Houston Rockets 116, Indiana Pacers 96: A team offense leads to victory.

Saturday’s game against New Orleans, while a defeat, showed the potential of Houston’s starters as they manhandled New Orleans’s starters for most of the game.  But it’s one thing to dominate New Orleans.  It’s another thing to beat Indiana’s starters, who challenged the Miami Heat to 7 games last year despite a below-average bench at that time.  Two of Houston’s starters were different in this game as Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones started in place of Jeremy Lin and Donatas Motiejunas, but once again the Rockets prevailed against Indiana’s best lineup for most of the game, and unlike the previous game where Houston’s bench collapsed against New Orleans’s bench in the fourth quarter, Lin led the Rockets to hold on at the end and secure their first preseason victory.

  • Anyone who wants to make the starting lineup change as a sign of something permanent should, to put it quite bluntly, take a chill pill and remind themselves that it is preseason.  That aside, there were some positives that appeared as a result.  Jones did a relatively better job at defending David West, a long time Rocket killer, than Motiejunas, though West still had a good game with 12 points on 9 shots.  Lin also had the opportunity to play floor general as the leader of the Houston bench, and thus helped stabilize the 4th quarter unit when Indiana went on a run at the start and came within 5 points.  Against New Orleans, a lack of a scoring option at the end caused Houston to stagnate, and Lin’s presence prevented that from occurring again.
  • Motiejunas definitely played better in tonight’s game.  His post moves actually resulted in made shots and he used his speed to grab easy points on the fast break.  There was a moment during the second quarter where he fell very awkwardly after racing for a fast break dunk, and for a second I seriously believed that we were looking at a replay of Andrew Bogut’s horrific injury from the 2009-10 season. Motiejunas was holding his wrist and sat out for the rest of the half, but he appeared to be fine as he came back on the court later.  As the NBATV announcer observed, “It’s great to be young.”
  • Against another All-Star level center in Roy Hibbert, Howard had a good, though not a great game.  He picked up 2 fouls in the first 4 minutes of the game, though the referees were particularly quick on the whistle for both sides as Hibbert got 3 fouls in the 1st quarter.  Howard did have problems scoring against Hibbert, and his free throw woes reappeared as he went 1-4 at the line.  One thing that was noteworthy with Howard in the post is that he tried two stepback jumpers in the first quarter of the sort that Hakeem used to do in his prime, an indication of Howard’s lessons under the greatest Rocket ever.  However, both jumpers missed, and Howard did not try that move again for the rest of the game.  On the plus side, Howard did a very good job at passing to cutters in both Harden and Parsons who scored dunks off of Howard’s assists, and his defense as usual created a noticeable difference compared to when Houston was playing Jones or Motiejunas at center.
  • The team’s offensive output really should be praised tonight, because it was an incredible offensive performance overall against one of the very best defenses in the league.  Houston shot nearly 60% for much of the game against Indiana.  And it wasn’t due to some hot shooting night, it was due to a team that ran, beat Indiana repeatedly on the fast break, and broke down the perimeter defenders to draw fouls on the big men or score.  It was an offensive explosion from nearly everyone, even Brooks, Casspi and the bench mob.
  • The one exception to today’s offensive brilliance is Ronnie Brewer, who is bad at shooting.  Really bad.  The fact that he’s a 26% 3 point shooter over his career should make that obvious, but it really is horrible to watch him be completely wide open on the 3 point line, and then take a shot with a form that looks something I would have tried when I was 8, only for it to inevitably clank off the rim.  To top it off, Brewer had real problems shooting free throws as well, with one free throw just barely managing to hit the front rim at all.  I talked about the importance of niches, which was one reason why I somewhat discounted Casspi’s efforts in the last game and liked Brewer for his defense.  But perimeter defenders do need some offense as well, and so far Brewer has failed to provide any.

The next game will be the second and last part of Houston’s Asian roadtrip, as the Rockets will play at 12:30 am Central time in Taiwan.  It will certainly be interesting to see the local reaction as Lin returns to his homeland.

