Chris Paul + Clippers are Just Too Good

I just looked at the comments from the previous post.That’s awesome that you guys are doing in-game commentaries! Too bad I didn’t see them while I was watching the game. I may set up an in-game thread for certain games this season. I did that some last season, but may do it more this season, depending on how receptive you guys are to it.

Chris Paul has been the best player in the league so far in the beginning of this season. If he continues, he should get the MVP this year and Clippers can FINALLY go far in the playoffs. They got a great team and tremendous chemistry. They move the ball and themselves so well, it’s really difficult to defend. And they got ridiculous hustle. There were several hustle plays that looked nearly impossible last night by DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. I was very impressed. Their chemistry reminds me a little of the Spurs. I think Chris Paul may be the best Point Guard ever! He has so much control of the ball and the game. Knows exactly what he wants to do and can execute with precision. It’s pretty awesome watching him play.

I could have done without the Clippers commentators, though. Those guys are very hardcore homers and that comment about Lin not looking like an NBA player was pretty racist. Saying how he looked so much like a Harvard grad in his glasses, etc. I wasn’t offended, but I was like, “Are they really saying this on air?” I don’t get offended by these types of comments, and I think our society is overly sensitive to this type of stuff. So when I hear comments like this, I’m mainly just surprised, because I know that other people will be offended by them and they have every right to be. Anyway, one thing is for sure, those LA Clippers commentators are a spirited bunch and I like that. Most of the games I hear, the commentators put you to sleep. The Rockets commentators are pretty entertaining–especially Drexler–even though he says the wrong thing most of the time. At least he keeps it fun. The Knicks commentators were awesome. I miss those guys–especially Walt Frazier.

Apologies for the long tangent on NBA commentators. Just had to get that off my chest. Also, there’s not that much to say about the game. When you look at just the stats, the Rockets actually did better or the same in last night’s game than probably all three previous games. I didn’t really break this down, so I could be wrong. But our field goal percentage was solid and we had the fewest turnovers of any of the three games. Again, I didn’t actually look this up. This is all just from memory. I’m not saying that Rockets played well. I don’t think we have played well so far this season. I’m just saying that we played as well as we have been. Chris Paul and the Clippers are just too good for the level that we have been playing at. And that’s pretty much the game summary for me. Doc Rivers has got that team humming and they have all the right pieces and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, they know how to use them. Rockets on the other hand? Well, you know.

One major complaint I have is that we haven’t been doing nearly enough PnRs–especially with Lin. The Clippers did PnRs nearly every possession. Lin has to keep fighting through screens and Chris Paul can pretty much just relax on the defensive end, because no one is screening for Lin. I don’t care if someone looks up stats and say that Rockets have done the most PnRs of any NBA team. The reason I don’t care is that THAT should be a given. We SHOULD be the Number 1 PnR team seeing as how we have the best PnR big and one of the two best PnR guards. If we’re not leading the league in PnRs, then something is wrong and that something is McHale, of course. So even if we are leading the league in PnRs, we still aren’t doing nearly enough of them. We got all the right pieces, we just don’t have a coach who fully appreciates what he has and can put his players in positions to succeed.

I’m still wondering when Rockets will pull the plug on this Twin Towers sham. Everyone–including them (including Asik and Howard)–knows it’s a shame. And whenever McHale says the reason is that he wants his best five players in the starting lineup (which is like the worst reason a coach can give–especially for him, since he was the quintessential 6th man), the only reaction I can have is to want to punch him in the face. Ha ha. Can he be more of a Lin hater with this statement? But, of course, no one in the media thinks enough of Lin to call McHale out on this comment. On the same note, I guess it’s not surprising, but every commentator, so far, just assumes that Lin lost his starting position due to being outplayed by Beverley. And, of course, the Rockets organization don’t care enough to clear this false assumption up, since McHale never clearly stated the obvious reason for benching Lin, which is fit. Keeps saying that he has two starting point guards and just lets the media do their thing. And the media is always going to take the most controversial interpretation and run with it. Again, another tangent. So apologies.

Getting back to last night’s game. Obviously, Rockets defense was lacking last night–especially Harden. I don’t like beating dead horses, so no need to really dwell on that. Yes. Rockets defense was bad, but I think it had more to do with the fact that the Clippers offense was just too good to defend–even if the Rockets were on their game–which they weren’t.

