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A live account of the season finale: Houston’s Rockets against the LA Lakers

  • 9:35PM CST: Bill Simmons just said “James Harden could have 55 points tonight…that’s how bad this Lakers team defends.”  I hope the guys bring it – the whole country is watching…though it would have been much more fun had Utah won (much less actually have shown up to play) making this game a must-win for the Lakers.  My prediction: Rockets by 10.  Take that with a grain of salt.  I predicted Lakers by 40 about an hour ago.
  • Great to see that Jeff Van Gundy will be calling this game.  And also great to see that he’s still a homer.  Called the Rockets “the favorite” in a potential Spurs series.  I actually agree.  But to say it on national television!
  • This is a must win.  This is literally a must win for the Rockets.  The distinction between playing San Antonio and playing a healthy Oklahoma City team is literally night and day

I’ll be updating this post throughout the night.  You can also follow my livecast of the game on @redninetyfour

  • 10: 28 left in the 1st: Harden starts the night out with a ’3′ and then a trip to the line.  Impressions: he could go for 50.
  • Great call by whoever the other guy with JVG is: “the Howard trade the most talked about, the Harden trade the most impactful.”
  • JVG is befuddled right now as to why the Rockets continue double teaming Dwight Howard, who is being guarded by Omer Asik.  ”Asik’s defense is better than Howard’s offense.”  The Lakers have now hit multiple open 3′s off these doubles, as I type this.
  • Rockets have left the Lakers in the dust tonight everytime they’ve tried to run.  The lead man on the break has been practically wide open on some of these plays.
  • Steve Blake still has nightmares about Aaron Brooks.
  • Inside of 2 minutes remaining in the 1st quarter now, what looked like it could become a Houston rout, at least in my mind, has turned into a Lakers lead.  L.A. has been pounding the ball inside, cleaning the offensive glass, and hitting open 3′s.  The Rockets halfcourt game has stagnated.  They have only been able to score off fastbreak opportunities – must rebound missed shots for those chances.
  • JVG making fun of Kobe Bryant’s dog right now.  ”I expected a rottweiler.  My goodness.”
  • I think I actually like Francisco Garcia better than Carlos Delfino.  1. Because Garcia seems to play a bit more within his limitations.  2. Because Garcia can’t be played at power forward.
  • Harden drains a ’3′ from straight away with some scrub in his face.  A lot of ISO ball so far tonight.  But it looks great on national TV.  Harden already with 12 points and 5 boards.  Still 1st quarter.
  • JVG: “He’ll be in the top 5 for the MVP this year.”  (Harden).
  • Terrence Jones has looked awful so far.
  • Holy.  Greg Smith just hit what amounted to some sort of running baby hook.  Really liking this guy’s repertoire.
  • Terrence Jones strikes me as the big kid who hasn’t yet realized his physical advantage against the smaller kids.  More on this later.  Much more on this.
  • JVG: “The hardest thing in coaching, without question, is coaching the star player in decline.”  Wonder how much of this applies to T-Mac in ’07.  At age 27.
  • Rockets go up 9 now.  Commercial break so I’m not sure how much time is left in the 2nd.  But this one looks like it’s in check.  *Knock on wood.*  LA just doesn’t seem to have any chance in hell of keeping up with Houston’s overall team speed and effort.
  • Pau Gasol just made Terrence Jones look like he was 6’3.  I have no idea why people insisted he was washed up.  Just needs to be used properly.
  • Asik just got blocked by the rim.  7 minutes remaining in the 2nd.
  • Lakers are living by the outside shot right now.  The likes of Steve Blake and such.  Houston on the other hand…I’m not sure what we’re doing.
  • JVG: “How can a team that won 38 games be allowed in the playoffs?”
  • Gatsby looks like it will be incredible.  Was one of my favorite books.
  • Harden barks at Asik downcourt after Asik fails to catch a horrible alleyoop pass.  This has become a common sight in Rockets games.  The irony, though, is that Asik would be just as justified in returning the favor at the other end after the multiple times he’s covered for The Beard’s lackadaisical efforts.  This has truly become an abusive relationship.
  • Even Asik’s dunks are hideous with the way he sort of hangs after the fact, off-balance.  God bless.
  • Houston heads into halftime up by 6.  Harden has 18 points and 7 rebounds; Dwight Howard has just 4 points – not quite what the Laker faithful were hoping for from the newly anointed savior.  Houston closed the half out pretty sloppily having had the chance to go up double digits but allowing the Lakers to get back in with some cheap mistakes.  Still, I’ll take a six point lead.  This one has the feel of the Rockets being in complete control, unless something goes completely wrong.  Our superstar (Harden) is rolling, and there’s (Howard) hasn’t gotten anything to go his way.  The Lakers are also living off of long distance shots.  And that Laker second unit…
  • Midway through the 3rd, Rockets up 10 now, and seem to be in control.  The crowd is completely out of it.
  • Jeremy Lin is the story that hasn’t been talked about this season.  After a November when he was brutal, coming off of knee surgery, and shot just 37% overall and 26% from downtown, he is now shooting 46% overall and 38% from downtown in April after a March in which he shot 48/40.
  • As the quarter comes to a close, the Rockets are up just 5, despite it feeling like they were in complete control.  I have a very nervous feeling about how this will end up.  But I just hope the Rockets don’t forego a valuable opportunity to face a wounded Spurs team.
  • Chandler Parsons has been on full display tonight, scoring in a variety of ways, from running the break to even creating in the lane.  Parsons always seems to save his best for the nationally televised.
  • Steve Blake hits a ’3′ and with 6 minutes remaining, the Lakers take their first lead since the first quarter.  So frustrating.
  • As usual, I have no idea what Kevin McHale was doing with the lineups.  Lakers gained their momentum when he ran a lineup featuring Delfino at the ’4′ against Gasol.  Lin has also been sitting this entire time after having his way with LA in the 3rd.  So, so frustrating.
  • BALLGAME.  Rockets lose.  Will face the Thunder.  Just absolutely unbelievable.  I’m so livid right now that it’d be in my best interests to take some time and gather my thoughts.  But screw it.  The Rockets choked away the lead and then, until and after a miraculous Chandler Parsons straightaway 3, inexplicably proceeded to go away from their set offense and resort to “hero-ball.”  I just literally have no words right now.  That offensive scheme down the stretch of the 4th quarter and overtime was a complete disgrace.  I don’t care who is to blame, whether it’s Harden or whether it’s McHale.  It was a disgrace.  Now, Houston will start the season in Oklahoma City.  Complete choke job, two years in a row.

