Statcheck – Let me get this out of the way: I wanted to throw my iPad through the window after last night’s game. Watching Motiejunas work his tail off and lose, and seeing Monta Ellis win on a hail-Mary shot is a crime against sport. Still, there were a few statistical superlatives (good and bad) in this game.Congrats to Omer Asik on pulling down a career-high 22 rebounds while recording a double-double just in the first half.Anti-congrats to Thomas Robinson for somehow having a plus/minus of -18 in only eight minutes of play.For the month of February, the Rockets upped their 3pt% to .405 and lowered their turnovers to 15.3 per game. That’s up from .368 on threes for the season, and down from 16.3 turnovers. If they can keep that up, maybe they can weather the chaos of players like Ellis long enough to make the playoffs.It helps that Utah and Golden State lost last night too.Spoilers – David Thorpe (ESPN Insider) lists Houston as one of three teams with potential to David one of the league’s Goliaths in the playoffs. He points to Harden’s brilliance, Lin’s chutzpah and the Rockets 3-heavy attack as reasons:
Houston ranks just behind New York in the NBA in 3s made and taken in games, and no other team is close. The Rockets can put up huge shooting numbers quickly, deadly in a short series. Harden’s ability to earn free points can mitigate a cold-shooting quarter or half.
Linning – Kevin Pelton (ESPN Insider) reexamines the comparison between Lin and his NY replacement, Raymond Felton. He concludes that both players are giving about the same level of production today, but Lin’s future tilts the scales in his favor:
We’re also comparing these players as they are now, not as they will be at the end of the three-year contract Houston gave Lin. While Felton, 28, is likely to be about the same player at that point if not take a slight step backward, the 24-year-old Lin still has room to grow as an outside shooter and playmaker.The Knicks won the early rounds of the Lin versus Felton decision. If Lin already has pulled even, however, there may be no question who the better choice was in a couple of years.
The ESPN Jinxfest Continues – Rapper Bun B hits the airwaves with Stephen A. and Skip to talk Rockets.