The Clippers have an offense that the Rockets had in some games in the pre-season when guys were moving so well without the ball and Lin was playing loose and free and aggressive. I actually think Lin has been playing pretty loose and free so far this season, so no complaints there. I don’t blame him for being passive last night, because it’s hard not to be intimidated by Chris Paul and Lin’s teammates didn’t help him out any. Again, where are the screens for Lin to maneuver? So what’s Lin supposed to do? Attack anyway and risk turning the ball over and risk receiving McHale’s wrath?

Lin was actually one of the few Rockets who did play well on both ends of the floor last night. I know, how can I say that when CP3 had like 17 assists? Well, CP3 will do that even if you have good defense. Besides, it takes the entire team to defend CP3. Lin did the best job that he could. Just didn’t get much help. Overall, Lin has been pretty steady, so far this season. Harden pressed the issue way too much last night and, surprise surprise, it’s because he hung onto the ball way too much and none of the Rockets moved much without the ball. The bright spot was Casspi. If he continues the way he has been, It’s an incredible pickup by Morey. We may be able to conclude this even this early in the season. And, of course, Garcia is still continuing his magnificence. Again, we got a lot of good pieces, but McHale hasn’t shown that he knows what to do with them, so far. But we’ll see. The season is still early. That being said, McHale will likely never figure out how to use Lin properly on this team and that’s one big reason Rockets aren’t humming the way they should be. Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on long enough in this post. Let me know your thoughts below.




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  • MrPingPong

    Here are the stats for the game.

    Rockets 41-82 7-25 29-43 13 33 46 21 22 7 15 3 7 118
    50.00% 28.00% 67.40% TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 16
    Clippers 49-94 15-38 24-28 9 29 38 33 29 7 10 7 3 137
    52.10% 39.50% 85.70% TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 12

    As you can see, the numbers are pretty close. Actually, we out-rebounded them. Cutting down on the TOs and improving the 3 pts a bit would make the game a whole lot closer.

    I was pretty optimistic at half time, thinking we could come back with only 12 pts down. 12 pts at the half is nothing in the NBA. Unfortunately, Harden’s lack of defense let us down. Usually he compensated bad defense with crazy good offense, but not last night. So he had a bad game.

    D12, I dunno. I think he still has not fully recovered from his back surgery and shoulder injury. Big men like D12 recover more slowly from back surgeries due to their massive size. You probable have read about D12’s physical conditions from some recent interview with KM.

    Lin, Garcia and Casspi played solid, IMOO. I started watching the game right around the time D12 was called for a 3rd (bogus) foul. I don’t know how Lin played before that, but from what I saw, for the most part of the game, Lin was trying to get H13 and CP25 going more than create plays for himself.

    Lin is a cerebral player. He will figure things out (provided KM gives him the key). Lin will rule tonight! 🙂

  • Yup. Linsanity was made possible by Chandler who was an amazing screener and perfect roll man for JLin. Heck, if you watch the Knicks games, Landry and Novak routinely helped Lin with their screens. Spacing and screens were trademarks of D’Antoni’s offense. McHale’s offensive schemes are so bad and predictable. Laughable really.

  • MrPingPong

    Bev is back tonight.
    I think it is a mistake that he rushes back.
    Lin starts.
    Let’s go.

    • Ha ha. You beat me to it, MrPingPong. I was going to post that Bev is back. Yeah, hope he’s not coming back too early. Would be a real shame if he gets injured again.

  • PnR with Lin and Howard! That’s how it’s supposed to work! Lets hope they keep that up.

  • Another PnR. James and Asik!

  • MrPingPong

    Lillard is hot!
    Play tough, Jeremy!

  • Rockets actually looking very good on offensive end. Blazers just hot. Rockets are executing well, because Lin has been allowed to play THE point guard position so far. Hope it continues.

    • MrPingPong

      So far so good!

  • Harden killing the Rockets!

    • MrPingPong

      Harden has changed, bro…

    • MrPingPong

      Harden has unchanged, bro..

      • You beat me to it, again, MrPingPong, with the unchanged bro.

        • MrPingPong

          Ha, fun game so far!

  • MrPingPong

    Let’s go Lin!

  • MrPingPong

    Keep it going Lin!

  • MrPingPong

    Way to go, Lin!

  • MrPingPong

    ‘Everybody having fun?
    CP25 is a non-factor so far.
    Will he change?

