Rockets Do what They’re Supposed to: Blow Out a Weak Team at Home (Rockets 111 – Suns 81)

I expected a blow out tonight and I got a blow out, so I’m happy. Rockets getting back to doing what they’re supposed to do. It was close up until the second half of the second quarter, when the starters came back into the game and went on 15-0 or 18-0 run to end the first half up 13 and it was all over after that for the Suns. Rockets played great team ball tonight and clamped down on D hard in the second half of second quarter and Jeremy Lin was a big part of the defense.

Lin had a great game tonight. Lin is a nice guy off the court, but on the court, he’s very competitive and it was in full force tonight. I didn’t see the last Suns game, but in tonight’s game I can tell that Lin really wanted to play well against Dragic, because he’s well aware of the comparisons. In fact, Lin has made the comparison himself when the Rockets met with him in the off season. Lin looked completely focused on both ends of the court. He ran even harder than usual (which is crazy hard by the way) and he wanted to shut down Dragic on the defensive end. I can always tell when Lin’s focused on the defensive end. Lin’s stats were pretty good tonight, but he played better than his stats. He ran the show and was in full control of the game, as a result, the Rockets looked great. The ball was zipping around, everyone was getting shots. D-Mo had a career high 19 points. That was good to see, since he has been struggling some since his fantastic debut as a starter. T-Rob also looked good tonight. I didn’t know he could put it on the floor like that! Man, that one possession in transition when he was putting it behind his back and made a great bounce pass to Smith–he looked like a Point Forward! Greg smith also grabbed down 12 boards (I wonder if that’s a career high). Pretty much everyone played well, tonight and, of course, Aaron Brooks made his debut  and got a standing ovation after hitting a three. I heard he has been doing well at practice, so I’m sure we’ll see more of the crowd favorite in coming games. We also got to see James Anderson. Man, that kid can play. Wish he got more minutes.

Tonight’s game was a good start to a very favorable upcoming schedule. If the Rockets didn’t win by at least 20, I would have been concerned. In prior posts, I said that Rockets should come out of this stretch before the meet the Spurs losing no more than 2 games. Well, they’ve already lost two games, so that means they better not lose anymore games until they meet the Spurs, which is very doable, as long as they continue to do what they’re supposed to do. So if they go on a winning streak, then the Phoenix loss on Sunday won’t be an issue at all. They’ll just have ended up losing the wrong game, but still the same number of games. In this case, it’s the ends that matter, not the means. So Rockets can essentially wipe away the awful loss to the Suns if they don’t lose any games until they meet up with the Spurs.

Aaron Brooks, in his post game interview summed up Lin’s performance very well: “He set the tone in that third quarter. You couldn’t even tell James Harden was on the floor in the beginning of the first five minutes (of the third quarter), because Jeremy was taking over and helping us get the lead.”

Just saw this on Ultimate Rockets. It confirms my feelings that Lin was even more focused than usual tonight and really controlled the game on both ends of the floor (http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2013/03/rockets-launch-past-suns-in-second-quarter/):

The Rockets went from that timeout to 18 dominant minutes and from Saturday’s loss in Phoenix to a 111-81 blowout of the Suns on Wednesday night to open a seven-game homestand with their biggest rout of the Suns in franchise history.

It all began with those few minutes recharging their batteries on the bench.

“It was J. Lin,” Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said of the message Jeremy Lin led during the timeout. “We said something like, ‘C’mon, this game is way bigger for us than it is for them. We have to win this game with defense.’

“I think all five guys bought in and really played hard. Guys were all over the place. Guys were really physical defensively. We were getting on the floor. We were taking charges. We were doing all those tough, nitty-gritty things that we didn’t do when we played them in Phoenix.”

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43 thoughts on “Rockets Do what They’re Supposed to: Blow Out a Weak Team at Home (Rockets 111 – Suns 81)

  1. You and MrPingPong had a great prediction, Mr. Philosopher 🙂
    I am sure MrPingPong was having fun watching the game live.
    How was JLin in person, MrPingPong?
    I bet he is 10x cuter hahahaha (can’t help my fangirling, please excuse me for that) 🙂
    Anyway, the feeling is really different when JLin and the Rockets are winning wether it’s a streak or not.
    Here’s hoping for their consistency.
    Go Rockets! Go JLin!

