More thoughts on Game 2

  • The lineup the Rockets used last night to begin the game was the one I was hoping they’d use back before the series began.  Interestingly, last night was the first time all season that that particular quintet shared the court.  And boy, did it pay off.  From the opening tip, the Rockets looked crisp, moving the ball and driving the lane–with the paint freshly unclogged–and flying up and down the court.  Had the Rockets held on, and then by some act of divine intervention gone on to win the series, you’d have had to change Beverley’s nickname to ‘The Plumber.’  He unclogged things.  Thanks, I’ll be here all week.

  • As I said, the Rockets just looked so much more fluid in the first half last night with the 3-guard lineup.  They were able to attack with Ibaka out of the paint.  The lineup, somehow, also did not cost them on the boards as they ended up outrebounding the Thunder 57-40.  Beverley grabbing 12 had something to do with that.
  • Picking Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook to get into it at some point, before the series began, was pretty much free money.  My thoughts on Westbrook were pretty much affirmed: he’s just so volatile, yet so damn talented.  He’ll brick 10 shots in a row–not even looking in the direction of Kevin Durant–and then go on a 10-0 scoring run on his own.  But I think if he didn’t have that team around him, he wouldn’t be held so highly in regard.  A badly undermanned Rockets team could have won that game last night because of some of Westbrook’s poor decisions.  He’s nowhere near the stratosphere of Chris Paul.  Westbrook helps his team, but also hurts them, but they are good enough collectively to where they can overcome the flaws and let the good things he does spark a positive in the net outcome.
  • Jeremy Lin, before getting hurt, had another poor game, but the Rockets looked much better with him on the court than without him, simply for the reason that they were able to push the tempo at breakneck speeds.  To even have a chance, Houston is going to have to have Lin healthy for Game 3.
  • You can’t really conceptualize the concept of “toughness” until you see a game like Beverley’s from last night.  The concept is just so abstract and intangible that…you basically can’t even put it in words.  To borrow from Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart (originally said regarding pornography), “I know it when I see it.”  I don’t think people quite understand just how difficult it is to dribble a basketball against pressure or be a point guard.  People just see a guy who can seemingly dribble and think he can play some sort of point role (I think back to the Trevor Ariza days when some fans actually thought he’d be the next T-Mac…).  But it’s a really, really hard thing to do to dribble a ball when people are reaching are reaching in to take it away, and at the same time have the mental wherewithal to direct an offense.  That kind of thing takes years and years of practice and numerous basketball camps.  They talked in the TNT halftime show about how Beverley was taking the pressure off of Lin so that he wouldn’t have to handle the ball….so it’s important to understand why that’s such a big thing.  When most people are dribbling a basketball against tight pressure, their mental focus is exerted upon maintaining control of the ball.  An actual point guard on the other hand, is not phased by the circumstances, and is able to maintain his focus upon the court and his teammates.  Jeremy Lin, in this sense, is not an actual point guard.  This is why the Heat were so famously able to rough him up.  Teams just simply don’t apply pressure in the regular season.  But back to toughness…you see a guy like Beverley, driving the ball into the teeth of the defense, going toe to toe with one of the games premiere guards, and crashing the boards at just 5’10, and you know immediately what the term means.  You realized last night that Patrick Beverley is a guy you want with you in the foxhole.
  • This series, ultimately, will give rise to long-term questions.  If the current trends continue, does what we’ve seen warrant a serious consideration to moving Lin and anointing Beverley?  I don’t know if that’s smart analysis.  I think teams can, and historically have, really gotten themselves into trouble making personnel decisions based on small-sample postseason results.  But at the same time, Lin and Beverley’s disparate results are alarming.  Lin will improve his shooting, no doubt – he made huge strides this year.  But being a point guard isn’t something that can just be picked up overnight.  Steve Francis never figured it out.  Lin is a guy who didn’t even play the position in college…and when you see some of the frantic crosscourt passes he’s been making when under pressure…it’s evident.  I don’t know what any of this means, I’m just thinking aloud, but this will be a topic for discussion in the summer.
  • Kevin McHale must be applauded for what was undoubtedly his best coaching performance of the year.  He pushed all the right buttons, switching the lineup, and then going to a zone to get the team back into the game.  The Rockets even made a nice play out of a timeout!  (the play where Delfino came off a screen and made a layup.)  Having said that, I have no idea what that was that the Rockets ran at the end of the game where they took 10 seconds to basically get a 2 pointer, when they needed a ’3′….
  • Last night was encouraging, but similarly deflating in that, with all it took to get back in it, we still lost.  If the Rockets hit a few more 3′s, they can win a game, but they simply are just overmatched against this Thunder team.  No shame there.  At least they fought and made it fun.

