Houston Rockets 100, Memphis Grizzlies 92: A Win. Somehow.

Sometimes, a contending team doesn’t show how great it is by winning on a last second clutch shot.  It doesn’t show how great it is even by blowing out the other team.  Instead, the Rockets showed their contending ability and talent…by winning against the Memphis Grizzlies despite playing like garbage for the vast majority of the game.

The Rockets started off decently, finishing the first quarter with a 26-23 lead, but even then the problems which would be apparent for the next two quarters showed themselves.  Houston is one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the league, while Memphis is one of the best offensive rebounding teams.  During the second quarter, with Howard in continual foul trouble, the Grizzlies dominated the Rockets on the boards so badly that at one point in the second quarter, Memphis had as many offensive rebounds as the Rockets had TOTAL rebounds.  The lead expanded to 63-50 early in the 3rd quarter, and with Houston utterly unable to make 3’s, Howard neutralized by foul trouble, and Harden totally dependent on free throws, one couldn’t help but think the game was already over.

But just like the last game against Memphis, the Rockets rallied big in the fourth quarter, behind the efforts of Jeremy Lin and Donatas Motiejunas.  Motiejunas was called in the second quarter out of a desperate attempt to stop Memphis’s rebounding, and while he promptly gave up a 3 point play on his first defensive possession, he played well enough to get back on the court.  But during the 3rd and 4th quarter, Motiejunas and the Rockets as a whole actually played defense.  The Rockets swarmed Zach Randolph in the post, and Memphis lacked the offensive firepower to score afterwards, while Jeremy Lin erupted for 14 points in the 4th quarter.  The Rockets could not rebound, their stars couldn’t make shots, and they couldn’t hit a three, but they played well enough with their talent to beat a hobbled Grizzlies squad.

  • Terrence Jones singlehandedly kept the Rockets in the game for the first three quarters.  He made his first 5 shots, ran the floor, and at times really was the only Rocket capable of scoring at all.  He finished with 20 points on 14 shots, but surprisingly did not play at all during the 4th quarter, perhaps due to the fact that he did struggle defending Randolph, something which the taller Motiejunas did a better job at.
  • In just the latest story in the continuing injury saga, Aaron Brooks went to the locker room late in the 3rd quarter with a sprained ankle.  Brooks did come onto the bench later and indicated that he was willing to play, but Lin’s excellent play down the stretch precluded the need for that.  At this rate, Earl Boykins should start preparing to warm up.
  • TNT stated that James Harden is the first player since Charles Barkley to score 25 points while making 2 or fewer field goals, which sort of speaks for Harden’s performance in and of itself.  Free throws.  Lots and lots of free throws.  More free throws, in fact, than the Grizzlies as a team.  Memphis was clearly visibly frustrated with the free throws and their inability to score late in the game, and reacted by launching some hard fouls at Parsons and Lin, picking up a late technical foul, and prolonging the game with fouls longer than was reasonable.

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Total comments: 41
  • Chai says 6 months ago

    ^ Indeed. I believe having the players believe in the coach is more important than the X and Os they can draw on the board. I think McHale does an excellent job acting as a mentor to our young players with his Hof pedigree as well as breaking down the advanced stats from the front office for the players.

  • Cooper says 6 months ago While I'm not super impressed with mchales coaching resume. The players seem to like him and their winning games so there isn't anything to complain about. Coaching as a whole in the nba is a little overrated. Anyone could coach the heat and they are still a 3 seed at worst this year.
  • Chai says 6 months ago

    I too don't understand the hate against McHale. Sure he's not on the same level as Popovich, but I'd take McHale over at least half of the leagues head coaches anyday.

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    The McHale doesn't play/trust young guys myth is so strange to me. How do people support this notion in their minds? By declaring it is a fact over the internet?

    Parsons, Beverley, and Lin all saw significant playing time early on. In Minny, there were some young guys named Love, Brewer, and Foye that got some run under McHale as well.

