Lin Likely To Come off the Bench this Season

I’m not sure about where you all are at with the whole situation with whether or not Lin or Beverley will be starting. I’ve stated my opinion on the matter in a post and video:

Regardless of how you feel, I think it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Lin will be coming off the bench this season. I also just learned from MrPingPong, one of the dedicated commentators on this blog, that Beverley will be starting for a second straight game, which is very odd. But it goes along with the fact that I’ve pretty much been expecting McHale to start Beverley since the past couple of games. I think there are several reasons for this from McHale’s and Morey’s perspectives:

  • They think Harden can be the distributor for Howard, so they don’t see Lin being necessary in the starting lineup.
  • They think Lin meshes better with the second unit (i.e., Caspi, DMo, Garcia).
  • They think Beverley fits better with Harden.
  • Harden, I’m sure, has been lobbying hard for Beverley to start over Lin behind the scenes. It’s very clear to me where Harden stands from the way he plays with Lin vs. with Beverley, as well as in Harden’s comments to the press. Harden makes a concerted effort to pass to Beverley, whereas he only passes to Lin when he has no other options.
  • They are grooming Beverley to be their starting point guard of the future (since they don’t see the necessity of having Lin and Harden on the same starting lineup)Β and this could be the first step they take to figure out a way to trade Lin (and Asik) and bring in another star.

If Lin plays fewer minutes than Beverley, then this is for sure a demotion for Lin. If Lin plays more minutes than Beverley and finishes nearly all if not all of the games, then this could turn out to be a good thing for Lin, because he’ll have more freedom to operate with the second unit. When Lin plays with Harden, Lin tends to be way too passive. Harden made this comment in the first game that they had Lin came off the bench: said that Lin seemed like he was playing a lot looser and freer out there with the second unit. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

In summary, because of the overwhelming case I see from McHale’s and the Rockets’s perspective, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Lin will come off the bench this season. As for whether or not he’ll act as a 6th man, that’s yet to be determined. If Lin doesn’t play the role of the 6th man on this team, then this is a clear demotion and this is just another way McHale has figured out to marginalize Lin on the team and it has a lot to do with the McFale/Lin dynamics.

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  • MrPingPong

    Yes, it is a foregone conclusion that JL7 will come off the bench from now on. I am not happy about it, but my opinion is of no importance. JL7 seems to take it in stride. He played well tonight, I think. Of course, by Lin’s standard, he should have nailed those two wide open 3-pointers, just for the heck of it.

    I want to go on record that I do like Bev. He plays his heart out, just like Lin. He is continually improving, just like Lin. He is fearless, just like Lin. I believe he has what it takes to become an all-star, just like Lin.

    That knee-bumping incident between Harden and Pondexter was scary. Injuries can happen to anybody at any time. I hope Harden is OK. Without Harden, …. (feel free to fill in the blanks)….

    Let the 82-game season begin! Perfect attendance again, OK, JL7! πŸ™‚
    The cream always rise to the top, and JL7 is the cream of the cream!

    Your delusional LOF,


    • Think Harden stuck his leg out after the shot to get the free throw but didn’t expect to get hit so acutely.

      • MrPingPong

        I watched the replay on Youtube many times over and I think you may have a point there, etane.

        Harden seemed to have perfect control of his jump when he shot the ball and landed nicely with both feet together and then suddenly his right leg stuck out a bit…

        A meniscus tear would be a season ending injury because it would take at least six months to recover from surgery.
        Harden was lucky there.

  • Rt

    Absolutely agree that harden and perhaps Howard have been pushing for beverly. If there is one thing that harden does not want, it’s linsanity 2.0. This is harden’s team and everyone (mchale and morey) will do whatever he wants as the franchise player. Great blog and bookmarked it.

    • Thanks for the comment Rt and bookmarking my site! Hope to see you here in the future.

  • MrPingPong

    Good morning/afternoon/evening Lin fans/non-fans!

    For me, last season was Linsanity 2.0 and this season is Linsanity 3.0. Each version of Linsanity has its own flavor. This year’s flavor is Lin has to fight for his starting job and loses. I love the drama!

    Lin is in a no-win situation. Here are the possible scenarios.

    1. Bev starts, the Rockets do well, Lin comes off the bench and the Rockets continue to do well: see, Lin belongs to the bench.
    2. Bev starts, the Rockets play badly, Lin comes off the bench and the Rockets start to play well: see, it’s good that Lin comes off the bench.
    3. Bev starts, the Rockets do well, Lin comes off the bench and the Rockets start to play badly: see, Lin is no starter materials; bench is where he belongs.
    4. Bev starts, the Rockets plays badly, Lin comes off the bench and the Rockets continue to play badly: see, Lin belongs to the bench.
    And of course, if the Rockets win then it’s because Lin does not start, and if the Rockets lose then it’s all Lin’s fault.

