Finally, Some Nice Words from McHale on Lin

I didn’t catch all of the first half of this game and then only saw a little of the second half, but didn’t pay very close attention. The Rockets really needed a game like this to build back their confidence. Hopefully, this one does the job and they can go on a long winning streak. With their upcoming schedule, they should be able to string together a 10-game winning streak if they’re back on their game. This will be a test to see if the Rockets are back after the mini shakeup due to the trade. If they lose more than two games before they face San Antonio, then they’re not back yet. I’d be okay with them losing the re-match against Dallas or the game against Utah, since I still don’t know what to make of Utah. The other one I MAYBE okay with them losing is one of the Golden State Games, but if the Rockets are back, I expect them to win both games against Golden State, since Golden state seems to be in a funk. The away game against Golden State is this Friday, so I expect Golden State to still be in their funk and I don’t think Golden State can beat the Rockets at Toyota Center, so that’s why I think Rockets should be able to take both games from Golden state, if the Rockets are back. We’ll see. These string of games before they face San Antonio will be a very good test, because before the trade, I had expected them to string together a lengthy winning streak, which is why I predicted that they’ll end up with the 6th seed.

Looks like Lin had a Linsanit 2.0 game and it was good to see McHale finally say some nice things about Lin. Maybe all this talk about the McHale/Lin dynamic and that quote in the Daily News got to the owners and GM and they had a little talk with McHale. I don’t know. But McHale uncharacteristically talked at length about Lin towards the end of his post-game interview tonight. It was as if he was atoning, a bit, for neglecting to compliment Lin in other games that Lin did well, because he said (and I’m paraphrasing): Lin’s had a LOT of good games for us…his game tonight was a high-end for anyone…it’s a high-end for Chris Paul…he’s had a lot of high-end games for us. And then he went on to basically say that Lin is starting to get his consistency…”I think what Jeremy proved last year is that his high-end ceiling…he can get on a roll and sustain it for a while, and we’re going to need him to.”

It was very nice to see McHale finally respecting Lin’s game. Hopefully, it’s genuine and I think it is, because one thing McHale is is he tells it like it is. But I also think he got some prodding from the owners and GM because of the Daily News quote. I think that angered a lot of Lin fans, and I’m sure Les got wind of it. Or at least I’d like to think us Lin fans wield some power. Probably just delusional on my part. But it was definitely very surprising to hear McHale talk at length about Lin. I think the fact that he stressed that Lin’s had a LOT of nice games for us is his way of acknowledging that he’s neglected to compliment Lin in the past for all the good games Lin has had. Hopefully, this is a new chapter for McHale and Lin. We’ll see. He also finished the lengthy discussion on Lin with: “…that’s the thing I like about Jeremy…he didn’t play the fourth quarter in the last game against Orlando, because Patrick played so well…he was excited on the bench. He’s just a good teammate.”

This last comment really makes me think that he is atoning for his comments that he made on The Daily News. I have no doubt about it now that I think about it. The question is whether or not he did it out of his own accord or if it was prodding from Les. It could be just that McHale felt that quote was taken out of context or something or he didn’t mean to say it like that or something and is just trying to rectify his mistake. Regardless, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. What I’m more concerned about is whether or not McHale gives Lin the freedom to dribble more than the other players at times when Lin feels the need to do so. That’s what’s critical to me, because Lin needs a coach who will give him the freedom to keep his dribble alive and wait for the play to develop at times, rather than just always moving the ball all the time. Lin is an attacking Point Guard, he’s not a “move the ball” Point Guard. I just want McHale to give Lin the freedom to be the attacking Point Guard at times. I’m all for ball movement, but the Point Guard should be given free reign to determine times when he needs to hold the ball a little bit longer to wait for the play to develop. That’s what’s important to me. So we’ll see if this happens or not. Maybe that happened in this game. I don’t know, because I didn’t watch. But if McHale wants Lin to play at a high level, then he should allow Lin to play the way Lin knows how to play at times, rather than just be a “move the ball” point guard all the time.



15 thoughts on “Finally, Some Nice Words from McHale on Lin

  1. Yes Mr. Philosopher not just JLin played well last night but the entire team.
    And like you I am after if they can keep the winning streak alive.
    I am hopeful though that they can.

    It’s always a good news hearing that McHale says good things about JLin 🙂

  2. I’d say he initiated a lot of the plays last night. The sharing of offense initiating duties with Harden was more balanced. Lin definitely had more than usual freedom. I hope this is the start of a trend. I am skeptical because of what would happen after previous good games. More offensive initiating duties may be explained by Harden having knee problems in this game .

