Rockets’s Season Ends with McHale’s Irrational Benching of Lin. Very Fitting.

I’m sure everyone who’s reading this right now knows about the stunning end to the Rockets’s Season, so I don’t think I need to go into it too much. It’s very fitting to me that the Rockets season came to a stunning end with McHale’s irrational benching of Lin. Very very fitting. McHale deserves this and then some.

Lin was playing excellent defense on Lillard the entire second half and kept Lillard scoreless in the fourth. In fact, the ONLY time Lillard scored in the fourth quarter was on that buzzer-beater game winner when Lin was on the bench (Lin’s good at D, but I don’t think he can do much sitting on the bench).

One of McHale’s favorite ways of undermining Lin is to yank Lin in and out during crunch time to drive home the point to all the fans, analysts, etc. that Lin can’t play defense. I’ve criticized him in the past for this irrational strategy, since Lin is a highly underrated defender, who gets an undeserved reputation as an average or below average defender. Well, what makes McHale’s insane strategy even more stunningly idiotic in tonight’s game is that McHale yanked Lin out (to make his McFale point) even though Lin kept Lillard scoreless the entire fourth quarter (which no one has done in this series). McHale really does not know what’s going on with his players and he doesn’t have a sense of the rhythm of the game and which player is on at what time, etc. He only just knows his players on a surface level and just sees their reputation and whatever inane image he’s already carved out for them in his dull, fixed, unevolved mind. This is yet another in a long list of McHale’s faults as a coach, which can be found in many previous posts of mine, as well as this video. McHale’s ineptitude is boundless. Again, I have no idea how this man is allowed to coach ANY team, let alone an NBA team. I wouldn’t even let him coach a junior high JV basketball team, because he would blame any loss on the poor kids. In his eyes, he can do no wrong (and this is why he’ll NEVER learn and evolve as a coach).

If I was playing for McHale, I’d be stunned at what McHale thinks passes for coaching. In his press conference, McHale deferred blame (once again) by saying that he told his guys no threes and to stick with their man, as if any of the fans in the stands couldn’t tell the players that. I think it’s wise for his players to tune him out (like Harden does), because the more you listen to McHale the dumber you get as a basketball player. I doubt McHale went through any potential scenarios that his players may be confronted with. It’s probably better that the players take advantage of timeouts to talk amongst themselves, rather than listen to McHale. Because apparently, they were still workout out what to do on the court just before the ball was inbounded. The reason I doubt McHale goes through any potential scenarios is that the Rockets have gotten burned by very similar plays in the past, such as a game vs. the Lakers this season, where they are just chasing a wide open player on the opposing team. Another reason I doubt McHale says much to his team aside from the obvious surface level things is because McHale is incapable of putting together any last second offensive plays himself, so he is incapable of anticipating what the offense would do in that situation. McHale is incapable of understanding how screens work, because he’s never been able to put together a screen to free his key player/players in end of game situations, so as usual, McHale’s kindergarten coaching of “stay with your man” turned out to be precisely the wrong thing to do, as Harden lazily (just like he just stood there when Lin got the ball knocked out from behind him by Mo Williams in game 4) stayed with his man, while Parsons was desperately chasing Lillard.

If the Rockets organization continues to stick with McHale after he has shown himself completely inept as a coach for two seasons, then they don’t know how to run their business. The Rockets are toxic because of McHale, as well as James Harden’s ego. They need to bring in a coach who will hold James Harden accountable. All McHale does is worship Harden no matter what. To me McHale and Harden are the ONLY two people responsible for the Rockets’s disappointing early exit from the playoffs. James Harden played a good offensive game tonight, but that doesn’t make up for his lazy defense the entire series, as well as his ball-stopping ways, inefficiencies, and his need to be the hero. Harden isn’t going anywhere, but I expect McHale to be fired after this early exit, despite what the Rockets media has said. Rockets need a coach who’s not a fan boy of Harden. McHale’s and Morey’s superstar fucking has been toxic to this team that has a lot of potential if played and treated the right way–especially when it comes to Lin who could have been a huge asset for the Rockets.