    AlphaBeta, the Rockets intentionally avoid "set plays" as a strategy that starts with Morey and trickles down to the coaches and the players. They have all embraced it. It's fine if you disagree with the strategy, but to point to it as a sign of McHale's inability to coach is a fallacy.

    Over-playing guys?....I'm sure if Harden went to the coach and said, "Man, look at my feet. I can't go 44 minutes tonight, coach." McHale would listen. He's not a sadist. Besides, none of us know what his feet looked like before...for all we know he was born with feet looking like that! :lol:

    By the way, Harden is averaging 38.8 mpg so far. The last few games have been higher, but we're a little thin right now at the 2 guard.

  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    Hey, I'm just calling it as it is. Mchale doesn't play/trust young guys. That's fact. He has no set plays. Fact. He pulls the trigger on Jones and Lin a lot faster than the other 3 starters. Fact. Not sure which games you're watching.
    Sidenote: You see his irritation every time he's asked about Lin, either because he's sick of being asked about him or he never believed in the hype and doesn't think so many questions should be about him? Rarely praises him as well. He has no problem talking about Harden though. Not sure what it is but a simple eyeball test reveals much. Hell, even the people that actually attend games confirm there is often some friction/tension at one point or another.
    You seem to think games are only won and lost due to the coach. If that was the case, New Orleans would be winning a lot more. Monty is a good coach. Rockets have gotten to 5th seed in spite of Mchale, based on their talent alone. No set plays remember? They've already lost several games they should've won due to poor-decision making by Mchale. I don't know why that slipped your mind.
    Yet another reason Mchale is a poor coach - playing your "superstar" 44 minutes a night (also Parsons) is a smart thing to do, right? And you wonder why Harden has chronic injuries like bad ankles, swollen feet, bad knees and Parsons has spasms. It's not rocket science.


    I guess Terrance Jones isn't a young player. That's why McHale plays him, because he's not a young player. McHale left Motiejunas in the Memphis game rather than substitute back in D12. I guess Motiejunas isn't a young player, either. Harden is young, Lin is young, Parsons is young. Doesn't seem to matter. Because apparently I'm watching the wrong games as McHale doesn't play his young guys.

    I attend all the Rockets games. I have seen very, very few instances where McHale pulled TJones and Lin sooner than usual, and deservedly so. Even those players would agree I'm sure if asked.

    I believe you are imagining that there are issues between Coach McHale and the players. However, there is 0, nada reports of dissatisfied Rockets players since the start of the regular season.

    If you've read all the forums on this board you would see many instances where I credit the players and blame the players, moreso than Coach McHale. So I'm not sure where you are going with your impression that I am crediting McHale for all the wins.

    Yes, the Rockets have lost several games that they should have won. Every NBA team has this year and every year before this season and every year after this season. That's the way it works in the NBA. It's a long, 82-game grind and the players are not always going to be at their very best each and every time out.

    I agree that when possible, it would be great to rest the starters. However, when the bench is shooting a bunch of blanks and seeing double figure point leads vanish in a short period of time, Coach McHale has no choice but to put his starters back on the floor sooner than he would like. I have noticed he seems to prefer to do this one player at a time to see if that is good enough to stop the bleeding to allow other guys to rest. Same thing in the 4th quarter.

    On one hand, we want the Rockets to achieve a high seed. On the other hand, we want Coach McHale to rest the starters more. Sometimes it's simply not possible to achieve both goals in the same game.

    Lastly, anyone who calls Coach McHale a "poor" coach simply doesn't have a clue in my opinion. It's OK if you don't like McHale, but just to make something up by claiming he's a "poor" coach when the results clearly indicate something else is ludicrous. In addition, it is quite clear and evident that the entire Rockets roster (exception Asik of course for his selfish reasons) absolutely enjoy playing for Coach McHale and for each other.