    • Thanks for the recap, wox. Yeah, I would tend to agree with you that Lin is given more freedom in part due to Harden’s knee issues. Hopefully, he can show McHale something during this stretch and change McHale’s perceptions of him once and for all. We’ll see.

  3. I like the new look of your blog, Philosopher. Some feedback for you here.
    I’d like to see more photos of Lin’s blood and bodily damages: busted nose, busted lips, broken teeth, ice on the knees, tapes on the ankles, etc…
    I’d like to see more photos of violence on Lin: hair pulling, karate chops to the face and neck, kick in the stomach, you name it…
    Just joking, of course….
    More seriously though, photos of Lin in non basketball activities such as charity works would be nice.

    Now back to basketball. Unlike you, Philosopher, I am not OK with losing to the Mavs, the Warriors and the Suns this week. Road game or not, we are a better team and we should beat them. I am calling all three wins now. 🙂

    Did y’all see this video of Lin practicing 3’s?

    I think Lin should spend more time practicing 10-15 footers. Those are the shots I don’t want Lin to miss.

    Wow, what a game Lin and Parson just had! Parson is an integral part of Linsanity 2.0. Parson was a second round pick, an underdog so-to-speak, who fortuitously got a change to play and proved his worth! Lots of underdog stories in this Rockets team. Linsanity 2.0 indeed!

    • Ha ha, MrPingPong. Glad you like the new look, MrPingPong. I have to apologize to the readers of this blog for waiting too long to change the really ugly design I had on here before. Just never really looked into designing my blog until now.

      Glad to see that you’re back to your optimistic self. Thanks for the link of Lin practicing threes. Yeah, I, too, would like to see him practicing short jumpers, cause short jumpers are available to him pretty much whenever he wants.

      Yep, lots of great stories within this team. Lin really belongs with this team. The only thing not right about this team for Lin is McHale. But hopefully, McHale will come around or there’s a better coach out there for the Rockets. I wonder if Morey is as good at picking coaches as he is at picking players.

      • Intriguing thought you have on Morey picking coaches, Philosopher! Somebody has to tweet Morey about advanced stats for coaches!

        I agree with you that the Rockets is the right team for Lin at this point in his career. I have the impression that a non trivial number of Lin fans want Lin to be traded somewhere else so Lin can play “his game”. I do not agree with that. There is no basketball utopia. Wherever Lin may go, there will always be something “not right”. I am a very patient man and believe in working on fundamentals at all time. I do not know anything about Lin’s basketball practice, but I am willing to bet that Lin is patient and is continually studying the game and working on fundamental skills and, as a result, improving steadily. Lin does things his way, and I, as a fan, respect that.

        I am also patient with coach McHale. I do not object to him playing Lin fewer minutes at this point in time. For one thing, Lin and Harden need as much rest as the team can afford. Even though these young man are superbly conditioned athletes, it does take time for the ankles, the knees, etc to heal. McHale needs to experiment different lineups and substitution patterns to find out what work and what do not. I think he is learning fast and is coming around to believing more and more in Lin and let Lin do things the Linsanity way! 🙂

      • I agree with everything you said, MrPingPong, except the jury is still out for me on on how fast McHale will come around. I’m more optimistic after these comments than I was after the Clippers game. That Clippers game was the most frustrated I’ve seen McHale with Lin and that was just a month or so ago and The Daily News comment was just a couple weeks ago or so. So we’ll see. McHale’s the type of guy who doesn’t change his color very quickly. No non-sense types tend to just stick to what they know. They tend to be more stubborn and less open-minded.

    • Rockets lost to Mavs tonight. I missed the first 3 quarters and was able to watch the last 9 minutes of the game. From what I read, Lin sat out the last 15 minutes of the game. Mr. 4th quarter was benched!!!!!

      OK, Philosopher, I was wrong about McHale learning fast! It seems like he is a rather slow learner; as a matter of fact, he seems to have learned nothing after 62 games. Newton’s law of inertia applies directly to KM’s brain, I am sorry to say.

      • I missed the game, also. Looks like it was a close one. I was expecting it to be a close one and I expected the Mavs to win. So not a surprise to me.

        Yep, McHale is just simply a Lin doubter. It’ll take him a while for him to change. I’m working on a long video about McHale being a Lin doubter. Hoping to finish it by tomorrow and get it up on my YouTube Channel.

      • Yay, ‘looking forward to your video, Philosopher!
        Just making conversation here…

        Without knowing anything about how the Rockets practice, common sense tells me that the starters practice together as a unit, especially during scrimmage. As a result, over time, each starter should pretty much know his role and the others’ roles as well. Hopefully the starters come to trust one another more and more, and the team gels. To me, the element of trust is vital in a team sports. The players have to trust one another and the coach must trust the players. When push comes to shove in a real game situation, like the closing of a tight game, unless some of the starters are having an off day, it is logical to have the starting unit out there taking care of business. If the coach does not trust that his starters can start and finish the job, then the coach has failed. Should closers be the same as starters under normal game conditions?

