The Rockets Daily – October 16, 2013

“I have two starting point guards.” – That’s Kevin McHale after Tuesday’s practice, simultaneously ending and fueling the debate over Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley. Here’s the full exchange:

Reporter: On your point guard, are you just looking for how different combinations work, one and two…

McHale: (interrupts) Yes, I am.

Reporter: (continues) …as opposed to trying to find a starting point guard?

McHale: I have two starting point guards. Either one of those guys can start. So I’m just looking at different stuff. That to me is the most–I came off the bench in a lot of games. That’s the most irrelevant thing in the world to me, but I guess to other people it’s a big deal.

Let’s put McHale’s statement about coming off the bench in context. McHale was Boston’s sixth man from 1981-1985. During that time he won two NBA Championships, was named to the All-Rookie First Team, earned a spot on the All-Star Team, and was selected to the All-Defensive Second Team. He came off the bench for years after displaying not only that he was a starting-caliber player, but that he was one of the league’s elite talents. When he did move to the starting lineup, it was only because the Celtics picked up another player, Bill Walton, who was capable of filling McHale’s role off the bench.

Regardless of whether Lin or Beverley is handed the role of sixth man (and I think it will be Lin), it should be clear that McHale values that role immensely.

For Those of You Just Joining UsSB Nation has launched a season preview of the Rockets. Most of the articles deal with questions that hard-core fans have been navel-gazing at since July, but two of them stand out.

Tom Ziller offers an excellent big-picture look at Dwight Howard’s career to this point, and Drew Garrison breaks down Omer Asik’s defense in vids, pics and GIFs.

The (Im)Possible DreamSI.com lists off some dream scenarios for the 2013 NBA Finals. One of those scenarios: Rockets vs. Heat.

This would be a matchup based on collective speed, a meeting of two teams both inclined to jump passing lanes and trigger the break. It doesn’t seem all that likely that the Rockets could withstand the Heat’s barrage over the course of a seven-game series, but what this pairing lacks in proper balance it would more than make for in entertainment value.

While we’re fantasizing, allow me to throw out a few more tantalizing story lines from this matchup:

  • It’s a revenge match for LeBron after Dwight squashed the Cavs in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
  • It’s a revenge match for Harden after the Heat embarrassed him in the 2012 Finals.
  • It’s a revenge match for Wade after Kevin Durant said Harden was better than him.
  • It’s a revenge match for Jeremy Lin after Mario Chalmers’ defense snuffed out Linsanity.
  • The McHale v. Pat Riley angle carries the torch for the Celtics-Lakers rivalry teams of the 80′s.
  • Despite the Heat’s clear superiority as a team, Dwight Howard has a chance to “Hibbert” Miami’s thin frontcourt, provided that Greg Oden “Odens out” this season.

Come on, David Stern. You know you can make this happen, and you know you want to.

Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to jeby901@gmail.com or message @EbyNews on Twitter.

View this discussion from the forum.

This entry was posted in columns and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Login to leave a comment.
Total comments: 11
  • Journeymany says 9 months ago

    The jury's still out on Mchale. He's preformed decently so far(but was crucial in getting Dwight). If we fail to make it to the WCF, he should be gone and we should go after either Van Gundy, Phil(long-shot), or promote an assistant. I was critical of him last year, but he's earned another year. It's up to him whether he keeps his job or not.

    Agreed - regardless of the starting lineup, I think that ideally, Lin and Asik should both be in the 6th man of the year conversation. This team has the talent, depth, and critically, diversity - in terms of the different potential lineups that can be put out - to challenge anyone.

    The big questions are, can Mchale get a good rotation going, both in terms of putting out the right combo's and keeping the key players minutes down, and can he get the right systems and plays going in crunch moments?

    I think the signs of whether we're going will be pretty clear early in the season we need to look at - a) Howard / Harden minutes (ideally around 30) b )How much Harden iso is there? (ideally very little) c) How dominant is the bench? (It really should be crushing other team's benches)

  • rockets best fan says 9 months ago

    The jury's still out on Mchale. He's preformed decently so far(but was crucial in getting Dwight). If we fail to make it to the WCF, he should be gone and we should go after either Van Gundy, Phil(long-shot), or promote an assistant. I was critical of him last year, but he's earned another year. It's up to him whether he keeps his job or not.

    I 2nd this.........totally agree the jury is still out. this team has such an abundance of talent that I now feel only 2 things can derail us.........Injuries or bad coaching

  • Alituro says 9 months ago

    Sorry buddy your crapola is passé, kinda like those tea party dudes.

