Kevin McHale Benches Lin and Loses Another Close Game (Rockets vs. Mavs)

McHale still doesn’t have the right rotation and I don’t think he ever will figure out the right rotation. If you look at the box score to last night’s game as well as probably every single game this season, it’s clear how unbalanced McHale’s rotation is versus that of other coaches. McHale just has trust in only a few players, so he’ll play them to death and he doesn’t get the concept that players get tired and that players perform much better when they’ve had some rest. It seems like McHale panics anytime one of his trusted guys isn’t on the floor and whenever the Rockets give up a few points when his trusted guys aren’t in, he panics and replaces the lineup with his trusted guys. So his trusted guys don’t get the necessary rest that they need to finish games and this is another reason, among many, why the Rockets are so terrible when the game is on the line late in games. They’ve got to be one of the worst, and this is ALL McHale’s fault. Another big factor is his lack of any real in-bound plays. They’re just awful. Every other coach is able to draw up last second plays to free up players to give them open shots for a chance to win games, but between McHale and Harden’s Hero Balling the Rockets always end up with highly contested, very low percentage shots. It was no different last night in the Mavs game and I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

A lot of things don’t make sense with the way McHale coaches, but one thing that is really baffling is that I don’t know why he finds it necessary to always pair Jeremy Lin with either Harden or Beverley–as if Lin needs help handling the ball–when it’s clear that Jeremy Lin can run the show himself. I’d like to see a lineup of Lin without either Harden or Beverley: Lin, Garcia, Casspi, DMo, Asik. I have yet to see that lineup on the floor. I’m not saying that’s the best lineup for Lin–it isn’t at all–but I’d still like to see it. McHale does all sorts of experiments with the lineups, but has yet to try that lineup, because he, for some insane reason thinks Lin needs to play with either Harden or Beverley. Again, I think the Rockets can have a 10-Man rotation, but McHale keeps yanking players in and out of lineups, messing the rhythm and chemistry of the team. For example, in one game DMo would be a big factor then in another game he wouldn’t see any time on the court. I get that DMo still has things he needs to work on, but I think yanking players in and out of lineups messes with their rhythm.

Last night against the Mavs, Lin looked lost. I think a lot of it had to do with the chemistry with whatever lineup Lin was playing with . The spacing wasn’t good and guys didn’t move much. I think many of the players were lost about where they needed to be. I think having Asik in the lineup shook up the chemistry, since Asik hasn’t played with that lineup much this season. The driving lanes were congested and I also think that the defense is able to focus a lot of their attention on Lin, so that made it a little tough for Lin. I didn’t see too many options for Lin in last night’s game and I think that was a big reason why he had an off night.

That being said, Lin did look the most tentative he’s been all season. This is just pure speculation on my part, based on nothing, but Lin hasn’t been the same shooter ever since he hit 9 threes and I think it’s because he’s thinking way too much out there when he’s shooting those threes. He’s thinking about how much he’s improved his shooting and all the positive things that people have been saying about him has seeped into his mind and distracting him from just playing loose and free and playing hard. Now, Lin did have a good game against the Knicks, but part of that is because Lin always gets fired up for MSG. Also, I didn’t see that game, but I don’t think he shot particularly well from three in that game, either. I think it’ll just take a little time for Lin to get over the fact that he shot 9 threes in a game and start getting back to his rhythm again. I think he’ll start shooting well again very soon. If not in the next game than in the next couple of games. All he needs is a couple more days to just launch those threes at practice and get back in rhythm. The mechanics are there, so he just needs to get back in rhythm and stop the mindless, subconscious chatter that’s been going on in his head.

Even though Lin had an off-night, I still think Rockets could have used Lin in the fourth when they couldn’t find their offense. McHale, once again, took Lin out when he made a mistake. Again, sending the wrong message. Lin has shown that he can bounce back late in games to be a big contributor. He just wasn’t given a chance last night by McHale. Again, this is the lack of respect I keep referring to. Even though Lin couldn’t get much going on the night, I think what McHale failed to see last night was that Lin didn’t get a chance to play with the first unit and that could have been a big contributor to Lin’s struggles. The obstacle that McHale has put in front of Lin is that Lin doesn’t really have a consistent lineup that he plays with, so he can’t really develop a deep level of chemistry with a lot of the lineups that Lin plays with during games. I think a lot of people miss this. I’m not sure what lineup Lin plays with during practices, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the lineup that he plays with during games. This is why Lin still doesn’t really have chemistry with Howard, because he doesn’t practice with Howard. I think a lot of fans miss this, because I’d see message board comments all the time deriding Lin when Lin commits a turnover trying to feed Howard the ball. Still, Lin does as good of a job as can be expected for a point guard who doesn’t get to practice with the primary big man on the team. “Rockets fans” and McHale seem to believe that it’s a forgone conclusion Lin should be coming off the bench, but I think I provided the ideal solution, which McHale doesn’t care enough to even test out. This is ludicrous, because Lin is one of the best PnR point guards in the NBA and Howard is perhaps the best PnR Big in the NBA, so it just doesn’t make any sense to not even try and make it work for Lin to play with Howard in the starting lineup. But, I think partly because of the McFale/Lin dynamics, McHale just couldn’t wait to find any excuse to take Lin out of the starting lineup.

