The main thing I liked about this play is that it puts Scola in motion where he can be most effective.  If he can take the right-handed jumphook over his left shoulder without a help defender, the chances are high that he will score.

in multimedia

Rapid Reaction: Rockets 83, Grizzlies 93

Houston Rockets83Final
Recap | Box Score
93Memphis Grizzlies
Luis Scola, PF 33 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -10When Scola tallies half as many points and grabs half as many rebounds as he averaged throughout last season, there’s a problem. Tonight he looked tentative and unsure of himself facing Memphis’ imposing front line.
Chandler Parsons, F 33 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -7After starting hot with a 7 point first quarter, Parsons spent the rest of the game floating around the perimeter, existing on the court but not quite making his presence felt. As the season goes on, Parsons is beginning to look more and more like a rookie selected in the second round.
Samuel Dalembert, C 27 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -10Speaking of starting hot, Dalembert was awesome in the first quarter. I especially loved a sequence that occurred late in the first quarter where he twice knocked the ball away from a dribbling Marc Gasol out on the perimeter. However, as the game went on, Dalembert grew sloppy.
Kevin Martin, SG 19 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -6Martin didn’t score. There’s nothing else to say here.
Kyle Lowry, PG 39 MIN | 7-16 FG | 9-9 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 24 PTS | -9He had a game-high 24 points on a relatively efficient night of shooting, but something about Lowry’s performance didn’t feel right. Maybe it was none of his teammates being able to keep up with him? So goes the responsibilities of an uber-talented point guard.
Courtney Lee, SG 29 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4Lee was awarded for his aggressive offense with the unenviable task of guarding Rudy Gay whenever the two shared the court. It was a tough night, but Courtney did his best.
Goran Dragic, PG 19 MIN | 3-7 FG | 5-8 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -2Efforts like this from Dragic usually result in wins for the Rockets. He was strong throughout the second half and a positive force in keeping them in the game.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Watching this game, one glaring weakness on this roster was brought to light: the Rockets have NO big bodied, above average perimeter defender on their roster. Lowry is great, but against a scoring swingman like Rudy Gay, he obviously isn’t the answer. Lee, Parsons, and Budinger were all abused by Gay, and if they make the playoffs, elite scorers will torch them all night long.
  2. The Rockets managed to stay in this game for most of the second half, but were done in by brutal, unexplainable turnovers that were too much to overcome. In the third quarter they looked like a high school team attempting to inbound the ball against a basic man to man press on two separate occasions.

in game coverage

I took this footage on December 15, one of the last days of training camp.  In the clip, Jeremy Lin, as a member of the Houston Rockets, makes things happen.

We were allowed in for the final twelve minutes of scrimmage, the last five during which Lin played.  In these five minutes, there were twelve total plays.  Jeremy Lin is directly involved in seven.  In order, Lin helps out on Jonny Flynn, committing the foul, but preventing the drive; contests a Courtney Lee jumpshot, recovering to grab the board; tips in the loose ball; picks off an errant pass from Jonny Flynn; races full-court, earning himself two free-throws; takes a Courtney Lee jumper in the face; and smothers Jonny Flynn, preventing even a decent look.  The clip contains only these seven plays.  I have omitted the other five plays–those in which Jeremy Lin had no direct involvement–from the raw footage.  Also note that Lin was not featured in any of the offensive plays and only had impact through his own opportunism.

[read more…]

in multimedia Daily Dime recap

My recap for the loss at ESPN:

MVP: Monta Ellis did basically anything he wanted, scoring 33 points on 13-for-23 shooting. No one on the Rockets seemed to have a chance. He tossed in seven assists as well.

Defining moment: With less than a minute remaining, and the Warriors’ lead down to six, Monta Ellis floated in a runner with Kyle Lowry draped all over him. That shot told the tale of this one.

That was … unfamiliar: Rockets head coach Kevin McHale appeared on the sidelines with a freshly grown, well groomed goatee. No word yet if the new look is a long-term solution.

in musings

From the Ninetyfourums: more on Lin

Reader FelixCardona on the Lin decision:

It is absurd that this is even an issue. Would it have been great to have Lin as our third PG? Sure, better him than Flynn but that was not feasible. And even so, if the Rockets did have Lin as their 3rd PG he would have not performed the same way. Hell, he probably would have not even been given the chance to do so. Is that on Morey to visualize every conceivable scenario where a player can perform to their highest potential? Maybe but it is a tall order. And even if Morey had know that Lin would perform this way, what was he suppose to do? Rework the entire team and system to put him in that scenario? If Lin can continue to perform over an extended stretch of time and with a complete team then we could analyze the situation better.

It is like if T-Will is let go and starts tearing it up on the Wizards. Are we suppose to blame Morey for that? No. I wouldn’t. We know T-Will has skills but he has an attitude to go with it. Just because a player can light up on a depleted and crappy team means he can do the same anywhere else. Things like this need time to evaluate it properly taking into consideration how and why the players is performing that way. It could be a change of scenery, could be a by-product of a specific offensive system or it could be the players surrounding them. It could be more things, a combination a things, or none of them.

in from the editor