Jeremy Lin Looks Great in First Scrimmage Footage

Check out the first scrimmage footage by ClutchFans!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrlQwKTrsSo]

Jeremy Lin looks really impressive. I would say that he was the best player on the court during this scrimmage. He played aggressively and had so many assists in a very short amount of time. Brooks was also impressive. TJones and DMo looked good. Howard was solid and so was Harden. Parsons was the most disappointing. I’m concerned that Parsons is letting his new found fame get to his head. This is a bold prediction by me, but I think Parsons is going to struggle early in the season, unfortunately. His shot doesn’t look as good as it did last season. However, if he does struggle I think it’ll be very short lived. I’m confident that he’ll be back in form after a dozen or so regular season games. Hopefully, he’ll get in gear in the preseason. Parsons has always been very mentally tough to me. So I’m counting on his mental toughness to not let his new found fame get to his head.

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  • I think parsons is not happy that he’s not on the “a” team with harden and howard. He moves like he’s under water, his 3pt form is jerky and easily turned the ball over too.

    Notice at 8min mark Lin drives, draws double team, dishes to dMo for easy FG and Harden ISOs on the very next possession. Think he really doesn’t want Jeremy to outplay/outshine him.

  • wow where did all the people go? just wondering whether you’re changing your projection for the year after the first preseason game, standup.

  • standupphilosopher

    I missed most of the first half in the first pre-season opener, but it sounded like Harden, Howard, Lin and Parsons all looked very good. I did see the highlights and it looks like this team is every bit as good as expected. The ball movement looks excellent and their defense looks much better. So this team appears to be gelling very quickly. Even quicker than I expected. But it is only the first preseason game against the lowly Pelicans, so can’t make too much out of it.

    Beverley had an amazing stretch of defense, single-handedly embarrassed Holiday (an All-Star last season). I’m pretty sure you don’t know, but last season when I saw Beverley for the first time in his first game as a Rocket against the Clippers (I think it was)…I saw Beverley’s defense and didn’t hesitate to call him an elite on-ball defender. Even though I, like most people, knew nothing about him. Some may have thought I was crazy for using the word “elite” for some no name. Well, I don’t let preconceptions blind me to what I’m seeing in actuality, unlike a lot of Lin Doubters (ha ha). Last season, I kept screaming for McHale to play Beverley over Douglas.

    It was the same thing with Harden. I’d actually never seen Harden play before he was a Rocket (I am a LOF after all), but the first time I saw him play, I didn’t hesitate to say he’s a top 5 player. Again, a lot of people are afraid of looking stupid for calling a sixth man a top 5 player. But, again, I don’t let preconceptions get in the way of what I’m seeing happening right in front of me. The way Harden moves is unlike any other player I’ve seen (I said that he plays like an old, wise Kung Fu master). Anyway, just getting you up to speed somewhat, since you’re new here.

    Regarding the projections. Which are you referring to, etane? Are you talking about my 8+ assists and 40%+ shooting for Lin? The shooting percentage doesn’t depend on anyone but Lin, so actually now I’m more confident of the 40%+ outside shooting projection for Lin, but I’m less confident about the 8+ assists for one big reason. But before I get to the reason, I have to remind you that the 8+ assists was predicated on Lin being a starting point guard and Beverly not taking even more time away from Lin. So those are the only caveats. But my main concern now is that Harden appears to be playing very well with Howard, feeding Howard the ball. I was thinking that Lin would play that role this season, but it looks like Harden is doing a good job of feeding Howard, so I think Howard doesn’t need Lin as much as I thought he would. So that’s my main reason for being less confident that Lin will have 8+ assits. But I’m still sticking with my initial projection with the caveat that Lin remain a starter and Beverly not eat up more time from Lin.

    If the second unit fails to execute offensively, I can totally see McHale bringing Lin off the bench and having Lin be the main offensive weapon off the bench this season, since they have plenty of offensive weapons in the starting lineup. But this does go against what McHale says about having your best five players as starters. But, because of the McFale/Lin dynamics, I think he’ll make an exception when it comes to Lin. I just hope Lin finishes the games. We’ll see. Still early.

    Overall, though, first impression is that this Rockets team is even more fun to watch than last year’s team–especially the Big Four (Harden, Howard, Lin and Parsons).And I thought last year’s team was one of the funnest teams to watch. I love the way the starters move the ball. Lin will be very very good this season, regardless of whether or not McHale sees it. I think he’s playing very loose and free out there.