Even with what Lin has shown so far this season, Lin is still not given enough respect from McHale. Still gets benched, although, it’s much better this season so far. I think Lin could have helped the team in the fourth quarter if McHale put Lin in with the starting lineup, like he has every single game this season. I think with Howard and Harden drawing a lot of attention, Lin could have made a difference in the fourth quarter if he had been in. The thing that was different about last night’s game versus all the other games so far this season for Lin is that he really didn’t get to play with the starting unit much at all–especially with Howard. So couldn’t benefit from the attention that Howard draws.

I think it sends the wrong message when you don’t trust one of your key players and that’s where the lack of respect comes in. You don’t treat a player who’s been probably the most consistent player on the team by suddenly not trusting him when the game is on the line. McHale doesn’t do this with any of his “trusted guys”. And Lin has been one of the best Rockets this season, so should be on that list of trusted guys. Yet, because of the McFale/Lin dynamics, McHale is incapable of trusting Lin and giving Lin the respect that Lin has earned. I don’t think McHale will ever change. Not with Lin. Not with the way he “coaches”. So, Lin would benefit from being traded. However, that does depend where he’s traded to. So far, Lin has been doing well and proving a lot of doubters wrong. But this has EVERYTHING to do with Lin and very little to do with how he’s being played. I think it’s ridiculous for uninformed fans and commentators to point to his new role as a 6th man, being the catalyst for his improvement. This is wrong on so many levels. For one, I think being 6th man hurts the chemistry Lin has with the team, since he really doesn’t practice with the guys he plays with, so all the benefits of being able to be the primary ball handler is balanced out by this drawback. But the other big reason is that Lin ends up playing with Harden most of the time, anyway, so, again really doesn’t get primary ball handling duty roles as a 6th man. I think Lin would be doing just as well playing in the starting lineup. Again, McHale doesn’t dare to try this out, because he likes Lin not being in the starting lineup and so he doesn’t want to rock that boat and risk others seeing that there’s really no good strategy for using Lin as a 6th man the way McHale has been using Lin. I think there are benefits to using Lin as a 6th man, but it’s not the way McHale has been doing it. Once again, McHale gets it wrong. He has no business being Jeremy Lin’s coach or the coach of a contending team. This madness needs to stop, unfortunately, Les and Morey feel they owe McHale. I’m very confident, however, that both Les and Morey know what a terrible coach McHale is. I mean, how can anyone not know?

About JLintel

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  • pistolpete

    A few of my fond McHale memories:

    1) Coach Sampson (under direction from McHale) plays Toney Douglas instead of Jeremy in OT against Portland. Damien Liliard torches TD and we lose.
    2) His first game back coaching last year against Dallas at home plays Jeremy 19 minutes and Omer 21. Neither play in the 4th quarter and we lose.
    3) Consistently played TD (who Jeremy beat out in NY to go on to Linsanity) ahead of Jeremy in 4th quarters.
    4) Kept removing Jeremy at set times in games even when he was hot.
    5) Consistently plays Harden 40+ minutes even when hurt, sick, not passing to the open man or playing zero D.
    6) Had Carlos Delfino at 6’6″ guard Dirk Nowitzki at 7′.
    7) Played Beverley more than Jlin last year soon after he flew in from Russia and only played in 2 NBA games in his life.
    8) When Harden was sick aganst San Antonio last year Jeremy had 38 points but we lost in OT. We were up 9 points in the 4th Q but McHale sat Jeremy for 6 minutes (game time + timeout)allowing the Spurs to tie the game.
    9) Had a great game against OKC which we won. This apparently pissed off McHale and he made the comment “Jeremy you could have 9 turnovers but we’re trying to win the game”.
    10) Starts PBev, who would not start on any other NBA team, ahead of JLin this year.

    These are just memories off the top of my head. I could easily come up with a hundred more absurd memories if I thought more about it. If anyone has other memories please share them with us. I could use a laugh.

    • Well done, pistolpete! LOVE this list! I think I’ve written about nearly all of these points. It’s great to see someone else who’s able to recall all of McHale’s mishaps as a coach. He really is THIS awful. All McHale has done is hurt this team. Rockets would be in a much better place if it weren’t for McHale. He really needs to be fired. I’m not a McHale hater. He’s just a really really bad coach. Haters just hate without cause. Well, there’s lots of evidence that clearly show McHale is incompetent at his job. When you’re incompetent at your job, you get dismissed. It shouldn’t be any different with McHale. Les and Morey need to do the right thing for this Rockets team and fire McHale.

  • Forthlin

    I really don’t understand the rationale behind Lin being the 6th man. I’m not a coach but wouldn’t it make sense to run your offense first and get that going before trying to get a spark off the bench. I mean last night was one of the few times when the starting unit ran out to a big lead. Usually its helter skelter out there until Lin comes in to right the ship. It just seems like Beverly would be a much better 6th man because he brings so much energy to the table. This shit just isn’t working for anyone right now.