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Total comments: 24
  • wph342711 says 12 months ago

    I assume you guys saw this.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/9214995/russell-westbrook-oklahoma-city-thunder-knee-surgery

    Really wish we won game 2 now. Ha.
  • RollingWave says 12 months ago

    I disagree with just looking at the supposed statistics saying Dwight adds this many wins or that many wins. Considering how he has moved teams and suffered multiple injuries there is no telling what he will be like next year. He still has the potential to be better than he ever was in the past. Dwight is a no brainer for the Rockets and Morey knows that.

    Also even if all the players on the current Rockets' improve this team is still not a contender. This team needs depth just so players don't start keeling over next year for starters.

    I'm pointing out this year, yes I agree he's not 100% this year, but I would also point out that if we have Howard at his best, this year, replacing Asik, we STILL would only be around 3/4 seed at best, and a long shot to winning the title. The point remains that we need the entire cast to get better. given the nature of this team being young, the likely route is that at least some of these youngester get better and we add another piece, however, I just point out that most fans are way too focused on the later (add a peice part) and forgets that the former (young players need to get better) part is probably equally important, if not more so.

  • Freebird says 12 months ago

    Think I would rather grab Bledsoe than Gordon. Just sayin.

    Harden's D is atrocious, but that might be why they had him guard Durant. Kevin is gonna score anyway. Focusing on Westbrook, and getting him to be more volatile, seemed to be the wiser path than trying to shut down Durant.

    Asik cannot catch the ball - we know this. So why doesn't Harden? It should have dawned on him by now that his passes are too ambitious for Omer to handle. Greg Smith can handle his passes better. Have Lin or Bev throw it into Asik - they seem to have an easier time of it.

    If Asik developed a pump fake, he'd be much more difficult to guard around the rim. Or, you know, passed it back out a bit more often.

    Our big question now is what we will change for game 3? Harden at the point, Parsons at the 2, DMo at the 3, TJones at the 4 and Asik? :)

    Joking, joking. Love to see that on the floor once, tho.

  • feelingsupersonic says 12 months ago I disagree with just looking at the supposed statistics saying Dwight adds this many wins or that many wins. Considering how he has moved teams and suffered multiple injuries there is no telling what he will be like next year. He still has the potential to be better than he ever was in the past. Dwight is a no brainer for the Rockets and Morey knows that.

    Also even if all the players on the current Rockets' improve this team is still not a contender. This team needs depth just so players don't start keeling over next year for starters.
  • RollingWave says 12 months ago

    Going all in on Dwight would not be my idea of "the quickest way to crash and burn" although I do partially agree with the part about Eric Gordon--the same could be said about Josh Smith if he gets the max and keeps playing like he has this season.

    Yeah it's not bad, but truth be told, if we replace this year's Asik with This years Dwight it only brings us up about 2-3 wins at best... aka maybe push us past the Warrior for 6th seed, that's not exactly what championships are made of. I'm sure Howard might be better going forward, but he's also pushing 30 so we might also accept that he's more like a 8 win player than a 10+ one going forward as well.

    At the end of the day, all moves have risk obviously, taking no risk = being the Bobcats. but the main point at the end of the day is, no matter who we get, we need THIS group of player, almost all of them, to get better too, by a significant amount, to have any chance at all for a real title run. Harden need to play defense and stay off some of his bad tedencies, Lin and/or Parsons need to score consistently and generally be consistent and/or improve on other facedes of their game, Asik need to score at least a little more, Beverly either need to flat out take over the starting role without a doubt (and not because Lin sucks, but because he's flat out good.) or at least be a super 6th man. which means he needs to show at least some more competence in scoring. Greg Smith need to not foul out in 10 minutes.one of the PF need to step up and another one need to be a legit bench guy etc... if all of these happen, we can add no one and be a very serious threat, if none of these happen, we better add Lebron or nothing is going to happen.

