Rockets Get the Job Done in an Ugly Debut Against the Bobcats

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!

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  • Chirico

    Thx for your update!
    I didn’t get a chance to watch the game but by reading the scoreboard I have a feeling that JLIN didn’t handle the ball too much. Another perfect case that M&M are putting Lin’s career in jeapody.

    All they care about is doing anything to prove the legitimacy of their investment – Harden and Howard. I’m happy for Howard and Garcia as well. However, Rockets are not going too far with this kind of play style. Against strong teams, folks may start realize … “Houston, we have a problem!”

    • McHale might be a hopeless case, but I’m hoping that last night’s game will open up the eyes of Rockets fans that Lin is needed to be the primary ball handler on this starting Lineup. I doubt that, too, though. Rockets fans really don’t understand Lin’s game and last season didn’t help matters any for Lin, since he was dealing with a laundry list of things that were completely out of his control (i.e., recovering form injury, forced to play a new role and play to his weaknesses, rather than capitalize on his strengths, etc. etc.) I’ve discussed all of these issues at length last season. You can check out “Featured Posts” in sidebar if you’re curious.

  • MrPingPong

    Thanks for your game analysis, Philosopher.

    I was at the game and taped the whole thing. It takes some time to put together the videos. And then some more time to upload to Youtube. Please be patient.

    PCOY McHale being McHale will start AB over Lin in the Dallas game, should Bev’s rib injury keeps him out. That’s my bold prediction for the next game! Does that qualify as a joke?

    Have a good night/morning/afternoon everybody wherever you are on this WEB.

    • Chirico

      LOL PCOY! I love it.

    • Chirico

      That’s right on. Pingpong . PCOY Mcfail is determined that anyone who plays SG or PG is better than LIN.

    • CH

      Like your joke ^V^, Mr. PP. Will not be a surprise if KM starts AB over Lin. He will be a clown/joke of NBA. But I guess he doesn’t even care. All he cares is how to leash Lin. Rockets are interesting to watch, as you guys always say, you mean the game, I mean the drama though.

    • Ha ha, MrPingPong. That’s awesome you made it to the opener. Too bad the Rockets had such a sloppy debut.

    • MrPingPong

      News break: y’all know Bev will be out for 10-14 days, right?
      I’ll go to the game tonight.
      Let’s see who will start…

      • Well, I guess really hardcore LOFs got what they wanted (I’m not referring to us here). Don’t like seeing players get injured and feel bad for Beverley, who works so hard. BUT, if Harden is also out, then Lin can finally do a little Linsanity 2.0 before Harden gets back. Anybody know the news on Harden tonight? Anyway, if Lin is as good as I think he is this season, then these upcoming games could be very good for Lin fans. Hope Lin puts on a good show for you MrPingPong!

        • MrPingPong

          Harden will play according to what I’ve read so far. I hate to see Bev get injured. I really would like to see how Bev plays out as a starter. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks then.

          I am a delusional Lin fanboy (though I am as old as his parents). So I predict that Lin will BOSS tonight, starter or not.

          • MrPingPong

            Just want to add that Lin knows how to play with Harden and Asik, but has little practice with D12 and the Twin Towers set up. In addition, Parsons has changed! So Lin has the work cut out for him! Can’t wait!

  • Chirico

    Just found out that harden+pasons+casipe+beverly
    2/14 – 3 pt
    7/11 – 3 pt

    Rockets starters – that’s ugly, even though you got Howard drawing the defense.

  • MrPingPong

    OK folks, here is the first quarter. The cats came to play for sure.

    More later. Enjoy.

    • Chirico

      Thanks a lot . Pinging.
      Rockets looks like they had an off night in the 1st quarter.

  • pistolpete

    The reason that Jeremy’s assists were so low (besides Harden and Parson’s hogging the ball) were that his team mates were missing wide open shots. Parsons in particular was atrocious. It’s funny that McHales two favorites from last year are also the 2 most selfish players on the team.

    • Chirico

      Ya, that’s ironic and hilarious. Mcfail, who claims to promote ball movement and fast pace bball, falls in love with two selfish players, AND prefers to bench Lin who is a unselfish player.

    • Before the preseason started, I was a little concerned that Parsons was letting all the sudden fame go to his head. I think Parsons will likely be hogging the ball more this season, because he knows that with Howard, he’ll have fewer touches. There was one particular play last night in a fast break when Parsons forced a crazy shot with a bunch of Bobcats around him, rather than pass it to Lin, who was wide open for a possible three. McHale, at least, recognized this and immediately called time out.

      • MrPingPong

        Parsons has changed… bro!

        • Ha ha. Exactly, MrPingPong!

          • Agree much! So much changed on that guy.

          • Good to see you Rubielyn. Been a little while since I saw a comment from you.

          • I miss leaving a comment/s here as well Mr.Philosopher πŸ™‚
            I am glad too that you gain more followers, the more the merrier πŸ™‚

            And oh, Rockets 3-0, a very happy JLin fan here! πŸ™‚

          • Rubielyn, I just found out about the typhoon in the Philippines. I hope you are safe. I’m sure you have so many other things on your mind, but I hope to hear from you soon.

          • Hallo Mr.Philosopher! Good day.

            Thank God me and my family are safe and okay.
            I really appreciate your concern.
            Have a nice day and thanks again!