 

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  • Cooper says 11 months ago Yeah that's the issue. Even if you wanted to do just a salary dump it wouldn't make sense until after the season because there isn't anyone worth signing now.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago

    Well who could they get for him? Nearly ALL PGs are PG/SG hybrids like Harden nowadays. Who would be a good fit? Name me one PG that doesn't dribble the ball, plays superb defense, and is an elite spot up shooter.

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago I know some ppl think this is silly and old question. But isn't trading him to other team a better option for the ROX? If everyone treasures fitting issue this much. It basically means Lin is of no use to Rox AND he take 8mil a yr away.
  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    I think the biggest question over the 'Lin as 6th man' thing is - Does Lin finish the game?

    That's actually a bigger question than who starts, because as you mentioned a while back, Lin frequently got pulled in crunch time last season, which was a clear indication that the coaches didn't have faith in him. An elite 6th man plays at crunch time, and I honestly believe that this team would play better when the chips are down with Lin playmaking. Note - that doesn't mean that he has to take the crunch shot, the key is to keep the ball and player movement going and whoever is open takes the shot.

    I was a bit worried by the 2 Harden isos we saw yesterday - hopefully the fact they both ended badly will tell him and the team they need to keep the regular offense running.

    Agreed, but I think that's too far away and just too far gone to hope for. At this point, I'd just be happy with Lin being allowed to attack from a 6th man role like he did last night (rather than loafing around like a glorified Derek Fisher like he was asked to do his first year here, next to Harden.)

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    Rockets fans commenting here looks dumb. They give weight on a preseason game where it doesn't matter, except for the coaches to figure out their team roster and has nothing to do with winning or losing. Any win or lose wouldn't matter at all. And players aren't playing to full strength and still not in perfect form

    Welcome to the forum. Actually, I think I speak for everyone here that no one cares or has placed emphasis on the final score. We're excited about how well certain units have played together and also intrigued by the debate over certain roles (ie: 6th man, starting power forward.)

  • Alituro says 11 months ago

    Rockets fans commenting here looks dumb. They give weight on a preseason game where it doesn't matter, except for the coaches to figure out their team roster and has nothing to do with winning or losing. Any win or lose wouldn't matter at all. And players aren't playing to full strength and still not in perfect form

    If you read, there's not one post that says "Yay we won!" Nobody here is considering our loss to NO a failure. If you read, you'll find what we are talking about is the different rotations our coach is playing with and their apparent effectiveness. This is a forum of the highest order, you need to reserve judgment of people's opinions.