  • I thought Lin had like a bunch of assists, but just looked at the Box Score and he only has 3 assists. Lin’s stats don’t look that impressive, but he’s been playing great. There was a period when Bev checked back in that Lin didn’t touch the ball. It sort of looked like Bev was making an effort not to pass to Lin. I didn’t like seeing that. I think it’s a huge mistake to have Bev play THE point when Lin is in there with him. Lin should be the predominant ball handler when Bev and Lin are there together. But, of course, McHale always seems to make Bev the primary play maker when he’s in there with Lin. I’m fin with Lin playing off-ball some, but Lin barely touched the ball in the beginning of the second quarter when he checked back in.

    • MrPingPong

      KM is a slow learner, it seems like…
      Lin has yet to attempt a trey.
      It is bound to happen…

      • There’s the three by Lin!

        • That one looked very clean and smooth leaving his hand.

        • MrPingPong

          I pre-called it!

    • MrPingPong

      Someone by the moniker Torocan, who seems to be quite knowledgeable about basketball, posted the following.

      Lin directed traffic, control the game flow and passed the balls often to D12 and H13 for them to score, but did not get assist credits for reasons explained by Torocan.

      • Assists are actually not that straightforward. It’s actually up to the statistician to determine subjectively whether or not a basket counts as an assist, because assists can be counted even if the ball is dribbled. So Torocan’s simple explanation is incorrect.

        I have a feeling that statisticians are biased against Lin–especially last night, because they should have attributed many of the baskets as an assist by Lin. He often gets the short end of stats, but that could just be because I’m fixated on his stats. Maybe this happens to all players.

  • Glad to hear Houston announcers recognizing Lin’s excellent defense on Lillard..

  • Chirico

    Another poor management of roster. You rest your starters when you have more than 18 points.
    Go Lin !

  • See how the Harden Howard PnR works? It’s basically automatic points. Harden had the exact same play both times. Nearly impossible to guard H/H PnR. Don’t know why they don’t do that more.

  • McHale checking Lin back in. Looks like McHale acknowledging Lin’s value. The moment Lin sat down Blazers caught up.

    • MrPingPong

      McHale has changed? BRO!

    • But how is McHale going to rest Lin enough in fourth so Lin can finish the game?

  • MrPingPong

    Lin has 4 fouls.
    Take Lin out.

    • MrPingPong

      Now, put Lin back in!

      • MrPingPong

        OK, I guess Lin gets some needed rest…

    • McHale benching Lin even though Lin played well. What’s new?

      • MrPingPong

        OK, McHale has not changed, bro…

        • MrPingPong

          OK, Lin is back in.
          McHale has changed, sis!

          • Ha ha. Good team win tonight.

          • MrPingPong

            Good win.
            Not a whole lot of dramas, but entertaining because the Rockets won!
            Good night/day everybody!

  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans,

    I found this on clutchfans:

  • Rt

    Was wondering if anyone saw the end of the game last night? Did Lin play the last 4-5 min or was it Beverly? From the highlights, it seemed like it was harden, Howard, parsons, Garcia, and Beverly? Will this be mchale’s end of game rotation?

    • MrPingPong

      Rt, Lin started the 4th quarter and played for a little bit more than 2 minutes and left when he drew his 4th foul. He came back with about 2 and a half minutes to play with the Rockets leading 110-97. He tried and missed a 3 ptr, was fouled a little bit later, made his 2 FTs and left the game for good at the one minute mark with the Rockets leading 113-99.

      As to what KM will do in future games, your guess is just as good as anybody’s.

      • McHale’s end of game rotations will vary depending on the game. That’s my expectations. He may also use the small lineup of Lin, Harden and Beverley quite a bit during end of games, I’m sure, as long as it continues to produce results.

  • pistolpete

    Clippers too good for the Rockets but not good enough for the Magic. Fire McHale and hire Karl!

  • ashley

    It’s good that Lin got to get back and add a bit more points. That’s the only one good thing I could say about this 4Q situation. It seems that Lin and Beverley will be playing about the same amount of time. I wonder if the coaching staff keeps track of key players’ playing time and even their points during the game, so they know when to let a player such as Harden pad his stats.

