Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers on 10/13/2013 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Rockets have clearly had their fun over the past few days in Taiwan.  Jeremy Lin went shrimp fishing like he did last year, Yao Ming showed up at a reception for the Rockets, and Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons had their laughs helping at a Special Olympics clinic.  But at the end of the day, they and the Indiana Pacers are here to play basketball.  And so they shall, at 1:30 in the afternoon in Taipei but at half an hour past Sunday midnight in Houston.

Eric Nielsen did an excellent job covering the differences between the Pacers and the Rockets in the earlier preview, so there’s no need to cover it in too much detail.  Houston’s team offense overwhelmed Indiana, a team who last year posted the very best defense in the league as measured by Defensive Rating, this past Thursday, and one can expect the Pacers to take the game a little more seriously this time despite preseason.  Paul George and former Rocket Luis Scola both played well in the earlier contest, and David West has always given Houston plenty of trouble even in his earlier days playing with Chris Paul on the Hornets.  I will admit that I do think Indiana is the single most overrated team in the league, due to their tough series with Miami whom the Pacers particularly match up well against, but regardless of my personal opinions, the Rockets will need to continue to play hard and execute well against one of the better teams in the league.

The most interesting storyline for this game will be Mr. Lin.  Coach Kevin McHale has declared that he intends to rotate his starting point guard and power forward throughout the preseason, which means that Lin (and Donatas Motiejunas) will start in front of what will be an almost completely deranged Taiwanese crowd, celebrating the prodigal son’s return.  Will Lin be able to play well in front of his peers?  Does the idea of Lin taking a Harden-in-OKC role have any actual water to it, or is it just people overreacting to Coach McHale doing preseason experiments with his rotations?  As I argued in the earlier recap, people should not stress out so much about any lineup experiments and should just wait for the regular season to begin before worrying about Lin’s future and role.

Another question will be Howard as he prepares to face off against Roy Hibbert again.  The two big men more or less cancelled each other out in Thursday’s contest in the Philippines, as neither had particularly good offensive games and struggled with referees who were very quick to blow the whistle during the entire game.  Howard does have an issue against bigger, more traditional centers, which Houston fans witnessed back when Yao Ming regularly defeated a younger Dwight Howard (slightly off-topic: it’s always been fairly aggravating to me over the years even before Dwight came here watching Houston fans use those contests as some sort of unquestionable evidence that a healthy Yao was superior to Dwight.  The tragedy of Yao’s fall has let people forget some of his many flaws as a player.)  Tonight’s game will give Howard a second chance, to show what he can do against stiffer competition than New Orleans’s weak big men.

Then there are smaller questions, mainly on those fighting for the end of the bench.  Can Aaron Brooks regain his form?  Can Omri Casspi show that his currently stellar play is not just a hot streak, and that he has something to offer as an all-around backup? How will the big man rotation work? Can Ronnie Brewer hit a jumper before I die of old age?  Questions like these as opposed to the outcome are what really matters as the Rockets play tonight/tomorrow morning in front of their international audience.

At the time of this preview’s writing, there has been no word on whether Omer Asik, Reggie Williams, Francisco Garcia, or Greg Smith will manage to return from injuries for this game.  Asik did say when he was first diagnosed with his strained calf that he hoped to be ready for this game, but for now, I would just expect all of them to sit out and wait until they return to the United States.  Marcus Camby, sadly, is suffering a torn plantar fascia and will miss at least a couple of weeks.  I don’t exactly think we’re looking at the next Dikembe in Camby, but Houston should hope he can be ready for the regular season opener against Charlotte.

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Total comments: 61
  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    I am looking at the potential addition as well - but my point is that the addition of the 3rd star adds a great deal less than the first 2 - and also ruins your depth. Everyone's looking at the Heat as the prime example, but Bosh's numbers are way down on his time in Toronto, and I don't think you can ignore the 'Lebron factor'.

    I think a better example is the 3 star Celtics - Pierce, Garnett and Allen were their 'Big 3' and that Dynasty accumulated a mighty 1 championship...

    I get your point, however when discussing big 3's our opinions vary greatly. the Boston big 3 worked because the 3 stars fit. by fit I mean they don't use the same part of the floor to execute their moves thereby creating natural spacing of the floor. this was just the opposite in Miami which is why they struggled in the beginningbefore establishing a pecking order. both Wade and LBJ needed the same parts of the floor and the ball in their hands to execute their moves.Boston's big 3 only won 1 championship because they were old, not because they fit badly.