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  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    mumbly.jpg

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago

    That has David Stern written all over it.


    Or crooked refs making sure the betting line is covered.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    That has David Stern written all over it.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    Yeah, that was a little mysterious....

  • quatin says 1 YEAR ago

    This one wasn't entirely on the team. Did anyone forget we got 5 fouls within 3 minutes to start the 4th? That put the Lakers in the bonus and guys had to play defense with a lot of space off their man to avoid giving up free throws. Here's a video of the 5 fouls. They're not all phantom fouls, but a lot of them where justling for position fouls away from the ball that were not being called all game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrZ-dS27gXg

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    I like them together for stretches as well Futureinterest. Harden might have been having a bad game but you still dance the last dance with the one who brought you. You ride Harden out and hopefully they learn from it.

    I agree that you go with your guy. The problem with Harden Today is that he is feast or famine. He is either super hot or cold. I forgot what the stats were but it was in another tread where he has I believe close to 15 games under 30% and 40% of the games he is under 40%. The reason is ppg is high is because he gets to the line. Also his turnover seems to be increasing the last couple of months. Whats bothers me with someone like Harden is that when he struggles he his basically a brick shooting pylon. Because he takes too many shoots and then idles in defence. And most of the times he guards the worst offensive guy on the opposing teams wings. Which usually are spot up shooters, so it shouldn't be too hard and expend too much energy there.

    There are plenty of superstars who if they are struggling for in a given game at least play avg defence.

    This sounds like I harp on Harden, but he is clearly the best and most important player for this team for a forseable future. Everybody else has their flaws and strenghts but we basically will live or die by Harden's performance. He is only 23 so I have great hopes that he will eventually get it.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Daryl Morey was asked on todays podcast if the Lakers stand a chance against the Spurs, he chuckled and replied "no chance".

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago I agree johnnygold Pop and the Spurs will methodically dispose of the Lakers.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago I like them together for stretches as well Futureinterest. Harden might have been having a bad game but you still dance the last dance with the one who brought you. You ride Harden out and hopefully they learn from it.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    There is solace in knowing Spurs will shred the Lakers. Dwight may post 30/20 game, but Spurs win in 5.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Actually this is a Lakers/Rockets' game thread and there are a few Josh Smith topics Steven that have real information that you could debate. Johnnygold has posted great information on Smith so check it out. Back to the subject here.
  • Futureinterest says 1 YEAR ago Harden was ineffective once they stopped calling fouls for him.

    I wanted to see Lin and Beverly in the game together. Lins D is decent. Putting those two together would've given us better ball movement and some solid perimeter D.
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago

    1. No one said we should sign him for the max. It's possible we can get him for 14m.

    2. I agree, sitting him at the end of the bench is stupid. I don't think anyone is stupid enough to think that will actually happen.


    Josh Smith turned down a 3 yr $45M extension. He is not taking less than max. And you're right he won't sit at the end of the bench. He will play Garcia minutes.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    Compare LeBron to Smith is apples to oranges. Smith is an all-star caliber PF. There are several all-star caliber players at each position (some deeper than others). LeBron James is a transcendent super star. There are very few players throughout history that could put an average group of players on their back and go far.

    No one is saying getting Smith will let us compose our version of the Heat. Getting Smith lets us build our version of the Celtics a few years back when they first got Garnett and Allen to go with Pierce. Only our team will be much younger.

    Yes. Good comparison with the celts.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    1. No one said we should sign him for the max. It's possible we can get him for 14m.

    2. I agree, sitting him at the end of the bench is stupid. I don't think anyone is stupid enough to think that will actually happen.

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago He also wouldn't be an upgrade over the current squad. Signing someone for a max contract to sit at the end of the bench is stupid.
  • pharmag says 1 YEAR ago

    Josh Smith is the 16th best PF in the league. That's average.

    Which is why I said caliber and stated that some of the positions are deeper than others. PF is probably one of the deepest positions right now as far as talent goes.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Josh Smith is the 16th best PF in the league. That's average.

    1. Not true.

    2. Tyson Chandler wasn't a superstar but he still was the difference between winning and losing for the Mavericks.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Apples and oranges aside, I think it's flawed logic to deem someone incapable of being a part of a winning team because he was unable to win on another team.

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Josh Smith is the 16th best PF in the league. That's average.
  • pharmag says 1 YEAR ago

    Compare LeBron to Smith is apples to oranges. Smith is an all-star caliber PF. There are several all-star caliber players at each position (some deeper than others). LeBron James is a transcendent super star. There are very few players throughout history that could put an average group of players on their back and go far.