    That is why I enjoy going to all the Rockets games. These guys and their coach get it. It's a pleasure watching them grow together in such a short period of time.
  • AlphaBeta says 6 months ago

    Yet somehow (I guess by a miracle based on the tone of this fan), the Rockets have the 5th-6th best record in the NBA this season. This is even after suffering from more players out with injury to this point in this season in comparison to the entirety of last season.

    Rather than praise the Rockets and coaching staff for getting the Rockets to succeed at a much higher rate than last season even with all the injuries not to mention the Asik drama, etc., there are fans that just aren't impressed enough to think of even one positive comment to make when they post.

    Oh well, just can't please everybody.

    Hey, I'm just calling it as it is. Mchale doesn't play/trust young guys. That's fact. He has no set plays. Fact. He pulls the trigger on Jones and Lin a lot faster than the other 3 starters. Fact. Not sure which games you're watching.

    Sidenote: You see his irritation every time he's asked about Lin, either because he's sick of being asked about him or he never believed in the hype and doesn't think so many questions should be about him? Rarely praises him as well. He has no problem talking about Harden though. Not sure what it is but a simple eyeball test reveals much. Hell, even the people that actually attend games confirm there is often some friction/tension at one point or another.

    You seem to think games are only won and lost due to the coach. If that was the case, New Orleans would be winning a lot more. Monty is a good coach. Rockets have gotten to 5th seed in spite of Mchale, based on their talent alone. No set plays remember? They've already lost several games they should've won due to poor-decision making by Mchale. I don't know why that slipped your mind.

    Yet another reason Mchale is a poor coach - playing your "superstar" 44 minutes a night (also Parsons) is a smart thing to do, right? And you wonder why Harden has chronic injuries like bad ankles, swollen feet, bad knees and Parsons has spasms. It's not rocket science.

  • thenit says 6 months ago Both players minutes are low in terms of nba experience. I think Bev is more seasoned on the sense that he played pro level while Lin was in college and riding the pine. They are both very inexperience and different type of player. I like them both and what they bring to the table.
  • RudyT1995 says 6 months ago

    Those 2 years in a Russian top tier league are nothing to scoff at, he dominated the league and won MVP honors. Regardless of whether or not it's in the NBA, experience is experience. Lin on the other hand spent those years warming benches. I don't see the overstatement.

    Even if I was to agree with you that European experience doesn't matter, which I don't, it's still clear as day that Beverley has the composure of a veteran. Lin has the composure of a rookie or sophomore.

    I'm not scoffing at his time in Russia. Just putting it in perspective. Beverley's entire 2012 Eurocup MVP campaign (regular season and tournament) consisted of fewer games than Lin's Linsanity run which happened the same year. Also, Eurocup is a tier below Euroleague, the top tier of competition in Europe. I guess being in a top tier league in Russia doesn't automatically put you in the top tier in Euroleague.

    One more stat to put things in perspective since you tried to discount the extra games that Lin has played in the NBA as spent "warming benches". Beverley has played about 1500 minutes in the NBA, Lin has about 4500 minutes played in the NBA. Lin has 3X the NBA experience that Beverley has in terms of playing time.

    You can blame Lin's erratic play on a lot of things, but you would be wrong to blame it on inexperience. That cannot be used as an excuse.

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    You overstate Beverley's experience.

    Beverley played four years in Europe. 1 year in a Russian second tier league, 1 year as a bench warmer in Greece, and 2 years in a Russian top tier league which had 10 teams total and an 18 game season.

    Lin and Beverly are the same age. Lin has 2 more years of college experience than Beverley. Lin has played in 100 more NBA games than Beverley.

    Those 2 years in a Russian top tier league are nothing to scoff at, he dominated the league and won MVP honors. Regardless of whether or not it's in the NBA, experience is experience. Lin on the other hand spent those years warming benches. I don't see the overstatement.

    Even if I was to agree with you that European experience doesn't matter, which I don't, it's still clear as day that Beverley has the composure of a veteran. Lin is still mistake-prone like a rookie or sophomore.