  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    I kind of disagree with that. Every one kept talking about the 3rd star, I think what ROX really need for their possible rings is the better Bench. Unless If you are going to play your starters for 40+ MPG per position, that will be a recipe for disaster IMO.

    I'm definitely on the side of having quality depth, too, which is what keeping Asik will result in as well as not giving up on Lin so quickly.

    However, keep in mind both of these players are only under contract for this season and next and afterwards will either have to be re-signed by the Rockets at market prices or be allowed to be lost to free agency (or possibly traded prior to the end of their contracts).

    In regards to Asik, it is my opinion his maximum value is now up to the February 2014 trade deadline. Afterwards, I would expect his trade value to begin to diminish as smart GM's and Owners will begin playing the free agency waiting game.

    In regards to Lin, until and unless the Rockets attain better depth at their PG position, it would not be wise to ship him off and rely simply on Patrick Beverly and Aaron Brooks and the rookie, Canaan. I'm not even convinced Canaan is a true PG, instead perhaps a combo G with a good outside shot. And certainly an undersized combo G at that.

    This just proves how difficult it is to not only sign the right players but determine the best strategies going forward in terms of roster and cost.

  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    True, but I guess they just need a guy cost around 4Mil...shoots 3s, low TOs, etc

    Perhaps that's your opinion, not the Rockets, in regards to the appropriate price to pay for their point guards. Just look around the league, exactly who is out there (other than players on rookie contracts) that fit your cost structure as well as can effectively shoot 3's and not turn the ball over.

    Good luck with that!

  • feelingsupersonic says 6 months ago

    I agree, good points being made for different arguments. It is really going to be great to see it all play out with all the ups and downs teams face during a season. I am really really pumped for this season to get rolling.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    .......

    Heck, using your argument, the ultimate "team" contender, the mid-decade Pistons, only won 1 ring as well.

    LOL, very good point here.

  • PKM says 6 months ago

    I am looking at the potential addition as well - but my point is that the addition of the 3rd star adds a great deal less than the first 2 - and also ruins your depth. Everyone's looking at the Heat as the prime example, but Bosh's numbers are way down on his time in Toronto, and I don't think you can ignore the 'Lebron factor'.

    I think a better example is the 3 star Celtics - Pierce, Garnett and Allen were their 'Big 3' and that Dynasty accumulated a mighty 1 championship...

    Well, I think this is the first time I've ever seen someone view those Celtic teams as a failure. Because they clearly were not. The best you can do is assemble the best team and hope things sweep your way, and the Celtics came close over and over again. And that's really the best you can do at times.

    Heck, using your argument, the ultimate "team" contender, the mid-decade Pistons, only won 1 ring as well.

  • Journeymany says 6 months ago

    whether he is the best PG is debatable, but he's only looking at the subtraction part of the equation. we will be adding a star level player to our current mix. the potential of that possibility should not be discounted. I agree with you the Rockets don't need a star at point guard to be elite. however if they acquire another star who fits the current core what we have at PG will be enough to man the position and the possible benefit of the 3rd star could propel us into a dynasty.

    I am looking at the potential addition as well - but my point is that the addition of the 3rd star adds a great deal less than the first 2 - and also ruins your depth. Everyone's looking at the Heat as the prime example, but Bosh's numbers are way down on his time in Toronto, and I don't think you can ignore the 'Lebron factor'.

    I think a better example is the 3 star Celtics - Pierce, Garnett and Allen were their 'Big 3' and that Dynasty accumulated a mighty 1 championship...

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    I think you need two good PG's these days. Brooks isn't there anymore and Canaan's not ready. I'm open to the possibility that Lin has improved.

    True, but I guess they just need a guy cost around 4Mil...shoots 3s, low TOs, etc

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    I agree, and that's why having PB is already enough. lol

    I think you need two good PG's these days. Brooks isn't there anymore and Canaan's not ready. I'm open to the possibility that Lin has improved.

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    You're not implying I'm a Lin fan and then you follow that by implying I'm a Lin fan. There's a difference between a Lin fanatic who can't see straight and an objective observer who is willing to believe he improved over the offseason. I'm the former. And, yes, I totally agree that the jury's still out. I just think he's given some good evidence in the early moments of the trial.

    Ha. Misuse of "former." Meant to write, "I'm the later."

