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Dallas Mavericks 123, Houston Rockets 120: Where’s the defense?

In a near playoff atmosphere, the Rockets crumbled under pressure in the 4th quarter.  Leading by 14 to start the 4th, the Rockets defense disappeared. Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki scored at will in the final frame as the Mavs outscored Houston 36 to 19.  The defensive weaknesses were very apparent and will have to be solved to beat good teams.  Dallas is a very good offensive team with Nowitzki, Ellis, Carter and Calderon able to hit big shots in the clutch.

As the clock wound down, Nowitzki hit shot after shot on Jones.  Jones wasn’t effective on Nowitzki, Dirk shot 13 of 20 for 35 points. Monta Ellis shot 13 of 18 for 37 points.  The Maverick veterans showed why coaches love the experienced players in clutch time.  It was Ellis, Nowitzki and Carter dominating our young guys at the end of the game.

The Rockets offense froze in the final quarter.   No one wanted to take the big shot and the ball kept ending up in Harden’s hands with the shot clock running down.  It turned out to be like last year, Harden in isolation at the end of the game and everyone on defense keying on him.  He shot only 2 for 8 from behind the arc.

Parsons was dominating in the first half and then disappeared in the final quarter.  Chandler had 21 points and 11 assists but was MIA in clutch time. This was a good dress rehearsal for the playoffs.  The Mavs haven’t lost at home this year and are a tough out.  Let’s chalk this one up to a learning experience and hope to come out better prepared to deal with close games like this as the year progresses.

Howard had his best game of the season by far, making Dalembert look like his shoes were nailed to the ground.  The first three quarters, the Mavs left Dalembert one on one with Howard and he hit his first 11 shots.  He went 9 of 13 from the line and took the Hack a Howard strategy out of play by hitting his free throws.  Hack a Howard was used only once in the game with 3 minutes left in the third and he hit both free throws.  But, by the 4th quarter the Mavs started double teaming, shutting down the inside game and the Rockets couldn’t hit from the outside.  Howard finished with 33 points and 11 boards.

Lin was a non factor in this game.  He didn’t hit one field goal and ended up with one point in 17 minutes of play.  His +/- was a -10.  His shot looked short and McHale went with Beverley for 37 minutes.  Beverley’s defense was probably one of the reasons he got so much time, but he couldn’t do anything to stop Ellis.  Our youth showed in our guard play tonight.  Often this season that youth is a plus, but tonight it killed the Rockets.

Asik came in early and played 12 minutes and grabbed 5 boards.  But, with Howard earning all those millions with his stellar play, Asik only came in to spell Howard temporarily.  The Rockets do not have a defensive stopper and that may be what they need to look for if they trade Asik.  This game was a tragedy to lose, and they wasted Howard’s best game of the season.

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Total comments: 77
  • rocketrick says 10 months ago

    I guess all the rants about Coach McHale after the Dallas loss has turned the Rockets season around. Thanks guys!

  • thejohnnygold says 10 months ago

    It's cool, RBF. Time will tell for sure. I don't feel like I'm making excuses for McHale--I just like to view the big picture with as much context as possible.

    One thing is certain, when players are making their shots coaches always look better :)

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    @JG

    I said he is not basketball guru to me because you made a reference to his basketball knowledge. not attempting to put words in your mouth, just making a point that I don't respect his basketball knowledge. I don't believe in giving coaches excuses. the NBA is a results business and IMO McHale's results have a negative plus minus according to the talent available to him. nothing I have seen from him in his time here besides his playoff series last year would say to me he can get the job done leading this team. I'm hoping he can, but I'm also less optimistic he will

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Due to pace, McHale's teams don't post great def. ratings or turnover numbers. Last I heard, Rockets defense was best in the league with Asik on the floor last season--so there's that.

    I don't understand how late season winning streaks don't count, but late season losses do.

    I agree that 2 seasons ago the Rockets collapsed at the end of the season. I disagree that all of that falls on McHale. Morey took 1/3 of his roster away and signaled to the team that they were folding it up for this season. Combine that with Lowry and Martin quitting on the team and I just can't isolate McHale as the culprit. McHale didn't lose those players--Morey did.

    And please be careful about putting words in my mouth. I am in no way saying he is a "basketball guru". If that's what you are hearing then I don't know what to say.

    Since we're talking Adelman, let's not lose sight that he has only made the finals twice in 22 years (with the loaded Blazers teams of the early 90's) and in his three years here his defense was below average twice and ranked 4th the year Yao was healthy and we had Ron Artest, Shane Battier, Kyle Lowry, and Mutombo. He's a fine coach, but he's got flaws too.

    I agree that we will probably never find common ground here. I'm not proclaiming McHAle the best leader for our troops--I certainly agree that there are better coaches. Once again, I just can't agree with the level of fault and blame he is being made to shoulder.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    OK JG I didn't want to bring up Minny, But one fact you are overlooking when he took over for Flip is he put that train wreck of a lineup together. I hate when teams make a late season push after having stunk the whole year and it's seen as a positive. there was a reason they stunk all year. end of the season runs mean little to me. McHale's time in Minny as both a coach and GM stunk. his first year here that team should have made the playoffs. the way they crashed and burned can only be considered a collapse. last year we were primed for a 6th seed and collapse down the stretch. failure to win meaningful game is an indictment of a coach. his teams are not prepared to perform when the pressure is on. every time the pressure is on the Rockets look confused. We can never agree on this subject. we have a different perspective on who McHale is. he is NOT some basketball guru to me. he is a bad coach trying to learn how to be good. I'm not sure he can. while most people learn from their mistakes, he seems doomed to repeat past transgressions. I have studied him closely in his time here. I know when I see a good coach and I have not seen one since Adelman left town. the only reason I say let McHale coach the rest oft his year is his help in landing D-12, but he doesn't deserve it on merit. want to examine a important stat? look where McHale coached teams ranked in defense and turnovers. I don't know what the stats say, but I would bet they are in the lower half of the league in both categories for any team coached by him. WHY? I tell you why........either he lacks the ability to pass his basketball knowledge on to others or he has no basket ball knowledge. remember the story of the emperor's new cloths? seems nobody want to be the first to say this man is naked :lol:as I said before we will never agree because to me he is naked

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    RBF, it takes time. Also, you know as well as I do that we have been over this McHale thing before and he most definitely has done some good things in Minnesota--you refuse to acknowledge it, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. :P

    He took over for Flip Saunders in Minny when they were 25-26. They promptly reeled off a 19-12 record the rest of the way and beat quality teams in doing it. Apparently this does not count. You can see the splits fairly easily HERE (post all-star break pretty much covers it)

    He also took a Houston squad led by Lowry (who one could argue had quit on the team by season's end), Dragic, Parsons, and Kevin Martin (who one could argue had quit on the team after losing Adelman) and led them to a winning record in the Western Conference. Apparently this does not count.

    The fact of the matter is McHale has a winning record in 3 out of 4 seasons so far and this one should make it 4 out of 5. His only losing campaign came after they traded Garnett and gutted the team in Minny.

    Yeah, it can be pointed out that he had a late season collapse last year, but that is a somewhat skewed way of looking at it. We lost 4 out of 9 games in the month of April--3 of which were to playoff teams (Denver, Memphis, and LAL (in OT)...we all remember the Phoenix game :( ). The fact of the matter is we finished the season 16-11 (post all star break) after starting 29-26. Our defense had improved and our scoring margin was up from +2.8 to +4.8.