  • Sir Thursday says 11 months ago
    • I agree very strongly with Paul about not taking the starting lineups to mean much of anything. McHale is doing some roster juggling and trying to give extended minutes to certain combos in an effort to see how they play together. In yesterday's game, he tried out Beverley in the starting lineup, that's all. I don't think that's an indicator that he's expecting to start Beverley come the regular season, merely that he wanted to see what happens when they play together.
    • Details about the rotation are not going to be easy to glean from these preseason games. For one thing, the team only has three healthy big men right now (Howard, Jones, Motiejunas), so the second unit in these games is very much a cobbled together group that I struggle to read much into. I'm slightly less bullish on Motiejunas' performance in this game than some. He showed us the things we already know he can do, while not really indicating that he's made much progress on the flaws that will keep him from playing significant minutes.
      • I don't think he's going to get the time and space to run those post moves come the regular season. he's going to be playing at PF, and that means the team isn't going to be able to clear out and let him go to work like he was able to against the Pacers. (He's also unlikely to get as permissive a defender as Scola to work against all that often). The post footwork is nice to have, but to be useful he really needs to show he has an outside game as well because the team isn't going to need him posting up when they've got Howard on the floor.
      • I liked his rim-running and energy, that's one of his strengths and I thought he showed that pretty well.
      • Defensively I thought he was pretty poor still. He was coming out a very long way on pick-and-rolls last night, and every time the Pacers would burn him by having the big man slip the screen. Now, you could argue that this is the scheme's fault rather than D-Mo's and that the help should be coming across to contain the big man, but I felt that Motiejunas was slow to recover to his man a lot of the time and the team was paying for it.
      • No foul trouble tonight, but he was coming off the bench so that's not supposed to be a big deal. I'm hoping that his arm is going to be OK long term, because that fall looked nasty.
    • I was impressed by the range of stuff Howard was trying out from the right block. I like him trying out that bank shot, even if it didn't come off. There were a couple of times where he was able to attack Hibbert quickly and trap him under the basket that looked really effective. If he can combine the two skills together then he'll be just about unguardable from that side. What is really encouraging is that it seemed like exactly the right approach to take against someone who has a size advantage - get him moving and use that speed. If this is indicative of Howard getting to the point where he's thinking properly about the right strategies to employ on the block depending on the opponent, then it's going to be good news on a nightly basis going forward.
    • All the guards need to work on their entry passes. Beverley did a reasonable job, although a lot of his were loopy and drew Dwight a couple of extra feet away from the basket. The rest of the team seemed to struggle - there was one play in particular where Howard had a mismatch against Granger on the block but Parsons couldn't get him the ball. He seemed to be looking for the bounce pass when something a bit higher would probably have been better.
    • Casspi once again poured in the points, although it was mostly 4th quarter garbage time stuff so I don't want to put too much emphasis on it. 10 rebounds in 21 minutes is nothing to be sniffed at, but to be fair there were plenty available what with the Pacers shooting below 40%.
    • While I'd have liked to have seen a bit more of Canaan and Covington, I think them not getting much court time is indicative of McHale's plans for them in the coming season. He's expecting them to be down in the D-League (or possibly cut in Covington's case, we'll have to wait and see) for most of the year, so it's not so important to get them minutes at the moment.

    ST

  • Journeymany says 11 months ago

    I'm drooling at the thought of that lineup, particularly considering how well Asik and Greg Smith fared together at the end of last year. If Aaron Brooks could somehow get it together, this team can be downright scary. The starters already seem to have things set.

    Lin's destiny always was as a Ginobili type 6th man.

    The regular season needs to hurry up and start.

    I think the biggest question over the 'Lin as 6th man' thing is - Does Lin finish the game?

    That's actually a bigger question than who starts, because as you mentioned a while back, Lin frequently got pulled in crunch time last season, which was a clear indication that the coaches didn't have faith in him. An elite 6th man plays at crunch time, and I honestly believe that this team would play better when the chips are down with Lin playmaking. Note - that doesn't mean that he has to take the crunch shot, the key is to keep the ball and player movement going and whoever is open takes the shot.

    I was a bit worried by the 2 Harden isos we saw yesterday - hopefully the fact they both ended badly will tell him and the team they need to keep the regular offense running.

  • Toni Benz says 11 months ago

    Rockets fans commenting here looks dumb. They give weight on a preseason game where it doesn't matter, except for the coaches to figure out their team roster and has nothing to do with winning or losing. Any win or lose wouldn't matter at all. And players aren't playing to full strength and still not in perfect form

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    It's true! Even if they sub out all 5 starters we could be looking at line-ups like this:

    Brooks, Lin, Garcia, D-Mo, and Asik.

    I think I would prefer this though:

    Lin, Garcia, Williams/Casspi, G. Smith, Asik. Let Lin and Asik run pick n rolls with Smith playing a Chris Andersen-type role of just being athletic and opportunistic--on offense and defense. He is so good once he's got the ball near the goal.

    I'm drooling at the thought of that lineup, particularly considering how well Asik and Greg Smith fared together at the end of last year. If Aaron Brooks could somehow get it together, this team can be downright scary. The starters already seem to have things set.

    Lin's destiny always was as a Ginobili type 6th man.

    The regular season needs to hurry up and start.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    Bringing Lin off the bench is a win win for both Lin and team. Lin might embrace this idea but he might not like being sit on the bench during closing minutes.