  • wph342711 says 12 months ago

    whatever we do in the next few years, let's make sure to tank in 2017 to grab this kid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If7Hrcf04Dw
  • 2016Champions says 12 months ago

    Going all in on Dwight would not be my idea of "the quickest way to crash and burn" although I do partially agree with the part about Eric Gordon--the same could be said about Josh Smith if he gets the max and keeps playing like he has this season.

  • RollingWave says 12 months ago

    I'd say Howard is at least mildly justifable , though there are enough intangibles that scares me .(basketball IQ, back issue, generally a mess in life) . But Eric Gordon is just a step better than saying we should trade Chandler Parsons for Rudy Gay.

  • rocketrick says 12 months ago

    New post: Even more thoughts on Game 2
    By: rahat huq

    • I had to cut this morning's post short as I had to prepare for a presentation. But you knew I had more thoughts. First, on Omer Asik: the man has been brilliant defensively, shutting down the paint, as he was all season. Without him, this team wouldn't even have a chance. But he has atleast 5 plays at the other end of the court each game that make you want to throw something at your television set, whether it be an uncaught pass or a blown layup (or that new "hook shot" he's unveiled of late where he actually throwsthe ball atthe glass in hopes of it going in.) There has been a sentiment from some that a summer pursuit of Dwight Howard is unnecessary; "why do we need Howard? We have Asik." I hope you understand after watching last night why I laugh when reading those statements. Howard gives you everything Asik does, defense, but withfinishes at the rim. This team's offense would become significantly improved with that swap.
    • Watching how much better Houston looked last night with two-ball handlers next to Harden made me think back to the report from Marc Stein, around the deadline, that Houston would pursue a trade for Eric Gordon if it came up short in its chase of Howard. I liked the thought, but we debated it relentlessly here in our forums with some feeling that ultimately, ball dominant guards cannot co-exist (Lebron/Wade be damned). After watching last night, I'm again really liking the thought. I just feel ultimately, the point of everything is to get as much talent as you can, put it together, and make the other team stop it. If you can get another elite shooting guard on the cheap, you do it. You don't just hold off on the premise that "you already have a shooting guard." You get this guy and you make them stop you. And I think having Harden and Gordon together would make this team extremely difficult to stop. Let's face it. Elite power forwards aren't growing on trees. We'd love to have one. But if we can't get one, I don't think it makes sense to turn away from an elite shooting just out of some sentiment of needing to fill a conventional lineup card. Would the Hornets take Lin for Gordon? You could then either start Gordon together with Harden in the backcourt, or start them both Beverley. Point being: it's going to take a lot to beat this OKC team over the next decade. We have to make them react to us.
    The quickest way to see the Rockets Franchise crash and burn is for Morey and Alexander to go all in with Dwight Howard and Eric Gordon. We would be the 2010's version of the NY Yankees with a huge payroll and nothing to show for it. Asik has been an NBA starter for 1 year and it's time to throw him under the bus? Time to already give up on Jeremy Lin? Really? I just don't get it. Simply at total lack of patience with an up and coming young team in my opinion. Besides, what's the rush? Miami is golden for a couple more seasons, OKC looks solid, too. Rome was not built in a day...........
  • 2016Champions says 12 months ago

    Yep, I don't think seeing the good and the bad of a player should be mutually exclusive. I actually think seeing things from more than one perspective is a good thing, unless you're in a romantic relationship with the subject and seeing only in the good this person while ignoring the bad is a requisite of keeping the love alive--which obviously isn't the case here unless your name is Kyra Chaos.

  • wph342711 says 12 months ago

    FSS - I was being facetious when I said it was disrespectful. And of course I'm speculating as to Harden's intent behind pointing to whoever he was pointing at - sports fandom is a series of speculations. But: 1) I'm sure we've all played basketball with a guy who gets beat by his guy and then complains that someone behind him let the guy score; and 2) I think it's also safe to say that Harden hasn't done anything on the defensive end that warrants giving him the benefit of the doubt. I'm not passing judgment on Harden because of that one play, or one game, I'm passing judgment based on watching him for 70 games this year. That's not to say he can't improve - he's young and I'm hoping it's not an immutable characteristic.