    • Man, I typed a very long reply to this, but when I hit “post comment” it didn’t go through, so I have to retype it…

      As I discussed in the previous post, THE big reason for the Rockets struggles has been the ludicrous Twin Towers experiment, so now that that is over, I do expect the Rockets starting unit to come out blazing on most nights. The crazy thing is that if you’re an extreme LOF (meaning you don’t care at all if Rockets win or lose as long as Jeremy gets his stats), then you would actually want the Rockets to continue the Twin Towers experiment, because that way, Lin can come off the bench and save the team and his +/- will be higher. Also, Asik slows things down offensively for Lin so having Asik play with Lin is actually somewhat disadvantageous for Lin’s stats, since Asik is not a great finisher and not a very good PnR player. Asik often gets called for offensive fouls, since he tends to move when he sets screens. I think having Asik in with Lin really messed things up in the Mavs game, but that also has to do with chemistry, since that unit hasn’t played together all season.

      Even though I think the starting unit will do just fine going forward, I do agree that Lin should be in the starting unit. The only real reason Lin isn’t is just because McHale doesn’t want him to be. There’s no clear reason for Jeremy to come off the bench and definitely not the way McHale has been using Lin off the bench. Lin ends up playing with Harden quite a bit, so the whole purpose of having Lin come off the bench is pretty much nullified. I don’t buy the fact that we need Beverley’s defense to start off games, because Lin is just as good of an OVERALL defender as Beverley is, so that’s just another bogus rationale. What really pisses me off is that McHale tried the Twin Towers lineup well past its expiration date and kept responding to reporter’s skepticism by saying that he believes in having the best five players in the starting lineup. This statement is so wrong on so many levels and the only reaction I can have to this is to just want to punch him in the face, because there is really no good rational reaction to such an irrational statement. This statement is just so wrong, There are no good reasons for having Asik and Howard share the floor, whereas there are plenty of good reasons for having Lin and Howard share the floor. Having Asik and Howard on the floor together is detrimental, whereas having Lin and Harden on the floor together isn’t that bad (I mean, they did it for an entire season and the Rockets managed to go to the playoffs). And there’s a good argument to be made that Lin is actually needed more in the starting lineup this season than last season now that they have Howard. Also, Howard is objectively better than Asik and Lin is objectively better than Beverley, So why is it that McHale tried so hard to keep Asik in the starting lineup and goes out of his way to keep Lin out of the starting lineup? The only reason is the McFale/Lin dynamics that I’ve discussed at length in my McHale is a Jeremy Lin Doubter video on my YouTube Channel. By having Lin come off the bench, McHale can get away with benching Lin in the fourth without too much protest and this is a key reason why McHale won’t even dare to have Lin be a starter. He doesn’t want to risk fans seeing that Lin coming off the bench of Lin being in the starting lineup really doesn’t make that much strategic difference to the team.

      McHale will continue to be a Jeremy Lin Doubter no matter what and Jeremy Lin would be better served if he isn’t coached by McHale. But I think Lin is handling things well this season and if all goes well, Lin could get the 6th man award. So at the end of the day, if Lin gets the 6th man award, then we can thank McHale for benching Lin, because it’s better to get the 6th man award than to be a starter.

  • MrPingPong

    Yeah, how can anyone not know?

    The folks at Dreamshake seem rather lenient, but a non trivial number of Clutchfans have been calling for McHale’s head since the end of the 2011-2012 season.
    Here is one of the latest post on Clutchfans:

  • ashley

    It should be good that the first unit got the lead, as they should, yet it turned out to be bad for Lin because the coach thought they didn’t need him and gave him the least playing time ever. That plus his cold hands resulted in the poor statistics. Some fans were so frustrated about such a treatment of Lin that they even gloated about the loss. I have to admit that being a Lin fan is not easy, and I share their frustration.

    Lin had a good beginning this season–he got to start in quite a few games thanks to Beverley’s injury (and Harden’s too), but for the rest of the season, he’ll probably be treated like a real bench player with limited, irregular playing time–a cruel reality as this Mavericks game revealed. Hopefully, our Lin will always be ready to fight, like a warrior.

    I read about a recent survey online asking who’s to blame for the Rocket’s internal problem, and 46% of the people online put it on McHale. Regardless of what McHale has to do with the Rockets’ winning or losing, he’s become an obstruction to Lin’s NBA career.

    • I’m glad McHale has a 46% disapproval rate, although it should be much higher. I’m not sure who else people are blaming for the Rockets underachievement.

      • MrPingPong

        I did not know about this particular survey, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lin is blamed for whatever is wrong with the Rockets. Sad story!