    • I watched the first half live and second half on demand. I took first half notes if you’re interested:
      http://etane.net/forums/topic/game-chat/#post-841

      Personally, I fear bev’s defensive style. I tore a few knee ligaments playing ball years back so I am especially sensitive to Bev’s type of defense where he lunges his body, legs and arms into at the ball carriers pivot points including ankles, hips and knees. Fisher and Tyrone Lue are some others that did the same thing really gave me chills when they are knee hunting.

      Austin Rivers was smart enough to stay away from Bev by keeping in constant motion and quickly passing the ball unlike Jrue who was trying to show Bev up by trying to get pass Bev off the dribble. Jrue is lucky he didn’t get injured but Tyreke wasn’t so lucky.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTXqbizEieA

      Notice the knee hunting by Bev’s left leg that caused Tyreke to land on Bev’s foot hence causing ankle injury.

      Regarding Harden’s selfishness/selflessness, ever read this article (11th and 12th paragraph)?
      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–inside-look-at-james-harden-s-trade-to-rockets-28301609.html

      And, based on the preseason game, I also think Lin’s usage and minutes will probably not improve compared to previous season. There were a couple of instances where Dwight was in bounding the ball and both James and Jeremy called for the ball. Dwight gave it to James each time.

      • standupphilosopher

        Hm…I don’t think Bev is intentionally knee hunting. That’s just the stance you get into when playing defense aggressively. Is there a higher potential of bumping knees? Sure, because of the angle Bev’s leg. But I don’t think that’s his MO on defense. I think the guy just plays every minute like it’s his last. He’s just very high energy on defense, but he’s also under control, unlike Douglas. Bev and Douglas have similar styles on defense, but Bev is much better. I don’t think you can blame Bev on Tyreke’s injury. Just an accident. It wasn’t like Bev orchestrated it. They both jumped up and both landed and Tyreke happened to land on Bev’s foot, which was in his vicinity. Nothing intentional there in the same way that you can’t blame Westbrook’s injury on Bev, although I understand the frustration for Thunders fans. Bev is just being his usual aggressive self. When you play defense aggressively, you have to get in that very low stance that juts out your knees.

        Regarding that article about Harden. I think every player deep down cares about his/her stats. I would be the same way. But it’s just a matter of to what degree. I think if I was Harden, I’d probably feel the same way. I see myself as a top player and I’m not being treated that way. So I don’t think that speaks too much to his selfishness. That just speaks to his flaw as a human being, which is something we all share. It’s easy to look from the outside and say you should be happy that your team won even though you did a crappy job or you weren’t given the role you deserved. But I can’t blame Harden for how he felt, because I have to admit I would have felt the same way. Maybe he could have hidden it better, but to me expressing how you feel honestly is better than pretending for the benefit of others most of the time. In that particular instance, Harden probably should have hidden his feelings, though.

        Finally, I also noticed the same thing you did about Howard in bounding the ball to Harden instead of Lin. And that’s the main reason why I felt Howard felt comfortable with Harden and trusts Harden, so he feels like he doesn’t have to rely on Lin on the team as much as he thought he would. But I don’t want to read too much into that, because it is still just the first game. Even if Howard supports Lin more than Harden, I think it makes sense for Howard to be in bounding the ball to Harden instead of Lin if both players are asking for the ball. Harden is, after all, top dog on the team. So it would be strange if Howard bypassed Harden and gave the ball to Lin when both are asking for the ball.

  • CH

    Mr. Philosopher,
    “but it looks like Harden is doing a good job of feeding Howard, so I think Howard doesn’t need Lin as much as I thought he would.”
    Would that be possible that it is a preseason game and the statistics don’t count. So he is more generous in feeding Howard. Will he be more mindful and cautious to feed Howard when the season begins and the statistics become important to him?