    And while you're right that criticisms of Harden's defense are bit of a new development, it's not because his defense has gotten appreciably worse as the season goes on, or that people are now searching for something to nitpick him about. I've been frustrated by his defense this entire season, and as a fan I find his effort deflating sometimes. I think there's something to be said about having to take the good with the bad - for all he does for our team, I can tolerate the occasional hero-ball possession. But I don't think we have to accept really poor effort on D, and I don't think that makes us overly demanding fans (I'm not saying you are accusing anyone of that). I can appreciate what he's done for our franchise yet at the same time demand more from the guy who's been anointed our franchise player. Those sentiments aren't mutually exclusive.
  • RollingWave says 12 months ago

    Welcome wph thank you for the well thought out post and I do happen to agree that often times you see many overreacting to the last game or just knee jerk reactions to the latest rotation change or players performance.

    Where I do take issue and you may be right is Harden's defense and I just don't believe we have enough information to pass judgment, though it is all the rage to go on about Harden's lack of energy on defense.

    First of all, I believe the coaching staff and the players will decide if Harden is doing anything "almost disrespectful" as you put it and if they need to take action they will. In actuality we have no idea if the directive from the coaching staff was for Harden to direct his teammates to pick up his man in the path he directed them too. That is a possibility. Respectfully, is it not a bit of an overreaction when Harden points in a direction to assume he is expecting his teammates to cover defensively for him and that they are being forced and never offered to help him? Those are some detailed scenarios that I doubt we as fans can really judge in that detailed of a manner correctly. Just my opinion.

    How the team feel internally is obviously up to them, though it is true that if Harden plays no defense we're never going anywhere past the 2nd round with him.

    Rahat, I hope your joking on Eric Gordon, he's up there in the "worst asset in the NBA" (probably just a teir below Amare and Joe Johnson) . he's getting paid like a star to literally kill the team, have you seen his advanced numbers this year ? it's beyond terrible, he's barely getting 20 points while using up the ball more than James Harden. and he makes Harden look like a good defender in comparison. Oh and he also had a Boogie Cousin moment with the coach on the court .

    Trading Lin for Gordon is a dramatic downgrade in every way possible . he cost twice as much, and if given Lin's USG% pattern he's most likely going to score less and do everything else worse too. even if you assume your gonna get the Gordon from his last Clipper year it's not nearly as big of an upgrade as you'd assume (at least not worth the difference in money, even assuming Lin doesn't improve.) he's a big example of a guy who looks better because he was the #1 option on a bad team. given that he's almost certainly not going to be that in Houston , that's got disaster written all over it.

    I think there's a very big chance he's getting amnestied, the only thing keeping him from that is that he's still young and the Hornets aren't exactly out of cap space or have FAs lining up to sign with them.

  • feelingsupersonic says 12 months ago Welcome wph thank you for the well thought out post and I do happen to agree that often times you see many overreacting to the last game or just knee jerk reactions to the latest rotation change or players performance.

    Where I do take issue and you may be right is Harden's defense and I just don't believe we have enough information to pass judgment, though it is all the rage to go on about Harden's lack of energy on defense.

    *Side note - unless the Rockets land another big star, I think we are a few years away from Harden becoming the next Tracy McGrady. If we don't progress past being a first-round playoff team, he will be labeled a loser and all of sudden his inept D will get national attention. Seriously, his D is not just pathetic, it's almost disrespectful to his teammates. (Did anyone see those plays where he decided not to put any effort on Durant, and instead just pointed to where he thought Durant was going, signaling someone else to pick Durant up. And when Durant predictably scored an easy basket, Harden barked at someone, forgot who, for failing to pick Durant up. Harden wasn't asking for 'help D' he was asking someone to guard his man for him.)

    First of all, I believe the coaching staff and the players will decide if Harden is doing anything "almost disrespectful" as you put it and if they need to take action they will. In actuality we have no idea if the directive from the coaching staff was for Harden to direct his teammates to pick up his man in the path he directed them too. That is a possibility. Respectfully, is it not a bit of an overreaction when Harden points in a direction to assume he is expecting his teammates to cover defensively for him and that they are being forced and never offered to help him? Those are some detailed scenarios that I doubt we as fans can really judge in that detailed of a manner correctly. Just my opinion.
  • Red94 says 12 months ago New post: Even more thoughts on Game 2
    By: rahat huq