Despite what happens to the Rockets, unless they bring in an excellent coach who has respect for Lin’s game and is brave enough to let Lin be THE floor general, I want Lin out of Houston. Lin and Harden are both ball-dominant. So Lin’s game will likely be undermined to a large extent playing alongside Harden. When Rockets got Lin, they had no idea they would get Harden. It’s been downhill for Lin ever since Harden joined the team. I do think they can work together, but it would take a coach who is sincere about making it work by, again, having Lin be THE floor general. But that’s a whole other discussion.

I was rooting for the Rockets tonight, because McHale at least gave Lin major minutes and I wanted to see Lin continue in the playoffs and gain more playoff experience. I think McHale went with Lin tonight, because he knows that Lin can help him win and save his job. So that’s why he went with Lin instead of his made-up superstar Beverley. That being said, Lin wasn’t THE floor general like he was in Game 5. Tonight was the H&H boys’ show and the H&H boys nearly pulled out a win. Apart from Game 5, I thought tonight was the best the Rockets have looked all series. I think they were starting to get in their groove, because of the success of Game 5. But it came too little too late. Alas.

Here’s a quick summary of the Rockets/Blazers series:

  • Game 1: McHale scraps anything that worked all season and let his Harden fan boy completely take over and tried to win with Harden Hero Balling. Result: Rockets had zero ball movement. Jeremy Lin had “the look” late in the fourth and went Linsane in overtime, but McHale took the ball out of Lin’s hands in favor of Harden in crunch time. Rockets lose home game.
  • Game 2: Since Harden couldn’t get it done, McHale opted to go with his other superstar and win with Howard Post Ups. Result: Rockets had zero ball movement. Jeremy Lin had “the look” and was just starting to turn it up late in the fourth (just like he did in Game 1), butΒ  McHale yanks Lin after he notices Lin not automatically dumping the ball to the H&H boys. Rockets lose two in a row at home.
  • Game 3: McHale is FORCED to stay with Lin the entire fourth quarter and into overtime, even though Lin was not automatically dumping the ball to the H&H boys, because Parsons fouled out of the game late in the fourth. Lin actually gets away with being THE floor general late in the fourth and into overtime and takes full advantage of his rare moments of playing freely. Result: Rockets had good ball movement late in the fourth and in overtime for the first time in the series. Lin saves Harden from a detrimental turnover and Troy Daniels nails a wide open three feed from Lin. Rockets win first game of the series in hostile territory.
  • Game 4: McHale yanks Lin with over 6:40 left to go in the fourth quarter and unjustly benches Lin in overtimeΒ  (taking Lin out precisely during the time of the game Lin has been so effective all series). Result: Rockets looked sluggish in overtime and go down 1-3 in the series.
  • Game 5: With Beverley down with the flu, McHale is FORCED to go with Lin for the majority of the game and Lin gets to play his game and be THE floor general the majority of the time he’s on the floor for the first time in the series without the fear of being benched. Result: Rockets FINALLY moved the ball and had the most assists they’ve had all series with very balanced scoring. Rockets take care of business with their most convincing win of the series (108 to 98).
  • Game 6: Well, you know. McHale irrationally benches Lin to prove his McFale point that Lin isn’t a good defender with less than a second left to go, even though Lin completely shut down Lillard the entire fourth quarter. Result: Lillard gets wide open and nails game winning three. Rockets are the first team in the West eliminated from the first round.

The common thread through all of these games is when McHale is FORCED to go against this natural coaching instincts when it comes to Lin, Rockets win. If McHale is free to marginalize and diminish Lin, Rockets Lose. It can’t be any clearer. Lin is very critical to the Rockets winning and Rockets could have won this series without much of a problem if they just let Lin be Lin. If it weren’t for McHale getting in Lin’s way, the Rockets would have been on their way to the next round. Instead, because of McHale’s toxic coaching, the Rockets end up no better than they were before Howard joined.

