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@  Mario Peña : (13 March 2019 - 08:50 PM) Great to see the good news continues. Morey, Beard and Mike need to stay together.
@  slick shoes : (13 March 2019 - 05:28 PM) Morey is back for another 5 years.
@  Losthief : (13 March 2019 - 07:40 AM) well house is back according to macmahon. I am about 10x less excited about this as i would of been two months ago.
@  thejohnnygold : (04 March 2019 - 03:14 PM) A worthwhile read about Harden and the step-back 3.
@  slick shoes : (22 February 2019 - 09:52 PM) Hopefully playing with some talent will bring back the old form.
@  Mario Peña : (22 February 2019 - 09:32 PM) That’s a good point slick. I watched him (on tv) for a couple games when he was with Erie. He looked good though not as high energy as I remembered him.
@  slick shoes : (22 February 2019 - 05:09 PM) I will be very interested to see how my man T Jones fares this time around. I doubt McFail did much to improve him as a player.
@  Mario Peña : (07 February 2019 - 02:46 AM) We got Schump!
@  slick shoes : (28 January 2019 - 01:47 PM) I really hope AD doesn't land in LA....
@  redfaithful : (24 January 2019 - 01:54 PM) Harden's lead in the scorers board is now 7 pts/game... ridicilous
@  thejohnnygold : (22 January 2019 - 12:01 AM) Faried is intriguing...
@  Mario Peña : (17 January 2019 - 01:17 PM) That game last night was a tough loss but that Nets team was scrappy and hit all those threes at the end. The defensive effort was lacking but these loses happen.
@  slick shoes : (14 January 2019 - 09:21 PM) Clint out for a month!
@  slick shoes : (10 January 2019 - 11:52 PM) I would almost rather shelf CP until after the all star break to keep him fresh for a potential postseason run. Would be nice to get EG back sooner than later though.
@  thejohnnygold : (10 January 2019 - 10:22 PM) This has been a brutal stretch of games and we've handled it about as well as could be hoped for. It will be nice to cruise through a slightly softer part of the schedule for a while.
@  Mario Peña : (08 January 2019 - 07:14 PM) The Rockets smoked those Nuggets last night!
@  Mario Peña : (04 January 2019 - 06:49 AM) MVP!!!
@  redfaithful : (04 January 2019 - 06:44 AM) Wow, great great win
@  thejohnnygold : (03 January 2019 - 02:32 PM) I had to go look that up...then I remembered :)
@  slick shoes : (02 January 2019 - 08:37 PM) I'm with JG on this one. March 29, 1990.

Houston Rockets 106, Cleveland Cavaliers 92: A consistently inconsistent team.


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#1 Guest_Red94_*

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 04:12 AM

New post: Houston Rockets 106, Cleveland Cavaliers 92: A consistently inconsistent team.
By: Paul McGuire

The great plays of Shakespeare are five acts, but while tonight’s victory against Cleveland was a solid victory, it was not exactly the sort of game from which legends are born.  Therefore, only three acts are really needed to describe what transpired tonight.

After an initial 8-2 deficit, Houston’s frontcourt of Terrence Jones and Dwight stormed the paint and overwhelmed Cleveland’s poor defense all the way to a 49-30 lead.  Houston then put on one of those inexplicably poor performances that seizes them from time to time, as they failed to check Cleveland’s perimeter scorers, which let the Cavaliers back in the game and even gave them a 63-61 lead – Dion Waiters in particular had a field day, finishing with 17 first half points on 10 shots.  Having given up the lead, the Rockets emerged from their stupor to once more batter Cleveland into submission.

The three stages can be summed up by one fact: the Cleveland Cavaliers needed 17 minutes to score their first 30 points of the game.  They then needed less than 11 minutes to score the next 30 points, but then needed 18 minutes to reach 90.