    The Rockets only had a losing record in head to head match ups against Dallas, Denver, Indiana, LAC, Memphis, Miami, OKC, and San Antonio last year. Take Dallas out of that equation (they just seem to have our number) and that is a who's who of the NBA elite.

    Another thing not taken into consideration is Morey traded away Hill, Flynn, and Thabeet for Camby, Fisher (who was waived) and picks on Mar. 15th of the 2011-12 season. They also waived Terrence Williams 2 days later. After the trades, the Rockets finished 10-12. Now, I won't argue that those guys were helping us win, but I will say that has a huge effect on team morale when management scraps the team like that. Did the team collapse down the stretch? Yes. Are we sure that all falls on McHale..... :unsure:

    It is easy to focus on the black and white of wins and losses without taking into consideration what actually went into those wins and losses.

    This team needs time. I don't like it anymore than you do, but I'm afraid that is how it's going to go. McHale has lots of work to do for sure, but when I am watching the Rockets I find more fault in what's happening on the court rather than what's coming from the sidelines.

    (All stats/info from basketball-reference.com)

  • thenit says 11 months ago

    Those are good points RBF. I do think coaches affect the team. Right now, I think McHale is letting them "sink or swim".

    While I do think it is necessary to have the ability to run high quality plays out of timeouts (which McHale has showed us very little of) I also believe that the coach can't call a timeout every single possession at the end of each quarter. The guys on the court have to be able to execute on both sides of the ball if they want to be true contenders. I am all for letting them figure this out on their own with guidance from the coaches during film sessions after the games. I think long term this will make us better. I fully admit that I have no idea if this is what is actually happening--it is just my opinion.

    Once they lose enough I think the players will want to commit to doing whatever it takes to win--right now I don't think they know what that is. I will direct your attention to 2016's tag line above. That quote from Morey sums up how I feel as well.


    If he is letting the players learn by sink or swim shouldn't some players get more leeway to prepare for the playoffs even when they are struggling?
  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    Those are good points RBF. I do think coaches affect the team. Right now, I think McHale is letting them "sink or swim".

    While I do think it is necessary to have the ability to run high quality plays out of timeouts (which McHale has showed us very little of) I also believe that the coach can't call a timeout every single possession at the end of each quarter. The guys on the court have to be able to execute on both sides of the ball if they want to be true contenders. I am all for letting them figure this out on their own with guidance from the coaches during film sessions after the games. I think long term this will make us better. I fully admit that I have no idea if this is what is actually happening--it is just my opinion.

    Once they lose enough I think the players will want to commit to doing whatever it takes to win--right now I don't think they know what that is. I will direct your attention to 2016's tag line above. That quote from Morey sums up how I feel as well.

    this is my problem with the " sink or swim" outlook...............suppose they drown? are you willing to allow them to drown? not everyone can learn from the sink or swim method. some have to be helped along until they figure outthe strokes. to me that's the coaches job............to help them figure out the strokes. McHale is no Phil Jackson.............not even close. McHale talks a good game, but his track record say he doesn't know what he is doing. he may have a crap load of basketball knowledge, but having that knowledge and being able to teach it to others is two different things altogether. a lot of knowledgeable people can't teach that knowledge to others in a way they can relate to it. that's rather common, but coaching takes so much more than just knowledge of the game. besides based on his lack of being a good X's and O's man I'm not sure he has all that much basketball knowledge. seems to me if you been watching people draw up plays for 30 years you ought to have a very good X's and O's presentation. fact is you can not holdup one team that McHale has coached and say that team exceeded their expectations. NONE. is that all on coaching........probably not, but coaching had a hand in each teams downfall.

  • TeamBall says 11 months ago

    Is there really a big debate about:

    1) Poor rotation tiring out our first unit?

    2) Improvement needed for in-game strategy adjustments?

    3) Stronger coaching for our young star players on ill advised plays (probably related to (1)?

    Sure, one might argue other teams do that too. So what?

    Since we are ROX fans, naturally we want to see our team improvement in these areas.

    On the positive side, Dwight is becoming a beast and our zipping passes (in the first 3 quarters) were very impressive.

    If we can do the same crisp passing tonight, we should beat Adelman's gang.

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Those are good points RBF. I do think coaches affect the team. Right now, I think McHale is letting them "sink or swim".

    While I do think it is necessary to have the ability to run high quality plays out of timeouts (which McHale has showed us very little of) I also believe that the coach can't call a timeout every single possession at the end of each quarter. The guys on the court have to be able to execute on both sides of the ball if they want to be true contenders. I am all for letting them figure this out on their own with guidance from the coaches during film sessions after the games. I think long term this will make us better. I fully admit that I have no idea if this is what is actually happening--it is just my opinion.

    Once they lose enough I think the players will want to commit to doing whatever it takes to win--right now I don't think they know what that is. I will direct your attention to 2016's tag line above. That quote from Morey sums up how I feel as well.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Yeah if JG put more effort into making actual articles he could do really well. I have ADD so I have trouble reading long winding posts unless they're structured a certain way, for example I love Zach Lowe but Bill Simmons puts me to sleep sometimes.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    Thanks, FSS. I do enjoy writing, but once it becomes a job that changes--such is my life. That adage about "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life..." just doesn't apply to me...or I'm just doing it wrong :lol: .

    TTDN, I am genuinely curious--what sort of things are you seeing in Mchale? What is his fault and what is he taking undue blame for? I do think he could improve in certain areas--I just don't think he is why we are losing more than we would like.

    JG I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one because I believe McHale isfailing in hisjob to get this team performing to it's capabilities. McHale has 2 of the best centers in the game right now and still has a poorly performing defensive team. some teams play better defense than us and don't even have a center on par with ours. per your example look at Dallas.......should they be a better defensive team than us? NO, but their coach is one of the best coaches in the league. he has a team with far less talent than ours playing superior to ours. COACHES DO EFFECT HOW A TEAM PLAYS. some say McHale is a great motivator........well the team didn't look to motivated in the fourth quarter in Dallas. while I'm not ready to fire McHale it doesn't mean I think he is doing a good job. I'm hoping he can figure it out, however each year McHale is here I see the same problems from teams coached by him. turnovers, lack of execution is crunch moments, bad defense are all things his teams consistently suffer from. how does the old saying go............if everywhere you go you have the same problems then the problem isn't thenew placesthe problem is you. I believe this applies to McHale. I respect your opinion......I just don't agree. other than the playoff series last year I can't think of one moment that this thought popped into my head.........McHale is having a positive effect on the team. I don't want to get into the history on McHale because the result is ugly, so just focusing on his time here.........in the last two years McHale coached teams have closed out the seasons just trying to tread water. the first year they crashed and burned, last year luckily they had enough of a cushion to survive but dropped from what should have been a 6th seed all the way to an 8th seed while playing teams we should have easily beaten. see the problem is no matter who the players are the same problems keep happening because the coach is the same. he is still trying to enact the same flawed system. that's not jumping to conclusions, that's making adeterminationbased on a track record. you may believe a coach has little to no effect on how a team performs, but I just don't agree with that line of thought

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Thanks, FSS. I do enjoy writing, but once it becomes a job that changes--such is my life. That adage about "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life..." just doesn't apply to me...or I'm just doing it wrong :lol: .