    JL7, you’ve been playing basketball since the age of two. You know how to play, my man! Just play! We love to watch you play whether you start or come off the bench! Let’s win it all this season, young man! (Yes, I know I am delusional). πŸ™‚

    • Ha ha. Love your scenarios, MrPingPong!

      I actually don’t think it’s too delusional to think this Rockets team can win it all this season. It will be a major feat, for sure, but not out of the realm of possibilities. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this Rockets team ends up winning it all this season. They’re that good, although there ares so many great teams in the West, it’s ridiculous.

      • If Howard can not foul out before half time against good teams during regular season and post season then maybe Houston can go all the way! to the second round.

        • MrPingPong

          You forgot to factor our man, JL7, into the equation, etane! πŸ™‚

          He will not want to lose in the second round and will take over! πŸ™‚

          • I have very little faith in coach will utilize Lin in any positive manner.

          • MrPingPong

            Sadly enough, I cannot disagree with you on this, etane! (Note the double negation!)

    • No win situation Part deux:

      1. Lin starts, the Rockets do well, Bev comes off the bench and the Rockets continue to do well: see, Bev should start.

      2. Lin starts, the Rockets play badly, Bev comes off the bench and the Rockets start to play well: see, Bev should start.

      3. Lin starts, the Rockets do well, Bev comes off the bench and the
      Rockets start to play badly: see, Lin is needed on the bench.

      4. Lin starts, the Rockets plays badly, Bev comes off the bench and the Rockets continue to play badly: see, Lin belongs to the bench.

      • MrPingPong

        Again, I find it hard to disagree with you here, etane!

        Part trois would be both Lin and Bev start. Guess who has to go to the bench? Anyone here cares to fill out the blanks? πŸ™‚

        Game day and it’s raining here in H-town. May be I’ll go to the game if it stops raining.

        Have a great day/afternoon/evening everybody, wherever you are on this WEB!

  • rT

    Bottom line is that Lin needs to continue to work on being more consistent on that outside shot because I hate to say it, he’s not in their long term plans. They are definitely looking for another all star. Unfortunately Lin needs to worry about what other teams he will be playing for after this contract ends. If he thought hearing trade rumors was bad this offseason, wait till next season (with his expiring contract). It is quite sad that the Rockets organization had sold him on how they were going to develop him but they clearly lack the patience and the confidence to do so. Benching him in the 4th quarter last year and making him compete for the starting PG role during the preseason are not votes of confidence. Actually I wonder if they told him at the end of the season meeting that he had to fight for his starting job this year. Anyways, it doesn’t seem like they are too keen on developing him anymore. To me, developing means allowing him to make mistakes and being ok with it, much like D’antoni did in NY with him. I always remember what McHale said about Jeremy, something to the effect that Jeremy is a home run hitter and always trying to thread the needle. MaHale was upset about that saying that he told Jeremy something to the effect, we”re just trying to win games, ok. No home runs. That is exactly what kind of PG McHale likes and describes Beverly.

    I was actually hoping they would leave Asik with the second team, so Jeremy has a better pick n roll person to run the second unit with. The idea that last year’s starting line up (excluding Harden and Parson) would be this year’s bench would give them a defensive anchor in the 2nd unit and with Garcia and DMo, Jeremy would thrive and excel. At the end of the day, he will be on another team either by next year (2014-2015) or at the end of his contract. Hopefully he will be given a chance to shine at some point (not from the PR point of view) so other teams will believe in him.

    • Yeah. I don’t think the Rockets see Lin as necessary, since they already have Harden. They would rather look for another star, which I think will backfire on them. I think this team they have now has a chance of winning it all this season and a great chance of winning it all in the very near future if they keep the core team in place. It’s all about chemistry and having the right mix of players, not about a bringing in another star from outside that could potentially disrupt the great chemistry that they currently have. But, whatever, I’m a LOF, so will follow Lin wherever he goes in the future.

      As the for the quote by McHale, It’s one of the things I discussed it at length in my McHale is just a Jeremy Lin Doubter video.

  • leo

    Everybody have their opinions and they are all great because we don’t know
    what the hell the Rockets organization’s intent is with this Lin treatment.
    I think it’s shameful of what they are doing to Lin.

    Over all though, I truely believe Rockets organization likes JLin but for
    the wrong reasons which is attraction to the Asian public.

    By marginalizing JLin’s activity on court, if JLin’s not traded, and JLin
    doesn’t improve dramatically they hope to resign JLin at a cheaper prize
    when his contract is over if JLin intends to stay with the Rockets Organization.

    So what ever happens with JLin’s situation, he really needs to just stay
    strong, stay happy, stay motivated, and just ball all out before Morey
    gets the better of him and accomplishes his goal for JLin’s future.