  • Houston’s reawakening during the 3rd part, after the Cavaliers had taken the lead, can be partly attributed to just more effort, but Kevin McHale did make an important though surprising substitution.  He yanked Terrence Jones and Chandler Parsons very early in the 3rd quarter to replace them with Donatas Motiejunas and Jeremy Lin.  The fact that it worked in general is not incredibly surprising – Lin helped to get the ball moving in transition, for example.  But it also worked very well on the defensive end.  Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, no doubt aware of Motiejunas’s defensive reputation, or lack thereof, had Tristan Thompson attack Motiejunas repeatedly on the post.  But Motiejunas’s defense is not particularly weak man-to-man; it is in defensive awareness where he struggles.  The result was that Thompson only scored once on Motiejunas in the 3rd quarter.  It could not help but remind me of when Howard was so badly stymied by Andrea Bargnani earlier this season, especially since Bargnani is another European big who is a decent post defender but a miserable help defender.
  • What was also surprising (and a tad worrying) is that after yanking Parsons and Jones from the game, Kevin McHale opted to not play Parsons at all for the rest of the game.  Parsons wasn’t playing great having gone 1-4 from 3, but he wasn’t bad, and McHale does rely on him extensively, as he plays the third highest minutes per game in the league.  Likely this sudden rotation change was to combat Cleveland’s rotation of Jarret Jack and Kyrie Irving simultaneously, so it is a sign of McHale adapting to the situation.  (And no, it does not appear at the time of writing that Parsons was injured, especially since he never went to the locker room.)
  • A special shout-out to Jeremy Lin and the first triple double of his NBA career: 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists (Beverley and Lin, the two point guards, combined for nearly half of Houston’s rebounds).  Like I said earlier, Lin did a very good job of sparking Houston’s offense in transition.  Irving hit jumpers on Lin (and everyone else who guarded him) throughout the night, but Lin answered by running through the paint and making excellent passes to the frontcourt. That is the Lin who can singlehandedly shore up Houston’s weak bench, the Lin I had hoped to see.
  • Also on a more personal note about Lin: I will not deny that many of my columns have been fairly hard on Lin’s performances, especially before this recent stretch of games.  But more than any other Rocket, Lin is the one who I have the highest expectations relative to his play.  Other members of Red94 like Rahat have discussed the possibility of Houston obtaining another max free agent in 2015.  I am at best, skeptical of the idea, which means that if Houston is to become a true contender, most if not nearly all of its improvement must come within the team.  And while Lin is obviously not the best player on the Rockets, he is the one who I think has the best chance to surpass the expectations set out for him.

 


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#2 SDrake

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 04:37 AM

To nitpick...  Start of 2nd paragraph...  Cleveland never had an 8-2 lead.  They had a 6-2 lead.  The Rockets then made it 6-4 before Cleveland then made it 8-4.  But this small error doesn't impact the valid points you're making.

 

About Parsons not coming back into the game...  My wife is of the conspiracy-theory mind and insists it was punishment from McHale for saying that Houston's offense is more balanced when Harden is on the bench (which I agree with).  Houston is at its best when Lin can maximize his minutes with Harden on the bench.


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#3 Buckko

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:45 AM

Crazy stat line by P-Bev 0pts 0 fg% 10 rebounds 8assists 6 steals 1 block.
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#4 Bigtkirk

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:02 PM



SDrake, by virtually any metric, Harden is a top-25 NBA player. By comparison, Lin is average to slightly below-average. And you say Houston is "at its best when Lin can maximize his minutes with Harden on the bench." What is your objective evidence to support such a statement?

FWIW, I didn't take Parsons public comment after the Dallas game as a criticism of Harden. I interpreted it as Parsons saying that the players worked harder offensively when they couldn't rely on Harden and that really shouldn't be the case -- they should work just as hard offensively when they are relying on Harden's offense as they do when they can't.


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#5 SDrake

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:37 PM

SDrake, by virtually any metric, Harden is a top-25 NBA player. By comparison, Lin is average to slightly below-average. And you say Houston is "at its best when Lin can maximize his minutes with Harden on the bench." What is your objective evidence to support such a statement?

 

When Harden is in the game, whoever is playing the other guard position becomes mostly irrelevant in the offense as Harden becomes the center of all ball handling.  Lin is a better offensive player than Beverley and Lin is much better offensive player when he can be aggressive.  Thus, Houston is better when Lin can get more playing time with Harden on the bench with Beverley made irrelevant with Harden on the floor.  I'm saying what many others on here have said all season...  That Lin is best used leading the 2nd team and keeping the offense moving with Harden on the bench.

Yes, I'll agree that Harden is a top-25 player, but he's got many holes in his game (defense, ISO, etc.) that he needs to improve upon if he wants to become a top-10 or top-5 player.  Unless Harden can improve these aspects of his game, the Rockets will continue to be a 1st round playoff exit team.  Harden is too much an individual player than a team player.


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#6 Bigtkirk

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:48 PM



SDrake, every observation you make is subjective. Perhaps its correct. But it's just as likely incorrect. My point is that you need to cite at least some objective criteria to support your position. Otherwise, it lacks substance.