    TTDN, I am genuinely curious--what sort of things are you seeing in Mchale? What is his fault and what is he taking undue blame for? I do think he could improve in certain areas--I just don't think he is why we are losing more than we would like.

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago Dang johnnygold, you should be writing. Well I guess you are here on the forums lucky for us.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago I think Mchale isn't that great of a coach, but he does get flak for some things that aren't his fault, but he gets a pass for some things that are his fault from some as well.
  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Firstly, I'm not saying McHale is perfect--not by any means. I'm not saying I agree with all of the decisions--or apparent decisions since none of us know for sure. My disagreement stems from the casual way some posters (not all) immediately glum onto every loss and use it to prop up their dislike of McHale. I make counter points not so much because I believe he is innocent of wrong-doing; rather, I make counterpoints because I don't think the criticisms he is getting are validly supported.

    I honestly think he is the kind of guy who would throw his kid in the lake to teach him to swim. I think that is what's going on a lot. He is content to watch them drown until they learn--the benefit outweighs the cost. This may appear as if he has no clue, but I really doubt that is the case. What is more likely is that he has forgotten more about basketball than any of us will ever know and he understands that if they cannot walk by themselves then how will they ever run?

    Phil Jackson was well known for letting his players work out their own problems--for better or worse. Now, with 10 rings he gets a free pass, but is it so different from McHale's approach? Of course it is going to be ugly.

    The reason the patterns are emerging the way they are is because other teams understand how to close out a quarter, a half, and a game. There is room to give that little extra energy burst because you know you are going to get a quick rest soon. Those teams aren't running fancy plays to score. They're not making sneaky substitutions and creating mismatches. They know what they are doing better than we do. I have no doubt the coaches have spoken to them about it, but until they can put it into action they are just words and their meaning is abstract, not concrete.

    I am perfectly fine with criticisms of McHale, but more often than not what I am really seeing is people projecting their own thoughts onto him and that's not very fair. Oh, is it really McHale's fault Lin posted an 0-fer night against Dallas? Oh, the pick n roll looks muddled...must be McHale's fault. Come on, guys, I know you didn't ALL grow up in the everyone-gets-a-trophy era. Sometimes it is your fault because sometimes you suck--that's the way it goes in sports. It is also possible to simply get out-played. Anyone who watches tennis will remember the Roddick-Federer Wimbledon match from a couple years ago. Roddick played out of his mind--it was nothing short of amazing. He lost. Life isn't fair.

    I'm not certain why we aren't running the pick n roll more. It's not like we aren't aware of the effectiveness. If we are going to blame anyone it has to be Morey and Dwight. Morey wanted Dwight and Dwight made it clear he does not like the pick n roll. Sorry, but it looks like that is the price of having Mr. Howard man the paint. We are still #1 in the league in ppg. Our efficiency is down, but that has as much to do with our 3 pt. shooters going ice cold as anything else. (Did you guys know Miami is shooting 3's at a 46% clip as a team? I'm not even mad...That's amazing!) Our free throw rate isn't helping either at .702 (4th worst in the league).

    Coaching can't fix those things very much. I've seen most of our 3 pt. shots--they are open shots. What I see is that we are doing well while playing poorly in four key areas--3's, ft's, to's, and defense (only Philly gives up more ppg than us). Our point differential is +3.8 (similar to last year). Minnesota is +8.1 right now and Miami, Indiana, and San Antonio are all pushing +10. We are 7th overall in that category, but there is clearly a chasm between us and the top. My feeling is that once we get the threes and defense under control (free throws are out with Dwight on board) that number should climb into that upper stratosphere.

    In short, I think our strategy is fine for now. Like others, I believe the Rockets are still hammering out a lot of the details. I think criticisms of McHale need to be more concrete--most of them use hindsight and presumption to support the notion that he is bad. What else could have happened? Why would it have been better? Why are we so sure the blame is all his? Coaches can't catch a break--when the team loses it's all their fault. When the team wins it's because of the players.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    i buy this argument for last year. not so much this year.

    I would agree with that. the team is still making last years mistakes. turnovers, bad shots, no defense, no discipline. those are all areas the coach should be affecting. if McHale isn't able to change this he should be fired. coaches can and do make a difference. I'm giving McHale this year to figure this out, but if we have not improved in these areas by the end of the season he should be fired. I have never liked him as a coach, but hoped he could find his way..........I am no longer as optimistic as I once was that he will figure it out

  • miketheodio says 11 months ago

    Can you name any teams who have had as much turnover and roster changes that are also playoff teams?

    i buy this argument for last year. not so much this year.

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago

    TJG, how do you explain the obvious pattern of undisciplined play from the past 2 seasons?

    turnovers. taking quarters/halves off. the inability to keep leads. I understand that these sorts things happen, but with the rockets, they seem to be more extreme. too much of a roller coaster.

    Can you name any teams who have had as much turnover and roster changes that are also playoff teams?

  • miketheodio says 11 months ago

    TJG, how do you explain the obvious pattern of undisciplined play from the past 2 seasons?

    turnovers. taking quarters/halves off. the inability to keep leads. I understand that these sorts things happen, but with the rockets, they seem to be more extreme. too much of a roller coaster.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    Does anyone believe that Morey would work this hard all this time to assemble a championship-caliber roster only to let it all go to waste on a "bad" coach who is afraid of his players? McHale strikes me as the type of guy who is not easily impressed nor intimidated by any of his players. That is part of the cache that comes with having been there and done that. The complaints about him are nothing more than backseat driving. You're not doing it right! Pull over...Let me drive!

    Not that it matters, but the Clippers and the Bulls suffered similar fates in their last games. I suppose it's different though, right?

    Dallas is third in ppg (Houston is 1st) and ahead of Houston in nearly every offensive % category I looked at including shooting .399 as a team from 3 while taking more threes/game than Houston (courtesy of ESPN)...oh, and Dallas is allowing fewer points per game than Houston as well. The stats say we should have lost a close game...and we did. The fact that we nearly won despite Dallas shooting well above their season average is a good sign in my estimation.

    It's weird to me that the Rockets can't just lose a game...there has to be blame...because people somehow forget that the other team is trying to win and they have hall of fame players too.

    tumblr_m6g0io4_QKH1qcqv7c.gif

    I disagree. it's not just backseat driving and it's not just losing the game at the end to a hot shooting team. it's players who play the game......sure, but it's the coaches job to put those players in the best position to win and McHale is clearly having mentalblocks in this area. just look at not only our end of game execution, but look at how we close quarters. far to often we have a good lead and allow teams to close on us at the end of quarters. what is our go to play that we can use when we need a sure fire score? I watch them all the time and I still don't know it. McHale always explains lack of offensive execution on the ball getting sticky. WHAT has he done to stop this problem? he says he doesn't like iso's. then why do his players continue to run it? is he scare to call them out on it? again I'm not calling for his firing YET, however he deserves blame.McHale's defensive schemes are garbage. instead of trying to funnel everyone to D-12 why not attempt to prevent them from driving in the first place? again I'm not saying the players don't deserve blame, but to believe the coach is blameless or has little to no effect on what is happening on the floor is way off base IMO

  • thenit says 11 months ago But thibs and doc has gone far in their careers, proving that they can win with less talent and defence. Bulls without rose still had a good season and you can actually see the identity of the team, and doc has a ring. Mchale just started, but I just haven't seen him do well at late game situations or making calls after timeouts.
  • Hemingway says 11 months ago

    Does anyone believe that Morey would work this hard all this time to assemble a championship-caliber roster only to let it all go to waste on a "bad" coach who is afraid of his players? McHale strikes me as the type of guy who is not easily impressed nor intimidated by any of his players. That is part of the cache that comes with having been there and done that. The complaints about him are nothing more than backseat driving. You're not doing it right! Pull over...Let me drive!