    That's hilarious because this:

    I had the privilege of watching the 1980's version of the Celtics and growing up as a huge Celtics fan, needless to say I was always pumped to watch their games on TV. Keep in mind back in those days, there was no cable tv, no internet, etc. so there were very, very few games on TV. I spent way too much of my childhood reading the newspapers and scouring the boxscores 1-2 days after the final buzzer sounded.

    Long story short, because of McHale's history as a quite successful and absolutely very determined NBA player, I have been from the very start an advocate of Coach McHale leading our Rockets.

    Last season's major topics of Lin being a disastrous PG for the Rockets and McHale being a disastrous Head Coach for the Rockets appear quite evidently to be a distant hiccup.

    ... is about as "passé" of an opinion as you could get for justifying McHale as a head coach. Whereas this:

    The jury's still out on Mchale. He's preformed decently so far(but was crucial in getting Dwight). If we fail to make it to the WCF, he should be gone and we should go after either Van Gundy, Phil(long-shot), or promote an assistant. I was critical of him last year, but he's earned another year. It's up to him whether he keeps his job or not.

    ... Is at least RELEVANT to him coaching in 2013..

    sorry had to point out the irony. :o

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    Sorry buddy your crapola is passé, kinda like those tea party dudes.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 9 months ago

    The jury's still out on Mchale. He's preformed decently so far(but was crucial in getting Dwight). If we fail to make it to the WCF, he should be gone and we should go after either Van Gundy, Phil(long-shot), or promote an assistant. I was critical of him last year, but he's earned another year. It's up to him whether he keeps his job or not.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    I had the privilege of watching the 1980's version of the Celtics and growing up as a huge Celtics fan, needless to say I was always pumped to watch their games on TV. Keep in mind back in those days, there was no cable tv, no internet, etc. so there were very, very few games on TV. I spent way too much of my childhood reading the newspapers and scouring the boxscores 1-2 days after the final buzzer sounded.

    Long story short, because of McHale's history as a quite successful and absolutely very determined NBA player, I have been from the very start an advocate of Coach McHale leading our Rockets.

    Last season's major topics of Lin being a disastrous PG for the Rockets and McHale being a disastrous Head Coach for the Rockets appear quite evidently to be a distant hiccup.

  • Rahat Huq says 9 months ago

    that comment by mchale about his own career is the type of stuff that fascinates me.

  • Journeymany says 9 months ago

    You heard it here first. Jeremy Lin will be the starter. Why? Because Daryl Morey and owner Alexander wont have the $25 million dollar man in the 6th man role. While I have no sources, this is purely hypothetical.... BUT, what happens next is more important.

    Lin will lead the 2nd unit similar to what he did against the Pacers in Taiwan and play heavy 2nd and 3rd quarter minutes. Lin excels as the primary ball handler and this would work when Harden isnt in the game. Lin starts, goes to the bench around the 6 minute mark. Beverly comes in to play with Howard, Harden Parsons and the PowerFoward. Lin, Asik, Casspi/Garcia come in when Harden sits and that's a formidale bench-mob.

    While I do agree with you this is the most likely scenario come the start of the season, having a $25 million dollar guy off the bench isn't that big a deal when you look across the state and see that the Spurs have had a $48 million dollar guy off the bench for the last 4 years, including last year at$14 million....!

  • HoopsReportCard says 9 months ago

    You heard it here first. Jeremy Lin will be the starter. Why? Because Daryl Morey and owner Alexander wont have the $25 million dollar man in the 6th man role. While I have no sources, this is purely hypothetical.... BUT, what happens next is more important.

    Lin will lead the 2nd unit similar to what he did against the Pacers in Taiwan and play heavy 2nd and 3rd quarter minutes. Lin excels as the primary ball handler and this would work when Harden isnt in the game. Lin starts, goes to the bench around the 6 minute mark. Beverly comes in to play with Howard, Harden Parsons and the PowerFoward. Lin, Asik, Casspi/Garcia come in when Harden sits and that's a formidale bench-mob.

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    I agree that coming off the bench isn't a big deal. I think Lin in a Manu role would work really well, and it shouldn't be considered a demotion unless his minutes get significantly reduced which I highly doubt will happen.

  • blakecouey says 9 months ago

    Rockets Heat would be an amazing match up, although It'd be a tough one.