    No one is saying getting Smith will let us compose our version of the Heat. Getting Smith lets us build our version of the Celtics a few years back when they first got Garnett and Allen to go with Pierce. Only our team will be much younger.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Garnett and Ray Allen to Boston.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Okay, then what about Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks? That's probably a better comparison since Tyson didn't make it out the second round in New Orleans, and he's one of the best defenders in the league which is a trait Josh Smith shares.

    Trust me, I can go all day.

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago LeBron got the worst team to ever go to the finals, there in 2007. That roster was horrible. Plus he won a Olympic Gold Medal, so there was proof he could win.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Proof? Mine is based in fact do to history.

    Very flawed proof you have there.

    Lebron couldn't win in Cleveland, so following your idea of proof: Heat shouldn't have got Lebron based "in fact do to history".

    Josh Smith was not the reason the Hawks couldn't beat better teams in the playoffs. The fact they didn't advance past the second round was because they didn't have a good enough team to advance. On the Rockets, that won't be a problem.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    Context: the setof circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

    A word I find eludes many posts and opinions.

    For instance, I could say "Shawn Kemp was one of the most dominant power forwards of all time"....and it would be true....if we only count that small period when he played like a man possessed. We all know differently.

    If anyone spoke of Karl Malone in his first 11 years in the league it could be argued he was a playoff dud as he "never got his team to the promised land". 11 years. He must not have been very good then...John Stockton too....

    Smith and Millsap are entering their primes and have competed in specific contexts. To ignore these circumstances and simply claim they are not good enough....it's fascinating.

    The optimists around here are often accused of having blinders on....pot, meet kettle.

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago

    Same thing and actually correct: Greg Smith and Terrence Jones :P


    Proof? Mine is based in fact do to history.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    Same thing and actually correct: Greg Smith and Terrence Jones :P


    Lol yep. I would take that one to the bank.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Same thing and actually correct: Greg Smith and Terrence Jones :P

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Two words that guarantee mediocrity and eliminated in the first round: Josh Smith.

    totally agree......two other words that mean the same thing......paul milsap :lol:

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago

    Two words would have made us win this game and many others: Josh Smith


    Two words that guarantee mediocrity and eliminated in the first round: Josh Smith.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago Two words would have made us win this game and many others: Josh Smith
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm with FSS and 2016 here--8-33 from three point range is uncharacteristic for us and had a few more of those fallen we would be celebrating our victory. Further, the need to create better three point shots is evident as we took a lot of bad ones/rushed ones. Plenty of other stuff to nitpick, but that appears to be the culprit.

    Lakers got zero fast break points last night and we outscored them by 10 in the paint. Howard and Gasol were a combined 13-37. The Lakers as a team shot 37%. If you saw these stats pre-game you'd assume we would win.

    Our offense was bad. It sucks. Moving on.

    On a positive note we saw Greg Smith and Asik hold their own against two of the best in the game. Chandler Parsons showed once again he isn't afraid of a big moment. Our bench can be very effective and deserve more minutes than they got (IMO).

  • Richards says 1 YEAR ago

    Oh that wasn't my entire post. I accidentally submitted it before finishing it. What I was saying is that Beverley is a much better defensive PG than Lin.

    Bev play aggressive defense. That's all and the way should be for backup. For a starter, he will foul out easily if he play so aggressively.

    Bev got a nice basket for his offensive rebound but I want him to watch out for fast break defense. Offensive rebound are big's main responsibility.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    The loss wasn't on Beverley, he did ok, he wasn't a game changer but he basically held the score even which is what a backup player shold do.


    Oh that wasn't my entire post. I accidentally submitted it before finishing it. What I was saying is that Beverley is a much better defensive PG than Lin.
  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    Parson played well tonight. I'm not sure why Parson didn't get more shots considering he was making over half of them. Bad move in putting Delfino on Gasol. Delfino was just holding Gasol everywhere he went. Lin went to the bench in third quarter the score was 63-55 and he stay on the bench for about 11 minutes of playing time. Never seen a coach ice his player like that. I think Lin was 4-9 with 7 dimes, before he was benched for 11 minutes. Bad fouls by Beverly while Blake was bringing the ball past half court. Those fouls put the Lakers in the bonus the rest of the fourth quarter. The offense seem to be running good with Lin and Parson creating off the pick and roll. Then we went back to Harden holding the ball. Harden had 6 turnovers and at least three times he threw the ball to his teammates to throw up a shot with a couple seconds on the shot clock. Overall I thought Smith and Omer played ok. A coach rotations can be the difference in winning and losing. Having Harden and Lin on the bench at the same time is a bad move, unless the team is up by twenty points.

    I agree with your sentiment. Lin was just cold for sitting still for 30 minutes real time. Then you put him in when we are down 2 and harden serves him the ball with less than 4 on the shot clock.

    Harden is the reason we made the playoffs, so its hard to put all the blame on one guy, its a team sport. What annoys me is why he fouled Blake at the end of 3rd I think when he just grabbed him midcourt in a non apparent danger of scoring. Giving them the 2 points who could have won us the game in regular time. Mistakes like that is unforgivable. If any other player took a idiotic foul like that they wouldn't have seen the court for 10 games in such an important game that was the difference I believe.

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    Parson played well tonight. I'm not sure why Parson didn't get more shots considering he was making over half of them. Bad move in putting Delfino on Gasol. Delfino was just holding Gasol everywhere he went. Lin went to the bench in third quarter the score was 63-55 and he stay on the bench for about 11 minutes of playing time. Never seen a coach ice his player like that. I think Lin was 4-9 with 7 dimes, before he was benched for 11 minutes. Bad fouls by Beverly while Blake was bringing the ball past half court. Those fouls put the Lakers in the bonus the rest of the fourth quarter. The offense seem to be running good with Lin and Parson creating off the pick and roll. Then we went back to Harden holding the ball. Harden had 6 turnovers and at least three times he threw the ball to his teammates to throw up a shot with a couple seconds on the shot clock. Overall I thought Smith and Omer played ok. A coach rotations can be the difference in winning and losing. Having Harden and Lin on the bench at the same time is a bad move, unless the team is up by twenty points.

