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@  DrewinAbilene : (10 October 2013 - 09:00 PM) It seems like that's not as easy to make happen when he's dribbling the ball up the court more like a pure point.
@  DrewinAbilene : (10 October 2013 - 08:59 PM) Richards, from what I saw of the game, Lin was able to drive towards the basket and either create a shot for himself or kick it out.
@  2016Champions : (10 October 2013 - 06:14 PM) Lin's the best back-up SG on the team
@  Richards : (10 October 2013 - 02:56 PM) I do understand why McHale bring Lin off the bench. But I don't know why he used Lin as SG.
@  BenQueens : (10 October 2013 - 02:33 PM) I saw a lot of the game- Lin as a high-minute, Ginobili style backup pretty intriguing.
@  Rahat Huq : (10 October 2013 - 02:31 PM) looks like beverley and jones started tonight
@  RollingWave : (10 October 2013 - 05:26 AM) yes Jones was the default backup C in game 1, and it was a disaster defensively
@  2016Champions : (10 October 2013 - 04:46 AM) Was Jones playing the 5 while Howard was out?
@  2016Champions : (10 October 2013 - 04:45 AM) Not sure why they started Moti over Jones, Jones has shown us so much more.
@  BenQueens : (10 October 2013 - 04:44 AM) They scrimmaged with similar lineups before the preseason opener, but still started Lin, Harden, Parsons, Moti and Howard.
@  Richards : (09 October 2013 - 11:18 PM) Rockets Manila scrimmage pictures show Lin, D-Mo, Cassipi, (AB? Brewer?) vs. Howard, Harden, Parsons, TJ, and Bev. Very interesting.
@  2016Champions : (09 October 2013 - 03:55 PM) I wanted us to draft Glen Rice Jr, but Isiah is good too
@  RollingWave : (09 October 2013 - 03:37 AM) Glen Rice Jr kinda stole the show in his preseason debute with a buzzer beating game tying put back dunk, hmmmmm
@  BenQueens : (04 October 2013 - 08:43 PM) Lin's shot looks really good in Rahat's footage, but I'm also encouraged by how easy Dwight's interior play looks.
@  feelingsuper... : (03 October 2013 - 06:17 PM) Right Drewin, by all accounts Howard is a monster free throw shooter when not in a game setting and hopefully being more comfortable in Houston helps by putting him at ease during game situations.
@  DrewinAbilene : (02 October 2013 - 06:47 PM) Apparently Dwight beat Harden in a closed-eyes free throw contest, netting 8 of 10.
@  DrewinAbilene : (01 October 2013 - 05:57 PM) Russell Westbrook is out for 4-6 weeks after having a second surgery on his knee.
@  Richards : (29 September 2013 - 08:06 PM) Saw a video with Dream tutoring D-Mo. D-Mo looks better than Harden in post move. But compare to Dream. What a slow motion with frames lock-up..
@  Rahat Huq : (29 September 2013 - 04:52 PM) it's amazing how fluid he still looks, even compared to some of the best players in the league
@  Richards : (29 September 2013 - 01:42 AM) Saw video of Dream teaching Harden post move. Dream still has much much smother move than Harden. Awesome!!!

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Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers on 10/10/13 in Pasay City, Philippines


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:00 PM

    New post: Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers on 10/10/13 in Pasay City, Philippines
    By: Eric Nielsen

    The Rockets head to the Philippines for the first of two against the Pacers. With Marc Stein’s Power Rankings putting the Pacers at number two in the league and the Rockets number six, this will be a good gauge as to how the Rockets match up against an elite team. The Rockets have a lot of questions while the Pacers have answers.

    Questions: Rockets Chemistry
    Who will start at power forward? (Same question as last year). How can the Rockets get Asik and Howard on the court at the same time? How open will the middle be for Lin and Harden to take it to the hole with Howard playing?

    The Rockets starting five are beginning to create a new identity and style. They are experimenting with getting the ball into the post often, while still finding out how fast they can play. The Rockets hope to build into something better while incorporating many new names on the roster.

    Answers: Pacers Chemistry
    The Pacers will be refining what made them so successful last year. They are strong at every position, have depth, are going to be in the top tier of the East again, and hope to blast into the season on the back of last year’s playoff run. All of their starters return from a team that took the Heat to game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

    With Danny Granger back at full speed after having him for only five games last year, the Pacers retained almost everyone on the team except Hansbrough and Green. Larry Bird is back as President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Frank Vogel signed an extension early in the year. The Pacers have history and playoff experience. The Rockets, of course, have only one playoff series under their belts in the last four years combined.

