Silver Linings Playbook – While the Rockets lost to a very good Indiana team last night, the Warriors blew one to Sacramento, keeping Houston’s hopes for grabbing the 6th seed alive. On the flip side, the Lakers and Jazz gained ground by defeating the Timberwolves and Suns, respectively. The Rockets’ playoff chances still sit at a not-cozy-enough 98.4 percent.
We Don’t Need No Stinking PG – Jack Winter and Jordan White at Hardwood Paroxysm discuss the changing definitions of a “true” point guard, and Winter points out that Houston is one of a few teams that doesn’t need one, thanks to the Beard:
Jack: With respect to just the point guard thing and whether or not a team really needs a ‘true’ one, I just think so much of not having that guy and thriving is dependent on the merits of your primary creator. If it’s LBJ, Harden, KD, Wade, Kobe (now), etcetera, it’s great; those guys know the benefits of moving the ball, getting others involved and mining for better shots. And the first two, in particular, can make every pass – whip, pocket, skip, dump, whatever – a guy like Chris Paul can make. Those other four are great, obviously, and have shown they can initiate offense at a very high level, but sometimes even they get tunnel vision; not sure they necessarily have the poise or feel of LBJ/Harden, which says something because I’m a longtime fan of Wade. I just think you really need to have one of those guys or someone like them to completely eschew a primary handler.
There’s something to think about the next time you see–like last night–Jeremy Lin sitting on the bench for long stretches while Beverly spots up off of Harden.
Get Excited – Andrew Unterberger at The Basketball Jones points out that this year is likely to be Jeremy Lin’s playoff debut:
A season too late, sure, as we were robbed of the proper climax to Linsanity when knee issues knocked him out of the Knicks’ first round series against the Heat in 2012 — though in all likelihood, even a healthy Lin would’ve been fairly well stymied by the likes of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, who really gave Jeremy hell in his only regular-season start against the Heat last year. Still, not too late for him to capture some of that old magic with a big shot this postseason, and you’d think he’d get at least one opportunity at a buzzer-beater-type moment over the course of a Rockets playoff series. If that happened, the passion of his postgame embrace with Chandler Parsons would be just too much.
On PNR Defense – One observation from last night’s defensive clinic: the Pacers are masters of the pick-and-roll jersey tug. It’s a move the Warriors have already used with tremendous success against Houston (Steph Curry’s nickname could be Sticky Fingers). Just as the ball handler comes around the pick, they give a little grab to slow him down. It throws Harden and Lin both off balance, it only gets called about once for every five times it happens, and it’s sure to happen on every play in the playoffs, so they should probably adjust instead of looking for a whistle to bail them out.
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