    I agree with your sentiment. Lin was just cold for sitting still for 30 minutes real time. Then you put him in when we are down 2 and harden serves him the ball with less than 4 on the shot clock.

    Harden is the reason we made the playoffs, so its hard to put all the blame on one guy, its a team sport. What annoys me is why he fouled Blake at the end of 3rd I think when he just grabbed him midcourt in a non apparent danger of scoring. Giving them the 2 points who could have won us the game in regular time. Mistakes like that is unforgivable. If any other player took a idiotic foul like that they wouldn't have seen the court for 10 games in such an important game that was the difference I believe.

  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago

    And that lineup extended the lead. Why he put Delfino in the game to start the 4th I will never understand. Jones has a decent first half and doesn't see the court in the second half is mind blowing.

    no, that's when the leaddissipated. look at the line ups in the last 4th of the 3quarter.that's when the offense slowed down. it continued into the 4th.

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    Lol. Calm down dude, this loss was not on the coach it was on Harden. And Beverley

    The loss wasn't on Beverley, he did ok, he wasn't a game changer but he basically held the score even which is what a backup player shold do.

  • SDrake says 1 YEAR ago

    Richards wrote, "We need tomaximize all players strength, let Lin handle the ball as he is better at it. Let Harden shoot the ball as he is the best shooter we have. Was it coaching fault? Or Harden couldn't manage the game well?"

    Are you nuts? Harden is not the best shooter on the team. He's not even in the top 3. Even Lin is shooting a higher percentage for the season (44.1% to 43.8%). Harden is shooting 39.0% and 38.9% for March and April. Horrible.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago Harden needs to get better. He really only has two offensive plays: drive all the way to the basket or take a 3. Teams have figured this out and adjusted. He needs to expand his game offensively in the offseason (not to mention get better at D). He needs a floater, pull up mid ranger, fade away J from the post. Something else besides just putting his head down and driving through 5 defenders if his 3 pt shot is not falling!
  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    Harden is the Rockets and if he shoots 8 of 25 the Rockets will most likely lose. I agree this is mostly on Harden. It didn't help Lin was 4 of 14. Our backcourt starters should perform better against the Laker guards but they are still learning how to win I think.

    Lin was 4-9 after mchale pulled him in the 3rd Q with about little less than 5 minutes to go. Then he plays Bev for 11 minutes until the 6 min mark in the 4th. After that Lin was just cold, sitting for about 30 minutes real time with all the breaks. Also 3 of the missed shots was hail marys when harden passes him the ball with less than 4 seconds on the shot clock when he fails his iso.

    Lin didn't play a great game, but Harden did that to several of our players, and his 6 turnovers arent great either. He is averaging 5 turnovers a game. When the offence isn't working you should at least contribute defensively. Meeks just ran past harden for a dunk in OT like it was nothing down the base line.

  • SamC says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin's shooting was horrible as well, it definitely just wasn't Harden. The Rockets' backcourt had to win their matchup and they lost it.

    I agree, both Lin and Harden had bad games but Lin is willing to take responsibility for his mistakes. He tweeted "I gotta be much better". Harden on the other hand was quoted as saying "“We get stagnant. We don’t push the ball. We go through stretches we looked good. Even when the team scores on us, we get the ball out and score quick. There’s times we don’t get the ball out quick and play against good defensive halfcourt teams. Tonight is one of those scenarios we couldn’t get easy points down the stretch when we needed them."

    [http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2013/04/rockets-let-lakers-come-back-fall-to-no-8-seed/>

    As a player, when you have an amazing game, you give credit to the team but when you lose, you take responsibility. I feel like Harden isn't learning from his mistakes because he honestly believes that the loss isn't his fault. It's the team's fault. Until his language changes, I don't expect him to change his style of play in late game situations.

  • Richards says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin's shooting was horrible as well, it definitely just wasn't Harden. The Rockets' backcourt had to win their matchup and they lost it.

    Lin needs to improve his spot up shooting for sure. To be fair, last night Harden dump the ball a few time on him while time was expiring.

    We need tomaximize all players strength, let Lin handle the ball as he is better at it. Let Harden shoot the ball as he is the best shooter we have. Was it coaching fault? Or Harden couldn't manage the game well?

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin's shooting was horrible as well, it definitely just wasn't Harden. The Rockets' backcourt had to win their matchup and they lost it.

  • KillerInstinct says 1 YEAR ago

    Wow I am still pissed at the brick festival put on by Harden, complete nonsense, why shoot 13 3's when your shot is off?! He was even missing layups, when star players cant find their shot they find other ways to help their team win, but not Harden he single singlehandedly shot his team in the foot. McHale needs to step up
  • SDrake says 1 YEAR ago

    The thing that pisses me about Harden's hero-ball play last night is that the Lakers are a very beatable team if you just keep pushing the ball and running. Their bigger men eventually can't keep up. When Harden tries to play by himself with his hero-ball style, it slows the game down and kills the faster tempo.

    Harden and his recent tendency to play more hero-ball... Is it an indication that after 82 games, Harden doesn't trust his teammates?

    In the past month, the 2 best played Rockets games are the wins against OKC and Orlando. They played like a team. Oh, Harden sat out both games. The Rockets are ONLY a good team when they play as a team and move the ball.