    • I had to cut this morning's post short as I had to prepare for a presentation.  But you knew I had more thoughts.  First, on Omer Asik: the man has been brilliant defensively, shutting down the paint, as he was all season.  Without him, this team wouldn't even have a chance.  But he has atleast 5 plays at the other end of the court each game that make you want to throw something at your television set, whether it be an uncaught pass or a blown layup (or that new "hook shot" he's unveiled of late where he actually throws the ball at the glass in hopes of it going in.)  There has been a sentiment from some that a summer pursuit of Dwight Howard is unnecessary; "why do we need Howard?  We have Asik."  I hope you understand after watching last night why I laugh when reading those statements.  Howard gives you everything Asik does, defense, but with finishes at the rim.  This team's offense would become significantly improved with that swap.

    • Watching how much better Houston looked last night with two-ball handlers next to Harden made me think back to the report from Marc Stein, around the deadline, that Houston would pursue a trade for Eric Gordon if it came up short in its chase of Howard.  I liked the thought, but we debated it relentlessly here in our forums with some feeling that ultimately, ball dominant guards cannot co-exist (Lebron/Wade be damned).  After watching last night, I'm again really liking the thought.  I just feel ultimately, the point of everything is to get as much talent as you can, put it together, and make the other team stop it.  If you can get another elite shooting guard on the cheap, you do it.  You don't just hold off on the premise that "you already have a shooting guard."  You get this guy and you make them stop you.  And I think having Harden and Gordon together would make this team extremely difficult to stop.  Let's face it.  Elite power forwards aren't growing on trees.  We'd love to have one.  But if we can't get one, I don't think it makes sense to turn away from an elite shooting just out of some sentiment of needing to fill a conventional lineup card.  Would the Hornets take Lin for Gordon?  You could then either start Gordon together with Harden in the backcourt, or start them both Beverley.  Point being: it's going to take a lot to beat this OKC team over the next decade.  We have to make them react to us.




    • So many teams have made foolish decisions on the basis of playoff emotions.  Hell, the Rockets rewarded Matt Maloney and Matt Bullard with ridiculous long-term deals for that very reason.  The Rockets need to be careful, and I know they will.  Beverley's looked great, but let's keep in mind, he also hasn't been scouted.  Let's not just necessarily conclude that he should be the starter next year with Lin pushed out.  (Though I'm beginning to really have doubts whether Lin is the guy for this team.)  I'll say though, that other than all of the abstract stuff he showed last night, the big positive in his favor is his league minimum salary.  Moneyball101: anytime you can replace a more expensive guy with a far cheaper guy and get back similar, or better, production, that's a good thing.  If you can plug Beverley in and not miss a beat, then logic dictates using Lin's $8million cap figure elsewhere, like say, towards Eric Gordon's max salary.  Of course, the big variable there is that we have no real way of knowing just how many foreign joint ventures Les Alexander has been able to embark upon just due to having Lin on the team.

    • Toyota Center would have been rocking had the Rockets pulled it off last night.  It will be rocking regardless....but sort of an uneasy "glad to be here but this'll be over quick" kind of rocking.  Had they closed off that remarkable run with a victory, yesterday, I think people would have really begin to think, "Hmmm...this could get interesting."

    • I think it's so ironic that a 2-3 zone is what brought Houston back, considering, they have, you know...Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin.  But I think a big part of that was just Westbrook making poor decisions.  Notice how Oklahoma City quickly put the game away when they actually gave Durant the ball again.  And therein lies the key to beating OKC: make Westbrook force the issue.  If Durant gets going, its over.  But Westbrook is liable to shoot them out of the game at any moment.  This is why Beverley's head games are key.

    • On that point: remember last year I lamented that the Rockets didn't have any tough guys on the team and several of you responded that you only wanted choir boys?  I think Game 2 shows you the importance of having a mix of characters.  Remember: there's a huge psychological aspect to sports, in general.  If you show the opponent that you will allow them to, for instance, step on your face, with no retaliation....you will continue to get walked over.

    • On Saturday: the Thunder will have prepared for the zone, so don't think it's a strategy Houston can go to from the get-go.  They'll do it in spurts, but it's not a total solution.  A solution is hitting your 3's.

  • thenit says 12 months ago

    @wph342711

    Great post. Its hard to evaluate based on the sample size, but even if Bev doesn't contribute offensively, I think his defense will be good enought to hinder Westbrook from breaking out and getting under his skin.