  • Drew in Abilene says 11 months ago

    It's the preseason, I know, but I'm all kinds of impressed that Lin and Beverley have performed so well that the big-time Lin fans (myself included) can fathom him coming off the bench and those who believed he was overrated don't see him starting as a huge negative. These two obviously put in tons of time and effort over the summer to hone their craft, and no matter who ends up starting or who comes off the bench, I'm really excited for our point guards this year.

    If you missed out on the game, let me just say it was all kinds of awesome. Smashed them coming out of the gates, and never let them take the lead. Hustle plays and fast breaks against a team known for some of the best defense in the NBA. Open threes. Driving lay-ups and easy dunks.

    I'd like to go back to this possibly overlooked reality: the Rockets just whipped the Pacers, a team that was one game away from the NBA Finals last year, and got significantly better over the off-season. I'll say it again... The Rockets whipped Indiana. And they did it without Asik to hold down the second unit's defense and without the help of wily veteran Francisco Garcia. We didn't even have Greg Smith or Marcus Camby!

    Sure, it was a preseason game. But we finally have hope for greatness in Houston. This season. Not maybe someday we'll be good enough to land a free agent and then we'll gel and put together the right complementary pieces. Now. Right now.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Lin does defend bigger players well and can certainly defend the SG position - what people shouldn't forget is that no-one really defends elite PG's well - Paul, Rose, Westbrook, Parker, Curry - score on everyone, including each other. I seem to remember Parker dropping 30+ on Paul last season, and Paul is considered an elite defensive PG...

    Exactly. While I agree with the people who say Beverley pesters opposing pg's better, he's still not shutting these pg's down, and Lin is a better defender in other areas. Statistics show that Beverley is not a much better better defender than Lin like most people seem to think he is.

  • Journeymany says 11 months ago

    I've seen him do a great job against many bigger players, he handles switches very well, but I can't find many examples when he did a great job defending an elite PG which is probably an unfair way of looking at it but I'm not the only one who sees it this way. Even the guy who made this video searched everywhere for proof of Lin's underrated defense and most of the clips he found were when Lin was defending a bigger player:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Hmh9Q4Mx73I#t=241

    Lin does defend bigger players well and can certainly defend the SG position - what people shouldn't forget is that no-one really defends elite PG's well - Paul, Rose, Westbrook, Parker, Curry - score on everyone, including each other. I seem to remember Parker dropping 30+ on Paul last season, and Paul is considered an elite defensive PG...

    To be honest though, I'm not that worried about the Lin / Bev situation - more concerning is the play of AB, whose play is kinda worryingly flakey. Sure, he made a couple of crazy shots - but they weren't really great shots to be taking in the first place. Ideally he shouldn't be in the PG / SG rotation, so I guess that leaves Garcia?

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    It's true! Even if they sub out all 5 starters we could be looking at line-ups like this:

    Brooks, Lin, Garcia, D-Mo, and Asik.

    I think I would prefer this though:

    Lin, Garcia, Williams/Casspi, G. Smith, Asik. Let Lin and Asik run pick n rolls with Smith playing a Chris Andersen-type role of just being athletic and opportunistic--on offense and defense. He is so good once he's got the ball near the goal.

  • BenQueens says 11 months ago

    TJG, I am in total agreement. If Lin keeps the offense dynamic for the second unit, has capable shooters to dish to and an elite defensive presence underneath... It's easy to get excited about our beginning-to-end potential, not just in games but in terms of managing minutes for the playoffs.

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago

    I've seen him do a great job against many bigger players, he handles switches very well, but I can't find many examples when he did a great job defending an elite PG which is probably an unfair way of looking at it but I'm not the only one who sees it this way. Even the guy who made this video searched everywhere for proof of Lin's underrated defense and most of the clips he found were when Lin was defending a bigger player:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Hmh9Q4Mx73I#t=241

    Oh...good points.....