    Look at Harden's shooting percentages... 39% and 38.9% for March and April for all FG. His turnovers... April 41 in 303 minutes. In March 39 in 489 minutes. He's becoming a liability.
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago

    Substitutions/lineups for the game last night:
    http://nbagraphs.tumblr.com/image/48266490607

    If you thought your eyes were deceiving you, yes: Jones, Smith, Garcia, and Delfino were all on the court at once.


    And that lineup extended the lead. Why he put Delfino in the game to start the 4th I will never understand. Jones has a decent first half and doesn't see the court in the second half is mind blowing.
  • BenQueens says 1 YEAR ago Substitutions/lineups for the game last night:
    http://nbagraphs.tumblr.com/image/48266490607

    If you thought your eyes were deceiving you, yes: Jones, Smith, Garcia, and Delfino were all on the court at once.
  • Richards says 1 YEAR ago

    Harden cost us two games straight with ISO an no movement even if ball wan'st in his hand.

    I was even more frustrated with him for dumping the ball in teammate hand with no time left.

    He need to move. cut, screen when he didn't hold the ball. Now we knew why he was a sixth man.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vdbY3GZI6ho

  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago

    I've really only gotten to see the national televised games this year and comparing our offensive schemes from this game to our schemes a month or two ago is like comparing night and day. As others have alluded to there is not near enough ball movement. Yeah in the past we still shot a lot of three pointer like we did tonight but the biggest difference is that in the past many of those three pointers were wide open due to dribble penetration and a kick out. In the past there was alot of moving without the ball, alot of cuts to the basket and alot of plays that involved double screens and such to free up open shooters. I saw those kinds of things a few times but few and far between compared to the past.

    Tonight, it was mainly one on one plays with Harden and maybe one screen thrown in once in a while in our half court sets; then the rest of our offense revolved around catching the D slipping on transition after getting the defensive rebound. But the Lakers grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, so those transition plays weren't there nearly as often as the Rockets needed. They capitalized on most of the transition opportunities they had, but if they would have stuck with their offensive game plan that helped them become the top scoring team in the league, this game easily should have been a blowout. As it stands, the one on one game with a single screen thrown in once in a while to "mix" it up obviously doesn't work.

  • datruth says 1 YEAR ago Parson played well tonight. I'm not sure why Parson didn't get more shots considering he was making over half of them. Bad move in putting Delfino on Gasol. Delfino was just holding Gasol everywhere he went. Lin went to the bench in third quarter the score was 63-55 and he stay on the bench for about 11 minutes of playing time. Never seen a coach ice his player like that. I think Lin was 4-9 with 7 dimes, before he was benched for 11 minutes. Bad fouls by Beverly while Blake was bringing the ball past half court. Those fouls put the Lakers in the bonus the rest of the fourth quarter. The offense seem to be running good with Lin and Parson creating off the pick and roll. Then we went back to Harden holding the ball. Harden had 6 turnovers and at least three times he threw the ball to his teammates to throw up a shot with a couple seconds on the shot clock. Overall I thought Smith and Omer played ok. A coach rotations can be the difference in winning and losing. Having Harden and Lin on the bench at the same time is a bad move, unless the team is up by twenty points.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Of course Harden is fatigued so are Lin and Asik and all the rest of them. Go to basketball-reference and look at their minutes versus last year, almost tripled. Add the fact the style of game the Rockets have played this year, very fast paced requiring lots of running. This team is running out of gas and the playoff scheduling should give them some relief.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Actually the 6th seed. He sucked last game too.

    Harden has cost his team the 7 seed

    We are also in the playoffs only because of Harden.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago I think Harden may be fatigued though, in his defense. He has never played this amount of minutes in his NBA career (talking about total minutes for a season).
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    Harden has cost his team the 7 seed


    Actually the 6th seed. He sucked last game too.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    you can still move the ball around. players can move with out the ball. im not seeing any of that.


    It's obvious that McHale preaches that if you watch any of his post game interviews. Our young players just don't do it sometimes. That has more to do with our youth and inexperience than McHale, in my opinion.
  • KillerInstinct says 1 YEAR ago

    Harden has cost his team the 7 seed
  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago

    Because we don't have a post player. We don't have many other options with our current team in the half court set. This is why we need to get a Real starting PF this offseason.


    you can still move the ball around. players can move with out the ball. im not seeing any of that.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    did you guys notice that the problem of not sharing the ball happens even when harden doesn't have the ball in his hand?

    being 3 heavy is great an all, but if they arent going in, youre going to need figure something out. this has been happening all season. how does this not ultimately go to mchale?


    Because we don't have a post player. We don't have many other options with our current team in the half court set. This is why we need to get a Real starting PF this offseason.
  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago did you guys notice that the problem of not sharing the ball happens even when harden doesn't have the ball in his hand?

    being 3 heavy is great an all, but if they arent going in, youre going to need figure something out. this has been happening all season. how does this not ultimately go to mchale?
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    I've seen Lin play some really good defense this season, so this isn't a knock on Lin but Beverley is definately better at pestering the ball handler.


    Yeah, I don't think it's even close. I think Lin is an average defensive PG while Beverley is one of the best defensive PGs in the league in my opinion.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    We actually looked alot like the Heat in the 2011 finals against the Mavs, lots of standing around and predictable pick and rolls that don't work. Hopefully we look like they did in the 2012 finals next year lol

  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    it's too late now but they're going to have to get this figured out in the offseason. you cannot run an offense like that down the stretch. that was absolutely downright inexplicable.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I've seen Lin play some really good defense this season, so this isn't a knock on Lin but Beverley is definately better at pestering the ball handler.