    • I think it’s rare for coaches to actually want to help players pad their stats. Only certain situations does that happen, such as if they’re very close to breaking a record or something. McHale is definitely not a coach who wants to help his players pad his stats. Harden just does this on his own. Of course, McHale can control who he puts into the game and when, so that does give him some control over his players stat-padding efforts. But I think, overall, McHale is definitely a coach that doesn’t care to help his players pad their stats. He wants his players to not care about their stats. That being said, he does appear to go out of his way to hurt Lin’s stats by pulling Lin out just when Lin gets hot. But our interpretation of why McHale does this sometimes could be because we’re biased LOFs. Ha ha. What McHale definitely does do is take Lin out the moment Lin makes a mistake. And that’s the bigger concern for me. McHale doesn’t allow Lin to make mistakes, whereas players like Harden, Parsons, Howard can play through their mistakes. But I guess that’s to be expected, because McHale doesn’t think much of Lin, so Lin doesn’t get the star treatment on the team.

  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans,

    I will not be able go watch the Lakers game tonight.
    I hope someone here can post a game analysis later.
    Anyway, TRAP GAME!
    Nah, just kidding!
    Lin will boss!

  • ashley

    I clicked on the link Mr. Pingpong posted yesterday to learn that Lin got yelled at during a game. I wondered if players yell at each other is nothing unusual. But today, after the Lakers game, the news said Harden yelled at Lin and that Howard was complaining about the team’s PG, saying he didn’t mind PG being changed, though he didn’t specify which PG he was referring to. Now I’m convinced that LIn has horrible egoistic teammates and the teams’ true chemistry has been exposed. I think you guys have all learned it from the news. Before I just feel bad about the way Lin being handled by the coach, now I’m a bit terrified–it seems there’s nearly nothing good about this team. Sorry for being so negative, but I I’m now hoping Lin and his agent will work on getting a trade to get Lin out of this toxic situation.

    • MrPingPong

      During the heat of the battle, when things are not going well, people tend get upset and yell at each other. That’s normal human behavior. I’m not too worried about Lin. He knows how to yell back with a Harvard accent. 🙂

      Dunno what happens behind the scene, during team meeting, during practice, etc, but I’m pretty sure that Lin can clearly articulate, making his points and not aggravating anybody. Lin is well capable of clearing up all “toxicities”.

      I am slightly amused by KM’s Twin Towers experiment, especially with Bev as a starter. I’m willing to withhold judgement until the end of the month. By then, the Rockets will have played 18 games. That should provide enough sample size for the stats to be meaningful.

      In the mean time, I’m enjoying every Rockets game, because Lin has been solid gold in my book!

      Let’s go JL7! Beat the Nail Clippers!

      • ashley

        Mr. Pingpong, as always, truly appreciate your positiveness. Should focus on the bright side and just enjoy Lin’s consistent great performance!

    • I didn’t get a chance to look at that link that MrPingPong posted until now, Ashley. Great reporting by that fan. It’s always great to see the things that go on off camera. It sounds like McHale has no control over Harden and Harden can do whatever the hell he wants. That’s a shame. I think Harden would be even better if he plays off the ball, rather than keep trying to iso and forcing up bad shots.

      As for the yelling, I’m sure that stuff goes on all the time, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I do feel, though, that McHale’s marginalization of Lin does subconsciously cause the other players to not respect Lin so Lin isn’t allowed to run the offense, which is bad for the Rockets overall, even though they don’t seem to recognize this.

      • MrPingPong

        I smile at the last sentence:

        …I saw AB walk back to the bench on his own and heard him say to Mchale, “Jeremy’s doing his thing. Just let him play.”


        Jeremy says publicly that he and the second unit are trying to play with “reckless abandonment”, and I like that. 🙂
        (around the 2:00 mark).

        • Yeah, I love the “reckless abandonment” comment by JLin!

          • MrPingPong

            Are you watching the game now?
            ‘Looks like the reckless bench is stirring up the action now!

            GO LIN!

          • Yeah, I’m watching the game. Lin looks great! They’re letting Lin be a play maker so far and his teammates are passing to him. When this happens, Rockets win. It’s that simple. Not sure why McHale and company can’t figure this out.

          • MrPingPong

            Reckless abandonment, baby!

          • MrPingPong

            Lin played very tentatively and, as a result, very badly in the 3rd.
            What happened to reckless abandonment?
            Let’s have fun, Lin!

          • I missed pretty much all of the third quarter, so not sure what happened.

          • MrPingPong

            If Lin doesn’t get back in now (5:07), Rockets will lose.

          • MrPingPong

            Lin’s not shooting well. He seems gassed.

          • MrPingPong

            Lin came off the bench in the 3rd, but there was no energy in his game.
            Lin’s second half was a disaster.
            OK, next, the Raptors.
            Have a good evening/morning everybody!