  • RudyT1995 says 6 months ago

    I believe the main reason McHale feels more comfortable with Beverley is because McHale prefers veterans, and Beverley's experience in Europe gives him a significant edge over Lin. Hopefully Lin cuts down on the bad decisions and earns McHale's trust over the next several weeks.

    You overstate Beverley's experience.

    Beverley played four years in Europe. 1 year in a Russian second tier league, 1 year as a bench warmer in Greece, and 2 years in a Russian top tier league which had 10 teams total and an 18 game season.

    Lin and Beverly are the same age. Lin has 2 more years of college experience than Beverley. Lin has played in 100 more NBA games than Beverley.

  • Drew in Abilene says 6 months ago

    I attended this game as my first ever to see live, and I was not disappointed! I loved getting to watch the entire spectacle. It was fun watching Motiejunas play strong against Randolph and to see a couple of circus moves from Lin. Phenomenal game to watch in person.

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    Lin should start but come out early (5 minute mark), then come back in with the 2nd unit (when Harden comes out).

    I believe the main reason McHale feels more comfortable with Beverley is because McHale prefers veterans, and Beverley's experience in Europe gives him a significant edge over Lin. Hopefully Lin cuts down on the bad decisions and earns McHale's trust over the next several weeks.

  • thenit says 6 months ago I think bev starting and Lin as a 6th man is optimal. I would like Bevs minutes to go down to 26or so because then he doesn't have to worry about fouling out and can go all out as he did last year. So far he has to pace himself or worry about fouls hence taking away his biggest asset the aggressive man on man D.

    One big difference is the way Lin can push the tempo after a rebound and we get a fast break easy points or foul called on our opponents. That's the biggest difference when Lin starts instead of bev. Just an obversation.

    I like that whoever is hot finish the game or depending on if we need offence or defence if we only could merge them into one we would have amazing PG.
  • linonlyfan says 6 months ago

    I actually think coaches are doing a great job. The team hasn't had much chance to see the full roster available but the gameplan is clearly evolving and the team is doing some things on offense that are excellent. Anyone who says Dwight has no post game now is referencing his 2 month ago Philly performance. Given McHale and Lins reactions to his blown 3 point defense I'm pretty sure they are not teaching help one pass away.

    When Lin got back from injury one entry pass he almost spoiled by cutting slow away from the post up and leading his man right into Dwight as he made his move. Bailed there by a foul call. This is something the rest of the group doesn't do as they have more reps now and Beverley and Parsons have gotten easy scores from their hard post entry pass cuts. Parsons in particular is a terrific cutter as well from the weakside.

    I think now that the 2 man strongside post initiation game is working, the coaches will need to figure out if the want wrinkles on the weakside spacing. Mchale actually called a great play 2 games or so ago to get Lin a open corner 3 with Jones setting a back screen and the ball coming from the top of a post threat offense. Im pretty sure over time the team will instinctively start to do more of this. Setting weakside screens / movement isn't the most intuitive thing for players to learn but is a hallmark of all excellent offenses.

    Actually have to give credit to McHale for using this layered approach. The team seems to be progressing steadily as opposed to being overloaded with information. Its also important to realise the team is fundamentally flawed with Asik not playing as there is really no viable alternative at center without Dwight. Hopefully D-Mo also starts to figure this out a bit more. In some way the Memphis game is extremely encouraging as they somehow found their identity in the 4th to take the game with what looked like very little required intervention from McHale.

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    I was really hoping the rotation this season would be like this at the guard spot, and something similar at the 5 with Asik. Alas, that ship appears to have sailed. I'd love to see Harden, Parsons, and Howard all closer to the 32mpg mark than the 39mpg mark, and I still think we have the personnel for it, but the injury bug has bitten us fairly hard.

    Yeah, the season is early and I think the coaching staff is still working out who to play and when. The injuries have delayed that for sure.