    Not that it matters, but the Clippers and the Bulls suffered similar fates in their last games. I suppose it's different though, right?

    Dallas is third in ppg (Houston is 1st) and ahead of Houston in nearly every offensive % category I looked at including shooting .399 as a team from 3 while taking more threes/game than Houston (courtesy of ESPN)...oh, and Dallas is allowing fewer points per game than Houston as well. The stats say we should have lost a close game...and we did. The fact that we nearly won despite Dallas shooting well above their season average is a good sign in my estimation.

    It's weird to me that the Rockets can't just lose a game...there has to be blame...because people somehow forget that the other team is trying to win and they have hall of fame players too.

    tumblr_m6g0io4_QKH1qcqv7c.gif

    Good points, but Im sure there are similar rants coming forth in their forums, too. As for the negative focus on this game, it's not only that we lost, but perhaps also that we were up significantly until the very end. I think most people's issues are with the closing of games, and probably 4 games in the young season have not gotten closed. But yeah, at the end of the day it was a one-possession loss to a great team shooting hotly. It happens sometimes.

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Does anyone believe that Morey would work this hard all this time to assemble a championship-caliber roster only to let it all go to waste on a "bad" coach who is afraid of his players? McHale strikes me as the type of guy who is not easily impressed nor intimidated by any of his players. That is part of the cache that comes with having been there and done that. The complaints about him are nothing more than backseat driving. You're not doing it right! Pull over...Let me drive!

    Not that it matters, but the Clippers and the Bulls suffered similar fates in their last games. I suppose it's different though, right?

    Dallas is third in ppg (Houston is 1st) and ahead of Houston in nearly every offensive % category I looked at including shooting .399 as a team from 3 while taking more threes/game than Houston (courtesy of ESPN)...oh, and Dallas is allowing fewer points per game than Houston as well. The stats say we should have lost a close game...and we did. The fact that we nearly won despite Dallas shooting well above their season average is a good sign in my estimation.

    It's weird to me that the Rockets can't just lose a game...there has to be blame...because people somehow forget that the other team is trying to win and they have hall of fame players too.

    tumblr_m6g0io4_QKH1qcqv7c.gif

  • Knickabokkaz says 11 months ago McHale is a JOKE of a coach, hell of a player. I can list 3 things that happened in the last 10 minutes that any other coach would have done. He's scared of his star players and doesn't hold them accountable for any of their mistakes (James Harden.. Another JOKE ..Worked so hard on defense this summer right? When's that going to show? Yeah right... Superstar? Pls don't make me laugh, he's Carmelo Anthony with 1/2 the talent AND ALL ABOUT HIMSELF, atleast Melo TRIES. Like I said just because you take the most shots and score 24 points doesn't mean anything. Averaging 16.3 shots per game and only averages 24pts on 44% shooting, you sir, are NOT A SUPERSTAR) didn't Monte Ellis go off for 36? Where was juggernaut Beverley at? Your "elite" (chuckles) defensive player? Why wasn't he on him? If I were McHale I would have left Beverley on Ellis the whole game! He's only shooting over 50% averaging 22 points (Horrible coaching by McHale)

    Sorry team, not cause of players but because of 1. Coaching
    2. Egos

    And last but not least, and imma be fair. JEREMY LIN! You played like GARBAGE because it's in your own head! You gotta be more aggressive! You can't let Casspi and Garcia be playmakers instead of you! You be aggressive and create for your shooters and yourself! Casspi and Garcia have to know their role too! Take the ball away from Beverley if he's playing point and PnR them to death! Your playing a zone you HAVE TO penetrate!
  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    I get it. It is a common belief that close losses and fourth quarter collapses are the coach's fault. While I agree that the coach can get some plays run out of time outs and keep his players fresh so they can finish strong I disagree with any other implication. Match-ups? Maybe, but usually a mis-match on one side equals a mis-match the other way too. What were we going to do with Monta/Dirk? Maybe put Garcia on Monta? Didn't we sign some guy to specifically play defense for us (Brewer)? Nobody can shut down Dirk when his jumper is falling--it is as unstoppable as the Dream Shake. Nobody thought they were going to shoot that well--but they did.

    The deal is at the end of the game you've got to get stops and you've got to make some shots. That falls on the players--not the coaches. It is the most basic, simple part of the game. I'd say we've all played pick up games. What do you do at the end of a tight game? If you want to win you've got to get some stops and make some buckets. I put the onus on the players to execute. They were good enough for 40 minutes. I just don't see how it's McHale's fault--even after acknowledging his "coaching errors".

    Yes, there is a pattern. It's the players. It is as if they think the game ends at 46 minutes. We've come this far--we deserve the victory. They must learn to go for the kill for the entire 48 minutes. If I was McHale--I'd let them learn the hard way. If they don't like it then they need to do something about it. The players are not mindless drones/puppets--they've got to learn how to win in their minds and be able to put that onto the court.

    What is that Lao Tzu quote? Here it is...

    "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win"

    Thanks Google!

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago

    I waited until today to respond on this thread because I was so pissed last night my comments would only have been a rant :angry:I have read the responses here and there is interesting food for thought.

    1. get off the "somebody has done Lin wrong kick" Lin stunk last night. as good as he looked in some games this year this was a dud. plain and simple. all players have bad games..............even saint Lin :lol:

    2. this was the worst of the Rockets and the best of the Rockets all in the same game. for three quarters the offensive execution was flawless, yet the defense stunk pretty much the whole game. we saw everything D-12 can be within the Rockets system, but also saw that our perimeter defense is lacking to be kind about it.

    3. some don't think so however coaching was part of the blame for this game. McHale's rotation stunk. allowing Dallas to cut a 14 point lead to 8 before you can get a timeout called? then bought all five starters into the game at the same time? the lineup that started the 4th quarter......what was that? bottom line is McHale made several bad calls. I'm not ready to fire him, but he might want to keep that resumeupdated :lol:

    4. the bottom line is we scored enough points to win this game. our defense and rebounding stunk. our coach made some dumb moves. #%*& happens...............when looking at the big picture, we all say we expect this team to struggle early and then get pissed when they do. look at the Clipper's............8-5 just like us. I hate it, but these are natural growing pains. we were never going to go 82-0. I still don't like the losses, but there are enough positives to show we are still pointed in the right direction

    Good thing you didn't write this last night eh? There would have been a whole bunch of words in large caps! Good stuff.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    I waited until today to respond on this thread because I was so pissed last night my comments would only have been a rant :angry:I have read the responses here and there is interesting food for thought.

    1. get off the "somebody has done Lin wrong kick" Lin stunk last night. as good as he looked in some games this year this was a dud. plain and simple. all players have bad games..............even saint Lin :lol:

    2. this was the worst of the Rockets and the best of the Rockets all in the same game. for three quarters the offensive execution was flawless, yet the defense stunk pretty much the whole game. we saw everything D-12 can be within the Rockets system, but also saw that our perimeter defense is lacking to be kind about it.

