Harden, as well. I didn’t see the All Star game, so didn’t see how Harden did. OKC is the one time that definitely has Harden’s number, which makes them the most feared team for the Rockets, I think. They are also capable of running and are more athletic.

      Hope McHale was able to figure out some stuff during the break. We’ll see what happens.

      • Harden was playing pretty well during All Star game.
        He scored 15 pts.
        I hope he is healthy playing against OKC come Wednesday.
        And of course, JLIN as well.
        Glad they have some time out to rest because of the All Star break.

        • standupphilosopher

          Thanks for the info, Rubielyn. Glad to hear Harden played well. Sounds like he’s healthy. Yep, I think the All-Star break came at a perfect time for Lin and the Rockets to recharge and get ready for the second half. It’s gonna be a fierce fight in the West for a playoff spot.

  • ashley

    I hate to say this, but can we really call the doubters wrong? After all, Lin hasn’t played up to people’s expectations this season, and lots of fans have lowered their expectations. If Lin had been been able to score more than 18 or 20 for more consecutive games, like Harden did, he would have proved the doubters wrong. What’s reassuring is that he has been more consistent in offence recently. I just hope he keeps it up and gets even better in the remaining season.

    I think McHale was trying to be realistic about Linsanity and his expectations for Lin, which I don’t find wrong. But he’s been too mean to Lin–he’s “gone overboard,” as Mr. Philosopher put it, He shouldn’t have singled Lin out and pulled him out after every mistake; he shouldn’t have been reluctant to give Lin the credit he deserved when he played well. And it didn’t take a basketball expert to tell that’s not the doing or attitude of a good coach. What’s worse is that McHale isn’t the only coach who acted that way; so is Sampson! At the beginning of the season when McHale was on a leave for his family matter, Lin mentioned how caring McHale was–he texted him after every game. I wonder if Lin still finds his coach that nice.

    • standupphilosopher

      It’s good to see that you’re looking at things objectively, Ashley. I don’t have too much problem with a wait-and-see approach on Lin and I understand the Doubters. It’s the Haters that are wrong. But the Doubters, I understand.

      I think Lin’s stats this year aren’t Linsanity levels for a number of reasons that I’ve discussed ad nauseum in this blog (i.e., adjusting to completely new role that doesn’t play up to his strengths, not getting screens consistently, lack of trust from coaches and teammates, recovering from knee, etc. etc.). But on top of this, Lin has to share stats with basically another Lin on the team, who is the number one option. If Harden wasn’t on the team, Lin’s assists would be nearly double. Probably around 9 a game. Lin’s scoring would also go up to around 15 per game (and that’s being conservative). So his stat line would be something like 15 points 9 assists, which is actually All-Star level. A lot of Doubters and Haters miss this about Lin. They don’t think about the fact that Lin’s stats are really hurt by the fact that he has to share the ball with another ball-dominant guard who has the coach’s and player’s complete confidence.

      I also think that Lin has actually improved in a lot of aspects of his game. Maybe every aspect. And is actually overall a much better player than he was during Linsanity. It’s only the shooting, really, that is worse than during Linsanity. But that’s starting to improve. A lot of people just look at stats in a vacuum and they conclude that Lin is no good. But I think that’s a mistake.

      That being said, Lin still has a lot of things that he needs to improve on or learn, such as drawing fouls, implementing a short-range game, developing some individual moves to mix up his scoring, instead of always driving hard to the basket. Also, he needs to be careful about helping out too much on defense and completely leaving his man.

      Yeah, I’m not really sure how Lin feels about McHale. I think the other players like McHale, though. I just think McHale really doesn’t get Point Guards and that’s probably why Lowry (and Dragic to some extent) weren’t happy playing under McHale. Another indication McHale doesn’t really “get” Point Guards is that he seems to be a big fan of Douglas, who really isn’t a Point Guard. Douglas is just an energy guy off the bench and that’s what Mchale likes about Douglas. He also seems to trust Douglas, because Douglas is a veteran.

      • Ashley

        Mr. Philosopher, I had wanted to start with a compliment. Yes, what a great analysis on McFale’s mindset! I feel this is the first time you exercise your reasoning specifically from a psychological perspective. As I read it, I felt the pieces of the puzzle were being put together and was thrilled for the insightful explanations. Actually, I’ve learned about all the possible reasons behind Lin’s struggles and less-than-desirable stats. So, perhaps his recent solid performance should be fine to understanding fans. And we should just wait and see (after taking in all the drama), giving Jeremy our most patience while keeping our expectations, which should be his, too.

        It’s very likely that McFale doesn’t “get” point guards, or his system isn’t centered so much on a point guard, since we’ve seen other Rockets players acting as the primary ball handler at times. Or perhaps more realistically, just say McFale wants the best player/scorer to be the primary ball handler–particularly in Harden’s case. I’m also aware of the fact that the point guard on the Heat doesn’t get the spotlight, and that Nash’s point guard role is being encroached upon by Kobe. I cannot determine the strategic advantages of different systems, but I think the scoring ability remains the most important aspect of a player’s game, which seems to have been Lin’s weakness. On the Rockets, with the PG role being minimized, Jeremy should look to become a good spot-up shooter as well. Hopefully, he improves fast and can always play up to his potential.

