Spurs in Houston – Pregame Thoughts

Spurs embarrassed Rockets just a few days ago. I don’t think that’s going to happen again, despite the fact that Harden is a game-time decision tonight. I think the Rockets will make adjustments and because Harden is probably not going to be playing, they’ll run an egalitarian offense and pass the ball and will be more motivated to  move without the ball from seeing how much success the Spurs had doing just that. I think the Rockets will come out fired up tonight. I still don’t expect the Rockets to win tonight’s game, but wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Rockets manage to somehow pull out a win, whereas Friday I would have been shocked.

I think McHale has been very unhappy with the ball movement and the defensive let downs, so I think they’re going to fix those things tonight. They won’t fix it permanently, but for one night, at least, they’ll be focused, because they don’t want to be embarrassed again by the Spurs.

Tonight will be Jeremy Lin’s chance to show the coaches what he can do–especially if Harden is going to be sitting out, which is very likely to me. Lin will be going against his toughest opponent, since Parker has had his way with Lin even last season. Lets see if Lin can bounces back from the undeserved benching against the Mavs. If Lin has a great game (scores in the 20s) and can contain Tony Parker to something like 15 points in a 40-minute period, the Rockets will win tonight. I also want to see more guys out there for the Rockets tonight, like Terrance Jones. Smith has also got to play more minutes and even Marcus Morris, who didn’t play against the Mavs, need to get some burn tonight. We got players, McHale just needs to play them.


10 thoughts on “Spurs in Houston – Pregame Thoughts

  1. Thanks for sharing your pregame analysis, Philosopher.
    Harden sits out tonight.
    Lin will boss!


    More seriously though, as much as I respect McHale as an NBA HOF, I do not think he is a good coach. He said at one point he preferred veterans. He does not seem to know what to do with this group of amazing young inexperienced players. The same goes with his coaching staff as well.

    Anyway, back to less serious conversation, the GOB work in mysterious ways!

    ‘Have ticket to the Spurs game tonight, but can’t make it!
    ‘Will listen to the game on the radio while driving.
    ‘Counting on the Philosopher to watch the game and provide a sensible postgame analysis.

    Let’s go Jeremy Lin!

    • Ha ha. Lin did boss. I had a feeling Lin would have a great game–especially after seeing him in the second quarter and seeing that he was being aggressive the entire time he was on the floor. I think he realizes now that the Rockets want him to play aggressively and not passively like he had been playing. Wasn’t too surprised about what happened in tonight’s game. I expected it to be close and expected the Spurs to win. When we went to overtime, I knew Rockets would lose, because the momentum swung over to the Spurs after their 11-2 run or so in the fourth. I missed the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, though. So have no idea what sort of mistakes the Rockets made to loose the nine-point lead in the fourth. All in all, it was a great game–especially for Lin and I hope the coaching staff realizes that they need to stop depending so much on Harden and start drilling team basketball into their guys. Keep the ball moving and keep moving without the ball. It’s really that simple on the offensive end.

      • I was able to catch the last three minutes of regulation time and the whole OT.

        McHale and his coaching staff talk about defense, ball movement, team basketball, all the good stuffs, but that’s about it: talk! They have no idea what Linsanity is all about. They are FEP.

        I hope Lin’s ankle is OK.
        Why not wearing hi tops, mouth piece, goggles, flak jacket, Lin?

      • From reading comments on Dreamshake, it sounds like McHale should have called time out late in the fourth. Sounded like our guys were pretty tired. I think a big factor for our lack of defense is that our guys are too tired to defend, because they’re not getting enough rest because we’re not playing enough of our bench guys. Just think if one of Lin’s two or so long twos were threes, Rockets would have won. So I don’t mind losing this game. We played well. Just hoping that this coaching staff learns so lessons from it and I hope this is Lin’s real break out game. He was full-on Linsanity tonight. Lin needs to just play his game and not worry about too many things. Just play. I think ever since he’s been in the Rockets he’s been thinking too much on the floor. Trying to see if he’s playing the role that he’s supposed to be playing, rather than just playing his game. I think he must have talked to McHale about the Dallas benching and realized that they actually want Lin to play more aggressively. I don’t blame Lin for not really understanding what the Rockets want out of them, since it seems to me that they’ve been preventing Lin from playing his game. Even today, Douglas played the role of the Point Guard, which is crazy, because Douglas is not a Point Guard–especially when you have Lin on the floor. It’s crazy to have Douglas be the Point Guard. But that didn’t affect Lin’s game, because Lin didn’t feel like he had to defer to Harden. In tonight’s game, you rarely saw Lin take up the ball and quickly pass it off and wait in a corner like he had been doing. Because Lin played so well against a very tough opponent, I think this has to wake the Rockets organization up and get them to give Lin a bigger role on the team. I know Morey is going to be all over this. We’ll see if the Rockets make any adjustments to Lin’s role on the team after Harden returns. Rockets just need to play team basketball and forget that they have Harden. Just treat every player the same. Move the ball and move without the ball. It’s pretty simple. This is what the Spurs do. That’s why they’re so successful. The Spurs are not a particularly talented team. They’re just a very smart, disciplined, and well-coached team.

      • You just point out everything that is wrong with McHale and his coaching staff, Philosopher: not playing enough of the bench to give the starters a breather, not allowing Lin to play his game at his natural position, have TD play PG with Lin on the floor, etc, etc…

        I DO mind losing tonight’s game, the game against the Mavs, as well as the two games against the Blazers. When Harden comes back, it will the same old Harden iso again: ride Harden like freaking Secretariat!

        OK, McHale is an NBA HOF who knows infinitely more about basketball than a ping pong player like me, for sure…

        The beauty of Lin is that he will adapt and find a way to play in the imperfect world of the NBA.

        Wizards are next! Don’t take them for granted, OK Lin!

      • Yeah, Rockets don’t know what they have in Lin and I think they went a little too crazy when Harden came on board–especially because of Harden’s incredible debut games. But I do think that the this game is big enough to wake the coaching staff up to try and figure out how to involve Lin more. They’re not going to ignore what happened tonight. They’re not going to go back to just iso-Harden. It may take some time, but this game was significant for Lin and the Rockets organization. I guess I should do a specific post about this game and its implications.

      • If Rockets had more trust in Lin, they wouldn’t have lost the Mavs game or the game in Portland when they sat Lin out. Could still have a .500 record. This should serve as a big wake up call to the Rockets coaching staff. Morey should be all over this.

      • I hope as you do, Philosopher, this game is big enough to wake up the Rockets coaching staff. The one big question mark is whether or not they are capable of coaching Lin and his young and talented teammates.

        Here is a big problem for Lin. During Linsanity 1.0, Lin lit up the Lakers, the Mavs, the Jazz, etc, and yet the Knicks did not believe in him. Why? Because they are FEP. I am afraid the Rockets coaching staff are also FEP and will not see a thing in Lin. After all this is just one game, even if it is against a team with the best record in the NBA right now.

        Morey is the GM with fire-and-hire power. He understands stats, but does not know how to play basketball. What can he do?

        I am pessimistic about the Rockets coaching staff, but totally optimistic on Jeremy Lin. His young teammates will start believing in him more and more. Linsanity 2.0 is an 82-game story plus the playoff. The GOB work in mysterious ways…


  2. I am so happy for JLin’s performance tonight.
    He did step up on a losing note though…
    But I would never mind this loss as JLin was playing his heart out.
    Made me realized about the commentator of the link you shared to us MrPingPong..that JLin is most great when he is the boss…

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