    3. some don't think so however coaching was part of the blame for this game. McHale's rotation stunk. allowing Dallas to cut a 14 point lead to 8 before you can get a timeout called? then bought all five starters into the game at the same time? the lineup that started the 4th quarter......what was that? bottom line is McHale made several bad calls. I'm not ready to fire him, but he might want to keep that resumeupdated :lol:

    4. the bottom line is we scored enough points to win this game. our defense and rebounding stunk. our coach made some dumb moves. #%*& happens...............when looking at the big picture, we all say we expect this team to struggle early and then get pissed when they do. look at the Clipper's............8-5 just like us. I hate it, but these are natural growing pains. we were never going to go 82-0. I still don't like the losses, but there are enough positives to show we are still pointed in the right direction

  • miketheodio says 11 months ago

    Also, I don't think anyone has mentioned our very low (for us) total of 11 turnovers.

    Let's curb the knee jerk reactions here. That Frankenstein/McHale photo RBF posted is getting more and more accurate as the villagers assemble with the pitchforks and torches to storm the castle. The Rockets went cold and the Mavs got hot. It happens. Hindsight has little value here and can only serve to help us in future games. The Mavs made a ton of shots from mid-range and from 3 (they only got 36 in the paint the whole game to our 56). They shot 50% from three for the night (11-22).

    If we had won do you think people would have called for Carlisle's head this way? "He just let Dwight do whatever he wanted!" "Marion couldn't contain Parsons--what was he thinking?!?" "Harden just sank back to back threes from 27 feet out! Make an adjustment already!" All of these things happened in the game.

    Guys, I know we don't like losing--especially to Dallas--but let's get a grip. We actually played a pretty good game and let it slip away at the end. If Dallas misses any one of those fourth quarter shots (Dirk was 6-7 with no shots near the rim, Ellis was 3-4 with one at the rim, Marion was 2-2 with 1 - 3 pointer and 1 at the rim, Calderon was 2-2 with a 3 pointer, and Vince Carter was 1-2 on jumpers. That is a combined 14-17 from the field. There were only two other missed shots (both at the rim) so take it to 14-19 and that is still above 75% from the field (and this is before free throws get counted). We got blitzkrieg'd--which is exactly what Dallas is set up to do. Only two shots were made at the rim--the rest were jumpers--mostly from mid-range. Analytics lovers--explain that! :lol: :lol: I'm kidding. See it for what it is--don't panic and point fingers. We missed and they didn't.

    it's not just blowing a double digit lead in the 4th. it becomes more irritating because it is a pattern.

    dwight played well. people give him a lot of crap, but defenses almost immediately collapse on him. didn't seem like the mavs doubled as much as other teams have.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago

    I think that Lin struggled last night. Part of it was he was not aggressive enough. Part of it was Mchale's rotations. However, he'll learn to be ready to play whenever is called upon him as he learns to adjust to being a bench player. Lin is improving and I think he'll continue to do so. It will be harder without set rotations though. But I think he can handle it. Part of this is because I support Lin and the other part is that he's on my fantasy team.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    I'm glad to see Lin getting support from true Rockets fans. As for the rest of you Rockets fans, shame on you! I'm not saying I would be against it if Lin was traded for a better player, but as long as he's a Rocket and he's helping us win games it only seems natural that he should have our support.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    Of those 17 min, most were garbage time. It was wrong way to use your "scorer of the season so far". McHale failed on his player. Period. Oh, I am Rockets fan and I only care about Rockets as a team. The player in question just happened to be Lin. Oh well. :rolleyes:

  • webattorney says 11 months ago

    No, I am just not a Lin fanatic. I am a Rockets fan and if Lin were traded I wouldn't care what he was doing just as if Asik, Beverley or Jones were to be traded. I care about Rocket players succeeding. I know it's much easier to call people haters which I find a silly word to use unless you're a rapper than see the actual truth. The actual truth for me is I was a Rockets fan long before Lin and I will be one long after he leaves.

    This is why Lin should complain about being a bench player.

    For the curious, I went and checked some of our favorite 6th man comparisons in regards to how their minutes fluctuate throughout a season. I tried to use seasons at, or around, the same age. What I found is that minutes fluctuate wildly from time to time--what we are looking at is are we more concerned with team success or personal success and how the two are connected?

    MANU

    JACK w/ GSW

    HARDEN

    I'd say most of us are concerned with overall team success (I know. Bold statement, right?) vs. one player's success (or is it perceived happiness?). I believe the 6th man role is crucial to success in the NBA. This means Lin is crucial to the Rockets' success. It does not mean he is more important than the team. The bottom line is he is replaceable. So is Parsons, Beverley, and just about everyone whose last name doesn't start with "H". Jeremy is going to be fine and will continue to be a huge part of our success. Sadly, that will not be enough for many.

    I agree with you, but it's weird giving 17 minutes to your 6th man who has been playing well. For this reason alone, Lin should not like coming off the bench. Or when he's in the game, try to take as many shots as he can.

  • webattorney says 11 months ago

    Why put Lin back with one minute remaining in the game? What does Mac expect Lin to do?

    More or less agree with FSS. It is a byproduct of how we've decided to handle the PG situation. A pattern has emerged - McHale seems to stick with a general rotation of Beverly, Lin, and Harden, with the general presumption that the rotations will be conducted like clock work. However, Bevery and Lin's role in a given game also fluctuate depending on what's going on in that specific game. There have been a few games that Lin stayed in when Beverly would have normally subbed back in, because Lin was playing well and the flow shouldn't be disrupted. Similar situation with last night - things were going really well with the first unit in the first half, so Lin didn't play that much. Then at the end of the game, the collapse happened so quickly that I'm not sure it would make much sense to insert Lin for Beverly, particularly since Lin didn't seem to be on his game. And while you can say Lin wasn't himself, particularly in the second half, because he didn't get a chance to get into a flow in the first half, then that suggests he's not fully over his confidence/mental issues. He plays a very important role for us and he needs to be in attack mode at all times.

    That being said, these late game collapses don't help quiet the noise about McHale's overall coaching abilities.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago Harden/Howard for LBJ/Bosh? Win/win for both teams if Miami thinks Lebron will leave. That would make our starting 5

    Bev/Lin
    James
    Parsons
    Bosh
    Asik

    Obviously unrealistic. I like our team as is, but it would be tough to argue that it doesn't make us better.
  • thenit says 11 months ago

    Nobody is untouchable. If the right offer comes in I would ship Harden and Howard in a package deal if a better offer came around.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    People definitely pay too much attention to the wins and losses. We really should pay more attention to whether or not we're improving, and in that aspect there's a lot to be positive about. There are some things to be negative about too, but I think the positives out-weigh the negatives which would definitely be the story here if we got the W.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago Agree, JG. Unless we are getting Lebron/Durant... Lol.

    I think people are speaking up because this resulted in a loss. If it were a win, I'd only be upset because Lin is on my fantasy team.
  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    For the curious, I went and checked some of our favorite 6th man comparisons in regards to how their minutes fluctuate throughout a season. I tried to use seasons at, or around, the same age. What I found is that minutes fluctuate wildly from time to time--what we are looking at is are we more concerned with team success or personal success and how the two are connected?