    • Thanks, Rubielyn. Yeah, lets hope for some consistency. They got a favorable schedule. They need to take advantage.

    • Lin in real life looks just like the way he looks on TV, Rubielyn! He moves like a cat on the floor. I think he should smile more when greeted by the fans though! He appears too serious out there on the floor: all business! It’s tough playing boss! 🙂

  2. You called it, Philosopher! Of course, didn’t I say Lin would rule? Just came back from the game. It was Noche Latina tonight at Toyota Center, home of Lin and the Rockets! Even the players intros were in Spanish! So cool! Do I like the Latin rhythm! I took some video with my smart phone. I’ll try to post it on Youtube later…
    I am all smile. Have a good night/day Lin Fans, wherever you are on this WEB!

    • That’s right, MrPingPong. And so did you! Ha ha. Glad you had fun at the game. Look forward to the videos!

    • Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. Lin wore a mouthpiece for the first time in this NBA career, I believe! Finally! He should have been doing that all along, since he plays so hard and gets hit constantly.

      • Oh yeah? I did not notice that. Lin broke a tooth in one game but refused to wear a mouthpiece. The elbow from Dragic gave Lin a bloodied fat lip and finally put some sense into him! He may as well try out elbow pads, in my opinion. I want to see Lin play for a long time in the NBA (and in Houston)! 🙂

      • Hello CH! It’s great that you plan to go to the Wolves game.

        This is the seating plan for Toyota Center.

        The Rockets bench is right in front of section 119. So if you want to watch Lin up close interacting with his teammates then sections 113, 114, 115 are good for it.
        The team comes out of the tunnel right under section 111. So if you want take pictures or video of the team coming in and out of the tunnel then sections 110, 111, 112, 113 are good for it.

        Last night I sat in row 4 of section 427, which is in the upper bowl looking down right in the middle of the court. It was perfect. I also sat in sections 428, 429, 113, 112, 107 in other games. They are all good. If you are to sit in the upper bowl (cheaper tickets) then sections 407-412 and 424-429 are pretty decent.

        I usually bid for tickets on rockets.flashseats.com (http://rockets.flashseats.com/default.aspx?ss=&fss=2059051961) a day before the game to get really good prices from ticket holders that could not make it to the game. Like last night, I only paid a total of $13 for a seat that would normally go for $35.
        I remember you said you were not from Houston in an earlier posting. In case you do not know, there are parking areas very near Toyota Center that only cost $5.

        I hope the above help.
        Let me know if you need anything else.

  3. I’m so glad for the win and Lin’s performance. I think this could be the first time he gave the team a pep talk and led them to win, acting like a leader both in spirit and in action. Lin’s stats also seem like a favorable response to McHale’s previous sarcastic 29-point-9-turnover criticism, since Lin helped the team win without scoring high. I guess I should get used to such stats and scenario of JLin–scoring a low double digit without playing in the 4th quarter due to a big lead he contributes to. Looking at the
    stats, doubters/haters might say he’s mediocre, while the truth is
    he rocks!

  4. why is it that I miss these fun blowouts 😦 Im worried about the next game. The timberwolves seem to give Lin fits and I dont even know why… are the timberwolves that good?

    • Ha ha. Don’t worry, if Rockets play the way they’re supposed to, they should have a few more blow outs coming up.

      I think you’re right to worry about the Wolves. Looks like Rubio is healthy again and that makes them a dangerous team. They did blow out the Spurs, but Spurs didn’t have Duncan or Parker in that game. Also, they did it at home. I think Rockets should be able to take care of business with the Wolves, since Rockets are pretty good at home and they should feed off of their destruction of the Suns. If they had problems with the Suns, then I would be more worried about them facing the Wolves.

  5. OK folks! Here is the first of a series of videos of the Suns game. I apologize for its low quality. I could not sneak in my HD video camera and had to use my smartphone instead. It has no zoom feature.

    I will post more later as I have the time to make the video. I will try another video editing program to see if I can zoom in on the action a little more. It will take time.

    As to tonight’s game against the Wolves, I just learned that Harden is a game time decision thing. This seems to confirm my suspicion that Harden’s ankle was badly hurt in that one GSW game when he stepped on David Lee’s foot. Harden has been playing hurt. What he needs is a martial art master who can pop his ankle back into place. I bet you anything that Lin has been playing hurt too. These guys are so competitive that they will just ignore the pain and play. Pain is good because it tells you something is wrong and needs repair and/or rest.