Congratulations to the Blazers for competing their hearts out and playing basketball the right way. Congratulations to Damian Lillard, who made an amazing game winning (albeit wide open) shot and being so poised as a second year in his first playoff experience. The Blazers are a team worthy of rooting for and I hope they or the Spurs (another worthy team) go all the way.

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  • ashley

    Thank you, Mr. Philosopher, for the timely write-ups on Lin and the Rockets’ playoff series. Right after Game 4, I found your post a great comfort. This time, I just feel sorry for the Rockets while feeling much relieved–that these emotional ups and downs may stop with “the stunning end to the Rockets’ season,” as you so fittingly put.

    The Rockets’ last-second defense failed miserably, which was nearly as stunning as DL’s cluth 3-point shot. I know Lin must be upset by the loss, but he really didn’t have to, as he had nothing to do with the lousy defensive play at all, which not only exposed the ineptitude of his coach but also that of his teammates.

  • Dr. Teng

    Excellent analysis. You said it all. Kudos to you!

    Foolishness can be cured, but stupidity is forever! As long as McFail remains the coach of the Houston Rockets, I don’t see any future for this basketball team.

    The sooner Lin leaves this dysfunctional organization, the better off for him.

    • Thank you Dr. Teng!

      I completely agree that there is no future for the Rockets as long as McHale is the coach. I also agree that Lin needs to leave this dysfunctional organization that is heavily biased against him with a heavily biased fan base.

      If McHale remains the coach, then it’s on Les and Morey. I’d be very surprised if McHale doesn’t get fired, despite the Rockets media recently supporting McHale. After this game, Les and Morey would be crucified by fans if they don’t get rid of McHale, as much as Les apparently likes McHale.

      It’s pretty insane that Les apparently is a big supporter of both McHale and Lin. That’s truly holding two opposing ideas in your head. So I guess that makes Les a genius.

      • Dr. Teng

        The sport media needs more fair and balanced analysts like you (and Chris Baldwin and Ido Amir) who are not afraid of tell the truth.

        McFail just would not let the last 0.9 second opportunity go wasted in trying to humiliate Lin. In the end, McFail makes himself look like a god-damn fool in front of the whole world!

        What a poetic justice!

        • Dr. Teng

          Sorry! It should be “telling”.

    • MrPingPong

      Yes, Dr. Teng, I agree with you that McHale cannot be cured and Lin must leave the Rockets ASAP before he transforms himself into a giant case of Pavlovian conditioning, deferring the ball to Harden every time Harden is near. I found this post at Red94, which illustrates the point:

      http://www.red94.net/forums/index.php/topic/2170-huqs-pen-how-the-houston-rockets-went-down-in-predictably-clueless-fashion/?p=39980

      • Dr. Teng

        Dear MrPingPong,

        Thanks a lot for the enclosed information. I read/watched it with great sadness.

        Lincoln once famously said that, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

        I sincerely hope that McFail can fool the Houston Rockets’ owner and/or management at most one more year, or Lin be traded ASAP.

        As to Lin, I am not too worry about him being transformed into a Pavlovian dog. Lin is an extremely tough and intelligent basketball player. Although there is nothing much he can do right now at Houston courtesy of (the stupid-ass coach) McFail and (the-no-D) Haren, sooner or later he will shine again, either after the departure of McFail or at some other NBA team.

        Let’s pray!

  • Shattered

    It’s unfortunate that the Rockets’ post-season ended this way; I could not even watch the last 5 mins of the game, cuz it was so close. I love Lillard and look forward to seeing more of this incredible player through the rest of the playoffs. And I’m sure most Rockets fans are going to be rooting for the Blazers vs any other teams.

    I thought JL could have dominated Game 6 too, and though people say this game shows how inconsistent he can be, I think it had more to do with his overall playing time (which was minimized in this series) and poor chemistry when he has iso-Harden playing with him. The kid can ball, no question, but he needs to control the flow. Push him off to the side, malign him and you’ll only see one of his worst skills — 3 pt shooting. The kid’s no Novak or JR, but then again he shouldn’t have to be. Let him play PG and everyone benefits — even Harden.