        • ashley

          The report (in Chinese dated 11/18) said the survey (likely also in Chinese) was conducted by Yahoo Sports starting from 11/11 garnering a total of 20,437 votes in 6 days. Other than McHale’s 46%, Howard got 19%, Harden got 18%, Jeremy got 6%, the rest of the players got 1%, and 10% of people didn’t think it was a real issue, thinking they just needed time to mesh. (probably not worth mentioning since it should be old news now.) And after the loss to the Mavs, I believe McHale would get a higher disapproval rate, should a survey like that be conducted again.)

          • So 6% of those who vote are Jeremy Lin haters. That sounds about right. JLin Haters are just very vocal, so it seems like there are more out there than there really are.

            These voting results are actually very good for Lin. It’s good that he is fourth on the list. This means that fans see Jeremy as a significant member of the Rockets, yet they don’t blame him for what has gone wrong with the Rockets. πŸ™‚

  • pistolpete

    Jeremy’s career and the team’s potential is being hurt by McHale’s inept coaching. His days are numbered though as there are signs of chemistry problems that weren’t there last year. It’s possible that even with Dwight their record won’t be as good. McHale got a pass last year as many people felt they overacheived (I was not one of them)but this year they expect more out of the team. It might be good for the team to go on a losing streak if only to get rid of McHale. I’m not proud of it but during games I find myself hoping the other team will come back if they’re behind just so McHale will put Jeremy back in the game. When McHale pulled him with over 9 minutes left in the game and Dallas came back and won I was actually glad because it might be the beginning of McHale’s demise. I may be a hopeless LOF but I believe that even though Jeremy was having a poor game, if he had played we might have held on and won the game.

    • Right on, pistolpete! McHale did get undeserved credit last year for Rockets making the playoffs. I wrote a post about this, which you can find in the sidebar under “Featured Posts”. The post is entitled: “Rockets, Full of Jeremy Lins, Make Playoffs In Spite of, Not Because of McHale”

      In the beginning of last season, I didn’t hesitate to say the Rockets are a LOCK to make the playoffs. This is even before they played one regular season game. A lot of people under-estimated the Rockets last season so when they performed exactly how they should have performed, uninformed fans and analysts gave McHale credit for it, when Rockets actually would have been 6th seed if it weren’t for McHale. Anyway, that’s in the past.

      I do think that in the long run, if going on a losing streak would mean McHale loses his job, that would be good for the team. Since this team has the potential to beat any team, it really doesn’t matter where they end up being seeded in the playoffs as long as they make it. I mean, standings do matter, but let me put it this way. The Rockets are better off making the playoffs without McHale than with McHale.

      Last season, I really liked the Rockets team as a whole. I saw them as a bunch of unselfish, hungry players. But this season, I find myself less excited about the team as a whole. So I share your sentiments about actually being glad that the Mavs came back and won the game. Actually, I was cheering for the Rockets up until they lost. But when they lost, I was okay with it and was a little glad they lost in retrospect. I, too, am not proud of this, but it’s also not something I can deny. I find myself more and more just cheering for Jeremy Lin, whereas last season, I cheered for the entire team. I was glad the Mavs won in retrospect, because it adds to the evidence that McHale can’t win close games, which will be a key argument for his dismissal. And my view is, the sooner McHale gets dismissed the better it is for the team, since they’ll still have nearly an entire season with a new coach to right the ship. Isn’t Jerry Sloan available? Morey needs to get to work finding a good coach the way he does finding players!

    • I do think, though, that this team will do fine in spite of McHale. So I still expect them to start winning a lot of games now that they’re done with the Twin Towers experiment. Similar to last season, they’ll do well in spite of McHale, but will be under performing my expectations for them. Unlike last season, I have very high expectations for this team, whereas analysts have lowish expectations for this team. This year, though, the analysts will be right and I will be wrong, because of McHale.

  • CH
    • MrPingPong

      You beat me to it CH!

      • CH

        It’s a tie according to the time posted. But the site seems very political correct to let ladies go first.:-)

  • MrPingPong
    • Thanks, MrPingPong and CH! I don’t follow Chris, but I’m very glad he’s out there reporting on this stuff, since the media completely ignores McHale’s incompetence.

      I wrote a long comment in the article.

      • rT

        Check out Dwight Howard’s comments today on the rockets website around the 4:10 mark. He talks about guys needing to be “humble enough to raise their hands and get somebody else in….” Basically like you noted, Mchale is just running the team ragged. and I believe McHale sees nothing wrong with that. They’re young so they should be able to go. He has such a deep team, but the level of trust is so poor and skewed.

        • Wow! It’s rare for players to admit this. I’m very impressed by Howard for being humble enough to actually stating this publicly.

          • ashley

            I hope the coaches heard Howard’s voice. He was speaking up for the bench players and really had the team’s best interest in mind, instead of personal gain. Though he seemed to be addressing the issue with his teammates, it was actually all about the coach’s rotation and players’ time management. Was he hinting the coach should make a change? Though I think Howard is overrated, I really appreciate his sincerity.

          • MrPingPong

            During one pregame interview on Sportstalk 790 Houston, KM was asked about the short rotation. His answer was it was early in the season and young players should be able to handle it.

