It wasn’t pretty, but the Rockets get a win in a sloppy, injury-riddled game against a good defensive Bobcats team. The difference was the Rockets’s twin towers, who dominated the boards and Garcia who provided a great spark off the bench. Lin also had a very solid debut from the bench.
Howard had an awesome debut as a Rockets. It reminded me a lot of Harden’s debut. He tied his career high in rebounds with 26. I think a lot of this is a result of how poorly the Rockets shot the ball–especially in the first quarter.
I started watching this game with 4 minutes left in the first quarter so I missed a lot of the sloppiness in the first quarter. I also missed how Beverley got injured. Lin tonight didn’t do too much, but managed to still get 16 points and shot well from the field, which I’m really happy to see. He went 2 for 2 from three-point. Didn’t handle the ball very much tonight, which is a shame. I hope this is not going to be the norm. We still didn’t get a chance to see how McHale is going to use Lin coming off the bench, since Beverley was injured, so Lin got to play close to starter minutes tonight. If the Rockets had trouble getting Harden and Lin to mesh last season, I think Harden and Lin look even worse on the court together this season. We’ll continue to monitor this situation. But this is a big reason for bringing Lin off the bench as a Sixth Man. Harden seems unwilling to share the ball with Lin this season even more so than last season, because he feels he needs to be the distributor for Howard. So this is a big reason why I don’t mind Lin playing the role of the Sixth Man, but this entails Lin finishing nearly all if not all games. I think that would be Lin’s ideal role on this team and if Lin is as good as we all think he is, then Lin can make a real run for the Sixth Man of the year honors, although the NBA’s bias towards him could make it tough for Lin to win any award.
There were few positives in this game. The biggest positive is Howard’s debut. I’m happy for him that he had a big game. Takes a lot of pressure off of him, since the media seems to also be biased towards Howard, because most of the media is essentially owned by the Lakers. Asik also chipped in 14 rebounds. Together the twin towers out-rebounded the entire Bobcats squad 40 to 37. Pretty ridiculous stuff. I think that was a big reason the Rockets got away with a win in a very sloppy game. The other reason was Garcia, who was on fire from long-range in the first half and kept the Rockets in the game. I am very happy to see that Garcia has found a team he can be a big contributor on. Delfino, who?
This Rockets team didn’t look anything like what I had expected. They got killed on fast break points. One possible answer is that Harden was playing injured and Lin didn’t get a chance to run the show much in this game. The ball movement wasn’t very good at all tonight, due to Harden holding onto the ball way too long and forcing the issue way too many times. He had 5 turnovers on the night. I don’t think this Rockets organization is ever going to get it. Let Lin run the show and everything goes a lot smoother. I think Harden is a lot more injured than he is letting on. McHale has to be careful about how much he uses Harden in the upcoming games. Although for all us LOFs, if Harden goes down, then it’s Linsanity 2.0 for sure! I have no doubt Lin can run this team without Harden, but still, you don’t want to see any players go down. So lets hope whatever Harden’s dealing with is not serious. Also, no one knows what Beverley’s condition is. So, Lin’s role on this team is still a little up in the air. The drama continues, folks. It’s only been one game and already so much chaos. We’ll see how McHale and company handle things. It is a very good sign that the Rockets still managed to get by with a double-digit win even though they played the worst that they could possibly play. Also, first game of the season and already Lin got cut. No one puts more blood into this game than Lin, that’s for sure!