    I think people are also forgetting what REALLY could have been the game changer — the late “banked” 3 pointer that JL made but was declined when Asik stupidly took the offensive foul. Augh. That, to me, was far more damaging than the 4 FT pts forfeited by DH. And btw, let’s not forget how amazing DH was in this series. I feel a LOT more sympathy for Superman than anyone else on this anxiety-inducing team. DH played his heart out, was the only one really supporting JL, and was ultimately betrayed by a dumbass KMcH who couldn’t assign the proper guy(s) to lock down Lillard for less than a second. Ugh, this hurts really bad…

    • Thanks for your great comments, Shattered.

      Before DH joined the Rockets, I had this image of him as a selfish individual, because I bought into the media’s portrayal of him surrounding how he handled things with the Orlando. But on his first press conference with the Rockets, I could tell that he was a good guy and have been a fan of him since. I’m not sure if he completely supports Lin, but regardless, I see him as a classy, unselfish player who did everything he could to try and help the team win. He was excellent in this series.

      To me, DH is a very different kind of superstar than Harden, who has let his ego get in the way of his talent and winning. DH is going to get crucified by the LA-dominated media for not advancing past the first round. So, yeah, I feel for DH and I think he had the most to lose, which is probably why he did so well in this series.

  • chocho

    i am just so disappointed……Lin looked miserable during his post game interview…

    • Yeah, I think it was really hard on him seeing Lillard hit that game winner, while sitting on the bench, powerless to do anything.

      • MrPingPong

        Lin was not sitting on the bench at that moment. He was standing at a corner motionless. No illegal motion penalty for sure! πŸ™‚

  • George Livingston

    Awesome points. I love your analysis. Any organization where individuals are only concerned with their own self interests (Harden/Mchale) and not looking out for the interests of the group/team can never be successful or reach full potential. That is the crux of the problem with the Rockets. Until they figure out that politics and kissing Harden’s butt is not the road to a championship, they will never win a championship.

    • Thanks, George Livingston. Very much appreciated. I completely agree with you. Well said!

  • Jeff

    Looks like McHale is staying according to an inside source. Not a very optimistic outlook for the Rockets – not just Lin. Sigh.

    • Yeah, I saw some tweets about this news. I’m very surprised by it. I’ll wait for the official word. I feel pretty confident that Lin will be traded this summer–especially if McHale stays with the Rockets. I know Morey will try his hardest to find trade for Lin that works for him. The ONLY thing that prevents Lin from leaving the Rockets is if his stock is so low that Morey can’t find a deal that he sees as being a fair one. So that’s my only concern. Of course, who knows where Lin will go, but the situation couldn’t be worse than with the Rockets. No coach is as bad as McHale and Lin will likely not play alongside another ball dominate guard like Harden. But we’ll see. Should be an exciting off-season.

    • MrPingPong

      Straight from the horse’s mouth: McHale is a “great coach”!

      http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2014/05/qa-with-rockets-general-manager-daryl-morey/

      Philosopher: being an Ivy leaguer yourself, do you have a sense of how strong an infatuation an Ivy leaguer like Morey would have for the Celtics and their HOF players?

      • I went to Yale, which is in Connecticut. So I don’t have much affinity for the Celtics or McHale. I did see him play back in the day on TV, but that was back when I was a hardcore Blazers fan. I would think, though, that someone like Morey, would be infatuated with McHale, the player. I’m still shocked if Morey actually thinks McHale is a halfway decent coach, let alone a good coach or a great coach. I don’t give too much weight to positive things that public figures say in the press about their own people. That’s just what’s expected. So not surprised at all that Morey would say McHale is a great coach in an interview.