          • Yeah, McHale has this chip on his shoulder where he sees players these days as being soft with all the help they get to condition their bodies and such. I think he’s a little bitter that he didn’t take care of his body, and that there wasn’t all this knowledge of and technology for conditioning athletes when he was playing and now walks with a limp. So he kind of takes it out of the players he coaches and works them to death so they feel a little of what he felt when he played. I don’t think he does this intentionally. But it does influence how he overplays his guys and how he’s so cavalier about things like fatigue or injuries.

  • MrPingPong

    OK, folks, Linsanity the movie in on Youtube.

    • Wow! Thanks, MrPingPong. Although I really want to see this on the big theater screen.

      • MrPingPong

        Your’e welcome, Philosopher.

        I prepaid a Bluray copy of the movie during the pre-distribution of the movie. I am anxiously awaited for its arrival.

        BTW, I just watched ‘The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend’ about Pistol Pete’s childhood. I enjoyed it very much. I found a little bit of the Pistol in Jeremy Lin. I strongly recommend the movie. It’s available on Netflix.

    • CH

      Thanks, Mr.PP. Is it even legal? Watched it anyway.

  • pistolpete

    Thank you MrPingPong! I’ve been wanting to see this and was starting to wonder if I’d ever have the opportunity.

  • MrPingPong
    • Glad people are talking about this in the media, FINALLY! It’s so crazy to me how the media is so slow to catch up on these things. Most of the time, these analysts don’t say anything worth hearing. They just tow the line. Say all the obvious, safe stuff.

  • MrPingPong

    Harden sits tonight (and possibly Monday) due to foot pain.
    I guess Lin will start.
    If I knew, I would have gone to the game.
    Too late now! πŸ™

    Let’s go JL7!
    Tame the Wolves!

    • Looks like you missed seeing the Aaron Brooks show live. The Toyota Center must have been rocking, because Rockets fans love AB! Great to see AB do well! I knew he still has some game left in him. Was concerned Rockets were going to wave him during the preseason, since he didn’t do too well.

      The emergence of AB tonight may cause Rockets to think about trading Lin even more than they already are, since McHale doesn’t value the PG position very much. At this point, I’m fine with Lin staying or going. If he can find a good fit on another team, then I’m all for it. It just gets tough with trades. You don’t really get to pick your teams, so that’s the only reason why I’d be fine with Lin staying.

      • MrPingPong

        I sure did miss the AB show live tonight. As I’ve said many times before, it is my impression that the Rockets fans do not embrace JL7 half as much as the Knicks fans did. AB seems to be one their more favorite players. I am glad AB did well tonight, especially with the win. He deserved to be the Player of the Game tonight.

        Somehow, even with 19 pts/ 5 asts/ 5 rbs/ 2 stls/ 1 bs, Lin did not seem to play that well tonight in my view. There were a lot of hesitations in his shots and his moves. He seemed half a step slower than usual. Something is wrong with Lin, I think. Is that just my imagination? May be the cumulative effect of McHale jerking him around is finally taking its toll on Lin. Lin seems detached, if not unhappy. May be I’m just imagining things…

        Yeah, trade rumors are running amok these days. Who knows what will happen to Lin! The ideal situation for Lin in my view is to be able to play out his contract with the Rockets and go free agent afterwards. Then he can pick his team.

        I will follow Lin wherever he goes. I just hope that he ends with a team that not only truly value him but also has the potential to win it all. I can hope and I can dream, can’t I? πŸ™‚

        • Yeah, Lin’s stats were pretty good tonight, but he definitely wasn’t himself. Hasn’t been himself in the last couple of games. Not playing loose and free out there.

          I think it’s a combination of things. Like I discussed in previous posts, hitting 9 threes has affected him psychologically. Then that is messing with his rhythm and now that his rhythm is off, he’s losing confidence. And now, with the benching in the Mavs game, that is hurting his confidence even more. Lin just needs to block it all out and not think too much. Just play loose and free. But that’s easier said than done. Every professional athlete should have a spiritual teacher or a very good motivational coach they can go to to get their mind right.

          I’m confident he’ll get back on track soon. Yeah, I do think something is bothering him, aside from the benching, etc. It’s probably a combination of things. McHale was very fair to Lin tonight, though. He played Lin a lot more than I expected. I thought he would bench LIn, since Lin didn’t look so good out there, but he didn’t. And Lin managed to pull together 19 points for the night. Lin did get called for a turnover that he shouldn’t have when the ball was kicked by Rubio. That was pretty ridiculous and the commentators didn’t even say anything about it. Maybe I missed something, but it clearly looked like the ball was kicked out of bounds by Rubio. Oh well. I don’t think it was a missed call on purpose by the refs though. Refs seem to be pretty fair to Lin this season as opposed to the beginning of last season. I suspect David Stern must have said something to the refs. Because early last season it was outrageous!

          • ashley

            There’s something funny about this game. With Harden out, it turned out to be the show of the three guards– AB, PB, and Jlin, the three little guys were the heroes!