        I do not trust McHale any more, but I am just a fan. The key is whether or not the players trust McHale. I dunno. I believe is Lin can be trusted to do his job. Lin is well capable of getting the job done. Lin will continue to give 100% to the team’s success whether or not McHale trusts him. That is the kind of person Lin is. This undrafted player, who was cut twice, sent to D-leagues multiple times, but never gave up, kept honing his skills, and ultimately proved his worth when the opportunity to play came unexpectedly, will not just fade away because his coach is a doubter.

        Have a great day/night wherever you all are on this WEB!

  4. I didn’t get to watch the game, but I’m so glad for Lin’s outstanding performance. Just in last game in the 4th quarter, he was almost completely replaced and outplayed by Beverley, but then he bounced back! I hope this kind of down-and-up pattern won’t repeat itself too often in the future. I used to think Jeremy’s low scoring stats were a result of his inconsistency–sort of flaws of an inexperienced player. But after these two recent games, I think if this ever happens again, it’ll be more likely due to his reduced playing time. When the news released that the Rockets were going to sign Beverley, I was worried that Beverley would take away a lot of Jeremy’s playing time, and now it has happened—Jeremy plays for even less time than before.

    On the Rockets team, it seems that Parsons and Harden are the two starters that are guaranteed starter minutes. It is said that in this Mavericks game, they both got some points—got to pat their stats–in the garbage time. While it’s unlikely for a player to have a hot hand throughout every game, getting starter minutes is essential to maintaining one’s good stats. And apparently, Jeremy has lost this advantage. I’m happy though Jeremy has proven that he can be an efficient player, which is a great improvement over his performance during the first half of the season, but I don’t think we can expect him to be this efficient (21 points 9 assists in 25 points) in every game. Hopefully, McHale will come around and ensure Jeremy’s starter playing time.

  5. Allow me to say a bit more. This Mavs game seems to have intriguingly brought out some sort of disclosure:
    1. McHale could no longer deflect questions about Jeremy and had to give him the praise he deserved. (Check out the link posted by Mr. Philosopher.)
    2. Lin expressed slight discontent about Beverley taking his place at the beginning of his post-game interview in which he mocked at McHale’s compliment on Beverley: he brought energy, which was also McHale’s explanation for playing Beverley.
    3. Parsons talked about his friendship with Lin in an interview (at 11:54 mark) and later responded to the question: Is Jeremy being benched in the 4th Q because the coaches don’t like him?

    It appears to me that some speculations have been spinning and accumulating for so long that this game, where both Jeremy and Parsons did well, gave people–the curious fans, the players, and the coach–a chance to confront and reveal some thoughts. (You probably wouldn’t want to ask the coach what he thinks about Jeremy when he has a bad game, right?)

    • Ha ha. Yeah, I saw that Lin interview. Nice to see him joking around. He was joking, but he was also sincere in giving Beverly some props. Thanks for the links! Nice to see Parsons join Rockets Cast.

      • Yes, he was joking around and being sarcastic and funny–can’t say he was unhappy about anything. As a point guard who hears people/the coach constantly compliments the other PG, he just took
        the chance to vent it out.

  6. I don’t think McHale will ever change or come around this season, unless Jeremy can keep on scoring as efficiently as he did in the last game for quite a few consecutive games, so as to prove that he is sooooo much better than Beverley to pass both the eye test as well as get some strong proof in stats, but that would be very hard to do. Actually 12 points in 25 mins is decent to me. (Had that 3 pt been counted, he would have gotten 15 pts.) We all know Jeremy has come back or improved, but his situation seems to have gotten worse as far as his playing time is concerned.

    The fact is McHale doesn’t consider Jeremy a star player on this team. I think before, when Jeremy struggled more, he got to play at least 30 mins because there wasn’t a strong back-up PG, but now there is Beverley. (What’s worse, they’ve signed Aaron Brooks.) So, I guess Jeremy and Beverley splitting the playing time plus not playing the 4th quarter would be the norm for the remaining games. Just a few games ago, we could expect Jeremy to be sent back in to play 6 or 7 minutes in the 4Q, but in these recent three games, he was completely benched. So, it seems McHale is pleased with his experimenting with Beverley and therefore, showed no signs of “coming around”. Well, perhaps we could say now he is “experimenting” with not having Jeremy in the 4Q at all , which is certainly not the direction us Lin fans would like it to go. Will he see the need to change the direction? I hope so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s