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Will Lin be much of a story by then? I mean that may be the line but it seems like the Rockets storyline is all about Harden and Howard. Sure Lin will have his devoted following but his story seems very two seasons ago.

    If only that were true...New York (where news comes from :P) is all too ready to self-proclaim victory from what was a PR nightmare when they let Lin go. The media will take that opportunity to say, "See. We made the right call. He's been replaced by that no-good-thug, Patrick Beverley, who takes out people's kneecaps". Further, they will probably pile on Morey for being too clever, and even as the Rockets succeed as a team they will probably only dole out praise to Harden and Howard.

    I am on board with Lin+Asik anchoring a second unit that, as starters last year were pretty darn good. 48 minutes of great offense is as enticing as 48 minutes of great rim protection.

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago

    The line is not important anyway. Not like he did not have worse lines b4. Only championship matters. :)

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago

    when/if beverley is the opening day starter, nationally (in new york), it'll be spun as lin losing his job. when in actuality, it's just a case of the natural fit



    Will Lin be much of a story by then? I mean that may be the line but it seems like the Rockets storyline is all about Harden and Howard. Sure Lin will have his devoted following but his story seems very two seasons ago.
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Why do you think Lin is better defender at SG?

    I've seen him do a great job against many bigger players, he handles switches very well, but I can't find many examples when he did a great job defending an elite PG which is probably an unfair way of looking at it but I'm not the only one who sees it this way. Even the guy who made this video searched everywhere for proof of Lin's underrated defense and most of the clips he found were when Lin was defending a bigger player:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Hmh9Q4Mx73I#t=241

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago

    McHale has been going with a back-court of Beverly and Lin in the 2nd unit for a while now, the only difference this game was that Lin came off the bench so I don't know why people are acting like they have never seen Lin at SG before. Personally I think Lin is a better defender at SG than he is at PG, and if we can give Beverley more minutes without sacrificing Lin's minutes that's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

    Why do you think Lin is better defender at SG?

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    when/if beverley is the opening day starter, nationally (in new york), it'll be spun as lin losing his job. when in actuality, it's just a case of the natural fit

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    McHale has been going with a back-court of Beverly and Lin in the 2nd unit for a while now, the only difference this game was that Lin came off the bench so I don't know why people are acting like they have never seen Lin at SG before. Personally I think Lin is a better defender at SG than he is at PG, and if we can give Beverley more minutes without sacrificing Lin's minutes that's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

  • ale11 says 11 months ago

    I am now thinking that McHale see Lin as a SG than a PG. Even after he started Bev, he still using Lin along with AB or Bev. Yes, Lin has a chance to handle ball more but another PG was always there.

    That's because Harden is the only true SG in our entire roster (Williams, Casspi and Garcia are all SF).

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago

    Lin did great with either 1st unit or 2nd unit. I guess it will actually down to how Beverly do.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    TJ and D-Mo had opposite productions in this game. Maybe too tough to play along side Howard. I have no idea how Asik can play with Howard if TJ and D-Mo couldn't. I knew sample size is very small but we will know more for sure after preseason.

    Morey might looks for stretch 4 if non of our PF fit well.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Lin was so vital to our 2nd unit. I would definitely like to see him continue to come off the bench as long as he plays big minutes in big games. The work he did in the off-season to fix his form/posture when he dribbles definitely seems to be helping because he looks faster to me.

  • Johnny Rocket says 11 months ago

    I'm still letting it sink in that the Rockets bench may be headlined by Asik and Lin--our two big free agent acquistions from a year ago.

    I love Lin, and precisely because I do, I'd love to see him come off the bench and take control of the offense. He'll be awesome.

  • Richards says 11 months ago

    I am now thinking that McHale see Lin as a SG than a PG. Even after he started Bev, he still using Lin along with AB or Bev. Yes, Lin has a chance to handle ball more but another PG was always there.