        What I am surprised about is that they would bring him back as a coach. Still can’t believe that. I really don’t know what they’re thinking, because I know they know he’s not a good coach. So why bother bringing him back? I don’t get it. Must be something else going on behind the scenes we don’t know about. Maybe McHale’s got some compromising audio recordings of Morey or Les. πŸ™‚

        Anyway, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to things that are being said by the Rockets to the media at this stage regarding trades and such. I have no doubt in my mind Morey is going to try hard to trade Lin this summer, despite anything he may say to the media from now until the off-season. The only thing holding Morey back would be lack of interest in Lin by other teams, making it tough for Morey to get a fair deal for Lin.

        The most interesting trade would be sending Asik, Parsons and Lin to the Knicks for Melo. Talk about an unbelievable story for Linsanity! I wonder how Phil Jackson feels about Lin.

        • MrPingPong

          I agree with you that Morey was just saying the right things in public about his people, Philosopher. It’s not cast in stone that McHale is coming back for another season, is it?

          I don’t pay attention to trade rumors at this stage either. But someone on thedreamshake did try out the Melo trade for Lin/Asik/Parsons on the trade machine and it worked! πŸ™‚

          Now, speaking of compromising audio recording of Morey and Les… πŸ™‚

          • All joking aside, I think one possible reason McHale is likely keeping his job is that he must have had some clause in his contract that he gets to serve out his contract no matter what or Les gave McHale his word that he would serve out his contract no matter what.

            McHale came into the job under less than ideal circumstances when the Rockets were in sort of a rebuilding mode. At the time, the Rockets didn’t have anything. And Les, being a fan of McHale’s might have given up too much to get McHale. And Morey was too happy to oblige, because he saw McHale as a coach without any ideas, which he saw as ideal to act as his whipping boy to execute his “only threes and layups” strategy (BTW this is one big reason why Morey loves Harden).

            So that’s my shot in the dark guess for why McHale is still able to keep his job. I’m very confident Morey and less think he’s an average coach at best. I don’t know anyone who watches basketball who can think any differently.

  • Jeff

    Yeah looks like Harden was successful with his Foul-Baiting strategy. The refs were buying (eg. When he sees a defenders arm across in front of him, he likes to intentionally pull his arms up to get the “foul”. Basically he hits himself on a fake shot attempt. It’s a sly veteran move actually, but not very respectable.) So it freed up his game, gave him space and he was knocking down shots on ISO plays. They almost won with Harden’s play and Dwight’s clutch post-up shots. However, you absolutely can’t just rely on those two plays down the stretch. It also makes it hard for the team to get back into rhythm and make good plays together. It’s a catch-22. Lin got almost all of the 4th in terms of playing time and yes, his defense was great making him sort of an unsung hero, but I can’t help but think that Lin is partial to blame. Not because of his turnovers or missed shots. If we are going to see any consistent success from Lin and the Rockets, Lin can’t just wait around for someone to “let” him play point guard. In another words, he needs to stop being so damn nice and diplomatic. He is only comfortable playing his brand of basketball when he feels like he is “forced to”. When asked if he thinks Lin is misused, my brother said this, “I see Mchale is a bad coach. I see he’s underutilized. But he is not playing well at all. But if I’m making 25 million dollars and contribute a bulk of the marketing dollars, I will pull my weight. Use the media. Talk to the owner. And change the situation. Instead he is doing it the Asian way. Shut up and work hard.” I can’t help but agree.

    • I hear you on Lin being partly to blame. I think a lot of it does have to do with the way Lin was raised and maybe even him being a pretty devout Christian. Not just an “Asian thing”. I think he is all about respect and he doesn’t want to project even a hint of a sense of entitlement. With Lin’s personality, I don’t see him doing the things that your brother suggests, so, yeah, I guess we can blame him for that. But you can’t help who you are.