  • MrPingPong

    If the game is on the line, would you give the ball to Lin? I would because I trust Lin 100%. I do not care what doubters and haters think, or say or do. Lin is constantly improving and will figure things out. He is no off-the-planet player like Lebron, but, in spite of his flaws (can’t go left, can’t shoot, turn-over prone, no defense, blah blah blah), he can play Linsane basketball for all I know and beat the J***s out of a lot of teams.

    I predict the Rockets losing to OKC this Wed because I believe Lin and Harden are still injured. Yes, the highlights of Lin and Harden in the All-Star events seem to indicate that Lin and Harden are doing alright. But, like the Philosopher, I don’t take All-Star events seriously. I hope I am wrong about this.

    I will not be able to watch the OKC game tomorrow. 🙁
    I hope our Philosopher will be able to watch it and give us a Lintelligent postgame analysis.

    Have a great evening/night/morning/afternoon wherever y’all are on this WEB!

    • For me Mr. PingPong, the highlight of the All Star break was the Launch of Jeremy Lin Foundation.
      He played PingPong against DMorey, he played the piano, and a lot more of fun games with teammate (Parsons) and fans and most of all he introduced the 3 chosen foundations from Houston wherein 1 of which will be backed up by his very own foundation. He was not only having fun but most of all he was showing the best side of him off the court which is helping others. Ahhh, this man!

      • MrPingPong

        Yes, Rubielyn, Linsanity to me is more than just basketball, something that the doubters and especially the haters will never ever understand. (I made a modest contribution to the Make a Difference Project, BTW.)

        🙂

        • So nice of you Mr.PingPong to contribute 🙂
          I hope one day you get to play PingPong with JLIN 🙂

          • MrPingPong

            Hey, a pingpong game with JLin, what a great idea, Rubielyn!

            On a separate note, just came back home and having listened to the Rox game on the radio! What a fourth quarter for Mr. Fourth Quarter! I guess Lin and Harden were not limping tonight. From now on, whenever Rox plays an elite team, I will jinx the bad guys by predicting that they would win! 🙂

          • Of course Mr.PingPong and when that time comes, we will be so excited on your report and videos…Hehehehe
            Yeah, I was so happy for Harden because finally a W for him against his former team. (a bit teary eyed…hahahah!!!) 🙂
            Harden (46) and JLin (29) combined for 75 points.
            This is the second half of the season and like JLin said, it’s all about the standings now.

            Yes Mr.PingPong, you predicted a loss for the Rox and if that would be the only way to get a W then of course predict some more…hahahha

            Just glad for the WIN!!!

    • CH

      Mr.PP, so glad that you were wrong ^V^. ROx had a beautiful win tonight. Heart was pounding and screamed my lungs out in the 4th Q. Can’t wait for Mr. Philosopher’s insightful analysis.

      • MrPingPong

        Yeah, this will not be the only time when I am glad I was wrong! 🙂

        I listened to the game on the radio as I was driving home. I was only able to catch the end of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter.

        OK, I gotta scan Youtube for highlights now.

        Have a great night/day wherever you are on this WEB!

  • CH

    Mr. Philosopher, what do you think of the trades that Rox will send Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas to Sacramento and Marcus Morris to Phoenix to receive Thomas Robinson?

    • standupphilosopher

      Short term, as in the rest of this season, I think the trade is probably does more harm than good. But it’ll make the Rockets a better team in the future. I think it all depends on how quickly the new guys adjust and how quickly McHale can figure out ow to best utilize the new guys. Robinson is a much different player than 2Pat or Morris, so that might be challenging. But if Robinson is comfortable setting screens and playing PnR, then it will make the Rockets better THIS season. I just don’t know enough about Robinson. I think 2Pat will be missed. All the other guys, I’m fine with giving up, but I feel like 2Pat is a very solid player and I felt McHale favored Morris over 2Pat too much. I also felt like 2Pat has really been playing well, lately, being aggressive on rebounding the ball and such. I think we’ll miss having him on the court a lot. Hopefully, this D-Mo and Jones can step up. Jones, apparently has been struggling in the D-League, but D-Mo had a very good debut against the Clippers and is a better offensive weapon than 2Pat. He just needs to get bigger so he can defend. I actually think Rockets should try D-Mo at the Small Forward, but they’ll never do it, because only I would think of something crazy like that.

  • kevinwinn

    Very true article on Mc-hale and Lin. If you just knew this now, then your a little to late. I knew this during the time when Mc-hale was out of town, I knew that Sampson in particular doesn’t like Lin at all at that time. He has to play Lin b/c of Morey and the Alexlader doesn’t want his 25 million guy NOT to start. he dosnt want to disrespect them. If he has it his way, he would start TD instead. But as time and games goes by, Mc-hale and Sampson finally sees spurts of Lin greatness and have more confident in him.
    I agree with you on the coach part, he need to be professional and stop yelling at players. All this yelling is bad b/c he scared to make mistake again, embarrass and lost all his confident in playing.