    I haven't looked at everyone's minutes from game to game, but Lin and Bev (when healthy) seemed to be getting the "hot hand" treatment as their minutes fluctuated back and forth from game to game. Maybe it was foul trouble that caused it--I don't know. Some people think this is bad because the players won't know their roles from game to game. I can see that perspective, but I disagree with it being a problem.

    Getting back to Bev and Lin, I think that by season's end their minutes will look similar to what they are now with the only difference being Lin will have a few minute advantage over Bev.

    Also, I've seen quite a few posts about Lin "besting" another top point guard (Mike Conley). I guess that can be said because Lin came through in the clutch (which is important), but Conley did have an all-around better game with more assists, fewer turnovers, and some steals to go along with a similar scoring line. I'd call it a draw.

  • BenQueens says 6 months ago

    Lin averages 30 mpg and Bev averages 31 (partially because he had to play more while Lin was hurt so his average is slightly higher).

    I was really hoping the rotation this season would be like this at the guard spot, and something similar at the 5 with Asik. Alas, that ship appears to have sailed. I'd love to see Harden, Parsons, and Howard all closer to the 32mpg mark than the 39mpg mark, and I still think we have the personnel for it, but the injury bug has bitten us fairly hard.

  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    These types of wins are very important. Big guy in foul trouble, no one can hit a shot, but defensive intensity and free throws down the stretch lead to a win? Sounds like a playoff game. Need to get Parsons and Harden more rest over the course of the season, though. They may be 25, but 44 minutes is a ton of minutes.


    No doubt, Coach McHale and the Rockets realize the importance of rest during the long marathon that the NBA regular season is. However, when the team is shorthanded and is struggling to win at home, the last thing Coach McHale and the Rockets are thinking about is resting anyone as it should be.

    Let's hope the Rockets can put together a nice string of games where they are fully healthy and can afford to sit the starters a few extra minutes.
  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    Objectively speaking, Mchale isn't a good coach. He often makes baffling substitutions and apparently there are no set plays? What? I'd say he's improved from last year and it is pretty difficult dealing with a constantly shuffling roster that Morey hands him. Overall he's not good for a young team. You can see this from his refusal to play 1st year players and placing great trust in "superstars" even if they're having terrible games. Playing the hot hand per game sounds great until you see that Harden is still in the game with one of his 3-15 games.
    I find it strange that he and Harden seem somehow above criticism while Lin is fair game. Let everyone be praised/criticized equally. This untouchable status that fans give to players is pretty dangerous thinking. Mchale gives Lin a very short leash - whether it's a poor decision for a steal, poor shooting or whatever. It's tough for players to develop when you're constantly yanked around. I don't know why that's so difficult for people to grasp. His so-so 2012-13 year reflects his uncertainty and the changes to that role. This is of course glossed over.
    Harden - runs too many iso plays, shoots the ball too often especially when he has a bad shooting game instead of facilitating. Head-scratcher. TO problem. He needs to stop holding the ball for 22 seconds and passing at the last minute expecting something to happen.
    Lin - overhelps on defense way too much which leaves his man open for the 3 or shot at the rim. TO's are a problem.
    Howard - needs a real post game. Semi-TO problem. He needs to stop blaming anyone and everyone else around him on the court if things don't go a certain way. Look at yourself for once.

    Not that hard to pick apart a player....just don't overly criticize one player and over-praise another. That's just stupid.


    Yet somehow (I guess by a miracle based on the tone of this fan), the Rockets have the 5th-6th best record in the NBA this season. This is even after suffering from more players out with injury to this point in this season in comparison to the entirety of last season.

    Rather than praise the Rockets and coaching staff for getting the Rockets to succeed at a much higher rate than last season even with all the injuries not to mention the Asik drama, etc., there are fans that just aren't impressed enough to think of even one positive comment to make when they post.

    Oh well, just can't please everybody.
  • AlphaBeta says 6 months ago

    Objectively speaking, Mchale isn't a good coach. He often makes baffling substitutions and apparently there are no set plays? What? I'd say he's improved from last year and it is pretty difficult dealing with a constantly shuffling roster that Morey hands him. Overall he's not good for a young team. You can see this from his refusal to play 1st year players and placing great trust in "superstars" even if they're having terrible games. Playing the hot hand per game sounds great until you see that Harden is still in the game with one of his 3-15 games.