  • HoopsReportCard says 11 months ago

    I only saw the 4th quarter. The

    Bench is impressive. Donatus, Casspi, Canaan

  • Journeymany says 11 months ago

    Agree with the summary on the whole, a few additional thoughts:

    • PF: A bit like at PG, we have 1 Offensive / 1 Defensive player at the moment. DMo looked really nice on offense, some great touches in the post. Not great on D, but some promising signs. TJones pretty much the opposite, did pretty well on West, who backed him down a couple times, and hit a ridiculous contested fadeaway jumper, but can't complain about those.
    • PG:Both Beverley and Lin played well, Brooks, not so much. Beverley plays well off ball on cuts and catch-and-shoot but can't run the offense. Brooks was OK when attacking the basket but took some poor shots, which weren't falling either. Lin's penetration and playmaking made a massive difference to the 2nd unit.
    • C:Desperately in need of big O. Howard was good and didn't allow Hibbert much, but probably shouldn't try to post up so much against other good defensive centers.
    • The return of Iso-ball:2 end of quarter iso plays by Harden, being guarded by George. 1 ended with a way-downtown contested 3. The other with a TO. He plays so well, so efficiently otherwise, why does he make these crappy plays? Ugh.
    • BS Fouls:Many whistles. 4Q, both teams in the penalty with 6:30 left to play. Seriously??? A lot of 'who, me / what-the-hell?' arm-raising from players on both sides. Hope this doesn't carry on into regular season or people will be switching off en masse.
  • Red94 says 11 months ago New post: Houston Rockets 116, Indiana Pacers 96: A team offense leads to victory.
    By: Paul McGuire

    Saturday’s game against New Orleans, while a defeat, showed the potential of Houston’s starters as they manhandled New Orleans’s starters for most of the game.  But it’s one thing to dominate New Orleans.  It’s another thing to beat Indiana’s starters, who challenged the Miami Heat to 7 games last year despite a below-average bench at that time.  Two of Houston’s starters were different in this game as Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones started in place of Jeremy Lin and Donatas Motiejunas, but once again the Rockets prevailed against Indiana’s best lineup for most of the game, and unlike the previous game where Houston’s bench collapsed against New Orleans’s bench in the fourth quarter, Lin led the Rockets to hold on at the end and secure their first preseason victory.

    • Anyone who wants to make the starting lineup change as a sign of something permanent should, to put it quite bluntly, take a chill pill and remind themselves that it is preseason.  That aside, there were some positives that appeared as a result.  Jones did a relatively better job at defending David West, a long time Rocket killer, than Motiejunas, though West still had a good game with 12 points on 9 shots.  Lin also had the opportunity to play floor general as the leader of the Houston bench, and thus helped stabilize the 4th quarter unit when Indiana went on a run at the start and came within 5 points.  Against New Orleans, a lack of a scoring option at the end caused Houston to stagnate, and Lin’s presence prevented that from occurring again.
    • Motiejunas definitely played better in tonight’s game.  His post moves actually resulted in made shots and he used his speed to grab easy points on the fast break.  There was a moment during the second quarter where he fell very awkwardly after racing for a fast break dunk, and for a second I seriously believed that we were looking at a replay of Andrew Bogut’s horrific injury from the 2009-10 season. Motiejunas was holding his wrist and sat out for the rest of the half, but he appeared to be fine as he came back on the court later.  As the NBATV announcer observed, “It’s great to be young.”
    • Against another All-Star level center in Roy Hibbert, Howard had a good, though not a great game.  He picked up 2 fouls in the first 4 minutes of the game, though the referees were particularly quick on the whistle for both sides as Hibbert got 3 fouls in the 1st quarter.  Howard did have problems scoring against Hibbert, and his free throw woes reappeared as he went 1-4 at the line.  One thing that was noteworthy with Howard in the post is that he tried two stepback jumpers in the first quarter of the sort that Hakeem used to do in his prime, an indication of Howard’s lessons under the greatest Rocket ever.  However, both jumpers missed, and Howard did not try that move again for the rest of the game.  On the plus side, Howard did a very good job at passing to cutters in both Harden and Parsons who scored dunks off of Howard’s assists, and his defense as usual created a noticeable difference compared to when Houston was playing Jones or Motiejunas at center.
    • The team’s offensive output really should be praised tonight, because it was an incredible offensive performance overall against one of the very best defenses in the league.  Houston shot nearly 60% for much of the game against Indiana.  And it wasn’t due to some hot shooting night, it was due to a team that ran, beat Indiana repeatedly on the fast break, and broke down the perimeter defenders to draw fouls on the big men or score.  It was an offensive explosion from nearly everyone, even Brooks, Casspi and the bench mob.
    • The one exception to today’s offensive brilliance is Ronnie Brewer, who is bad at shooting.  Really bad.  The fact that he’s a 26% 3 point shooter over his career should make that obvious, but it really is horrible to watch him be completely wide open on the 3 point line, and then take a shot with a form that looks something I would have tried when I was 8, only for it to inevitably clank off the rim.  To top it off, Brewer had real problems shooting free throws as well, with one free throw just barely managing to hit the front rim at all.  I talked about the importance of niches, which was one reason why I somewhat discounted Casspi’s efforts in the last game and liked Brewer for his defense.  But perimeter defenders do need some offense as well, and so far Brewer has failed to provide any.