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    wasn't implying that you are Lin fan....just that your response is one I would expect from a Lin fan. I have been one of Lin's biggest critics and I'm not ashamed. his play was not worthy of praise. while his performance has looked really good thus far, this isn't the first time he has had a nice string of games only to fall back into old habits. so you must pardon me if I won't yet be putting my all-star vote in his bucket. I like some of the improvements I have seen, but it takes more than a preseason to influence me. the only thing he has done thus far is got off to a nice start.......the jury is still out IMO :lol:

    You're not implying I'm a Lin fan and then you follow that by implying I'm a Lin fan. There's a difference between a Lin fanatic who can't see straight and an objective observer who is willing to believe he improved over the offseason. I'm the former. And, yes, I totally agree that the jury's still out. I just think he's given some good evidence in the early moments of the trial.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    whether he is the best PG is debatable, but he's only looking at the subtraction part of the equation. we will be adding a star level player to our current mix. the potential of that possibility should not be discounted. I agree with you the Rockets don't need a star at point guard to be elite. however if they acquire another star who fits the current core what we have at PG will be enough to man the position and the possible benefit of the 3rd star could propel us into a dynasty.

    I kind of disagree with that. Every one kept talking about the 3rd star, I think what ROX really need for their possible rings is the better Bench. Unless If you are going to play your starters for 40+ MPG per position, that will be a recipe for disaster IMO.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    I think he meant, although you have 4 PGs, taking away the BEST PG does not mean you lose only 1/4 of your depth, obviously will be more than that. But like I said, I wonder if Rox need that much anyway.

    whether he is the best PG is debatable, but he's only looking at the subtraction part of the equation. we will be adding a star level player to our current mix. the potential of that possibility should not be discounted. I agree with you the Rockets don't need a star at point guard to be elite. however if they acquire another star who fits the current core what we have at PG will be enough to man the position and the possible benefit of the 3rd star could propel us into a dynasty.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    I disagree.......right now we have 4 PGs on the roster and5 players who can play center.....how will trading 1 center and 1 PG destroy team depth?

    I think he meant, although you have 4 PGs, taking away the BEST PG does not mean you lose only 1/4 of your depth, obviously will be more than that. But like I said, I wonder if Rox need that much anyway.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    Taking all that LOF/LOH stuff out of the equation, I am pretty sure that trading Lin & Asik for a star would be more or less fine or great for them, and pretty bad or disastrous for the Rockets. You'd basically destroy the team's depth at guard and centre for presumably an upgrade at PF, which as discussed before, would be nice - but there simply aren't enough possessions to go around with 3 'star' players on the court at the same time. I don't think Brooks or Canaan can be relied on to run the 2nd unit, and if Bev got injured, you'd be completely screwed. I think we've already seen the issues with having Dwight as the only centre as well....

    I disagree.......right now we have 4 PGs on the roster and5 players who can play center.....how will trading 1 center and 1 PG destroy team depth?

  • Journeymany says 6 months ago

    WOW..............you kidding me........that novel idea coming from a LOF. I'm floored :huh:I admit that you put forth sound reasoning to explain your point.........I'm just floored to hear you say it. TRADE LIN is an off the table issue for most Lin fans. however back to the subject.........I do believe it is still in the Rockets best interest to trade Lin, but my reasons are more in line with how it would affect the salary cap.......hence limit our ability to reel in more talent. his recent play shows he has been hard at work during the summer. I know it's just a couple of preseason games, but I like what I've seen. even if he plays well I agree it is still in the Rockets best interest to move him. his combined salary with Asik is the perfect range to bring in a star player. if that opportunity arises the Rockets must grab it. I am confident the remaining guards available can handle the job especially with another star on board

    Taking all that LOF/LOH stuff out of the equation, I am pretty sure that trading Lin & Asik for a star would be more or less fine or great for them, and pretty bad or disastrous for the Rockets. You'd basically destroy the team's depth at guard and centre for presumably an upgrade at PF, which as discussed before, would be nice - but there simply aren't enough possessions to go around with 3 'star' players on the court at the same time. I don't think Brooks or Canaan can be relied on to run the 2nd unit, and if Bev got injured, you'd be completely screwed. I think we've already seen the issues with having Dwight as the only centre as well....

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    I'm not arguing that at all. Of course, it's Harden and Howard 1 and 1A. But I do people will think PG is a strength of this team and not a weakness this year with both Lin and Beverly.