    I have faith in JLin cuz he is a fighter and never gives up but he should
    also start to have a bigger ego for his own good.

    In conclusion for Jeremy, if he thinks last year was hard, this year and
    up coming year, he’s got his hands full cuz Morey has him falling right in
    his trap, “Marginalizing him.” What a shame…………………………..

    • Very interesting theory, leo, for why Rockets are marginalizing Lin. To keep him at a cheaper price. That is shameful, but at the end of hte day the NBA is a business. Still, if that really is the Rockets plans, it’s the lowest of the low–even for the NBA.

      • CH

        Are they going to trade him, maybe??? How would a team keep such an expensive player on bench?????

        • Yeah, I think the likely scenario is that Lin will get traded. But I just thought leo has an interesting theory about how the Rockets can devalue Lin by continuing to marginalize him so they can keep him for cheap with his contract is up.

        • ashley

          But neither Harden on the Thunder nor Ginobili on the
          Spurs was cheap. So I guess there could be expensive 6th men.

          Last year, many Lin fans complained about Lin being made like a token starter, since he always got pulled out first in the 1st quarter, and some suggested he might as well come off the bench so he could have the ball in his hands. But now it’s really happening, and it feels even worse. So, sadly, it seems being a token starter is still better than being a back-up.

  • MrPingPong

    OK folks, in case you don’t know it already, here is the link to Rockets Open Practice today.

    In the beginning there is just music and some filler stuffs. You will nee to advance the cursor to about 55 min to see the players.practicing.

    • Thanks for the link, MrPingPong! I didn’t have a chance to look at all of it, but it’s pretty cool being able to see them practice. Will have to check it out again another time.

  • Peter Davey

    McHale is a prideful SOB. His mistreatment of Jeremy stems from his decision to cut him from the team. He won’t admit he was wrong and plays him only long enough to win. He is obsessed with preventing Linsanity to happen again.

    • I understand your frustration Peter Davey. Jeremy hasn’t gotten a fair shake under McHale. It’s very unfortunate.

  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans, let’s focus a little more on the positive stuffs. Good thoughts will generate the right chemicals in our brains and make our day/night better.

    Here are a few links showing Lin’s interview with CNN in Manilla, in case you don’t already know about them.

    I love this guy!

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

    • Thanks for the links, MrPingPong. I had no idea Lin had an interview on CNN in Manila. Good stuff. I like your focus on the positive.

  • CH

    Mr. Philosopher,

    Tried to share a link written by Christ Baldwin several times, but was not successful. Is there a bug or am I blacklisted?

    • You’re definitely not blacklisted. I’m not sure why you can’t share a link. Let me see if I can find the article and post it here.

    • I just went onto CultureMap…the only recent article I see that he’s written on Lin is he “Global Joke” one. Is that the one you tried to post? Give me the title of the one you tried to post and maybe I can find it and post it for you. Still not sure why it’s not letting you post links, though.

    • MrPingPong

      I think I experienced the same problem as CH. I tried to post the link to Chris Baldwin’s latest article last night, but it failed to go through. This is rather odd, because up until now, I have always been able to post links in this forum.

  • Chirico

    Hi Lin fans,
    Jeremy Lin sparked my old passion to bball last year. Since then I started again on following NBA and news, forums related to him.
    Until this week, I had a hope to believe that the treatment he’s been getting was a combination of different unfortunate factors(recover from surgery, Harden, fit issue, injury in the playoff ). Now I’m pretty determined that it’s about prejudice and possible racial discrimination relates to rocket’s management .

    This kind of arrangement is plain wrong. Heck, in Macfail’s mind, anyone is better fit to start tha JL. from business perspective , you don’t pay starting player salary and have him sitting in the bench watching your team lose.

    I will be looking forward to reading a joke about Mcfail and Morey this season.

    • MrPingPong

      It is a well documented non-scientific fact that if you are a hammer then everything looks like a nail (or is it the other way around?). Since KM is a HOF 6th man, perhaps he sees all future HOFs as 6th man.

      Does this qualify as a joke?

      • Pistolpete

        I watched almost every game of Linsanity in NY and almost every game last year of Houston’s. I tried to explain Mchales treatment of Jeremy (benching him while he’s playing well, playing Toney Douglas over him in the 4th Q, playing Bev with no NBA experience over him, etc.) but the only thing I could come up with that makes any sense is that Mchale is still trying to prove he was right to cut him in the first place.

        • MrPingPong

          Hello Pistolpete! Are you a fan of this Pistol Pete?

        • Yeah, I think McHale’s treatment of Lin last year had a lot to do with what I call the McFale/Lin dynamics, which does encompass McHale trying to prove that he was right in cutting Lin in the first place. McHale is the type of person who rarely admits when he’s wrong. In fact, I never saw him admitting fault all last year, even though he made some egregious coaching errors.