    • standupphilosopher

      I don’t think so, CH. Before Harden came to Houston, one thing I did perceive about him is that he’s an unselfish player. So I’ve actually been very surprised by how selfish Harden played last season. I think part of it is that he wanted to be seen as the top dog and felt that his time has come after playing third fiddle with the Thunder. This is why Harden was especially selfish in end-of-game situations. But part of it is also because he didn’t trust his teammates–especially in end-of-game situations. I think in the beginning, when Harden came to Houston, he was very much a willing passer then he started passing less and less, because he had less confidence in his teammates. Harden did pass quite a bit to Lin in the beginning (since LIn is the only player on the team with a reputation), but Lin struggled so much with his shooting in the beginning of last season that Harden stopped passing to Lin after the first several games. Now with Howard, he has a player he really trusts, so I think he’ll continue to pass to Howard and not be like Kobe Bryant. That being said, I don’t think Harden will pass the ball to anyone else but Howard this season, unless Lin can really prove to the team that he can really shoot.

      Harden is a willing passer by nature. He just hasn’t been as much last season, because he wanted to really position himself as the top dog and he also didn’t trust his teammates as much. Overall, I don’t think Harden is a selfish player–especially when compared to other superstars. He just wants to win. Last season, he felt winning means him scoring most of the time, but this season with Howard, I think he’s willing to let someone else score. Harden is also trying to focus more on his defense this season, so I don’t think he’ll mind having someone else take on the burden on the offensive end. So this is why I’m not very confident with Lin getting 8+ as I was before I saw the first game.

      • MrPingPong

        I missed the first half but was able to watch the full second half. I kinda of agree with the Philosopher on his assessment of the Harden-Howard dynamics.

        Lin is kinda like the Rodney Dangerfield of basketball: he “don’t get no respect”. No matter how well Lin does, basketball pundits as well as “color sensitive” fans will cherry picks 1001 reasons to support their claims that Lin is a fluke. So Lin just laugh them off by posting flaky videos of himself on Youtube.

        Anyway, just making conversation here. I found a very cool pic on the Clutchfans site. The author is OK with sharing it as long as no money is being made from it. Is there a way to post a photo on this board?

        http://s306.photobucket.com/user/drcf_2008/media/DSC_0073.jpg.html

        Run Rockets Run!

        Run Rockets Run.jpg

      • standupphilosopher

        That is a cool pic, MrPingPong. I don’t know how to post pics on the message comments board, though.

  • Here’s another example of Bev’s knee hunting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V42hPUFg0E

    Starts @1:10. Bev was knee hunting but ended up with an elbow in his nose. Not sure how Houston ended up with the ball though.

    And, I guess we can disagree with the Harden thing. If I was having a bad shooting game, I wouldn’t keep asking for the ball then sulk about not getting the ball after we won. Think that is terrible sportsmanship as well as putting self over team.

    • standupphilosopher

      Nope. Not trying to be disagreeable, but I’m sorry, I still don’t see the knee hunting. In fact, I’m trying my best to see it from your perspective (played the video several times and paused it over and over), but to me it’s just a normal aggressive defensive stance. Nothing more. Nothing less. Maybe I’m missing something.

      Regarding Harden’s behavior in the article you referenced, what I’m trying to say is that it’s completely understandable that you wouldn’t be happy if you had a crappy game even though your team won. I think anyone would feel this way. Some are just better at hiding it than others. Emotions are often not under your control. You can’t help but feel how you feel sometimes–even though you don’t want to feel the way you’re currently feeling.

      Let me put it this way. Even though playing in the NBA is a dream, it is, after all, a job to these guys at the end of the day. Since it’s a job, your individual performance does matter a great deal. You can’t help but feel down if you did a crappy job, even though your team won the game. I don’t think that’s so much selfishness as it is just human emotions at work that plague us all. If you’re not plagued by this, then I’ll tip my hat to you. You are a saint. I have to admit, I’m not quite there yet, myself, and will probably never be in my lifetime.

      This is not the best example, but lets say you work for a firm that’s trying to win the business of another company. You are one of the presenters from your firm, along with several others. You completely bombed your presentation and it’s clear to everyone that you bombed your presentation, but someone in your team swooped in to save the day and your firm still ended up winning the business despite your terrible performance. Are you happy that your firm won the business? Of course! But are you still down that you blew the presentation and are you a little concerned about how that’s going to reflect in your annual review? Absolutely!

      I think if you want to talk about Harden’s selfishness or lack there of, then I think you have to look at the big picture. And the big picture is that he’s clearly better than Westbrook, but didn’t complain the entire time he played for the thunder as a sixth man, even though he knew he was better than that. To me, that speaks more to his level of selfishness than him sulking after he had a bad game that his team won.