    I agree, and that's why having PB is already enough. lol

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    Oh, wait. This isn't that LOF vs. LH thing is it? I didn't know that was still going on. For God's sake aren't we over that by now? I am most definitely not a LOF and I kind of resent being thought of as one.

    wasn't implying that you are Lin fan....just that your response is one I would expect from a Lin fan. I have been one of Lin's biggest critics and I'm not ashamed. his play was not worthy of praise. while his performance has looked really good thus far, this isn't the first time he has had a nice string of games only to fall back into old habits. so you must pardon me if I won't yet be putting my all-star vote in his bucket. I like some of the improvements I have seen, but it takes more than a preseason to influence me. the only thing he has done thus far is got off to a nice start.......the jury is still out IMO :lol:

  • Richards says 6 months ago

    Not like most other athletes, Lin can earn good fortune with his Harvard education. Instead, he took a challenge in basketball and rose to the occasions a few times already. Very smart and pretty much motivated guy, I won't count him out. I am a Lin fan and fan of many other players including Kobe (oops, I shouldn't have said that!).

  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    I think it's finally time to get past all of this Lin "love" and "hate" and just accept Lin for who he is and enjoy watching him and the Rockets continue to improve as the season continues on. There will certainly be ups and downs, that is to be expected. It's how players respond to turbulence that makes them the best in their craft. Lastly, don't forget, NBA basketball is meant to be a team sport, not individual triumph.

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    HI vonsteve.............Welcome to the forum :)now your response is what I expect from Lin fans :lol:

    Oh, wait. This isn't that LOF vs. LH thing is it? I didn't know that was still going on. For God's sake aren't we over that by now? I am most definitely not a LOF and I kind of resent being thought of as one.

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    No matter how not-flukey, this team is anchored with Howard and Harden. By no means that I think Lin is flukey anyway.

    I'm not arguing that at all. Of course, it's Harden and Howard 1 and 1A. But I do people will think PG is a strength of this team and not a weakness this year with both Lin and Beverly.

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    HI vonsteve.............Welcome to the forum :)now your response is what I expect from Lin fans :lol:

    Hi. You know I never would have considered myself a Lin fan. At least not more than any other player on the team. And definitely not a LOF. Just going by what I've seen and heard so far.

  • RollingWave says 6 months ago

    Dwight : he looked better in game 1 against the Pacers when he went to his face up move instead of game 2 when he attempted to replicate the dream shake, he's pretty obviously trying stuff in the post and his defensive effect was great in both game so there's little worry there.

    I'm very impressed and convinced by pretty much everyone that I think would make the roster so far, the only player left that I want to see do something would be Smith and Asik.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    No. If Lin was having a flukey little run of good looking stats, then it might be a time to trade and get max value. But the Lin looks anything but flukey. He genuinely looks to have improved in all areas. I think he's too valuable to trade right now.

    No matter how not-flukey, this team is anchored with Howard and Harden. By no means that I think Lin is flukey anyway.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    No. If Lin was having a flukey little run of good looking stats, then it might be a time to trade and get max value. But the Lin looks anything but flukey. He genuinely looks to have improved in all areas. I think he's too valuable to trade right now.

    HI vonsteve.............Welcome to the forum :)now your response is what I expect from Lin fans :lol:

  • vonsteve says 6 months ago

    No. If Lin was having a flukey little run of good looking stats, then it might be a time to trade and get max value. But the Lin looks anything but flukey. He genuinely looks to have improved in all areas. I think he's too valuable to trade right now.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    Well, thanks :lol: . I am Lin fans, I will just follow where ever he goes. He will have a good career with or without ROX IMO. And I really think they should try to move Lin, not just because it is of best interest of Rox, also it is good for Lin. Win-win scenario. Morey can do a lot of things with 8 mils. Same reasoning applies to Asik as well IMO. The only difference is, Asik already proved his value last yr, hence easier to move.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    WOW..............you kidding me........that novel idea coming from a LOF. I'm floored :huh:I admit that you put forth sound reasoning to explain your point.........I'm just floored to hear you say it. TRADE LIN is an off the table issue for most Lin fans. however back to the subject.........I do believe it is still in the Rockets best interest to trade Lin, but my reasons are more in line with how it would affect the salary cap.......hence limit our ability to reel in more talent. his recent play shows he has been hard at work during the summer. I know it's just a couple of preseason games, but I like what I've seen. even if he plays well I agree it is still in the Rockets best interest to move him. his combined salary with Asik is the perfect range to bring in a star player. if that opportunity arises the Rockets must grab it. I am confident the remaining guards available can handle the job especially with another star on board

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    if he plays well then keep him was my line of thought......your saying if he plays well trade him? explain please!