    MANU

    JACK w/ GSW

    HARDEN

    I'd say most of us are concerned with overall team success (I know. Bold statement, right?) vs. one player's success (or is it perceived happiness?). I believe the 6th man role is crucial to success in the NBA. This means Lin is crucial to the Rockets' success. It does not mean he is more important than the team. The bottom line is he is replaceable. So is Parsons, Beverley, and just about everyone whose last name doesn't start with "H". Jeremy is going to be fine and will continue to be a huge part of our success. Sadly, that will not be enough for many.

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago

    You're a Lin hater? Now everything makes sense!

    Just kidding. Please don't punish me.



    No, I am just not a Lin fanatic. I am a Rockets fan and if Lin were traded I wouldn't care what he was doing just as if Asik, Beverley or Jones were to be traded. I care about Rocket players succeeding. I know it's much easier to call people haters which I find a silly word to use unless you're a rapper than see the actual truth. The actual truth for me is I was a Rockets fan long before Lin and I will be one long after he leaves.
  • wph342711 says 11 months ago

    More or less agree with FSS. It is a byproduct of how we've decided to handle the PG situation. A pattern has emerged - McHale seems to stick with a general rotation of Beverly, Lin, and Harden, with the general presumption that the rotations will be conducted like clock work. However, Bevery and Lin's role in a given game also fluctuate depending on what's going on in that specific game. There have been a few games that Lin stayed in when Beverly would have normally subbed back in, because Lin was playing well and the flow shouldn't be disrupted. Similar situation with last night - things were going really well with the first unit in the first half, so Lin didn't play that much. Then at the end of the game, the collapse happened so quickly that I'm not sure it would make much sense to insert Lin for Beverly, particularly since Lin didn't seem to be on his game. And while you can say Lin wasn't himself, particularly in the second half, because he didn't get a chance to get into a flow in the first half, then that suggests he's not fully over his confidence/mental issues. He plays a very important role for us and he needs to be in attack mode at all times.

    That being said, these late game collapses don't help quiet the noise about McHale's overall coaching abilities.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago

    You're a Lin hater? Now everything makes sense!

    Just kidding. Please don't punish me.


    LOL.

    But I disagree. If he was your typical 6th man, you'd be right. But he's more of a Jack/Manu/Harden/etc... 6th man that is essential to success. He looked passive at times. He needs to learn how to stay heated up the whole game. I think he will be traded anyway as a package deal with Asik. I hope not, though.
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    I have no problem with the way Lin was used last night. He is the sixth man and won't always be a factor in games, that is the nature of his role.

    You're a Lin hater? Now everything makes sense!

    Just kidding. Please don't punish me.

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago

    I have no problem with the way Lin was used last night. He is the sixth man and won't always be a factor in games, that is the nature of his role.

  • metta3311 says 11 months ago

    But I think he is a so so coach.
    ------------------

    I thought Houston lost 5-7 games last season due to really poor rotations by McHale. Seen Houston lose a lot of close games with Lin on bench at the end of games. Not nearly as many with Lin playing. I'd like to see the stats on that- close games W/L with and without Lin closing out games.

  • oyyo says 11 months ago

    Couple of my own Comments:

    1) Felt that McHale's rotations were a little off. Looked like the starters were super tired in the 4th due to mis-management of minutes.

    2) I remember one of the commentators mentioned something about Harden's 3s which I 100% agreed with. Something about, how Harden is doing horrible behind the arc, but he is STILL jacking up 3s at crunch time

    3) Felt that the Lin's minutes were HORRIBLY mismanaged. Yes, he was 0-5? But his assist numbers were good for his minutes, and most of his misses came from last minute shots at the end of the clock. But regardless of his cold shooting, he needs to be able to play it out. If he is truly the 6th man of the team, he needs to play his 30+ minutes. Many people argue that his shot was off, so why play him at all. But please, have you seen other players? Previous games, both Parsons + Harden shot HORRIBLY, and high TOs, but both still played an absurd 35+ minutes per game despite the cold shooting. Why is Lin getting pulled for missing 2 shots? That doesn't make sense to me. The only reason I could see that happening is for defensive purposes (for Bev), but as shown in the 4th quarter, Ben wasn't doing too much against Monte Ellis. So the defense purposes is mute. (heck, in fact, Bev was 1-10 from the field, AND i feel that his defense is a little bit overrated. Yes, I agree he has better on-ball defense, but its not like hes 100x better than Lin in defense)

  • datruth says 11 months ago

    D12 was very good last night, but again it became all about Harden. McHale treatment of Lin is crazy. The reason for starting Beverly was defense, but are we actually better with Beverly on the floor. McHale has no feel for the game, when guys are hot he takes them out and when guys are cold he leaves them in.

  • rm90025 says 11 months ago

    Yesterday was a rude wake up call for Lin. He will not get first team treatment from the coaching staff no matter how well he plays. We saw it all last year and it really hasn't changed. Lin probably decided in his mind yesterday that he will not re-sign with Houston when his contract is up. if I were Harden or Howard, I would go to Lin and tell him that there is no way he should ever have only 5 shots in a game and that as far as they are concerned, he has to look to score no matter how many minutes he gets. As for the Rockets, they're going to have a hard time winning close games if they can't get Harden to take better shots. It's a fixable problem, but the stats from last year and the playoffs show that he is not a good shooter in the last 5 minutes of a game and isn't that good from the field inside the 3 pt line. So I think the onus is on him to get higher percentage shots and drives that will lead to FT attempts. Phil Jackson always demanded a high level of execution in the last 5 minutes. I don't know if McHale has the ability to be that type of commanding presence with his stars.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    I am surprised there isn't more emphasis on how well Howard looked amid all the criticism he had been receiving.

    Thank you for pointing this out, because for the first 3 quarters I had so many positive things to say, and we shouldn't let negatives blind us from positives.

    Positives:

    - Dwight was making quicker decisions than usual, and as a result his post ups were more effective.

    - Dwight showed some impressive passing ability out of the post, and if he keeps improving in this area he could become a real game changer offensively just because it would make everyone around him better.

    - Dwight changed an incredible amount of shots in the paint.

    - The pick and rolls were awesome! It really felt like we could have kept doing that all day and it would have either resulted in a Dwight dunk, a Harden bucket, or a 3 pointer.

    - Everyone is definitely getting better at throwing lobs to Dwight.

    - Casspi broke out of his little funk, he played with great confidence and skill tonight.

    - Are Harden's handles getting better? I feel like they are.

    - Terrence Jones is looking more and more comfortable by the minute, he's playing like he belongs.

    - We have been playing beautiful basketball the past two games. After we tie up some loose ends I can see us really turning the corner and going on a win streak.

    Negatives:

    - Perimeter/rotation defense--guys are sagging off their man to help Dwight when they should be putting more faith in Dwight, especially when Dallas are raining 3's.

    - Penetration defense, mainly in regards to not being able to stay in front of Monta Ellis.

    - Questionable line-up rotations and defensive assignments

    - Not enough Lin. The coach's inconsistency in how he manages Lin's minutes can't be good for Lin's confidence, and I don't think it's good for the Rockets either.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    We are not talking about this one game. We saw same thing last year. How many time we had seen this year?

  • Cooper says 11 months ago Carlisle has won a title coaching, while mchale hasn't done anything of note that's where I assume Carlisle gets more leeway. Either way mchale isn't the one guarding other teams perimeter players that are always lighting it up.
  • Drew in Abilene says 11 months ago

    After all these years, I would love to watch Dirk not get those crazy shots to fall. I know he's a credit to his country, really loyal to his team, one of the greatest foreign players ever, and so on, but I'm really looking forward to him retiring and not playing against him four times a year.