    I find it strange that he and Harden seem somehow above criticism while Lin is fair game. Let everyone be praised/criticized equally. This untouchable status that fans give to players is pretty dangerous thinking. Mchale gives Lin a very short leash - whether it's a poor decision for a steal, poor shooting or whatever. It's tough for players to develop when you're constantly yanked around. I don't know why that's so difficult for people to grasp. His so-so 2012-13 year reflects his uncertainty and the changes to that role. This is of course glossed over.

    Harden - runs too many iso plays, shoots the ball too often especially when he has a bad shooting game instead of facilitating. Head-scratcher. TO problem. He needs to stop holding the ball for 22 seconds and passing at the last minute expecting something to happen.

    Lin - overhelps on defense way too much which leaves his man open for the 3 or shot at the rim. TO's are a problem.

    Howard - needs a real post game. Semi-TO problem. He needs to stop blaming anyone and everyone else around him on the court if things don't go a certain way. Look at yourself for once.

    Not that hard to pick apart a player....just don't overly criticize one player and over-praise another. That's just stupid.

  • feelingsupersonic says 6 months ago I am going to second what Johnny is saying. To be clear this is a Rockets forum and turning perfectly good topics into Jeremy Lin related gossip will be strongly discouraged at every turn. This topic is about the Memphis game so carry on.

    If anyone wants to dramatically discuss the plight of Jeremy Lin I suggest going to one of those Lin forums, thank you.
  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    To Johnny Gold. First you need to know I love the game of basketball. I don't like it when someone tries to speak for me. If you have doubts ask me a questions don't speak for me.I was happy that McHale allowed Lin to play through a tough game, but in the past that hasn't always been the case. So for you to make LOF's seem little, because they was happy that the kid was given a chance is crazy. Don't worry this is the last time I post on this site.

    I have no doubts. You confirmed exactly what I thought.

    I don't mean to make LOF's seem little (I did compliment some of them in that same post). I would like to curb the propagation of false information on a website for the Houston Rockets. Not a single, credible source has ever been produced to validate the persecution of Jeremy Lin; yet, I have to read about it every day. As a moderator, part of my job is to make sure the information brought to this website is true and accurate. I treat all unsubstantiated information the same regardless of who it pertains to.

    This is not to say that hearsay and rumor cannot be discussed, but it should be acknowledged as such. It is important to maintain the credibility of this website in regards to its journalistic function and integrity.

    If this is indeed your last post I wish you well and I hope you find another forum that makes you happy.

  • datruth says 6 months ago

    To Johnny Gold. First you need to know I love the game of basketball. I don't like it when someone tries to speak for me. If you have doubts ask me a questions don't speak for me.I was happy that McHale allowed Lin to play through a tough game, but in the past that hasn't always been the case. So for you to make LOF's seem little, because they was happy that the kid was given a chance is crazy. Don't worry this is the last time I post on this site.

  • thenit says 6 months ago

    Glad to see McHale allowed Lin to play through a tough game..

    he had no choice usually Lin wouldn't have checked in with 7min to go. But ab got hurt end of third and Lin started off strong so he let him stay on.
  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    Overall, definitely not his best effort. But I think some love is understandable given that all his production came in the 4th quarter of a come-from-behind victory...

    4Q: 14 pts (3/6, 2/2 3pt), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 turnovers, draws 3 fouls, commits 2 fouls
    1-3Q: 4 pts (2/7, 0/2), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, drew 0 fouls, commits 1 foul
    His first half was really dismal, but we needed that production in the 4th.

    I agree. I'm not against Lin at all and don't mind when he has a bad game (or 3/4 of a game)--that happens to every player.