    Questions: Rockets Defense
    What kind of defensive upgrades do the Rockets have in store for us this season with Howard in the middle? Is defense going to get easier for everyone with him at the rim? And, with Howard carrying some of the scoring load, will the other players have more energy on the defensive end?

    How will the Rockets first team defense measure up against the Pacers formidable offensive punch, where every starter is a scoring threat? Can Donatas Motiejūnas or Terrence Jones guard David West? How will our guards defend against the excellent backcourt of George Hill and Paul George? Which point guard will finish the games?  And how is Howard’s back?

    It will take the Rockets getting Garcia and Asik healthy to really answer some of these questions. But, after finishing in the bottom of the league defensively last year, the Rockets are going to have to improve significantly to go deep in the playoffs.

    Answers: Pacers Defense
    The Pacers were first in the league in opponents field goal percentage (42%), first in three point field goal percentage (33%), and second in points given up (90.7). They seem set to continue their lockdown on opponents and their defensive presence is a major factor in last year’s success.  Enough said.

    Questions: Rockets Second Team
    Beverly’s defense is excellent, can he add a scoring punch? Can Asik’s presence solidify the second team? The players on the second half of the roster are all battling for playing time and for some of them they are still battling to make the team. Who will step into that second team and how will they gel?

    For the Rockets to be an elite team this year, the bench has to play much better. The starters looked great against the Pelicans in the first preseason game, but the second team was in a deep, negative hole.

    Answers: Pacers Second Team
    The Pacers can play Luis Scola and Chris Copeland while integrating Granger, who may be coming off the bench this year (he did in their first preseason game). These players would start for many weaker teams. Again, the Pacers went deep in the playoffs for a reason.

    If this were a regular season game, we’d get a real feel for how the Rockets will match up against the best in the East. For now the Rockets have significant questions.


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    #2 Rahat Huq

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      Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:37 PM



      so glad Luis is on a contender now


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      #3 rockets best fan

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        glad you're on board, but I been on this boat since it left

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      Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:29 AM

      I agree the Pacers are a good measuring stick for us. we have a lot of work to do and they will provide the reality check we need to stay focused on continuing to get better.


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      you can only warn a man that the bridge is out.....if he keeps driving he's on his own B)


      #4 feelingsupersonic

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      Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:50 AM

      I agree about Scola, I was elated when I read that he was headed to Indiana.

      As far as these preseason match ups go well I am really looking forward to them but while the Pacers are fine tuning I do expect the Rockets to make considerable changes in between these games and the regular season games versus Indiana. When the Rockets face them towards the end of December I expect some answers to be solved about rotations and by the Pacers Rockets game in March I hope the Rockets are rolling by then. I really hope injuries remain manageable.
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      #5 2016Champions

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      Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:44 AM

      I wish I could watch this. After I get my new phone (debating between the S4 and the Note 3) I'm signing up for NBA League Pass mobile which is a bargain $49.99 for the whole year. 


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      #6 DrewinAbilene

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      Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

      Wow. This game is well worth the early wake up. First quarter has been all Houston, full of Pacer turnovers and Rockets fast break points. Beverley got the start, and has done a good job on offense, though he picked up two quick fouls. Even as a Lin apologist, I'll admit that Beverley looked really good. It'll be interesting to see if he can maintain that intensity throughout the whole game, or if he'll lose steam towards the end.

       

      Howard looks great. He's blocked shots, drawn three fouls on Hibbert, and made some nice shots. Parsons has been driving to the hoop, and either putting it in or dumping it off for easy buckets. 31-24 at the end of the first quarter!


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      #7 Journeymany

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        Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:01 PM

        Pretty interesting - Rockets came out fast as Drew said, all Rockets to start as Pacers couldn't get their offense going at all. 2nd unit came out with Brooks as PG, Lin at SG, DMo at Center - which was pretty horrible defensively, so-so offense with some crazy Brooks circus shots, some good penetration by Lin, 1 beautiful post move by DMo. Pacers came back against the 2nd unit thanks to zero defensive stops.

        Worrying potential wrist injury on DMo after 2 handed dunk to finish a fast break.

        Rockets went for ultra-small lineup for the end of the 2nd quarter - Bev / Lin / Harden / Parsons / Jones - interesting, but Jones just isn't a center, and also threw away a horrendous pass on an easy 3/4 on 1 fast break.

         

        Final possession of the half was a Harden iso stepback 3, which missed. Less of that please -.-

        *edited*

        Nearly forgot to mention, both teams being called for loads of stupid touch fouls. Brooks had 3 in succession for ...not much...