  • pharmag says 1 YEAR ago Tricky, agree with first point, but second is off based. If he doesn't get Lin a rest, then he is gassed in the fourth. Lineup he threw out there was odd but can't fault him for getting his starters rest for the fourth. Also, I think it is hilarious that people ripped McHale for matching up with the Suns last game when they went small, claiming he should have played big and pounded it. Now they are ripping it because he tried a small ball lineup against a LA team packing the paint most likely to pull the big men out and open some lanes and potentially draw some fouls on Howard & Gasol as they try to recover to stop driver. Didn't work and he got rid of it pretty quickly, but McHale just can't win...
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    Dude. Harden had a TERRIBLE game. He keeps on getting a free pass becuase he's the max player, but my god his D and the habit of giving up the ball with 4 secs or less on the shot clock is pretty damn annoying.

    I did not know that McHale was such a bad coach. Why did Lin get pulled in the 3rd. They were ahead and holding a 5-7 pt lead throughout the game with him playing. So Blake is hot, so what? We were matching them possession for possession. So Lin's shooting poorly? So what, he's distributing the ball to Asik and Parsons. Frankly he was 4/9 at one point and I think if he wasn't iced, he would've had a good game.

    I like Beverley but aside from one pretty bucket, he wasn't THAT much more effective on D.

    Need a new coach!!!


    Lol. Calm down dude, this loss was not on the coach it was on Harden. And Beverley is a much better defensive player than Lin.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    Dude. Harden had a TERRIBLE game. He keeps on getting a free pass becuase he's the max player, but my god his D and the habit of giving up the ball with 4 secs or less on the shot clock is pretty damn annoying.

    I did not know that McHale was such a bad coach. Why did Lin get pulled in the 3rd. They were ahead and holding a 5-7 pt lead throughout the game with him playing. So Blake is hot, so what? We were matching them possession for possession. So Lin's shooting poorly? So what, he's distributing the ball to Asik and Parsons. Frankly he was 4/9 at one point and I think if he wasn't iced, he would've had a good game.

    I like Beverley but aside from one pretty bucket, he wasn't THAT much more effective on D.

    Need a new coach!!!


    Lol. Calm down dude, this loss was not on the coach it was on Harden. And Beverley
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Totally agree. Harden has had some terrible games lately. He has work to do in the offseason. He needs to decrease his turnovers, develop a midrange shot, develop a floater, and improve his defense. He is only 23 yrs old so he should be able to improve in these areas. I just hope he puts in the work because his current game doesn't work if defenses clog the paint and his outside jumper is off. Especially in games like this when he isn't getting the foul calls.

    Agree 100%. I know McHale doesn't want us to take mid-range shots, buta mid-range shot or a floater would have been very handy in games like these.

  • trickymess says 1 YEAR ago

    Dude. Harden had a TERRIBLE game. He keeps on getting a free pass becuase he's the max player, but my god his D and the habit of giving up the ball with 4 secs or less on the shot clock is pretty damn annoying.

    I did not know that McHale was such a bad coach. Why did Lin get pulled in the 3rd. They were ahead and holding a 5-7 pt lead throughout the game with him playing. So Blake is hot, so what? We were matching them possession for possession. So Lin's shooting poorly? So what, he's distributing the ball to Asik and Parsons. Frankly he was 4/9 at one point and I think if he wasn't iced, he would've had a good game.

    I like Beverley but aside from one pretty bucket, he wasn't THAT much more effective on D.

    Need a new coach!!!

  • SDrake says 1 YEAR ago

    Someone needs to tell Hardin it's a team sport. 4-13 at 3-pointers? Why the heck did Hardin shoot 13 3-pointers? If anyone's going to shoot that many, it should be Parsons or Delfino who can shoot a better percentage.

    The Rockets call timeouts late in the game and McHale doesn't set a play for them other than Hardin's hero-ball? Hardin holding the ball near mid-court then either shooting a 3-pointer or passing at the last second so someone else can take a low percentage shot isn't a good strategy. Hero-ball failed at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters. It would have failed at the end of the 4th if Greg Smith didn't hustle to keep the ball alive that led to Parson's tying 3-pointer. All season, the Harden hero-ball play has been the least efficient play. Move the ball and get a better percentage shot.

    Oh, there will be people singing Hardin's praises for scoring 30 points tonight, but with 8-25 shooting, he should have scored 40-45 points. Plus his 6 turnovers. Maybe he's been overused all season and is just tired, but after halftime, Hardin sucked. Remember he sucked after the 1st quarter Monday against the Suns. Hardin has serious liabilities when he's not making his shots.

    When Hardin is making shots, he's much more a team player. When he's not making shots, he becomes more of an individual player like he needs another shot to make up for the one he's just missed. It snowballs and he's 8-25 like tonight.

    Now against OKC... You know Hardin will be playing the individual game again. All the attention will be on him playing against his old team. OKC in 4 games.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Harden is the Rockets and if he shoots 8 of 25 the Rockets will most likely lose. I agree this is mostly on Harden. It didn't help Lin was 4 of 14. Our backcourt starters should perform better against the Laker guards but they are still learning how to win I think.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Blaming this on McHale is easy for fans and many will do it. I think it's just a matter of numbers. If a few more three pointers go in the Rockets win this no problem. Lots of details can be nitpicked but this is a young team and those young team errors are unavoidable, simply it was a live by the three die by the three game.

    I don't have the stats, but I know for a fact we make a much higher percentage of our threes if they are shot after a drive and kick out. We didn't do that this game.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    I know everyone wants to give Harden credit when he plays well, but lets give him some criticism when he plays bad too. Harden lost our last two games, it's on him more than anyone else.