    I was raining on the parade because of statements like the following that I read in response to last night's game:

    "For the second game in a row against a quality opponent, McHale had no choice but to trust Lin..."

    "Glad to see McHale allowed Lin to play through a tough game.."

    I am tired of the LOF-fueled "McHale is holding Lin back" story. Lin averages 30 mpg and Bev averages 31 (partially because he had to play more while Lin was hurt so his average is slightly higher). Lin's usg% is higher than last season and that's with the addition of Dwight Howard. Lin has been entrusted to lead the team without other "stars" around him for support. Yup, totally persecuted. The bottom line is it doesn't matter how many times someone repeats something--it doesn't make it true...unless it's on the internet!

    In fairness, there were two posts above from LOF's that were objective and weren't pushing any of that persecution agenda. Kudos to you guys!

  • Richards says 6 months ago

    Abysmal performance in first 3 quarters and responded very well in fourth. That said he has tenacity to fight back and help to win game. That is a very rare quality.

  • BenQueens says 6 months ago

    I'm going to come in and rain a little on this Lin Love Fest.

    5-13 from the field (2-4 from three), 2 assists, 4 turnovers. But he did make 6-6 free throws...so he's got that going for him.

    Overall, definitely not his best effort. But I think some love is understandable given that all his production came in the 4th quarter of a come-from-behind victory...

    4Q: 14 pts (3/6, 2/2 3pt), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 turnovers, draws 3 fouls, commits 2 fouls
    1-3Q: 4 pts (2/7, 0/2), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, drew 0 fouls, commits 1 foul
    His first half was really dismal, but we needed that production in the 4th.
  • QGthree says 6 months ago

    I don't think anyone has had a particularly special night against Lin this year, except maybe Chris Paul. As for drifting off of 3-point shooters, was I the only one that saw that Dirk won the game, and that nobody could guard him without help? Can Calderon make 3-pointers? Sure. But it's not like Lin can't guard Calderon, lol. He held him to 0 for 11 or something early this season. Dirk was killing. That's pretty much the whole story every time he drifts from a 3 point shooter.

    If you watch Harden, on the other hand, he's just lost in the paint trying to get one of Dwight's rebounds.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    What I am saying was just, he did his part on D. And indeed that means nothing special happened from him.

  • linonlyfan says 6 months ago

    Also imagine if the game was called more rough and tumble style. We can only hope Howard can still tear apart defences because Harden sure ain't getting to the line in a game where no blood no foul as per some playoff games.

  • linonlyfan says 6 months ago

    I didn't see anything outstanding that Lin did on the defensive end in this game unlike the Spurs game where the block on Parker at the rim had a clear effect on Parker's confidence. I think that was generally a Grizzly brickfest with no good shooters to expose Lin's still shaky 3 point defense. Lin sure made McHale mad on that overcommit on James Johnson, and rightly so. He did get called for a blocking foul on Conley that I thought was just good defense in the 4th. Even the 2 great defensive rebounds came from him drifting away from his man at the late stage of the play to get into rebound position, appropriate against Conley and Tony Allen, less so against Calderon, Danny Green or Ray Allen.

    Not sure about love fest, that was a nasty game to see for 3 quarters despite the end results. I think in some way the refs did get into the grizzlies head more than the rockets, because the way the game was called just neutralised their hacky defense (and got Dwight completely ineffective as well). Good to see Harden attacking the Grizz defense though, something he seemed to shy away from last year and still does against Paul George. Somehow this team has to learn that when shots aren't falling, please be solid on defense and not look for the home run type steal play.

    Thinking about it, i think there is a high chance that if Bev was available the final unit would still have featured Parsons Bev Harden and Lin which was the 4th quarter lineup McHale had mostly been going with before the injuries. This is despite the horrid 3 quarter line that Lin was putting up. Take out the 4th quarter production we are looking at 2-7 fg, 0-2 3pt, 0-0 ft, 4pts, 1 reb, 4 to over the first 3 quarters. How bad does that look???