    Because of how Rox handled Lin last yr, plus he was coming of injuries, plus plus he self burden too much. He did not showcasing his abilities well. It is very hard for other teams to consider him under this condition with his remaining contract.

    No matter Lin plays well or not, it is clear that he is not in ROX's long term plan. A PG cost u 8mil a yr has to play coming off the bench because of fitting issue. Logically, it means 1) your do not need his skill-set for your starting PG spot, 2) you do not have a PG that can run the 2nd Unit and cost like a back up PG. Both mean having Lin is not making sense any more to ROX. However, due to last year, it is hard to trade him as well IMO. Hence, I think if Lin plays reasonably well this yr, ROX should try to trade him for someone make more sense to them.

    This is not even about ego or sacrifice, it is just during team building precess, I feel Lin is not the piece they want after the acquisitions of Harden and Howard. And that is perfectly ok to trade him. He is a starting caliber PG and he will be fine. I just feel if Lin boosted his value during this yr, it is ROX's best chance to send him and Asik away. Get a decent back-up PG, a good PF or save the money for Parsons and Beverley actually make more sense.

    Forcing a expensive starting caliber player to lead the bench is more of a temporary solution because so far, they do not have options.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    If he maintains the level of the play, you should actually start to get serious about the trade idea IMO B). He does not need to play like that in every game tho. And Yes, D12 impacted hugely, no doubt.

    if he plays well then keep him was my line of thought......your saying if he plays well trade him? explain please!

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    trying not to get to pumped up over a preseason game, but it's hard notto do watching the potential of this Rocket squad. first things first. for all those who believe Howard had no impact on the game.............I would like to remind you of how Hibbert smoked us the last time we saw him to the tune of 28 points and13 rebounds........his stats for this game.......11 points 2 rebounds.....I call that impact. second....I gotta admit J-Lin is looking good. I have been one of his biggest critics, but have been mildly surprised at his overall improvement. it's only preseason, but if he can maintain this level of play he may make me forget about that trade idea :lol:. right now the only thing it looks like we are missing is the chance to start beating up on the league for real. again trying not to get to pumped.............but we look pretty good to me :P

    If he maintains the level of the play, you should actually start to get serious about the trade idea IMO B). He does not need to play like that in every game tho. And Yes, D12 impacted hugely, no doubt.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    trying not to get to pumped up over a preseason game, but it's hard notto do watching the potential of this Rocket squad. first things first. for all those who believe Howard had no impact on the game.............I would like to remind you of how Hibbert smoked us the last time we saw him to the tune of 28 points and13 rebounds........his stats for this game.......11 points 2 rebounds.....I call that impact. second....I gotta admit J-Lin is looking good. I have been one of his biggest critics, but have been mildly surprised at his overall improvement. it's only preseason, but if he can maintain this level of play he may make me forget about that trade idea :lol:. right now the only thing it looks like we are missing is the chance to start beating up on the league for real. again trying not to get to pumped.............but we look pretty good to me :P

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    Found a decent highlight video of the game...obviously a Lin fan, but still showed lots of good stuff from everyone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFowjBeWNoI

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    I feel both Garcia and Cassapi still need Lin or someone to set them up to play well offensively. Cassapi, in partucular, thrives with HOU's offensive scheme IMO.

  • Richards says 6 months ago

    Lin fits well with all other starters and backups except Harden.

    Bev fits better with Harden cause Harden was poor on his D.

    I am betting Harden's improved defense and Lin's all-around improvement will take care "fit" issue.

    Rockets doesn't need Lin to lead 2nd unit as long as Garcia and Cassapi play well.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    Like what Coaches said earlier, D12 should use his speed more. Seems like he was just trying to overpower Hilbert which is very difficult. So we should not read too much into D12's stat line IMO. He drawn the double teams, and that was already enough for others to operate. Look how good Parsons were just for those cut without the ball.

    Lin played really great, confident, aggressive and efficient (same for all 3 games so far). It is very easy to have a bad game in that kind of pressure and he rose to the occasion. Really good for him. Willing to Sacrifice or not will not be the problem form these two PGs ROX got. It is all up to Coaches to utilize them better. In fact, Beverly leads better today, man the offense a little better.

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    Ale, don't be so sure Lin got demoted to 6th man. Lin started this game. McHale is just experimenting, that's what pre season is basically for.