    • standupphilosopher

      Thanks for the comments, kevinwinn. If you look at my articles from the beginning of this season, I’ve been talking about Lin’s relationships to his coaches pretty much from day 1. I’ve know that McHale and Sampson don’t have much respect for Lin’s game. I don’t think they have a problem with Lin as a person, because I mean who would? Lin has a great personality and is a player that listens to coaches. So he’s every coach’s dream from a personality standpoint. I think the turning point for Sampson with Lin is when Lin came into his office and took responsibility for his air ball against Miami. I think that really touched Sampson and made Sampson think twice about Lin, because he had never had a player in all his years of coaching do what Lin did. If you saw some of the huddle in the OKC game, there were several moments when Sampson looked like he was showing Lin a lot of encouragement, etc. So I think Sampson does root for LIn and has been ever since that moment.

      My thoughts on McHale’s attitudes towards Lin has evolved to the point now that I think Keven actually doesn’t like Lin very much. I speculate that it’s because McHale thinks Lin is more concerned with how Lin does than playing the right way. I know it’s crazy that McHale would think that, because Lin is like the biggest team player there is. But one of the reasons I think this is because whenever McHale talks about Delfino, he always feels the need to say that Delfino just plays the right way. He’s not concerned about his stats, etc. And he says that a lot of young players are still worried about their stats and such. And I think when McHale says this, it’s a little dig at Lin. I think the reason why McHale thinks Lin is more concerned with Lin’s performance than helping the team is that McHale is playing Lin in a way that doesn’t capitalize on Lin’s strengths and so whenever Lin plays the way Lin feels comfortable playing, McHale thinks Lin is purposefully ignoring McHale’s orders to pad Lin’s stats. Not sure if that makes any sense. As a result, McHale thinks Lin is overly concerned about matching his Linsanity performance and that irritates McHale about Lin. When, in reality, Lin is just playing the way Lin knows how to play. Of course, this is all pure speculation on my part.

      I think it’s fine for coaches to yell at players in the heat of the moment. The problem with the league these days is that players have more power than coaches and you have this weird dynamic where the coaches are kind of afraid of the superstar players, because these players make more money than them and can have them fired. So it’s actually good to see coaches who aren’t afraid of yelling at their players. But I think it’s important for coaches to allow players to make mistakes and learn from them. The problem with McHale’s attitude towards Lin is that he goes overboard and I think makes Lin constantly worried about making mistakes on the court. That’s where McHale goes wrong and should pull back some with respect to how he treats Lin.

      • TigerLin

        “My thoughts on McHale’s attitudes towards Lin has evolved to the point now that I think Keven actually doesn’t like Lin very much. I speculate that it’s because McHale thinks Lin is more concerned with how Lin does than playing the right way. I know it’s crazy that McHale would think that, because Lin is like the biggest team player there is.” Your speculation may be truth after all if the last line on this article is true. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/nets/bondy-deron-health-p-pins-needles-article-1.1271479#ixzz2LvzeGUnS

      • standupphilosopher

        Thanks for the article, TigerLin! I actually have seen that article and felt that it confirmed my speculation about McHale thinking that Lin is actually a selfish player. Goes to show that McHale really doesn’t know Lin. Again, as I’ve said above, it has everything to do with the fact that Lin is not comfortable with how McHale is playing him, so sometimes Lin reverts back to playing the way he’s comfortable with, since it’s hard to change the way you play overnight. And whenever Lin does this, McHale thinks Lin is doing it to pad his stats. McHale needs to be a little more understanding of Lin. He really doesn’t give Lin much slack and really doesn’t “get” Lin, as well as the Point Guard position.

  • CH

    “I think it’s fine for coaches to yell at players in the heat of the moment. The problem with the league these days is that players have more power than coaches and you have this weird dynamic where the coaches are kind of afraid of the superstar players, because these players make more money than them and can have them fired.”

    I am wondering if coaches admitting mistakes on their part? It ‘s easy for them to point out the mistakes that each player made at each game. Very rare and seldom that a coach will said that they made a mistake on rotation, game plan, player substitution, etc. If not openly, closed door, maybe? Or coaches never admit that they made mistakes?

    • standupphilosopher

      Great point, CH. I don’t listen to interviews of other coaches, since I’m a proud LOF, so I have no idea if other coaches admit their mistakes publicly or even privately. I know that McHale nor Sampson has NEVER admitted any mistakes that he’s made–at least from the interviews that I’ve seen of him. I don’t think he’s the type to admit mistakes to his players either. Hopefully, he at least admits them to his coaching staff or at the very least admits them to himself. It’s always hard to admit when you’re wrong. No one likes admitting when they’re wrong. It takes a strong person to do so. But if you never admit when you’re wrong, you’ll never learn anything new. So I really hope that McHale is honest enough to himself and admits mistakes he’s made so far this season–especially with regard to Lin. I doubt it, though. I think he feels deep down that he hasn’t done anything wrong by Lin.

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  • You were right about them beating OKC! 🙂