        Edited by Journeymany, 10 October 2013 - 01:03 PM.

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        #8 Rahat Huq

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          Posted 10 October 2013 - 02:32 PM

          I don't think its so much that Beverley is better than Lin (b/c I greatly disagree with that premise), but Lin off the bench just makes so much more sense. 


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          #9 Red94

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            Posted 10 October 2013 - 03:01 PM

            New post: Houston Rockets 116, Indiana Pacers 96: A team offense leads to victory.
            By: Paul McGuire

            Saturday’s game against New Orleans, while a defeat, showed the potential of Houston’s starters as they manhandled New Orleans’s starters for most of the game.  But it’s one thing to dominate New Orleans.  It’s another thing to beat Indiana’s starters, who challenged the Miami Heat to 7 games last year despite a below-average bench at that time.  Two of Houston’s starters were different in this game as Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones started in place of Jeremy Lin and Donatas Motiejunas, but once again the Rockets prevailed against Indiana’s best lineup for most of the game, and unlike the previous game where Houston’s bench collapsed against New Orleans’s bench in the fourth quarter, Lin led the Rockets to hold on at the end and secure their first preseason victory.

            • Anyone who wants to make the starting lineup change as a sign of something permanent should, to put it quite bluntly, take a chill pill and remind themselves that it is preseason.  That aside, there were some positives that appeared as a result.  Jones did a relatively better job at defending David West, a long time Rocket killer, than Motiejunas, though West still had a good game with 12 points on 9 shots.  Lin also had the opportunity to play floor general as the leader of the Houston bench, and thus helped stabilize the 4th quarter unit when Indiana went on a run at the start and came within 5 points.  Against New Orleans, a lack of a scoring option at the end caused Houston to stagnate, and Lin’s presence prevented that from occurring again.
            • Motiejunas definitely played better in tonight’s game.  His post moves actually resulted in made shots and he used his speed to grab easy points on the fast break.  There was a moment during the second quarter where he fell very awkwardly after racing for a fast break dunk, and for a second I seriously believed that we were looking at a replay of Andrew Bogut’s horrific injury from the 2009-10 season. Motiejunas was holding his wrist and sat out for the rest of the half, but he appeared to be fine as he came back on the court later.  As the NBATV announcer observed, “It’s great to be young.”
            • Against another All-Star level center in Roy Hibbert, Howard had a good, though not a great game.  He picked up 2 fouls in the first 4 minutes of the game, though the referees were particularly quick on the whistle for both sides as Hibbert got 3 fouls in the 1st quarter.  Howard did have problems scoring against Hibbert, and his free throw woes reappeared as he went 1-4 at the line.  One thing that was noteworthy with Howard in the post is that he tried two stepback jumpers in the first quarter of the sort that Hakeem used to do in his prime, an indication of Howard’s lessons under the greatest Rocket ever.  However, both jumpers missed, and Howard did not try that move again for the rest of the game.  On the plus side, Howard did a very good job at passing to cutters in both Harden and Parsons who scored dunks off of Howard’s assists, and his defense as usual created a noticeable difference compared to when Houston was playing Jones or Motiejunas at center.
            • The team’s offensive output really should be praised tonight, because it was an incredible offensive performance overall against one of the very best defenses in the league.  Houston shot nearly 60% for much of the game against Indiana.  And it wasn’t due to some hot shooting night, it was due to a team that ran, beat Indiana repeatedly on the fast break, and broke down the perimeter defenders to draw fouls on the big men or score.  It was an offensive explosion from nearly everyone, even Brooks, Casspi and the bench mob.
            • The one exception to today’s offensive brilliance is Ronnie Brewer, who is bad at shooting.  Really bad.  The fact that he’s a 26% 3 point shooter over his career should make that obvious, but it really is horrible to watch him be completely wide open on the 3 point line, and then take a shot with a form that looks something I would have tried when I was 8, only for it to inevitably clank off the rim.  To top it off, Brewer had real problems shooting free throws as well, with one free throw just barely managing to hit the front rim at all.  I talked about the importance of niches, which was one reason why I somewhat discounted Casspi’s efforts in the last game and liked Brewer for his defense.  But perimeter defenders do need some offense as well, and so far Brewer has failed to provide any.

            The next game will be the second and last part of Houston’s Asian roadtrip, as the Rockets will play at 12:30 am Central time in Taiwan.  It will certainly be interesting to see the local reaction as Lin returns to his homeland.