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    Three are so many different ways to run the pick and roll I wouldn't be worried about being one dimensional, just look at the Suns during the D'Antoni era. And his coaching style was a big reason Linsanity happened, I like it a lot.

  • ale11 says 6 months ago

    Regarding Lin: he is smart, and he knows that even though the demotion to 6th man might hurt a bit, he realizes that play a good chunk without Harden allows him to go full berserk mode, and overall, I think that as long as he finishes the game, he won't mind starting off the bench. Even though he is improving and trying to mesh with Harden, maybe deep inside he knows that Beverley is a better fit to play alongside Harden and accepting the role might get the team 48 minutes of full attack mode, just like Asik playing backup C might give us rim protection at all times....as long as Parsons, Garcia, Casspi, etc. keep draining threes, we are good.

  • ale11 says 6 months ago

    I said Harden's game could rival LeBron's....well, getting a little carried away there! LeBron's in his own galaxy, but I do think Harden could be a top 5 small forward in this league because of his combination of skills and physicality. I'm pretty sure of that, but I'm curious what others think of that little thought experiment (since it ain't ever going to happen....)

    SF is a position that doesn't have much quality depth beyond LeBron and Durant. It's not that crazy....I mean, a while ago, many have stated that they feel Parsons is or could be this season a top 10 SF....Harden being a top 5 isn't that much off.

    What's awesome about this current roster is that pretty much everyone can play multiple positions and we can toy around with different rotations according to the matchup. I love it

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    Pointing out Howard's poor post numbers is no revelation nor is it a fantastic feat of prediction. Nobody thought post-ups were a better option than pick n rolls for Howard--ever. Roy Hibbert is a full 5 inches taller than Howard and is still improving as a player on both ends. He is one of the best post defenders in the league and sports a superb 97 Drtg. To gauge Dwight Howard's post performance, and the subsequent viability of its use, off of two games against one of the league's best defenders in pre-season....Egads! Let's give Dwight some time to absorb and assimilate some of the stuff Dream is teaching him.

    Post-ups will seldom be better than the PnR (regarding efficiency), but being one-dimensional comes with its own set of problems. We are trying to win games and Dwight in the post is a portion of that winning formula--like it or not. To measure its effect by any % other than winning% is to miss the point.

    Moving on to Mr. Lin--good for him! I'm not sure people are having huge knee-jerk reactions (which is surprising, really). Most people are seeing the big picture that we have 2 PG's that are equally capable of contributing to our team's goals. I think both Lin and Beverley are humble people (which does not mean they lack confidence) and will accept whatever roles they are put into and do their best within those roles. It's up to McHale and Co. to get the most out of the players and I think that is exactly what is going to happen. I am hoping our PG's, as a unit, can combine to average a solid 20 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals with (hopefully) less than 4 turnovers/game. I think that is entirely possible and is more than enough of a contribution from the 3rd strongest position on our team (C & SG come first). That's how I look at it. The reality is Lin and Bev are going to take turns being the "star" of the game at PG. As long as their collective effort is strong it shouldn't matter.

    What's the Buzz Word for this season.....Sacrifice. I take that to mean letting go of ego and I think they are all buying in. B)

  • kevingan says 6 months ago

    I said Harden's game could rival LeBron's....well, getting a little carried away there! LeBron's in his own galaxy, but I do think Harden could be a top 5 small forward in this league because of his combination of skills and physicality. I'm pretty sure of that, but I'm curious what others think of that little thought experiment (since it ain't ever going to happen....)

  • Easy Runner says 6 months ago

    Lin ran full speed from outside the FT line, wisely knew what Granger's going to do, amazing play!

    BIG Block on Danny Granger shot
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz2mdxYkzUg

  • kevingan says 6 months ago

    I've been on the Lin bandwagon, because I love his court vision: I think when he's at PG, the team runs best, which means that Lin-Harden and Lin-Beverly works really well--but so does Harden-Beverly, most of the time. It's a puzzle figuring out the best combinations for this team--I almost wish Harden could move to the 3, where I think his game could rival LeBron's, and you could start Lin-Beverly-Harden.... But then what about Chandler? And I can also see the advantages of having Lin in the Ginobli role: another sign of how he and Harden are so similar, since that was Harden's role on the Thunder.

    I guess too much similar talent is a nice problem to have, and maybe the saving grace here is that both Lin and Beverly are such good soldiers that they will do whatever the team needs. Harden is cooperative too (except for those horrible isos), but talent does have its perogatives...