      Am I saying that Harden is unselfish like Jeremy? No way! I also said that Harden is likely only going to pass to Howard this season. So I’m not trying to make Harden out into some completely unselfish player. But as far as superstars go, he’s less selfish than most of them. When I’m speaking about selfishness with respect to Harden, I’m speaking about selfishness in relative terms. So when I say harden is not a selfish player, I mean that relative to most superstars he’s not a selfish player. As a superstar, you have to be selfish, because you are the best player on the team, so you need to be selfish with the ball to a large degree.

      • I think how we differ on the knee hunting is I notice this quite a bit when actually playing ball and therefore see it on court when others are doing it and have to admit I am more sensitive to this because I’ve had injury before, But, Westbook did the right thing by defending his space when encroached by Bev who actually committed a blocking foul. Think ref took pity on him for taking a face shot thus rewarded him the ball.

        Regarding Harden, i think we completely see the situation differently. You see him being down on himself for not producing enough for the team. I see him as complaining that the team didn’t give him enough minutes and shots as the article stated, “When the rest of the Thunder were celebrating a Game 1 victory over Miami in the locker room, Harden could be heard grumbling over too few shots (five), and too few minutes (22).”

        So, since the object of his complaint is not enough minutes and shots rather than his lack of production, I hardly can construe that Harden’s reaction as described by the article is a selfless one rather think it’s a selfish one. But,, if you want to add other stuff that isn’t in the article such as playing in the shadows of westbrook and durant of course you may do so.

        Also my opinion that Harden is a great athlete but doesn’t contribute much towards team wins, so i rather westbrook get more minutes than harden.

        I know you are high on James Anderson and so am I. And, think Houston would have won more games had Anderson started in Harden’s place had Harden never been acquired by Houston. Sure, losing Harden’s stats would hurt but think the rest of the team’s stats will improve as a whole especially Jeremy’s.

      • standupphilosopher

        I appreciate your persistence etane. Maybe I don’t know what you mean by knee hunting. To me, that says that Beverly is purposefully looking to take out the opponents’ knee. If so, then I can’t agree with that. I think Beverly’s just being hyper-aggressive and getting into the other guy’s space. Is there a higher chance of knee injury? Definitely, since the knee is often the part of the body that leads the entire body when you begin to take a step. I think if you can get into the opponents’ space and consistently not get called for a foul and not get injured, then more power to you. This is one of the things that makes Beverley an elite on-ball defender. This is what Douglas tried to do, but he consistently got called for fouls.

        Regarding Harden, we don’t see the situation differently. I was a little careless in my summation of the article by saying “playing crappy”. So that’s my fault. And I may have also used a bad example, which further reinforced the “playing crappy” thing. I do see him as complaining because the team didn’t give him minutes and shots. And I think if I was in his situation, knowing how good you are, I’d complain, as well. Again, it goes back to what I said above about it being a job and the importance of individual performance, etc. I guess I just have more empathy for Harden’s situation and that’s where we differ. We don’t differ in how we see the situation. I just can understand and see why Harden would complain and I don’t fault him for it. I would have probably felt the same way if I was in his shoes. And this is where you’re a saint and I’m not and probably never will be. He may have not produced in that game and may have deserved to not get the ball, but, again, you can’t help the way you feel. This is why I said it’s a human flaw. It’s not something that Harden or I or anyone who feels this way should be proud of, but it’s part of being human. And I think to look from the outside, it’s easy to criticize. That’s all I was trying to say. I don’t see it as a selfless act by Harden. He is being selfish. But I understand and can see why he would feel the way he felt. So I just don’t think that factors too much into an argument about whether or not he’s a selfish player, overall. That’s why I brought up the bigger picture. Because if you want a more comprehensive discussion of whether or not Harden is a selfish player, then you have to look at the his career as a whole, not just how he behaved in one game or a set of games. To me, that’s cherry picking. And that’s the same stuff that Lin Haters do when they talk about the damn Miami game when Lin was with the Knicks. (For more info on this, check out my extremely long article about Lin Haters/Doubters under Favorite Posts in the sidebar.)

        I also disagree that Harden doesn’t contribute to team wins. I think he does. Have I complained about his end-of-game ball hogging. Definitely, but, again, big picture, Harden does help win games. And I definitely think Harden helps teams win games more than Westbrook. But that’s just my personal opinion. Going to be hard to argue either way on that one. I just see Westbrook as a guy who’s more interested in his stats than in team wins. But that might just be my preconceptions of him, based on what I keep hearing from the media.