             


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            #10 Journeymany

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              Posted 10 October 2013 - 03:36 PM

              Agree with the summary on the whole, a few additional thoughts:
               

              • PF:  A bit like at PG, we have 1 Offensive / 1 Defensive player at the moment. DMo looked really nice on offense, some great touches in the post. Not great on D, but some promising signs. TJones pretty much the opposite, did pretty well on West, who backed him down a couple times, and hit a ridiculous contested fadeaway jumper, but can't complain about those.
              • PG: Both Beverley and Lin played well, Brooks, not so much. Beverley plays well off ball on cuts and catch-and-shoot but can't run the offense. Brooks was OK when attacking the basket but took some poor shots, which weren't falling either. Lin's penetration and playmaking made a massive difference to the 2nd unit.
              • C: Desperately in need of big O. Howard was good and didn't allow Hibbert much, but probably shouldn't try to post up so much against other good defensive centers.
              • The return of Iso-ball: 2 end of quarter iso plays by Harden, being guarded by George. 1 ended with a way-downtown contested 3. The other with a TO. He plays so well, so efficiently otherwise, why does he make these crappy plays? Ugh.
              • BS Fouls: Many whistles. 4Q, both teams in the penalty with 6:30 left to play. Seriously??? A lot of 'who, me / what-the-hell?' arm-raising from players on both sides. Hope this doesn't carry on into regular season or people will be switching off en masse.

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              #11 HoopsReportCard

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                Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:00 PM

                <br /><br /><p>I only saw the 4th quarter. The<br />
                Bench is impressive. Donatus, Casspi, Canaan </p>
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                #12 Richards

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                  Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:04 PM

                  I am now thinking that McHale see Lin as a SG than a PG. Even after he started Bev, he still using Lin along with AB or Bev. Yes, Lin has a chance to handle ball more but another PG was always there.


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                  #13 Johnny Rocket

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                    Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:40 PM

                    I'm still letting it sink in that the Rockets bench may be headlined by Asik and Lin--our two big free agent acquistions from a year ago.

                     

                    I love Lin, and precisely because I do, I'd love to see him come off the bench and take control of the offense.  He'll be awesome.


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                    #14 2016Champions

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                    Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:46 PM

                    Lin was so vital to our 2nd unit. I would definitely like to see him continue to come off the bench as long as he plays big minutes in big games. The work he did in the off-season to fix his form/posture when he dribbles definitely seems to be helping because he looks faster to me. 


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                    #15 Richards

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                      Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:14 PM

                      TJ and D-Mo had opposite productions in this game. Maybe too tough to play along side Howard. I have no idea how Asik can play with Howard if TJ and D-Mo couldn't. I knew sample size is very small but we will know more for sure after preseason.

                       

                      Morey might looks for stretch 4 if non of our PF fit well.


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                      #16 BrentYen

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                      Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:35 PM

                      Lin did great with either 1st unit or 2nd unit. I guess it will actually down to how Beverly do.


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                      LOF here.


                      #17 ale11

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                      Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:47 PM

                      I am now thinking that McHale see Lin as a SG than a PG. Even after he started Bev, he still using Lin along with AB or Bev. Yes, Lin has a chance to handle ball more but another PG was always there.

                       

                      That's because Harden is the only true SG in our entire roster (Williams, Casspi and Garcia are all SF).


                      Edited by ale11, 10 October 2013 - 07:47 PM.

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                      #18 2016Champions

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                      Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:09 PM

                      McHale has been going with a back-court of Beverly and Lin in the 2nd unit for a while now, the only difference this game was that Lin came off the bench so I don't know why people are acting like they have never seen Lin at SG before. Personally I think Lin is a better defender at SG than he is at PG, and if we can give Beverley more minutes without sacrificing Lin's minutes that's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. 


                      Edited by 2016Champions, 10 October 2013 - 08:16 PM.

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                      Debates are destructive as they present one-sided opinions and demolish reasoned arguments, whereas discussions are constructive and encourage the expression of opinion.

                       

                      Debate is the death of conversation.


                      #19 Rahat Huq

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                        Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:13 PM

                        when/if beverley is the opening day starter, nationally (in new york), it'll be spun as lin losing his job.  when in actuality, it's just a case of the natural fit 


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                        #20 BrentYen

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                        Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:25 PM

                        McHale has been going with a back-court of Beverly and Lin in the 2nd unit for a while now, the only difference this game was that Lin came off the bench so I don't know why people are acting like they have never seen Lin at SG before. Personally I think Lin is a better defender at SG than he is at PG, and if we can give Beverley more minutes without sacrificing Lin's minutes that's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. 

                        Why do you think Lin is better defender at SG?


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                        LOF here.





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