  • thenit says 6 months ago The team played pretty good last night, I watched 3quarters. A couple of points I noticed.

    Howard doesn't have a lot good post moves once he faces a centre he can't over power. I just never thought he was good in the post unless he faces a weaker centre that he can manhandle, luckily there aren't many Roy hibberts out there.

    I been a harsh critic of hardens defence but he looks better so far, not great but he puts in the effort and his offence is always superb with a few ISO I can live without. He was also willing to feed Howard in the post.

    I remember when Rahat said the Lin seems to strive when he has his adrenalin pumpin and that kind of sparks his game, what concerns me is if he has a bad start of the season and doesn't accept a6th man role if this occur might not emotionally accept it and that may affect his game. He had a. Good game and you could see improvements in his overall game, he looks like his drive to the left is better than last years with lots of room to improve.

    Parsons had a parsons game, he is mr consistency.

    Pf I agree with the post. Casspi impressed he most.

    Bev had an ok night, but he played good defence as always. What I like is that even when he struggles offensively he can affect the game with his d.

    Garcia looked decent on his first game and hopefully he can build on that.

    It's pre season but I cans e improvements in all of our players.
  • rocketrick says 6 months ago

    It seems to me that the preliminary demise of Jeremy Lin in the Rocket's starting lineup as discussed by a number of forum members these past few days is unlikely to come to pass.

    It's great that the Rockets have 2 dynamic point guards and no doubt Patrick Beverly is going to have his moments this season and will finish some games. Assuming Lin gets banged up, as his history suggests will happen, Patrick will also have some opportunities as the starting PG.

    Still, Lin is much improved from last season much as I anticipated.

    Anyone else ready to jump on the Lin bandwagon?????

  • RollingWave says 6 months ago

    The 3rd quarter got ugly as ball movement stopped, this was a bad game for Dwight offensively. But the Casspsi / Garcia duo was hilariously awesome in the 4th and destroyed any hope for a Pacer comeback.

  • Red94 says 6 months ago New post: Houston Rockets 107, Indiana Pacers 96: Preseason Game, Regular Season Intensity
    By: Forrest Walker

    Taipei, Taiwan was hungry for a dose of Linsanity. The Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers made their way to Taiwan for an international Preseason game, a captive audience in far-off foothold for the NBA. The crowd hung on every play Lin made, and got on their feet when the final buzzer sounded Houston's victory. They got some of the new, assertive brand of Linsanity. They also got another strong performance from the Houston Rockets, one which resembled an NBA game through the first three quarters of play. Until the reserves took the floor in the fourth quarter, both teams had something to prove. Preseason basketball has never been so hot.

    The Pacers rode that heat with their three point shooting, knocking down half of the attempts they took. 11 of their 22 attempted threes found net, 10 of which came from Paul George and Danny Granger. The Pacers showed why teams have begun to look for the three point line in earnest. With threes, the Pacers' offense lifts from spotty to sometimes deadly, a possibility that was out in force. As Granger and Paul buried three after three in the third quarter, Roy Hibbert manhandled his man, whether it be Dwight Howard or Donatas Motiejunas. This was usually a closer game than the previous match against the Pacers, and they played like the game mattered.

    Unfortunately for Indiana, the Rockets came out with energy again, led by an extremely assertive Jeremy Lin. Lin got the lion's share of the point guard minutes, and used it to put up a very nice stat line. He picked up 17 points on 8 shots, 4 assists, 3 steals(!) and a highlight reel quality block from behind on a Danny Granger fastbreak layup. It's been said before, but it's so striking that it bears repeating. Jeremy Lin's shot looks leagues better this season, and his 3-4 shooting from behind the arc backs that up. He's more willing to probe the lane, which helped result in his three turnovers, but also led to some extremely impressive passes, including a brutal halfcourt alley-oop to Chandler Parsons. Lin has improved his game across the board.

    James Harden once again shot with abandon, but also had his own amazing alley-oop, this time to Dwight Howard. Harden's 21 points on 12 shots and 4 assists don't tell the whole story. Harden still takes baffling, covered shots, but he's also using off ball screens to find open ones. His numbers actually could have been better if he had drawn a couple fouls he seemed sure would be whistled, but this was a manageable risk. He also passed the ball in to Dwight Howard in the post regularly, something that it's impressive he's doing.

