The Highlight Factory – Since the Rockets game against the Pacers was at 6:30 a.m. Central Time, I’m guessing most of you didn’t get a chance to see it. Never fear, the interwebs are full of highlight videos already, and I’ve tried to compile most of them for you right here.First things first, the Coldest Move Award goes to Chandler Parson’s Euro-step that destroyed the Pacers entire half-court defense and put Roy Hibbert on his butt.
I’m impressed. Most impressed. Let’s talk about Jeremy Lin now, because I’ve officially changed my verdict on what his role should be.In the past I’ve argued that Lin should be in the starting lineup. My rationale was that multiple playmakers are needed against trapping Thibodeau-style defenses. While I still think he can play with the other starters for that reason, I think his manifest destiny is as a 6th man on a championship contender.He is the Manu to Beverley’s Bowen, and the Harden to Beverley’s Sefalosha. Ultimately, the value Lin adds to the team by his ability to feast on second units flat outweighs the value he brings as an additional playmaker. When he’s attacking the lane against the other team’s backups, you’d think he was Derrick Rose.
The stat lines for both Howard and Hibbert were in one sense disappointing, but also exactly what you would expect. Howard struggles to score against behemoths like Hibbert, who is also one of the best post defenders in the league, and Hibbert is proving that his suddenly boosted reputation is the result of being able to feast on Chris Bosh in the playoffs. Against Howard, he managed six measly points. Despite only going 4-11 from the floor, Howard displayed some nifty face-up moves.
The runner-up for the Coldest Move award goes to Patrick Beverley. Enjoy.
That looked like the kind of play that Russell Westbrook used to make. Don’t look at me like that. You thought it too.Let’s play a game. Watch this video of Paul George’s highlights against the Rockets and tell me what’s encouraging (this is not a trick question).
Do you know what’s a little funny about this highlight reel? No dunks! Let’s review those baskets: two fading corner threes, a very contested floater in the lane, one transition layup (almost erased by Terrence Jones), and an And-1 coming off a tough post-up against Harden. Those are not easy looks for a slasher like George, who also had five turnovers to one assist for the game. George had a good game shooting 7-13 from the field, but he also went just 1-4 from the line, and the video bears out that the Rockets defense made him work for it.James Harden shot only 26 percent against the Pacers last year. So naturally he scored 21 points on 12 shots in Manila.Beard Meets Bird – This tweet should brighten your day.