      It’s not an easy situation Lin is in regardless of who he is. If he plays his game, he’ll get benched by McHale. We’ve seen this happen time and time again. For example, it happened in Game 2, as I’ve pointed out. I do suppose there are ways he can change the dynamic by going through other channels. But that’s much easier said than done. Going to the owner is fine, but I’m not sure if that will have a very big impact on the situation. I know this may sound crazy, but I don’t think the owner has as much of a control of the coaching as some may think. He has a big hand in who gets hired and fired, but then has to pretty much let the coach do his job. There’s a lot of politics involved. People tend to “stay in their lanes”. And McHale is big on this idea of “staying in your own lane”. It’s not like Lin can complain to Les and Les is gonna go to McHale and tell McHale to let Lin do his thing and that’s that. This is not really the owner’s role. It’s the coaches role to figure out the players’ roles. Not the owner. The owner highers the GM to find the coach to run the team. Of course, I’m not saying that the owner completely stays out of any talk that involves running the team. What I am saying is that the owner doesn’t have as much control of the details of running the team as some may think. At least that’s my perspective. An example of everyone “staying in their own lanes” is when Morey traded away Morris and Patterson to FORCE McHale to play DMo and TJones. The coach doesn’t have much say in who gets traded away or brought in, in return, the GM/owner doesn’t get much say in how a coach uses the players they bring in. Of course, the dynamics between coach, GM and owner are different for every team. I’ve discussed this issue in a either a previous post a while ago or a comment to a previous post, but can’t recall which one specifically. That being said, I do see some value from Lin talking to Les and, knowing Lin, I know he’d be able to do it in a manner that doesn’t rub anyone the wrong way, while still getting his point across. So LIn has nothing to lose in talking to Les. There’s a chance Lin has already done this, but I doubt it, from the type of person Lin is.

      Using the media is tricky. That’s easier said than done. Using the media takes a lot of savvy. It’s not easy to do it in a way that you don’t come off like Dwight Howard did in Orlando. Totally different situation here with LIn, but I’m just saying how the media could really warp your image. And with Lin being Asian, that makes it that much more challenging, simply because he’s so scrutinized. I mean, we already see the double-standard that he’s faced with.

      So, overall, I don’t really see an easy way for Lin to change his own situation, regardless of the type of person he is.

    • Forthelin

      At the end of last season, I thought the same thing–Lin should speak up and force things to happen, instead of playing the polite Asian stereotype. However, the situation is not always so simple. Lin is already targeted because of his race and his celebrity status. I think there is a kind of unspoken NBA status hierarchy where the superstars can voice their displeasure and get things changed, and others have to prove themselves. In comparing JL to someone similar, it was the reason Jackie Robinson was chosen to play in the MLB, over other more talented black players: he had the ability to control himself, stay focused, and keep his mouth shut, which eventually garnered the respect of most white players. I think what Lin is doing will pay off in the long run. He is gaining the respect of the rest of the league, if not from the fans.

    • Shattered

      Y’know, this post on how Lin is too polite and too diplomatic as being absolutely ON POINT. And it probably has a lot to do with a “confidence” problem. Which you can trace back to the coach.

      I’m far more a Rockets fan than a Lin fan, but I can’t ignore the fact that in nearly all games, when Lin takes over he benefits the team tremendously. The ball moves as does his teammates with and even WITHOUT the ball. That’s not exclusive to Lin btw; that’s what a PG does when he’s the floor general. Look at how Nash operates; everyone’s happy, everyone’s in the game and points are equally distributed. Lin role gets diminished and the rest of the team stands around as spectators, watching Harden going into ISO mode.

      And I also kind of agree with Jeff and his brother that this is on LIN. The kid’s gotta speak up for himself. Think Rondo, Love or Melo would take a back seat to Harden’s ball dominance? And hey, I love Harden as a player (though he’s a terrible PG). If Lin doesn’t get a chance to speak his mind and point out the obvious (ie., his underutilization), then yeah – trade him for both his and the Rockets’ benefit. The kid’s got great talent and guts, but it’s on him to fight for his position. Nice guy or not.

      • MrPingPong

        I became a Rockets fan when I moved to Houston in the mid 80s. Couldn’t believe I rooted for the Knicks when Lin burst onto the scene and became a LOF. πŸ™‚
        I scan clutchfans looking out for comments from informed Nba fans like Torocan. I learn of a new acronym there: LOFH! πŸ™‚
        I’m having fun!