    There are several differences in Lin and Bev, but I actually like the combo and in this matchup against OKC, Bev's defence does save Lin some energyand if the scouting report impeeds on his dribbling, we have 3 other wing players to defer to. As you alluded to Ibaka and Perkins can't really leak out as much because they will leave the paint open.

    In the game I wished that Lin had more ball when Fisher was in the game and was defending Lin. Lin should be able to just run past the old dude for the 10 minutes Fisher is in the game guarding Lin. Other than that I have to give props to Mchale who made all the adjustment most of us at the forum wanted. And it almost worked, we were up by 4 with few minutes to go. Just wish we could have held on.

    Hopefully Lin will be healthy and we can stick with the lineup. I really don't want to start a PF or delfino. And AB just look rusty

  • feelingsupersonic says 12 months ago Welcome to Red94 Joe and I appreciate the quality post. Pretty impressive performance by Beverley and the shot he made in the last few seconds was impressive as well. Let's hope his will and energy can overcome any scouting the Thunder get on him.
  • Joe Lindell says 12 months ago

    Beverly's debut as a starter was historic -- one of the best ever for a guard in a playoff game.

    According to Basketball-Reference.com., since 1986, only 17 guards (including Beverly) have ever had Playoff lines of 16-12-6 or better.

    He's in some amazing company.

    Player 16-12-6+ Playoff games

    Jason Kidd 11

    Michael Jordan 6

    Clyde Drexler 6

    Rajon Rondo 5

    Magic Johnson 5

    Vince Carter 3

    Fat Lever 2

    Baron Davis 2

    Doug Christie 1

    Gary Payton 1

    Patrick Beverley 1

    Todd Lichti 1

    Steve Nash 1

    Chris Paul 1

    Mark Jackson 1

    Anfernee Hardaway 1

    Kobe Bryant 1

    Of these, only Kobe, Rondo, Davis, and Lichti were younger than Beverly when they accomplished the feat.

  • Sir Thursday says 12 months ago

    One other thing worth bearing in mind - up to this point, I can't imagine there's been much scouting of Beverley. But you can bet the Thunder's scouts will be digging around in the tape looking for weaknesses for when Game 3 comes around. One obvious one is his propensity to attack the glass after a miss - I love his offensive rebounding, but sometimes it comes at a cost. There were a couple of times in this game where the Thunder were able to get easy transition buckets because Beverley wasn't back to stop Westbrook before he picked up a head of steam. If I were Brooks, I would be telling Westbrook to leak out a bit more when the Rockets put a shot up to try and take advantage.

    But still, it was awesome to watch. In particular, the bit where they had Scott Brooks mic'ed up during a timeout and he said something like "You're letting this little guy get all the boards, box him out!" had me pumping my fist.

    ST

  • thejohnnygold says 12 months ago

    Nice post, wph342711. I remember on one specific Harden on Durant play last night near the top of the arc, where Durant basically just decided to go right by Harden (on Harden's left side) without much faking and Harden's feet didn't even move. Not at all. He reached, half-heartedly around for a steal and then waited for someone else to pick up the slack. I was livid. How do you not move your feet?????? Even Yao moved his feet and they were made of lead!

    Maybe he's like the really smart kids in school and needs a challenge to stay interested...we always put him on the opponent's weakest player and he appears disinterested, but put him on Lebron or Ibaka and he starts to play....still doesn't explain Durant, but it's a thought.

  • wph342711 says 12 months ago

    Beverely had a great game, but I agree that we need to resist the temptation to overreact. I think Beverly does bring a certain toughness, that at this moment Lin does not, but to say that based off this one game Beverly is a more natural PG I think would be incorrect. A few thoughts:

    1) Beverly, and none of the guards, faced as much ball pressure last night as they did in Game 1. That's due to the lineup, not necessarily who was bringing up the ball. Lin was getting into trouble in Game 1 particularly when Ibaka or Perkins would trap him off a double team. The Thunder couldn't do that as aggressively last night because we had three pg/sgs and another wing in Parsons on the perimeter (and bc Ibaka was guarding Harden). Beverly happened to be the one dribbling the ball up the court, but it's not like he was being asked to make plays. TNT was right to point out the difference, but I think was wrong in attributing that to Beverly's abilities to "handle the pressure" because he's a "tough Chicago kid" (I used to love him, but Kenny Smith is losing credibility as an announcer with every outdated basketball 'truism' he spits out on every telecast)