    At end of day all the critical thing Lin is lacking is consistency on both ends. He can defend, and he can contribute on the offensive end. The inconsistency is what drives coaches nuts. Sort that and the conversation will be different. Can he win a 4th quarter ala prime Derek Fisher? He probably has better physical ability but is lacking that eye of tiger killer instinct (which you saw on Parsons as he nailed that banker to extend the 4th quarter lead). Can he win a 4th quarter ala Lebron/Kobe/Harden? Not a valid conversation at this time, and may never be but well, thats kinda what H and H get the big bucks for.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    ^ He also held Conley to 4-14 shooting for 11 points... Just saying

    I guess most ppl would say Conley held Conley to 4-14 shooting. Anyway, Lin did his part in that regard. :rolleyes:

  • Chai says 6 months ago

    ^ He also held Conley to 4-14 shooting for 11 points... Just saying

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    I'm going to come in and rain a little on this Lin Love Fest.

    5-13 from the field (2-4 from three), 2 assists, 4 turnovers. But he did make 6-6 free throws...so he's got that going for him.

    I do love the melodramatic digs at McHale--it really helps build the underdog overcomes persecution storyline.

    I just don't have the words...I'll let Bill and Robert express my feelings...

    eyeroll-o.gif1081.gif

  • Buckko says 6 months ago

    Demo surprised me.

  • Buckko says 6 months ago

    How come no one came up with the idea to cut Brewer and sign James Johnson, we complain about wing depth, there went a really athletic all around good player go to waste. I wish there were RFA rules for D-league teams.

  • linonlyfan says 6 months ago

    Lin started so bad even I would have sat him if I had a choice. But actually the whole team looked tired (except T Jones) and again somehow Lin's mistakes just look worse than others. That steal attempt on James Johnson that got the angry McHale timeout was just unforgivable. Again have no stats to back it up, but Lin's stride turnover on fast breaks looked about 10-20% slower than vs the Spurs and goodness did he look gassed in the 4th whenever a timeout was called.

    Conley gave him a clear example of how to help and recover off a 3 point shooter one pass away in the 4th, but only after Lin drained 2 crucial 3's. Those 3's looked great, Harden clearly looking for him on a drive and Lin clearly ready to shoot.

    Man a healthy and committed Asik and we would have totally put the game away sometime in the 2nd or 3rd. Big Turk, please come back, the team here has as good a shot as the 2011 Bulls to contend. And don't worry about the next contract, if you are featuring on a contending team you WILL get paid.

  • rm90025 says 7 months ago

    For the second game in a row against a quality opponent, McHale had no choice but to trust Lin, told him exactly what he wanted from him, and got more in return. I think one aspect of his game that even Lin's supporters have not picked up on is how often he is asked to bail his team out of bad possessions with 7 or fewer seconds on the shot clock and how effective he is at scoring, getting to the line or getting a shot up at the rim that allows his defense a chance to reset. He is taking a lot of shots that are normally reserved for the elite players and is remarkably skillful and efficient in his execution.

  • datruth says 7 months ago

    Glad to see McHale allowed Lin to play through a tough game..

  • SadLakerFan says 7 months ago These types of wins are very important. Big guy in foul trouble, no one can hit a shot, but defensive intensity and free throws down the stretch lead to a win? Sounds like a playoff game. Need to get Parsons and Harden more rest over the course of the season, though. They may be 25, but 44 minutes is a ton of minutes.
  • MrLobble says 7 months ago

    I disagree somewhat, Jeby... I'm the biggest Rockets' fan in the world, but I'm willing to admit that the refs were very generous to us in the 2nd half.

  • Jeby says 7 months ago

    Memphis' frustration with the refs is kind of understandable when you see Harden's line, but if you saw each of those foul calls, there's nothing to complain about. He beat his man and then got clobbered in the paint almost every time. It's not like the calls for Dirk, Kobe, or older MJ where he shoots a bunch of fadeaways and then gets a bunch of ticky-tack fouls called.