    Totally agree. Harden has had some terrible games lately. He has work to do in the offseason. He needs to decrease his turnovers, develop a midrange shot, develop a floater, and improve his defense. He is only 23 yrs old so he should be able to improve in these areas. I just hope he puts in the work because his current game doesn't work if defenses clog the paint and his outside jumper is off. Especially in games like this when he isn't getting the foul calls.
  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago

    Don't think you can blame this one entirely on McHale. I read his lips on one of the last play they drew up, and it wasn't followed at all. Team played lazy and sloppy the whole half...

    main contributing factor. things slowed down toward the end of the 3rd. he put out terrible line ups then and 1/4-1/2 of the 4th. harden is second. the team stands around even when harden didn't have the ball (3rd). delfino didn't show up at all (4th). refs (5th).

    i have defended mchale the whole season. this was an obvious failure.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Blaming this on McHale is easy for fans and many will do it. I think it's just a matter of numbers. If a few more three pointers go in the Rockets win this no problem. Lots of details can be nitpicked but this is a young team and those young team errors are unavoidable, simply it was a live by the three die by the three game.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I know everyone wants to give Harden credit when he plays well, but lets give him some criticism when he plays bad too. Harden lost our last two games, it's on him more than anyone else.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago I blame this one on Harden. He played horrendously bad for the final 3 quarters of the game. He needs to develop a midrange game or a floater or something. It's not working just forcing the ball to the rim and missing layups.
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    Unbelievable.

  • pharmag says 1 YEAR ago


    smh mchale


    Don't think you can blame this one entirely on McHale. I read his lips on one of the last play they drew up, and it wasn't followed at all. Team played lazy and sloppy the whole half...
  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago smh mchale
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I think we win this game if we make our threes.

    24% from behind the arc tonight--8 for 33. We weren't driving and kicking enough this game, we were just blatantly settling for the three before any penetration. Harden was the main culprit, frequently stopping ball movement to over-dribble without going anywhere (literally just dribbled in the same spot for 10 seconds before taking a shot or making a bad pass) and failing to use screens. Harden would either call the screen away or simply wait for the screen to go away before attacking off the iso.

    Sorry to say this fellow Rocket fans, but this team can only go as far as Harden takes us and it looks like he won't be taking us very far this year. Hopefully next season things will be different. We need to create floor spacing via lots of movement (like the Nuggets), or create floor spacing by getting PF who can shoot (like Millsap).

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Parsons with the line drive for THREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago McHales decision to go small with Smith at center Delfino Parsons and Garcia against Howard Gasol and Jamison cost the Rockets the momentum to start the 4th. Allowed the crowd bal into the game.
  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago what is this line up?
  • Red94 says 1 YEAR ago New post: A live account of the season finale: Houston's Rockets against the LA Lakers
    By: rahat huq


    • 9:35PM CST: Bill Simmons just said "James Harden could have 55 points tonight...that's how bad this Lakers team defends."  I hope the guys bring it - the whole country is watching...though it would have been much more fun had Utah won (much less actually have shown up to play) making this game a must-win for the Lakers.  My prediction: Rockets by 10.  Take that with a grain of salt.  I predicted Lakers by 40 about an hour ago.

    • Great to see that Jeff Van Gundy will be calling this game.  And also great to see that he's still a homer.  Called the Rockets "the favorite" in a potential Spurs series.  I actually agree.  But to say it on national television!

    • This is a must win.  This is literally a must win for the Rockets.  The distinction between playing San Antonio and playing a healthy Oklahoma City team is literally night and day


    I'll be updating this post throughout the night.  You can also follow my livecast of the game on @redninetyfour
  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago

    I saw Asik trying to post up Marc Gasol and that was embaressing. I think our plan the whole game should be to let Harden and Lin abuse their back court defense and see if they can draw fouls on Dwight and Pau.

    p.s. I agree Dwight is a clown, he wants to chose life in Hollywood over winning in Houston.


    this. the only way asik should get points is from a parsons/lin/harden dish.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I saw Asik trying to post up Marc Gasol and that was embaressing. I think our plan the whole game should be to let Harden and Lin abuse their back court defense and see if they can draw fouls on Dwight and Pau.

    p.s. I agree Dwight is a clown, he wants to chose life in Hollywood over winning in Houston.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    I'd also like to see Asik post up on Dwight a few times...with a little luck he scores/draws some fouls....or Dwight schools him and it's just funny.


    Dwight is a clown. I would take Asik any day over him. I could not see myself rooting for Howard and thus do not want him on my Rockets.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    I'd also like to see Asik post up on Dwight a few times...with a little luck he scores/draws some fouls....or Dwight schools him and it's just funny.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago IM PUMPED!!! Lets go Rockets!!! I think we are going to see something special tonight out of our young team!!!
  • Chichos says 1 YEAR ago

    It will be up to Lin to have a big game. Steve Blake can't stay in front of him. If Lin gets 24+ the Rockets win. If Lin doesn't make them pay for covering him with Blake then itwillbe a long night of Beverly and we won't win that way.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    True, especially from Harden.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm just looking forward to some playoff intensity--both teams have a lot to play for.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I don't mind leaving Metta a little open. We need to stay on Blake and Meeks though.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    I think we're going to get killed.


    Wow, some faith you have in our team
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    I think if we stick to the perimeter and lock down the three point line we'll be fine. Let the interior defenders do their jobs. The "help" defense doesn't help much as far as I can tell, but it sure does leave their 3 pt. shooters wide open...

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    I think we're going to get killed.

    I second that

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I think we win this game if we make our threes.

  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago

    I dont think McHale will rest Harden/Parsons, or anyone for that matter. I hope he realizes how important this game is, and as a former Celtic I'd hope he wants to crush the Lakers(especially if Utah were to win and they fall out of the playoffs with a loss).