    The next game will be the second and last part of Houston’s Asian roadtrip, as the Rockets will play at 12:30 am Central time in Taiwan.  It will certainly be interesting to see the local reaction as Lin returns to his homeland.

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    I don't think its so much that Beverley is better than Lin (b/c I greatly disagree with that premise), but Lin off the bench just makes so much more sense.

  • Journeymany says 11 months ago

    Pretty interesting - Rockets came out fast as Drew said, all Rockets to start as Pacers couldn't get their offense going at all. 2nd unit came out with Brooks as PG, Lin at SG, DMo at Center - which was pretty horrible defensively, so-so offense with some crazy Brooks circus shots, some good penetration by Lin, 1 beautiful post move by DMo. Pacers came back against the 2nd unit thanks to zero defensive stops.

    Worrying potential wrist injury on DMo after 2 handed dunk to finish a fast break.

    Rockets went for ultra-small lineup for the end of the 2nd quarter - Bev / Lin / Harden / Parsons / Jones - interesting, but Jones just isn't a center, and also threw away a horrendous pass on an easy 3/4 on 1 fast break.

    Final possession of the half was a Harden iso stepback 3, which missed. Less of that please -.-

    *edited*

    Nearly forgot to mention, both teams being called for loads of stupid touch fouls. Brooks had 3 in succession for ...not much...

  • Drew in Abilene says 11 months ago

    Wow. This game is well worth the early wake up. First quarter has been all Houston, full of Pacer turnovers and Rockets fast break points. Beverley got the start, and has done a good job on offense, though he picked up two quick fouls. Even as a Lin apologist, I'll admit that Beverley looked really good. It'll be interesting to see if he can maintain that intensity throughout the whole game, or if he'll lose steam towards the end.

    Howard looks great. He's blocked shots, drawn three fouls on Hibbert, and made some nice shots. Parsons has been driving to the hoop, and either putting it in or dumping it off for easy buckets. 31-24 at the end of the first quarter!

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    I wish I could watch this. After I get my new phone (debating between the S4 and the Note 3) I'm signing up for NBA League Pass mobile which is a bargain $49.99 for the whole year.

  • feelingsupersonic says 11 months ago I agree about Scola, I was elated when I read that he was headed to Indiana.

    As far as these preseason match ups go well I am really looking forward to them but while the Pacers are fine tuning I do expect the Rockets to make considerable changes in between these games and the regular season games versus Indiana. When the Rockets face them towards the end of December I expect some answers to be solved about rotations and by the Pacers Rockets game in March I hope the Rockets are rolling by then. I really hope injuries remain manageable.
  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    I agree the Pacers are a good measuring stick for us. we have a lot of work to do and they will provide the reality check we need to stay focused on continuing to get better.

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    so glad Luis is on a contender now