            Didn’t watch the first half, and failed to notice Lin being detached. Perhaps the trade rumor is getting to him? I think the benching must have and perhaps so does the realization that he has selfish teammates. I’m kind of hoping his agent is working on a trade–secretly with Morey and whichever team? It’s sad that Lin gets to start and be given sufficient playing time only when either PB or Harden is injured. But overall, his good stats today have made my day. So glad he made a comeback!

            Mr. Philosopher made a great insight into why McHale’s been overplaying his star players. I think he holds himself to a high standard; hence the same for his players. The high playing time is a double-edge sword for his favored ones since they’re guaranteed loads of playing time to get their stats, something we want for Lin. Though McHale played injured for his team, which resulted in his limping today, I remember he said he didn’t regret it. He was actually a tough guy.

            Having written too long a post, I hope everyone has started voting for Lin for the NBA allstar game!

          • MrPingPong

            Check thisout: D12 has high praise for Lin’s defense at around the 1:28 min mark.


  • MrPingPong

    No dragon blood this time!

    To treat bumps and bruises and insect bites: rub the affected area with a little bit of water and a lot of salt, just rub for a minute, not too hard but not too soft either. But this must be applied right away. It works. I’m not kidding. This is passed down from generation to generation in the Vietnamese folklore. Next time if you get a mosquito or ant bite, try it!

    • I’ll definitely try that trick next time I get bumps, bruises or insect bites, MrPingPong! I love getting tips like these.

      Jeremy Lin definitely takes one for the team nearly every night! Maybe that bump will get him back into rhythm. I did notice that he started playing better as the game went on and was a little more himself later in the game. Hitting that buzzer beater three before halftime definitely gave a little boost to his confidence.

      • MrPingPong

        You’re welcome, Philosopher.
        Check out this video highlights. I think Lin got hit by Shved (#1) at around the 1:03 minute mark.

        • Good eye, MrPingPong!

        • It could have also been Kevin Love at the 4:13 mark, since it’s the type of bump that shows up immediately. The hit from Shved may have happened too long ago for it to result in that nasty bump. But I’m not expert on bumps and bruises. Ha ha.

          • ashley

            Lin had a post-practice interview, saying he had a headache but the swelling had gone.


          • MrPingPong

            Yeah, that looks more like it, ashley! Shved tenderized Lin’s forehead and then Love finished the job. It’s tough to play in the NBA!

            Seriously though, let’s hope Lin will hold up for the whole 82 games plus playoffs. Every knows what happened to Rose, Gasol and Iggy this past week, right?

          • Yeah, I really feel for DRose.

  • MrPingPong

    Just learned about this new NBA stats page:

    Click any linked stats and you can the video for every play related to that stats.
    They recorded everything now.

    • Wow! Thanks for the info, MrPingPong!

  • pistolpete

    McHale is at it again – benches Jeremy for the last 9 minutes even though he was playing well. Dwight was the problem with his terrible post game. Jeremy needs to man up and ask for a trade.

    • I didn’t get a chance to see this game. The Rockets did win, so I guess that makes it all better. From the box score, it does look like Lin was being aggressive 6 of 7 from the free throw line. He ended up playing significantly fewer minutes than Beverly, even though Beverly went 1 of 5 from three point. DH12 also played the fewest minutes I think of any game this season. That’s unusual. Wonder what happened.

      • MrPingPong

        I missed the first quarter and most of the second quarter. I was able to watch the whole second half. The Rockets was down 32-44 at the half.

        Lin played with a whole lot more energy and enthusiasm, and I like that. He missed both of his 3-pointers but he was aggressive and did not hesitate to attack the basket to create plays. He was whacked so many times, and that particular one by Allen really hurt. See the replay here at around the 1:24 min mark:

        Lin got no call! πŸ™

        Lin played the whole 3rd quarter and slowly brought the Rockets back. The score was HOU 55 – MEM 63 at the end of the 3rd. Lin played for another 2 min into the 4th quarter. By the time Lin was replaced by Bev, the score was HOU 60 – MEM 65. I am OK with this substitution because Lin sure did need a breather. The bench continued to play well, finally caught up and won the game.

        Asik shut down Zebo in the second half, I think. There is no telling what McHale would do, should the bench sputtered and could not catch up. But since everything was going the Rockets way, there was no need to change, in my view. The way Lin was sacrificing his body in every play and how he was whacked around on the court with no help from the refs, I do not want Lin to risk injuries by playing when the game was pretty under control. So Lin sitting out for the last 10 minutes of the 4th is OK with me in this case.

        • Thanks for the great recap, MrPingPong. I feel the same way you do about Lin’s “benching”. Yeah, that was a crazy no call by the refs.

          Lin definitely played more aggressively, from those highlights. So glad to see that. Hopefully, he’s back on track.