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    oh I think somebody will get killed, but I don't think we will be doing the dying. the lakers are toast if Utah wins.

  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    I think we're going to get killed.

  • miketheodio says 1 YEAR ago The NBA gods would want the story line of harden vs his old team and the possibility of the lakers beating a hobbled spurs. If you're into the NBA conspiracy thing.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    We should definitely play all out--this is our audition for Dwight!

  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    Last time i heard Morey was on 790am he was basically saying there main goal is to avoid the Thunder and that Rocket players will not be rested. Now since the end of last week that stance may have changed but I would guess not. As far as McHale's last interview I heard on the subject he was all for winning all games and he sounded like no one would convince him to stand down. McHale strikes me as a coach that just believes in winning games.

    sweet. sounds good to me. i would have been upset if we were resting players. whole reason i asked the initial ? regarding parsons are harden was from reading someone on twitter mentioned them possibly sitting.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Last time i heard Morey was on 790am he was basically saying there main goal is to avoid the Thunder and that Rocket players will not be rested. Now since the end of last week that stance may have changed but I would guess not. As far as McHale's last interview I heard on the subject he was all for winning all games and he sounded like no one would convince him to stand down. McHale strikes me as a coach that just believes in winning games.
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    yeah we'll see what happens tonight.

  • phaketrash says 1 YEAR ago

    look i totally agree as far as prefering the spurs over the thunder. im just saying that idk if mchale would prefer to rest two of his starters when we're going to be an underdog, on the road either way.

    I feel as if McHale will want to win this one and go all out. I mean, Harden was semi-injured in the PHX game, doing badly and McHale kept putting him in. I don't know if he'll feel differently for this game...esp. again, such important seeding complications. Our shot at besting the Spurs (as they are now) is considerably higher, imo, than besting OKC. Not like 3% chance of winning against OKC vs. 5% chance of winning against Spurs kind of 'better,' but considerably more. I think that easily outweighs a bit more rest.

  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    I disagree. I think this is like a playoff game. It is so important for seeding. If we lose, LAL takes the 7th seed. We face OKC instead of a hobbled Spurs team. If we win, we avoid OKC. I imagine that is a big deal. OKC is really good...and Spurs are both old and injured. For chrissakes, they just had to sign McGrady to add insurance/depth! :P

    look i totally agree as far as prefering the spurs over the thunder. im just saying that idk if mchale would prefer to rest two of his starters when we're going to be an underdog, on the road either way.

  • phaketrash says 1 YEAR ago

    not really. and not sure how important mchale will view it. either way we're starting the playoffs on the road as a big underdog. trust me, i HOPE they both play and I HOPE we win tonight, but mchale might wanna rest harden (especially after his knee bump with scola) and parsons to be as close to 100% for game 1 as possible.

    I disagree. I think this is like a playoff game. It is so important for seeding. If we lose, LAL takes the 7th seed. We face OKC instead of a hobbled Spurs team. If we win, we avoid OKC. I imagine that is a big deal. OKC is really good...and Spurs are both old and injured. For chrissakes, they just had to sign McGrady to add insurance/depth! :P

  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago

    It will be an easy Lakers win, they will just feed Dwight and Pau. The towers will eat us up, if we couldn't find anyone to stop scola, I can't believe we will find 2 players to stop that tower duo.

    I said in the kobe post, I think Lakers will advance to the Finals. Advancing to the 2nd round for sure.

    I'm not so sure on that. One of the reasons Scola ate us alive other than his nifty post moves is Dragic and he play well on the pick and roll. Steve Blake is no Dragic. Granted, Gasol could hurt us in the post but like pharmag said, double him and have Osik somewhat contain D12 and we may just do alright. Maybe.

  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    They damn well better be! This is essentially a playoff game!

    not really. and not sure how important mchale will view it. either way we're starting the playoffs on the road as a big underdog. trust me, i HOPE they both play and I HOPE we win tonight, but mchale might wanna rest harden (especially after his knee bump with scola) and parsons to be as close to 100% for game 1 as possible.

  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago

    Just let Asik handle D12. I think he can do it. Then just double Pau and force ball out of his hand (just don't double off of Nash...).

    As for the Lakers advancing past second round...I doubt it. If they play Thunder I doubt they get out of first, but even if they get Spurs and get out, they are going to run into Denver in 2nd and I seriously doubt they win that without the home court advantage. Denver will just run them into the ground...

    Won't have to worry about Nash. He is not available for tonight's game with an assortment of nagging injuries but mainly a strained hamstring.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    harden/parsons playing for sure???


    They damn well better be! This is essentially a playoff game!
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago

    harden/parsons playing for sure???

  • pharmag says 1 YEAR ago

    I don't think Asik will stop Dwight, but he should be able to contain him.

    Thats what I meant.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I don't think Asik will stop Dwight, but he should be able to contain him.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago Don't count out our young Rockets squad. I have a feeling they will surprise is tonight with a big win. Harden is going to erupt for about 45.
  • pharmag says 1 YEAR ago

    Just let Asik handle D12. I think he can do it. Then just double Pau and force ball out of his hand (just don't double off of Nash...).

    As for the Lakers advancing past second round...I doubt it. If they play Thunder I doubt they get out of first, but even if they get Spurs and get out, they are going to run into Denver in 2nd and I seriously doubt they win that without the home court advantage. Denver will just run them into the ground...

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    It will be an easy Lakers win, they will just feed Dwight and Pau. The towers will eat us up, if we couldn't find anyone to stop scola, I can't believe we will find 2 players to stop that tower duo.

    I said in the kobe post, I think Lakers will advance to the Finals. Advancing to the 2nd round for sure.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago GO ROCKETS!

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