    2) Lin's dribbling issues have been well-documented and well deserved, but Beverly isn't exactly Bob Cousy out there either (does anyone remember the Orlando game where he completely self-destructed under ball pressure? how many times has he dribbled the ball off his foot trying to start a fast break?) The Thunder will adjust and try to take Beverly out of his comfort zone. It's funny, when Lin had that breakout run in NY, everyone said "o it's because teams haven't studied him yet, they haven't had time to because of the Lockout-induced tight schedule" and that "there's a reason why he didn't get a scholarship, wasn't drafted, and was cut by multiple teams." By that same token, Beverly has started one game and there's a "reason" why he was playing in Russia and before that DIVISION II Ukraine basketball.

    3) Maybe Beverly is a better fit to start alongside Harden, because as of now, he's a better 3pt shooter than Lin (though really not much better - if you compare the shooting percentages in the 41 games Beverly was on the team, they are pretty close, and Lin's was higher at one point late in the season), and he's a better defender and can help cover up Harden's "D", or lack there of.* But I really don't think it's because he's a more natural PG than Lin - are we really convinced he can manage a team for a season? Lin takes riskier chances than he should, but I think it's safe to say he's a more talented passer than Beverly.

    *Side note - unless the Rockets land another big star, I think we are a few years away from Harden becoming the next Tracy McGrady. If we don't progress past being a first-round playoff team, he will be labeled a loser and all of sudden his inept D will get national attention. Seriously, his D is not just pathetic, it's almost disrespectful to his teammates. (Did anyone see those plays where he decided not to put any effort on Durant, and instead just pointed to where he thought Durant was going, signaling someone else to pick Durant up. And when Durant predictably scored an easy basket, Harden barked at someone, forgot who, for failing to pick Durant up. Harden wasn't asking for 'help D' he was asking someone to guard his man for him.)
  • thejohnnygold says 12 months ago

    Good thoughts, reverse jordan, I agree with most of this. Welcome to the forum!

  • ReverseJordan says 12 months ago

    i know beverly did well and deserves a little beverlynsanity, but it was mostly effort/energy/scrappy type of breakout. Lin did it as the team's leader and by making smart play after smart play on the Knicks. mchale is getting all sorts of credit for shaking it up and playing small ball, but really the big reason for their improved play is not ALL because of beverly's gutsy play for 41 minutes, it's because Harden moved to SF and held the ball less - allowing for more ball movement. the same, if not better, results can happen if Lin was just given full reign and allowed to make 70-80% of the teams plays - especially down the stretch. the key is to get harden to play more off-the-ball. i still prefer greg smith and asik in the lineup with Lin handling the ball and running pick and rolls and drive-in kick outs to parsons and harden to shoot 3's or drive the lane. that's when they are most successful.. all that B.S. about Lin not ready or playing scared is stupid.. he's TOLD to go to the corner and wait for the 3 point shot which is not his strength (einstein said, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.").. even if you say he's not a true PG, he's not a Ray Allen type SG. If mchale does all of the above, harden will be a lot more efficient and score 30+ on 18-20 shot attempts. His legs won't be wasted on over-dribbling and protecting the ball against a very pesky defense.

  • thejohnnygold says 12 months ago

    That last part is great..."the guy that can improve the most wins". I see Lin and Bev being able to help each other as the holes in one's game are strengths for another. Houston may very well wind up with two very good pg's as they push and pull each other to be better.

  • RollingWave says 12 months ago

    we have another year of thinking this through, as you said, small sample is fools gold, in small starting sample Dmo looked great too, then he sucked. I think the key issue with Beverly remains his ability on the offensive end, with Lin it's just a matter of aggressiveness most of the time, with Bev, he has shown no ability to finish around the rim at an acceptable rate, and if you feel Lin's a SG playing PG, what's a guy who's basically only able to score from the 3 point line? (he shot .375 from 3, but only .418 as whole, meaning a pretty horrific non-3s finish rate,)

    They both have things they need to improve on, and both are signed for 2 more years anyway, it's a decent problem to have, the answer is basically the guy that can improve the most wins.