        Your comment about James Anderson reminds me…I hope McHale does a better job of managing his players’ minutes this season. He has no excuse this season. We have plenty of bodies. I have a feeling that I’ll continue to complain about McHale management of minutes. He better not run Harden, Parsons, and Howard to the ground. I would include Lin in this, but we all know that Lin is in no danger of being overplayed by McHale.

  • Certainly I am not saying Bev is intentionally trying to injure someone. He’s making up his lack of skill by utlizing rough play by ramming his body into the ball carriers’ pivot areas where injury is most likely to occur.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH2kv0MfoSU

    If he’s fast enough to fool the ref into thinking he didn’t commit a charge, then he’s an elite. And, frankly, he earned the second of two steals off Jrue in that preseason game. However, he definitely charged in the first two steals just didn’t get called for it. In fact, the first steal looked clean until you see the replay from the other angle that showed he leaned his shoulder into Jrue’s hip to push him away from the ball. To me, it’s more football than basketball. But, as long as he doesn’t get called for it, I guess he can be considered elite.

    i don’t know exactly what a human flaw is. I do know people make choices*, and they are defined by their choices. In that game on that day where the Thunder upset the Heat, Harden was defined by his choice of words and demeanor. As they say, true character shows when they are put to the test. *some people make bad choices because that’s the only choice they have in life but that’s besides the point just saying.

    Lastly, I didn’t say Harden didn’t contribute to wins. I said he doesn’t contribute to MUCH wins. And, think Anderson would’ve contributed to MORE wins than Harden did had Anderson been given the chance to play more. Not saying Harden doesn’t have the ability to contribute to more wins than Anderson. In fact, for about ten games last season, Harden played awesome dishing and scoring when he’s not busy padding his stats.

    You just know if Harden doesn’t have 25 pts by 4th quarter, it’s Harden stat padding quarter. It’s too bad McHale lets Harden get away with it. Recall in the Chris Finch interview that came out recently, he stated that those iso harden plays were never called instead harden took it upon himself to go iso when the play called for read and react.

    http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/offensive

    Read the answer to the third question. Chris’ political correct way of saying coaches weren’t responsible for the isos.

    • standupphilosopher

      Okay. So just a complete misunderstanding on the knee hunting thing on my part. So we just disagree on how we see Bev’s defense. That’s all.

      I’ll also just have to leave the Harden discussion at wherever it is. Again, we see things differently there.

      As for Harden iso plays, I complained about this numerous times at length last season (including the fact that Harden is freelancing), so rather than regurgitate everything I’ve said in the past, you may want to go back and look at some of my posts last season. I don’t remember which ones specifically, because there were so many and not just in posts but also in comments to posts.

      • Harden iso plays definitely is not the topic of my previous post rather it’s his decision to do so and the reason behind why as I do not accept the “human flaw” argument as reason for doing so.

  • MrPingPong

    OK, folks, in case you haven’t seen this, here is a pic of the Rockets in Manilla.

    http://www.nba.com/rockets/sites/rockets/files/imagecache/slider_image/content/images-topstory/2013/10/topphil10082013.jpg

    We all know that H13 and D12 are both alpha dogs that want the ball. But it’s Lin who has the ball. So Lin must be a beta cat, if there is such a term. People ask Lin on Facebook why he has the ball. His answer is ‘im not sure…i think its a mistake. im very turnover prone…’ I love this guy!

    • CH

      Love his EQ and humor.

      • Yes. I recall he made a subtle dig at McHale regarding his bench time during a post game interview last year. It was very subtle and funny and awarded him more bench time during the next game.

      • standupphilosopher

        His sens of humor is matched only by that of MrPingPong’s!

        Yep, I recall that, as well, etane. I’m sure there will be more benching in Lin’s future with McHale. McHale just couldn’t wait. Benched Lin in the first preseason game.

      • MrPingPong

        Ha, Philosopher! Thank you for your kind consideration, but I’m no match for JL7. For one thing, he can quote the Bible really well, while I don’t know enough words of wisdom from Confucius to cite along.

  • Confucius says baseball wrong. Man with 4 balls no can walk.

    • MrPingPong

      Nice, etane! Are you a fortune cookies expert?

      • no, i am a cookie fortune expert! “you will be eaten by etane” *chomp*