    That being said, I'm with thejohnnygold. I hate to see Houston lose, especially to Dallas, but there were great signs last night. Dwight looked great. He was making strong moves in the post and finishing at the rim. Maybe he read Zach Lowe's piece about how he can't hack it down there anymore and doesn't get to the rim from post moves and decided, "I'll show him!" The Rocket's transition game looked strong, and they pushed the tempo most of the night while limiting turnovers. Sure, Jones can't defend Dirk, but nobody defends Dirk very well, and at least Jones was playing well within the offense.

    Chalk it up to my optimism if you must, but I saw more good than bad last night.

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    I agree that Carlisle has an edge over McHale--I just disagree with how much emphasis is being directed at McHale for the loss. Yeah, our defense looked bad at times, but does anyone here think Dallas isn't going to wind up top 5 in offense by season's end? It seemed pretty clear that once they whiffed on Dwight in the off-season they went a full 180 degree shift and decided, "Screw it! We'll just outscore everybody!" Last night it worked.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago Carlisle is a MUCH MUCH better coach than Mchale, so no there would not have been people calling for his head. I agree that we should not look at last night in a vacuum, but as one game in 82.
  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Also, I don't think anyone has mentioned our very low (for us) total of 11 turnovers.

    Let's curb the knee jerk reactions here. That Frankenstein/McHale photo RBF posted is getting more and more accurate as the villagers assemble with the pitchforks and torches to storm the castle. The Rockets went cold and the Mavs got hot. It happens. Hindsight has little value here and can only serve to help us in future games. The Mavs made a ton of shots from mid-range and from 3 (they only got 36 in the paint the whole game to our 56). They shot 50% from three for the night (11-22).

    If we had won do you think people would have called for Carlisle's head this way? "He just let Dwight do whatever he wanted!" "Marion couldn't contain Parsons--what was he thinking?!?" "Harden just sank back to back threes from 27 feet out! Make an adjustment already!" All of these things happened in the game.

    Guys, I know we don't like losing--especially to Dallas--but let's get a grip. We actually played a pretty good game and let it slip away at the end. If Dallas misses any one of those fourth quarter shots (Dirk was 6-7 with no shots near the rim, Ellis was 3-4 with one at the rim, Marion was 2-2 with 1 - 3 pointer and 1 at the rim, Calderon was 2-2 with a 3 pointer, and Vince Carter was 1-2 on jumpers. That is a combined 14-17 from the field. There were only two other missed shots (both at the rim) so take it to 14-19 and that is still above 75% from the field (and this is before free throws get counted). We got blitzkrieg'd--which is exactly what Dallas is set up to do. Only two shots were made at the rim--the rest were jumpers--mostly from mid-range. Analytics lovers--explain that! :lol: :lol: I'm kidding. See it for what it is--don't panic and point fingers. We missed and they didn't.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago

    I am surprised there isn't more emphasis on how well Howard looked amid all the criticism he had been receiving.


    We lost. If we had won the game we would have talked about him more. However, he manhandled Dallas. He looked pretty good.
  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago I am surprised there isn't more emphasis on how well Howard looked amid all the criticism he had been receiving.
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    I wonder if Casspi would have been a better match-up against Dirk just because he can attack Dirk off the dribble a little better than TJ can. Hell, I would have even tried putting Parsons on Dirk, Harden on Marion, Lin on Ellis--I'm surprised we didn't even try this once last night.

  • pampaus says 11 months ago

    This game looked like Mchale thought it was NBA 2k14 where you can just keep the starters in and turn fatigue settings off.

    -First quarter was great, but we all know its not possible to keep that pace without rotating 8+ players (see: Mike Dantoni offense). Mchale did a poor job of rotating his players in at the right moments, then got frustrated when the second unit went cold and got disorganized and put all the starters back in early (this happened in both 1st and 2nd half).

    In regard to Lin, how does one of your leading scorers only get 17 minutes, and sporadic minutes at that? It was like revolving door minutes last night.

    And did the coaching staff really think Terrence Jones could stop Dirk from being Dirk? There isn't a PF in the league that can stop him when he gets going. Double team!

    D12 and Parsons were great, Beverley was meh, Harden was frustrating as usual.

    TL;DR: Mchale is Hall of Fame player, not Hall of Fame coach

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago But don't tell the players. Brad Stevens tried and his players were confused.
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    I believe that if McHale becomes more receptive to analytics it will improve his rotations and improve him as a coach. I'm sure his rotations will improve on their own after a lot of "experimenting", but the improvements would come faster with the help of analytics, and that's okay with me because the players and chemistry is improving too so when everything comes together it's going to be huge.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    I seriously doubt McHale has something against Lin. That doesn't make any sense and sounds like message board fodder.

    I believe McHale is a good person. He just misused Lin, (TJ in the past).

    Again, I admire and love McHale as a person. He contributed so much to the game, one of the best players in history of basketball and Hall of Famer.

    But I think he is a so so coach. I don't think he can take Rockets to championship. I hope he can prove me wrong.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    Nothing new. All the same as last year.

    McHale stick with the unit that doing well for too long until they started fading or tired. And then he put another unit those sitting on the bench for too long and tough to get into rhythm. I kept saying this since last year, McHale rotation was pretty bad.

    And he has no authority to stop Harden's ISO while game is on line. I have no problem with Harden as primary option and he should be.

    But dribble dribble dribble while all others standing for nothing and chuck a low percentage shot. That must stop.

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago I seriously doubt McHale has something against Lin. That doesn't make any sense and sounds like message board fodder.
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Yeah Lin playing more might have helped but there's no excuse for giving up 123

    If I was McHale I wouldn't have let Harden guard Ellis, that was a disaster waiting to happen. The best match-up for Ellis probably would have been Lin, he would have definitely done a better job of staying in front of Ellis and forcing the bad shots Ellis is known for.

  • datruth says 11 months ago

    This is how McHale treats Lin . Mchale can't wait for a chance to bench this kid. Please just trade this kid,

  • Cooper says 11 months ago Yeah Lin playing more might have helped but there's no excuse for giving up 123
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Wow. Looks like McHale/Sampson want to cap Lin's ceiling.

    How do you give Lin 17 minutes after the way he's been playing?

    Absurd.

    Exactly. And it's not like he was playing Lin then pulled him out because he wasn't playing well, most of those minutes came after Lin was cold from sitting on the bench for too long. Cold and confused, as was I.

  • metta3311 says 11 months ago

    Wow. Looks like McHale/Sampson want to cap Lin's ceiling.

    How do you give Lin 17 minutes after the way he's been playing?

    Absurd.

  • John P says 11 months ago

    Great summary. It pretty much explains it all.

    For 3 quarters this looked like a well oiled machine. The offense was flowing easily and the D wasn't horrible...we were getting occasional stops. But then the wheels came off. Jekyll and Hyde basketball.

    My only additional thought was that two real things are keeping this team from WCF or a Championship (besides the always necessary good luck):
    1) Howard's mental state: last night he played extremely well. Maybe it was because the D on him was lacking, but he looked dialed in, concentrating and playing a great post game (for once). But we have all seen when he isn't dialed in. ...when he is at the free throw line just sitting there in his head "don't miss...don't miss" and of course he misses. I don't know what kind of process he can develop to get out of his head but clearly it is the dominant feature that holds him back.
    2) Defense. And I am not talking about lock down Indiana or SA defense. Just mediocre defense that is there all game. Defense that doesn't disappear. Defense that doesn't leave men wide open over and over again. This is a team problem but Harden is the biggest problem of a problem bunch.