  • pistolpete

    Dwight was getting double and triple teamed and kept turning over the ball. He was a “black hole” in that once he got the ball it never came back out. They have to teach him to pass when he gets double teamed. Once he went out the Rockets came back and then went ahead but once again McHale used it as an excuse not to play Jeremy who was playing well. Garcia who was his replacement made a few shots for once when he went in but overall played poorly and finally fouled out. This could have been the Dallas game all over again but McHale was lucky this time. It’s ironic that they needed both “superstars” to be on the bench to pull out the win.

    • Yeah, from what I’ve been able to piece together, it looks like Lin sparked the team in the 3rd quarter with his aggressiveness and that crazy steal and AND 1 finish. Then McHale had to give Lin a rest early in the fourth and when Lin sat down, the team fed off his spark in the 3rd and so McHale just ended up leaving that unit in there for fear of disturbing the flow. As a result, Lin doesn’t get any credit for the win and Beverley and the bench got all the credit, from the post game write ups. But you know what? That’s life. The season is long and as long as Lin continues playing loose and free, he’ll be just fine.

      From what I can figure out, McHale should have put Lin back in in place of Garcia, maybe with 5 minutes left to go, since it sounded like Beverley and Casspi were on a roll. That would have been the right decision. But since Rockets won. nobody’s complaining.

      Hopefully, McHale knows that Lin was a major contributor. Regardless, I’m glad to see that Lin appears to be back to himself again. And I don’t think Lin felt he got “benched” in this game, so I’m okay with the “benching”, because I don’t think it affected Lin psychologically. I think Lin just needed a week or so to get his mind right again and it appears that he has. I’ll have to see if I can watch the third quarter of this game. Hopefully, Lin continues his consistency.

      Yeah, too much is made of superstars in this league. I think Harden has actually done more harm than good in several games this season. Hopefully, he’s learning that this team is much better when they play unselfishly. I’m not sure that he will, though. Rockets have a lot of talent, McHale just needs to have more trust in all of the guys and stop playing favoritism.

      • MrPingPong

        In the game preview at the Grizzly Bear Blues, the folks there said, “Mike Conley should be able to shred Jeremy Lin on all accounts…”

        Did you see how Lin defended Conley? Well, the only thing they could say after the game was Conley played his worst game of the season, but did manage to make 10 assists. May be some day Lin will get some more respect.


      • fire9flyer

        Yes, u right. McHale did put Lin back in when Garcia foul out at the 2 minute mark. He could have put in other, but did not. So, may be McHale did see Lin’s contribution.

    • DH12 used to be good at passing out when he was on the Magics. Hopefully, it’ll just take a little time for him to develop that with this team.

      • MrPingPong

        I don’t know anything about D12 when he was at the top of his game in Orlando. All I know is that he suffered a serious back injury and had to have surgery to repair his herniated disks. And then last year with the Lakers, he injured his shoulder. I think he is still recovering from those injuries. I wish him the best of luck.

  • ashley

    Lin got to play when there were 37 second left, after Garcia fouled out, but something intriguing going on between Lin and McHale–right before Lin stepped on the court, he pushed McHale back towards the stands as if he were pushing a nagging dad.

    • MrPingPong

      Lin benching McHale?

    • fire9flyer

      HA HA HA
      Very funny !!!

  • Ha ha, MrPingPong!
    Thanks, Ashley for the awesome GIF. I think they’re just goofing around. If that happened when Lin was subbed in after Garcia fouled out, then McHale was probably just teasing LIn about how his fans would be all up in arms if he didn’t play him in the fourth quarter. And Lin was just goofing around back at McHale. Good to see them having a little fun.

    • From the highlights, it looked like Lin was just trying to push McHale back so he wouldn’t get called for a tech from the refs. That’s my interpretation, anyway.

  • pistolpete

    I agree that Lin should have been put back in with about 5 minutes to go. Garcia and Beverley were not playing well at that point. Bev made a few shots near the end but until then really didn’t do much to justify playing more than Lin. But that’s McHale – what can you do? At least they won and Jeremy got a rest. At the rate McHale plays him he has less chance of being injured so that’s something to be grateful for.

  • Lin’s X-Rays come back negative. So that’s some good news. Aaron Brooks stepped up again tonight. Rockets probably thinking more and more about figuring out ways to trade Lin, since they think Brooks is good enough.

    • MrPingPong

      X-ray does not show soft tissue damage. I read somewhere that MRI will be done today. I hope there is no damage to the knee besides the bruise (which can be easily treated by salt and water!).

      Injuries can happen anytime to anyone. The only thing an athlete can do is to wear protective gear to soften the blow, so to speak. I’d like to see Lin wear his (black) mouth piece again!

      Happy Thanksgiving to ALL, wherever you are on this WEB!

      • ashley

        Thanks, Mr. Pingpong for the kind Thanksgiving message and for all the wisdom and joy you’ve brought here. Lin being out for two weeks is not very good at this point ’cause we’d like to see how he does with the team, following a good start this season. But it is what it is. The way Jeremy plays, he’s probably more likely to get hurt–first his chin, then his forehead, and now the knee. We could only pray that nothing serious will happen and that we will always see him back soon. As for the protective gear, other than the mouth piece, he probably should consider wearing a knee pad.