    Dwight Howard is working on a bank shot. It's not there yet, so its frustrating to watch him miss those shots. His 10 points included a couple great alley-oops and a couple dunks, including a dunk to finish off a post move. The rest of his post-up attempts tend to result in shots that are works in progress, explaining his 5-13 shooting. Hibbert gave Howard all he could handle, and Dwight came up with a -2 +/- score and only 6 rebounds, a number he stared with two other starters, Terrence Jones and Chandler Parsons.

    Parsons had another solid if unassuming night. 11 points on 11 shots isn't exactly worth writing home about, but a few of those points came at the business end of dunks, something which he seems to be moving back to. He can still rebound and still distribute, picking up 6 boards and 3 assists. He seems to be settling down at the same time as he's going back to dunking in game, which is good news for Houston. He's able to contribute in a few ways, and that means that some of his games will fly below the radar, even as he dunks all over the Pacers. He certainly exhibited less flash than his competitors at the 3, Francisco Garcia and Omri Casspi.

    The winner of the power forward battle might actually end up being a small forward, because Omri Casspi is blowing the 4s out of the water. Casspi's 5-7 shooting, 9 rebounds and 2 assists might not look a lot better than Motiejunas' 4-8 shooting, but Casspi's game sure does. While Donatas often looks lost with or without the ball, Casspi plays within himself, and is sure of what he can contribute. Of all the players who took the court, Casspi is still the most surprising success story. After being doubtful to even make it through camp, his shooting, defense and awareness are light years ahead of the power forward rotation, something which should concern them. He's well on his way to earning a roster spot, and is making a case for a shot at the starting lineup, eking out Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas.

    The team looks more capable, more mature and like a better version of last year's team. for stretches in the second quarter, which the Rockets won 26-19, Houston looked nearly unstoppable. Whether or not pre-season games mean anything, the Rockets are showing progress on an individual and team level. They have something to prove, and they proved it to Indiana twice.

  • ale11 says 6 months ago

    It's nice to see that ball movement, lots of unselfishness....the thing is that all that driving and kicking it out is leading to many turnovers, just like last years. I'm afraid that we are gonna have the same issues as last year.

    Also, once again, finishing the half with a Harden iso that didn't even came close to the rim....sigh....

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    Harden hasn't changed, it was the last Houston possession for the 2nd quarter and Harden waved away Dwight's pick because he wanted to iso, and with the iso play he took a step back long 2 which resulted in an air ball -__-'

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    Even though Lin started he's still playing with the second unit at SG, and once again he is giving the Pacers defense a lot of trouble while Harden rests, I like this rotation a lot.

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    Yep just as I predicted. We look horrible when we throw the ball into Dwight in the post, but we look fantastic when we pick and roll.

  • 2016Champions says 6 months ago

    I don't think I've ever been this excited about a pre-season game.

  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    How about they both on the court (sorry out of context), will be much better than Asik+Howard. :rolleyes: fantasizing.

  • feelingsupersonic says 6 months ago It's a tough comparison no matter which side you are on. There too many variables like potential and windows of peak performance that vary and realistically cannot be compared with a definite answer. I go back and forth.
  • Rahat Huq says 6 months ago

    Yea definitely was better offensively, but that was if he was even on the court or if you could even get the ball to him over a fronting defense. You can't limit Howard like that, except at the free throw line.

  • rockets best fan says 6 months ago

    Offensively it's not even close. But clearly Dwights the better defender.

    with both in their prime and healthy..........I take Yao. I love Howard as a player and a Rocket, but IMO Yao's offensive gifts made up for the minor falloff in defense. he was such a big man until his sheer presence on the floor causes problems for opposing teams. however offensively Yao could be depended upon to close the game via shot or free throws. it's sad Yao never got to play many years near his peak, but those last couple of years before the injuries he was morphing into a monster.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 6 months ago Offensively it's not even close. But clearly Dwights the better defender.
  • Rahat Huq says 6 months ago

    glad you brought up the yao head to heads: that aggravated me too. at the time of the dwight signing, i tweeted about the absurdity of rockets fans thinking yao was the superior player saying dwight was hands down more effective. several took exception, citing the head to head battles as some sort of proof. yao clearly dominated howard head to head, but i don't think you'll find a single person outside of houston or china that would say yao had more of an impact on a game than a healthy, young dwight howard.

  • RollingWave says 6 months ago

    Per Feigan, everyone but Asik / Camby is back in practice, so I suspect Asik still sits but a decent chance Garcia / Smith plays