Jeremy Lin, Sixth Man – This won’t be controversial. Chandler Parsons essentially told reporters on Tuesday morning that Patrick Beverley will be the starting point guard, despite coach Kevin McHale’s secrecy on the issue. Per the Houston Chronicle:
“Did he not tell you guys who is starting? I don’t know why it is a big surprise. It is the same guys as when the preseason ended,” Parsons said.
In the last two games of the preseason, the starting five were Dwight Howard, Omer Asik, Chandler Parsons, James Harden and Pat Beverley.
The only way he’s wrong is if McHale decides to change the lineup just to gently remind Parsons who the coach is (unlikely).
Jeremy Lin is a starting-quality point guard, no doubt. But he happens to play on a team with arguably the best passing shooting guard in the league, and another capable 3-and-D point guard on the roster. Them’s the breaks. He will probably play the same number of minutes as last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see McHale go with a three-guard lineup of Bev-Lin-Harden to finish a lot of games. As long as he and Asik are healthy, the Rockets should be able to keep an excellent playmaker and an elite defender on the floor for all 48 minutes, which is a luxury reserved for championship contenders.
Voice of Reasons – The Point Forward has 68 reason to watch the NBA this season. Quite a few of them touch on the Houston Rockets and its players. The highlights:
12.Russell Westbrook’s comeback from knee injury. And, more specifically: the look of rage carved into Westbrook’s face the next time he plays against Houston’s Patrick Beverley, the player responsible for the knee-on-knee bump that knocked the Thunder All-Star guard out of the 2013 postseason.
16.Keeping pace, or rather: keeping tabs on the potential shift in playing style for the fastest and slowest teams of yesteryear. Dwight Howard’s arrival in Houston could slow the Rockets down a touch, George Karl’s ousting in Denver could cause the Nuggets to pump the brakes, Dave Joerger’s promotion could wake up the Grizzlies and an influx of athleticism could give the Pelicans a jolt. Which of those changes have the substance to become trends?
17.After years, a reprieve from Dwight Howard rumors. They’re done! (For at least
two or three yearssix months.) The idea of Dwight Howard free of drama isn’t too bad, either.
34.The power forward/stretch forward derby in Houston, where Dwight Howard has no clear frontcourt complement.
47. The odds-on chance that Rockets GM Daryl Morey takes home “Executive of the Year” honors, which would put a cap on years of precise roster-reshaping and serve as validation for his Sloan Sports Analytics Conference movement, which has had its share of doubters and detractors.
48. Dwyane Wade’s handwritten note gets its day(s) in court. Jan. 29. March 4. Circle them now. Those are the dates of the first meetings between Wade and his two offseason foils, Kevin Durant and James Harden, respectively. No one, especially not a three-time champion, goes to the trouble of writing out a “I’ll make you respect my place in history” pledge without doing absolutely everything in his power to back it up.
68. Dwight Howard’s return to Staples Center. No matter your stance on Howard’s behavior and decision-making, Lakers fans deserve their chance to vent, just like Magic partisans before them.
Tweet That – Daryl Morey gives James Harden some pub…
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 29, 2013
…and James Harden steals a motivational trick from the greatest player of all time: use a perceived slight to fuel your aggressiveness.
I had someone tell me I fell off, ooohhhhh I needed that!!!!!!!!
— James Harden (@JHarden13) October 26, 2013
The time for talk is over. Tonight we cry havoc and release the dogs of war. The Houston Rockets are back.
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