  • ashley

    I did find Lin being much less aggressive and confident in Game 6 than in Game 5. In fact, the pessimistic I didn’t expect him to continue his LInsane performance ‘cuz somehow I felt he wouldn’t be that “consistent.” Indeed, he was given about the same amount of playing time and was expected by many to deliver again, but he just kind of went back to his passive norm. I think whether or not it had to do with the system or the fact that Harden is the man, it’s essential for him to overcome whatever difficulty that causes his inconsistency to be really trusted as the team’s stable force and become a true superstar.

    I feel, not just Lin, Harden was a bit too passive in the 4th quarter. He kept deferring to Howard, who was doomed to be fouled and miss his free throws. I feel that Howard, even with his ability to dominate in the paint, compared to Aldridge and quite a few big men that can shoot mid-range jumpers and 3 pointers, he is overrated. So the Rockets did not lose just because of their final defensive play but also their failure to build a bigger lead. Anyway, the God of Basketball has chosen Portland over Houston. We’ll see what Morey will do in the offseason.

    • I’ve said this before, and I may be alone in thinking this way. But I notice that Lin does get self-conscious easily about his performance. When he’s in the zone, he doesn’t think about it. But once he thinks about it, he gets self-conscious, because he doesn’t want to be seen as someone who wants the spotlight on him. People may think I’m over analyzing here, and that’s fine, but I did notice in Game 6 that Lin didn’t want to play aggressively, because he didn’t want his teammates to think that he was trying to go Linsane. In an interview during practice after Game 5, he said that his teammates (I think he specifically mentioned Dwight Howard) were watching Linsanity the documentary and they were making fun of him about it and such. I think that crept into Lin’s subconscious and made him even more self-conscious than he would normally be about his performance in Game 5 and the attention he got. So he consciously tried to not do too much in Game 6 and sort of took himself out of it offensively. He’s done this in the past, which I’ve written about, but can’t recall the exact post at the moment. But that’s what I think happened to Lin in Game 6. So I put that on Lin, not McHale. I think apart from the last second benching, McHale gave Lin the opportunity in Game 6 (for the most part), because McHale wanted to keep his job and he knows LIn can help the Rockets win. So I think LIn was given more freedom than normal by McHale in Game 6, but because of Lin’s self-consciousness Lin didn’t take advantage of it.

      • Forthelin

        I may have to reply in two or three segments because for some reason the parameters of the website or my computer limits my wordage.

        To be fair to McHale, he is like most coaches in the NBA in that he finds that he has to defer to his superstars. Lin has superstar celebrity, but not superstar creds, which leads to sabotage, undermining, commentary snickering. (cont’d)

      • Forthelin

        (Cont’d) Lin may not perform well in practice which may make it hard for the coach to justify giving him game minutes. Fortunately for Lin, his celebrity gives him a bit of a pass on this. Clearly, when Lin is playing team ball, he is in his element and excels. The problem is that aside from Popovich and Thibs, maybe Stotts, few other coaches have the cred to install the team system that fits Lin, so if Lin is traded, he may find himself in a similar situation or worse.

      • Forthelin

        (Cont’) As Sterling put it, it is the world we live in. John Wooden would have loved Lin, but basketball has changed ironically to a more tribal hierarchical structure that may have less room for someone like him. I think Lin is trying to adjust as well as he can, and I think he will continue to evolve. That could be the key to surviving in the NBA. Would love to read his memoirs after he retires.

      • MrPingPong

        I dunno much about psychology to comment on your theory of Lin being subconsciously self-conscious, Philosopher. I read all of your posts and all of the comments from the readers. Here is where your theory first appeared:

        http://www.jeremylintel.com/2013/11/13/linsanity-loses-a-heartbreaker-in-ot-in-philly-123-to-117/

        As to why Lin wasn’t going Linsane in game 6 as he did in game 5, I think mostly it is because Harden was back to his normal scoring way, and thus Lin must let Harden have his way. This is because how things were done during the regular season. Of course, things ended up with Harden ISOing, ball getting sticky, etc… The last 0.9 sec was so painful to watch, so heart-breaking, but in retrospect, it was fittingly laughable.