          • So thankful to hear that, Rubielyn! Stay safe.

          • Thanks Mr.Philosopher. God Bless!

          • MrPingPong

            Good to hear that you and your family are alright, Rubielyn.
            Chime in every once in a while, OK!

          • Thanks as well Mr.PingPong!
            Appreciate it.
            God Bless!

          • NO @etane, I am talking about Coach McHale heheheh. Sorry if my comment was kinda misleading πŸ™‚

          • Why is my reply for your question @etane up there? hehehe :-), anyways I am not talking about Mr.Philosopher for sure. It’s coach McHale.

  • ashley

    It’s funny how things turned out–the first-time starter Beverley got injured so Lin got to play starter minutes and that both Parsons and Harden didn’t do very well. In Lin’s post-game interview, he was honest and direct in saying “The ball got sticky…it’s within our control to play unselfishly.” So he knew he had selfish teammates.

    • Chirico

      That’s a joke and slap in the face. Beverly barely could keep up with the guy s he was defending and got injured in his first day as a starter.

    • Lets hope the coaching staff and other players on the team can be equally honest with themselves and admit their faults. They played very selfishly last night, without Lin running the floor. Lin needs to be the one keeping the egos in check, but, unfortunately, Harden is so obsessed with being alpha dog (talks about being the leader ever chance he gets) that Lin isn’t given the respect he needs on this team to run it the way it is supposed to be runned. Of course, having a coach intent on undermining you doesn’t help matters.

  • MrPingPong

    OK, here is the second quarter…


    • Chirico

      Thanks so much! Pingpong!

  • MrPingPong

    “Watching us play offense is like a trip to the dentist.”
    You all probably heard that from PCOY McHale in the post game presser.
    We all each have a theory on how the ball got “sticky” and how “uncharacteristic” the Rockets offense was last night.

    Let speculate on the (near) future now.
    All coach Carlisle has to do tomorrow is to repeat what coach Karl said about Lin, that is is ‘Lin is the engine of the Rockets offense’, and we will see McHale go into his dental assistant mode and yank the ball out of Lin’s hands.

    On a more positive note, I got to witness D12’s 26 rebounds last night. The man has ridiculously long wing span and can really jump. The Cats players seemed to be scared of him. Just like gunslingers in the old West: reputation is key!

    And here is more basketball for you…


    • Is McHale able to take off his Doubter Blinders to see why the ball got “sticky”. Doubt it. He may NEVER admit fault in public, but lets hope that he can admit it to himself when he’s alone and no one is looking.

      • Yes Mr. Philosopher knowing you made a mistake and accepting it is a big thing. So at least in private if he can’t go public.

        • mr philosopher made a mistake?

  • pistolpete

    McMoron puts his offense in the hands of his SG and wonders why the offense is “sticky”. LOL.

    • Chirico

      Another joke of the day. Thx pistolpete

  • CH

    Mr. Philosopher,

    Can’t share a link from culturemap again. Another good read.

    Here is the title of the article:

    Bloodied Jeremy Lin saves Rockets from coaching blunder, shows class and true skills

  • pistolpete

    I remember when Allen Iverson was point guard for the 76ers. He went ISO all game long and they never went anywhere in the playoffs. Well Larry Brown finally moved him to off-guard and Eric Snow to point guard. That year they went to the NBA finals.
    That’s what has to happen with the Rockets – Lin has to run the offense and Harden needs to play off the ball. This unfortunately will never happen with McHale and why the Rockets will never go far in the playoffs.

    • Totally agree with your insight and the fact that McHale will never come to this conclusion, although, as long as the Rockets have Lin, they will go far in the playoffs.

      • Letting Harden play on ball is the STUPIDEST IDEA EVER even IF Lin were not on the team. But, it’s even DUMBER because Lin IS on this team. And, what can be only DUMBER is make PB Harden’s backcourt partner and now you have TWO GUARDS who cannot play POINT GUARD. The comedy at Houston never ends. The tragedy is Lin is stuck on this friggin comedy troupe.

        • Chirico

          Totally agree with you guys!

  • pistolpete

    I hope you’re right. They certainly have enough talent to do so. Hopefully when Bev comes back Jeremy will get enough minutes. If they don’t go far KM will get a well deserved boot.

  • MrPingPong

    Cats game, quarter #4…


  • MrPingPong

    Harden and Bev did not practice today, due to injuries. Lin did ‘half a practice’. As a result, PCOY McHale said after practice that “it looked like the team I’d seen before… we moved the ball and attacked..”

    Reporting from the ground up, this is MrPingPong, your on-the-ground reporter.

  • ashley

    I remember in the end-of-the-last-season interview, Parsons said something like “it’s the best that the ball is in his hands,” which was quite shocking to hear, since he’s been criticized for being a poor ball-handler. I’m not sure if he’s having a big head due to the fame, but it’s just weird how he got so confident/pompous. Look at our humble Lin! What a contrast these two good friends make. I kind of think it’s not so much about the religion, but about the Chinese culture, which stresses the virtue of modesty.

    • I remember that, as well, ashley. Parsons also said that he worked a lot on play-making in the off-season, which I thought was a little odd.

      • MrPingPong

        Nothing wrong with trying to continually learn new things and improving oneself, I don’t think. It’s just that so far, Parsons hasn’t shown much improvement. He seems to have regressed instead. What are his stats like this preseason?