    • MrPingPong
      • Thanks for the update, MrPingPong. Looks like I may take a break from watching Rockets games until Lin comes back. We’ll see. It’s just not easy for me to get excited for the games when Lin is not in.

        For the Rockets, this will give them an idea of what it’ll be like to not have Lin and if they do well, I think it’s almost a certainty that Lin will be traded this season.

        • MrPingPong

          I’m really concerned about Lin’s knee injury. Hopefully, it will not require surgery. Lin being so competitive, I have the feeling that he is dying to come back as quickly as possible.

          Just take your time, JL7! There is a lifetime of basketball ahead of you. A few weeks on the sideline is nothing.

          As to this non-ending speculation about Lin’s trade, I do not know enough about the other NBA teams to be able to think of a Lin trade scenario that makes sense for the Rockets and the other team. Perhaps someone on this blog can enlighten me on this matter.

          • I don’t think there are any trade scenarios on the table that makes sense, but as soon as there is one, I’m sure the Rockets will jump on it. I think Morey’s been at work trying to piece something together to see what he can get for Asik and Lin since the summer, but won’t seriously go to work on this until later in the season, probably. Morey is full of surprises, so don’t count him out to find a viable trade that is not on the radar. Morey is not going to let Lin and Asik go without getting good value for them, though. So, yeah, it would depend on what’s out there. Right now, there’s nothing. But that could change later in the season.

  • Lau

    Rockets looking good without Lin playing big minutes. Don’t know what to make of that.

    • MrPingPong

      I missed the first half and the beginning of the second half of the Hawks game. The Hawks is not a very good team, and it clearly showed in last night’s game. No need for Lin to play big minutes here.

      The upcoming Nets is not very good either. If I were Lin, I would sit out this game, just to nurse the injured knee and avoid stressing it any further. The Rockets should win this Nets game handily without Lin and Harden.

      The SAS game that follows is a different story. The Rockets will need both Lin and Harden. Without either one of these two key players, the Rockets will have a hard time for sure.

    • Yeah, the Hawks aren’t a very good team and, like I’ve said in posts and in my videos, the Rockets have a great bench. One of the best in the NBA, yet, McHale acts like we have one of the worst, the way he plays only a few guys to the ground and only trusts a few guys. So Rockets bench (I don’t include Lin in this category) is definitely capable of ripping a lot of other teams to shreds.

      A couple of weeks ago, O wrote a post stating that Rockets should win all six or at least only lose one of their games before they face the Spurs and it looks like they’re right on track if they beat the Nets. And they did it without Harden for most of that stretch, so I hope this is a wake up call to McHale, yet I doubt much will change in the way McHale plays Harden. He may be getting a lot of pressure from Les about being better at managing the players’ minutes, though.

      The emergence of Aaron Brooks is definitely pushing the Rockets organization even further to figure out a way to trade Lin (and Asik) for another star or superstar.

      • ashley

        To me, having bench players who can step up to win games serves to show that signing big-name players like Howard is unnecessary and that the Rockets could have used or saved that big money on the other players, such as Parsons. Some suspect that because the Rockets intends to give Parsons a big contract next season, they want to trade Lin. The signing of Howard only furthers the agenda since they have much less cap space now.

  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans, just making conversation here.

    I missed most of the first half of the Nets game, but was able to watch the second half. The Nets was so bad. No need to elaborate any further.

    The SAS game was something else. I missed the first quarter. The Rockets were shooting lights out in the first half. What impressed me about the Spurs is that they never lost their composure even after they were down by 23 points, the mark of a well-disciplined team. And of course, Tony Parker brought his team back and make the fourth quarter highly entertaining. The folks at have a pretty good 4th quarter recap in case you are interested.

    I came away thinking the Rockets are beginning to jell and that Morey would be foolish to muck around with the current team chemistry by trading Asik and/or Lin this season. The Rockets as is, has the potential to win it all, may be not this season, but sooner than expected. And I really want Lin to be part of it.

    The Jeremy Lin Story has to end with Lin and his teammates hoisting the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy. I can dream, can’t I? πŸ™‚

    On a separate note, in case you missed it, here is a new working link to Linsanity The Movie. I watched it many times. πŸ™‚

    • Oh man, I didn’t even know the Rockets played the Spurs already. Ha ha. Wow! that’s very impressive that they defeated the Spurs in such resounding fashion. I’ll have to check out the recaps.

      Yeah, I think this current Rockets team can win it all. Might not happen this year (although i wouldn’t be that surprised), but I think it will happen. If this team is played the right way, then it should happen this year. I think it’ll be a mistake for the Rockets to disturb the chemistry of this team and I really don’t see what players they’re missing. This is why it’s so hard to figure out how to trade Lin/Asik. There’s really no one that the Rockets are in dire need of, who are available.

      Thanks for the link to Linsanity The Movie, MrPingPong. I didn’t get to see the other one you put up before it was taken down. Hope this one stays up a little longer. I don’t know how you find these videos.