        The Gods of Basketball (GOB) wrote the most amazing script for the Jeremy Lin Story. It seems like they want to punish the biased Rockets fans in the most poetic way. With 0.9 sec left on the clock, they whispered into McHale’s ears: ‘take Lin out; he’s slow and cannot defend anyone; he is not athletics; he has low BB IQ; he is a scrub; the fact that he kept the Dame scoreless for the last 11:59:90 is just dumb luck; he is a figment of imagination of the LOFs; and most of all, don’t forget he is TO prone.’ McHale is simple an instrument of the GOB. The LOHs are now left scrambling for reasons to blame Lin for the loss until the end of time! πŸ™‚

        Gotta give it to the Blazers! They played as a team, believed in themselves and fought until 0.0 sec! Good Luck with the rest of the playoffs, Blazers!

  • ashley

    I found the following link from Jeremylin.net (I’ll stop visiting the same thread ‘cuz there are already too many posts.) The video clearly shows what happened during that final play. And as some source reveals, Harden instructed Beverley and Parsons to switch positions Both PB and CP stood in the wrong directions… Well, the play has been turned into an interesting defense teaching video by someone called coach Nick.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuhXX-rtQTI

    • Forthelin

      Wow! That change would make sense if Harden expected Beverly to switch again with Parsons to take Lilliard, but can Harden think that far ahead? Instead, Harden was the one who not only screwed that one, but also did not switch to take Lilliard as he should have. Harden essentially helped the Blazers screen out Parsons! I had blamed Parsons for guarding the baseline stupidly(like who is going to backdoor lob to Lilliard for a dunk?) allowing Lilliard to round the arc for an open 3, but this video showed the Rockets had NO strategy in place to defend less than a second on the clock!! AmAzing!!!

      • ashley

        Obviously, the Rockets were expecting the ball coming Lillard’s way, not Lillard going for the ball. With the wrong expectations and positions, plus their slow to none responses–Parsons was the only one that responded but was already one step late–the Rockets’ starters lost the game. It should have been the Portland’s coach that designed this offensive move, so kudos to him and Lillard, the wonder boy of the night!

  • Shattered

    Yeah, I see a lot more sense in here than at Clutch Fans, lol. That place is a breeding ground for hate and vile, but then maybe you can’t really blame them. Game 6 is still a fresh wound, they need a scapegoat, and — well — haters are gonna hate. Some ridiculous threads like “are we going to ignore Lin’s failings” or how insensitive Lin partied with the Blazers (when in fact it was an Adidas event, one of his sponsors). I’m guessing they’ll eventually come around to blaming Lin on failing to execute a Jedi mind trick from the sidelines to mess up Lillard’s final shot…

    I used to like that BBS, but I think I’ll stay away for a good while, when sanity returns to the posters. JLin really is a polarizing figure, thanks to his supporters, detractors, and haters… Sigh. An earlier poster said it so right — JL’s got the celebrity status without the celebrity creds, and that’s what stands out to Rocket fans as a raw nerve. I’m sure even Jeremy himself would be the first to say he isn’t worth the last year salary; that’s how humble and hard he is on himself.

    Hell, how can you not like this kid? His rabid, overzealous fans and haters are another story, however. πŸ™‚

    • Jeff

      love this assessment Shattered!

    • Glad to have you here, Shattered. Love our objectivity! Myself, I try my hardest to be objective about Lin, but I do get a little crazy, because I am a LOF. Also, Lin gets plenty of unjust criticisms in Houston, so I feel like i have to balance out the scales.

  • mad at harden

    the last shot by liliard, what is harden doing?! Such poor rotation on defence when parsons is caught in the double screens although he is also responsible for moving late