          We’ll always have Linsanity in NYC! I still haven’t had a chance to see the documentary, since I can’t find it in theaters where I live, unfortunately.

      • I don’t agree but I am amazed at your thought process…

      • Ha ha, MrPingPong!

      • Chirico

        yes it does qualify, but I am looking forward to more jokes.

    • Welcome, Chirico! That’s awesome that Lin sparked your old passion for bball. He did the same with me. I love the way he plays so unselfishly. It makes the game so much more fun to watch.

      This whole benching of Lin thing is a little tough to interpret, because there are valid basketball reasons for doing so. So no one is really sure whether or not McHale is doing this for legitimate basketball reasons or because of the as I like to call McFale/Lin dynamic, which I made a long video about on my YouTube Channel, which you can access in the sidebar of this blog.

      The test for me is whether or not Lin will be finishing nearly all if not all games. If not, then this is a clear demotion of Lin and this has a lot to do with the McFale/Lin dynamics.

      • Chirico

        Thanks for your warm welcome! Philosopher.
        Just like you mentioned, IMHO, the only selling point for JL to come off the bench and lead the 2nd unit is Rockets may find its one two punch with the swapping between 1st unit and 2nd unit so the energy level and intensity of Offense and Defense stays high.
        However, I highly doubt this will be the case as Mr Pingpong said, whether or not JL is with 1st unit or 2nd, if Rockets wins, the glory goes to the “stars” or starting players, if the Rockets loses, the blame goes to the bench –> especially JL.

        My hope is that JL got traded and never look back when Rockets become a joke because of M&M’s brilliant decision to cut JL the second time.

        Because, listen to this, it will be “the return of Linsanity”,
        when JL and his team meets the arrogant Rockets, JL will prove them WRONG! And that’s when M&M become a global joke again! Time to start shooting Linsanity the Movie 2!

    • MrPingPong

      Is there such a thing as Preseason Coach of the Year (PCOY)? If there is, I would like to nominate KM for PCOY.

      Does this qualify as a joke?

      • I second that nomination, MrPingPong!

      • Everything you say qualifies as a joke, MrPingPong.
        …Oops, I think that may have come out wrong.

        • MrPingPong

          Ha, Philosopher, you do show your humorous side every so often! πŸ™‚

      • Chirico

        Yes, that’s a joke of this preseason.

  • Rt

    Well, it’s official. Beverly over Lin. Hopefully this will not ruin his chance of ever being a starter (ie. Jamal Crawford, jr smith, Jason terry). I like beverly but he is not an all star. It is a shame for someone to lose their starting position even though they improved.

    • Mark Berman ‏@MarkBermanFox261m
      Dwight Howard excited bout starting lineup that includes Harden, Asik, Parsons, Beverley. He says that group will set the tone.

    • Thanks for the breaking news, Rt! Yep, that is a shame. I think Lin may be the first person to be “demoted” after improving. Ha ha. Leave it to Lin to go where no one has gone before. He’s always breaking barriers.

      Again, the litmus test for me is if Lin finishes nearly all if not all games. If not, which is definitely expected, then this is clearly a demotion and a shameful act by McHale and the Rockets organization. All Lin fans should be outraged!

      • rT

        Yes we should be outraged. What annoys me the most is that McHale keeps down playing Linsanity and insists that he may never reach those heights. To me, linsanity was his potential. All of his Houston coaches and management have such low expectations of him that I think Jeremy is drinking that kool-aid. It seems like he’s come to accept those low expectations and not fight (ie. the starting PG position). I hope he does take coming off the bench as a demotion and a lack of confidence in him and is pissed, because I believe he always plays better with a chip on his shoulder.

        • rT

          In fact, I wish he had a coach on the rockets team that helps and believes in him like his old assistant Knicks coach Kenny Atkins. Wish they would trade him to Lakers or Atlanta (Atkins is there now)

  • pistolpete

    Yes I was. I was also nicknamed pistol because I never saw a shot I didn’t like(I did shoot around 50% though).

  • pistolpete

    One of the most unfair things I’ve ever seen in sports. It’s cheating bball fans everywhere who love to see good team play from enjoying their favorite sport. Instead we’ve got Harden ISO and Melo ISO. How boring!

  • pistolpete

    Jeremy was demoted after starting all 82 games last year, leading the team in assists, being the 3rd leading scorer and helping to lead the team to the playoffs. This is unfair and proves that McHale has an unprofessional bias against him. Any objective coach would not have treated Jeremy like this.

  • MrPingPong

    OK folks!
    I’m going to the opening game and cheer for our man Lin!
    JL7 will BOSS tonight!

  • pistolpete

    Good for you! I’m jealous! Share your thoughts with us afterward.