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#7 webattorney

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 03:45 PM

This game, the fact that Lin got many rebounds led to many fast breaks. If coach Mac wants movements, he should tell players to release the ball to Lin every time they rebound the ball. That way, they use the strength of Lin, which is leading fast breaks, and help put movements in the game. Also, this way Lin does not need heavy minutes to be effective.
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#8 Buckko

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

Why do we need to nit pick the harden/lin thing again. They both played excellent, got the W, and I'm happy. Anything else really matter? They're both just getting better.


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#9 rocketrick

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:54 PM

This game, the fact that Lin got many rebounds led to many fast breaks. If coach Mac wants movements, he should tell players to release the ball to Lin every time they rebound the ball. That way, they use the strength of Lin, which is leading fast breaks, and help put movements in the game. Also, this way Lin does not need heavy minutes to be effective.


Actually I am pretty sure that is the gameplan, to outlet the ball to Beverley or Lin. Of course not everytime the Rockets get a defensive rebound leads to a fast break. Often times, the opposing team already has 2-3 guys back ready to defend. So it's a possession by possession situation.
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#10 BrentYen

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:08 AM

We see how effective Lin can be when he get the Def. Rebs himself....He does not have to wait, can immediately running a fast break and put huge pressure to other teams' transition D. I mean It does not hurt for you to do this and if no chance for easy FB score, circle back and give the ball to Harden. Every one touches the ball with the situation that suit them the best.

 

Not sure about the game plan because, often times we see TJ or even Cassipi leading the FB while Lin and Harden were available for leading it. When it works, it looks fantastic, but if I get to chose, I think to let Lin to lead it will give you an overall better result on average. Harden can run with Lin or trailing to be ready for half court sets.


Edited by BrentYen, 03 February 2014 - 07:09 AM.

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Is a big Jeremy Lin fan and was a big ROX fan. More importantly, a huge bball fan in general.


#11 rocketrick

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:18 PM

We see how effective Lin can be when he get the Def. Rebs himself....He does not have to wait, can immediately running a fast break and put huge pressure to other teams' transition D. I mean
 
Not sure about the game plan because, often times we see TJ or even Cassipi leading the FB.


Well,ummmmmmmmm, OK, I admit I don't have the stats.

However................

If someone can prove that TJones AND/OR Casspi (notice either or both) lead more fastbreaks this season than our guards, primarily Beverley and Lin............I will agree to not post on this board for an entire year.

Amazingly, these guys together have missed more than 1/2 the current season.

My proposal stands.

Good luck.

Edited by rocketrick, 03 February 2014 - 02:22 PM.

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#12 Richards

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:51 PM

Lin/Bev combination was so deadly. We saw them in preseason and early in the season. No they both health and running on all cylinders.

 

I see coach McHale play Beard the whole first quarter and run Lin/Bev most of second quarter.


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#13 Mario Peña

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:15 PM

“I just thought Jeremy Lin and (Donatas Motiejunas) were playing really well,” McHale said. “I hope to have more guys back soon and we can distribute those minutes more.”


A quote by Coach McHale about how he wants to spread playing time and get players rested. I have taken many criticisms of the coaching staff and players thus far with a grain of salt because there have been so many injuries. Patience everyone, these Morey and McHale guys know a couple things about basketball.
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#14 BrentYen

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:19 PM

Well,ummmmmmmmm, OK, I admit I don't have the stats.However................If someone can prove that TJones AND/OR Casspi (notice either or both) lead more fastbreaks this season than our guards, primarily Beverley and Lin............I will agree to not post on this board for an entire year.Amazingly, these guys together have missed more than 1/2 the current season.My proposal stands.Good luck.


Haha, I did not mean they actually leads more fast breaks (which is not true I think.), just saying there were times that they lead it while our guard were available. IF it was game planed like you said, they probably would find Lin, PB or Harden 1st in those situations, but they did not.
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#15 Mario Peña

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:50 PM

I would just off the top of my head think considering the pace the Rockets strive for it's probably not possible to just put that on Beverley and Lin. I would imagine that if the guy has handles the directive is to push it forward. That there are 6 or 7 guys in the rotation that can push the pace is highly desirable in the offensive system Morey and McHale are building. If you think about it a considerable number of these players weren't here last year or were not in the rotation. I think they just need time and next year they will be better.
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#16 BrentYen

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:22 PM

Yep, i think this is the actual game plan, to have guys the push for fast breaks when there are chances. Just saying I don think the game plan is to always pass to Lin or PB.
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#17 Mario Peña

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:48 PM

Right I agree BrentYen. I think if you isolate each point of attack then having Lin and Harden might yield the best results but when looking at the big picture and you take into account relentlessly pushing the ball by even the power forward then over time you will have hopefully worn down the opposing teams defense and hopefully their will to win as well.
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