    Until both of these stars fix those problems we are going to be a great team to watch loose the first round of the playoffs.

    The season is still really early but whoever can talk to Harden about committing to D needs to do it. Was he that bad in OKC? Did Durant keep him in line?

    And Howard's mental state...? Who knows. Maybe if he starts having more and more games like this past game, where he dominates...then his confidence will go back up after LA ruined it. Here is hoping for it.

  • PKM says 11 months ago

    I fell asleep right before the game started, woke up at the end of the third quarter, saw that we were up by 14, and decided to just go back to sleep. Looks like that was the right move.

    How was Harden's defense, anyways? I know I wrote in the preview that Ellis would be a big test defensively, but it sounds like from what I've heard that Ellis just went off like he always does against Houston. How much was the former, and how much was Harden's defense?

  • Alituro says 11 months ago

    Our bench lost us the game last night. You can claim that it was due to Harden's clutch time heroics (or lack of), but it was during both bench stints (late1st/early 2nd, and late 3rd/early4th) that the momentum swayed in favor of the Mavs. The 2nd unit defense was miles worse than the 1st unit's and Garcia and Lin were ice cold, and Asik is never much of a threat to score anyway. The only bright spot from our bench play last night was the 5-5 Casspi, but he can't do it all. We were able to regain our momentum after the first bench stint, but due to being the second night of a B2B (with travel) we weren't able to wrestle the momentum back in the second stint. Maybe it's all on McHale for not staggering the rest periods of our starters in the second half rather than pull them all out at once. There is no such thing as a comfortable lead on the 2nd night of a B2B nor is there one against the offensive juggernauts that are Ellis and Nowitski, we should have been better prepared, physically, for that final onslaught, I knew it was coming form the start of the second half. Definitely a learning experience, just hope we can build off of it. Oh, and where was D-mo last night? We definitely could have used his energy and being 7' he may have done a better job thwarting Dirk.

  • SDrake says 11 months ago

    Although the Rockets did many things poorly that lead to the loss, WTF was Harden doing shooting an unnecessary27 footer during the last minute of the game? Does Harden not trust his teammates during the final minutes of games? Or is the "only Harden is allowed to shoot" during the final minute of close games a McHale directive?

    Maybe my memory is being selecive, but I'd love to see a summary of Harden's stats during the final minute of close games for this season and last. My "hopefully selective" memory believes his shooting is horrendous. How many games do the Rockets choke in the final minute because of the "only Harden is allowed to shoot" offense. There's 4 other players. Run an offense and get the other 4 players involved.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    I have been beating this coaching snafu drum for some time. You can blame Harden's ISO, or clutch gene, ball movement, or shot got cold.

    McHale's rotation was absolutely horrible especially last night game. He used Lin as a mop up and Lin never got into rhythm. What a shame.

  • goRockets says 11 months ago

    Rockets scored enough to win this game, even with Lin being cold. I agree that first half he just never got in rhythm, only played like 9 or 10 minutes entire 1st half, also 2nd half. And of the 5 shots he took, most were with no time or little time left on shot clock, basically not great looks. PB was left in the game 4th Q to basically help Harden on defense guarding Ellis, which both failed to do. Rockets could have probably used Lin's dribble penetration down the stretch, but McHale was too worried about Harden's defense, so he kept PB in there. But Rockets have lost all 4 games that PB plays more than 30 minutes, and if you look at those games (except the Philly game), it's mainly because the other teams SGs were torching Harden, so PB is playing defense to cover up Harden's deficiencies.

    But it's still early in the season, hopefully the players and coaches will take note and not play 4th Quarters like this anymore, need to get stops and attack on offense. And stop letting PB take the last shot of a game, he's not that type of clutch player.

  • HazeWinkle says 11 months ago

    Houston's loss to Dallas is an indictment of McHale's coaching philosophy. Anyone could've seen that Houston's lead was fool's gold. Dwight Howard not missing a shot or a FT? Terence Jones, more efficient than James Worthy? Come on! The only reason that lead held up for so long was because of Chandler Parsons' hot shooting (though he only took 10 shots) and Jose Calderon's pretty subpar play. What was missing was the dribble penetration from Harden and Lin. I think the big mistake was not getting Lin into rhythm earlier in the game. In the first half, his minutes were spaced sporadically, and he barely got off the bench until the end of the 3rd quarter. His passing, defense and ball handling were good, but he missed 5 shots and only played 17 minutes (but it felt like he played 10). It would be easy to blame Lin for having a bad game, but isn't it the responsibility of the coaching staff to get the team's most efficient scorer into position to score? They ran maybe 2 plays for him and he got 1 trip to the line out of it. How does someone who has scored so well to start the season only get 5 shots and 17 minutes?

    The Beverley experiment pretty much failed...miserably. He got absolutely torched by Monta Ellis and was not able to score enough on the other end to make him work on defense. It's hard to justify what Beverley did to earn 30+ minutes. The plays he did make were the typical energy/loose ball plays that one usually gets from a bench player. Monta could've put up 30 shots if he had wanted to, but was focused on trying to find a third scorer to help him and Dirk. Stellar game for Ellis. He might've turned the corner in terms of his efficiency and trying to make his teammates better.

    Defensively, does McHale really think that Terence Jones is an upgrade over Asik? Jones is really good finishing near the rim, but defensively he isn't a good fit.

    Lin is no better then beverly lin looked absolutly lost tonight like he didnt know what he was doing and asik cannot finish at the rim. This team is really good on offense but even worse on the defensive side they are bad

  • rm90025 says 11 months ago

    Houston's loss to Dallas is an indictment of McHale's coaching philosophy. Anyone could've seen that Houston's lead was fool's gold. Dwight Howard not missing a shot or a FT? Terence Jones, more efficient than James Worthy? Come on! The only reason that lead held up for so long was because of Chandler Parsons' hot shooting (though he only took 10 shots) and Jose Calderon's pretty subpar play. What was missing was the dribble penetration from Harden and Lin. I think the big mistake was not getting Lin into rhythm earlier in the game. In the first half, his minutes were spaced sporadically, and he barely got off the bench until the end of the 3rd quarter. His passing, defense and ball handling were good, but he missed 5 shots and only played 17 minutes (but it felt like he played 10). It would be easy to blame Lin for having a bad game, but isn't it the responsibility of the coaching staff to get the team's most efficient scorer into position to score? They ran maybe 2 plays for him and he got 1 trip to the line out of it. How does someone who has scored so well to start the season only get 5 shots and 17 minutes?

    The Beverley experiment pretty much failed...miserably. He got absolutely torched by Monta Ellis and was not able to score enough on the other end to make him work on defense. It's hard to justify what Beverley did to earn 30+ minutes. The plays he did make were the typical energy/loose ball plays that one usually gets from a bench player. Monta could've put up 30 shots if he had wanted to, but was focused on trying to find a third scorer to help him and Dirk. Stellar game for Ellis. He might've turned the corner in terms of his efficiency and trying to make his teammates better.

    Defensively, does McHale really think that Terence Jones is an upgrade over Asik? Jones is really good finishing near the rim, but defensively he isn't a good fit.

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