    Anyway, did you read about KM’s complimenting Lin on the Suns blowout game? He is slowly coming around to it, I believe. Just let Lin run the floor. Lin will make everybody look good, including the coach! Linsanity is contagious! And as they stay in Star Trek: Resistance is Futile! Lin will tame the Wolves tonight!

    🙂

    • Thanks for this one MrPingPong! 😉
      I don’t think it is a low quality video, in fact it is nice in my opinion.
      What a game for the Rockets, they were down 18pts in the first half and finishes the game with a WIN.
      Thanks to Harden’s (37) and JLin’s (24) 61pts combined if I remembered it correctly.
      Go Go Go Rockets!!
      Go JLin!!

      • Yeah, it was quite a game. For some crazy reason, I wasn’t worried when they were down by 20 points late in the second quarter. They played so awfully in that quarter that I was expecting them to redeem themselves and win. Not sure why I was so confident that they’d win that game, but I was. That would have been pretty psychologically damaging if they lost that game, because it was a loss to a very weak Wolves game back in January (I think) that started their 7 game losing streak. So they really needed to conquer this team.

    • Thanks for the video, Mr. PP. Just came back from tonight’s game. It was a great game and a huge win tonight. Cried my lungs out again. They turned the game around after the 3rdQ. Lin contained Rubio so well that he was 3/14. Harden and Lin didn’t look like they played hurt to me. Lin still played quick and ran the offense effectively. But Harden was not his usual quick. Maybe he was playing hurt, indeed. If he was hurt and still scored 37 points, he was an iron man. Was it after a 3-pointer that Lin signaled the fans to scream by waving his arms? It seemed that he enjoyed the game as well. Anyway, a great game tonight. Go Jeremy!

      • As I watched this game, I thought to myself, ‘I bet CH was dying in the first half and crying in the second half”! 🙂
        Yeah, these guys are great competitors and will play until they drop dead!
        Wow what a game for Rockets fans and Lin fans!
        The Wolves fans are depressed.
        It’s so relative…

      • Wow, CH! For some reason, it didn’t register for me that you were going to the Wolves game, even though you mentioned in the comments. That must have been some experience. Such drastically different emotions from the first half to the second half. Yep, Lin played great defense and contained Rubio. He also played aggressively on the offensive end. He’s looked really good for the past couple of games. Hope he keeps it up. Harden is hurt for sure, but he willed himself to help the team get the win. Very glad for the win, but hope they don’t give up big leads like that. Not many teams are going to let them come back.

      • Yeah, exactly, Mr. PP, my heart was “dying in the first half and crying in the second half”. It was like riding a roller coaster. Heart was sinking when Rox was down 20 points, thinking how could they come back. It was a bit crazy that they came back and had a 8 points lead eventually. If KLove was playing, they could have had a hard time coming back.

    • Thanks for the video, MrPingPong! I gave you a thumbs up! I am just about to put up a video on McHale’s recent positive comments towards Lin. You called it, Lin did tame the Wolves!

      • Thanks for the thumps up, Philosopher.
        For the readers of this blog who missed this “fun” game, here are a few more takes.




        The fourth quarter is essentially garbage time for the Rockets! That’s pretty Linsane. The garbage time video is being uploaded to Youtube as I am typing this note. It has Aaron Brooks scoring a trey; the crowd loved it!

        On a separate note, though I subscribed to your Youtube JeremyLintel Channel I never received any notification of your new videos. What gives? And for the Underrated Defender 1 video, I posted my video of Lin blocking JSmith as a video response. Did you get that?

        Yeah, McHale is coming around to recognizing Lin’s talents. He even talked about hockey assists, which do not show up in stats sheets. He is beginning to see things in Lin that stats sheets don’t show and normal eye tests do not register. Like I’ve always said, Linsanity is contagious! Resistance is futile! 🙂

      • MrPingPong, I think there’s an option to get notified by email of new videos. It’s not an automatic thing when you subscribe. When you subscribe, my videos just show up in your YouTube channel under subscriptions. But you have to elect to receive email notification of new videos. That’s a separate step, I believe.

        I didn’t get any video responses to my Lin is an Underrated Defender video. Not sure If there’s something I need to do on my end to have it show up. I’m still new to having a YouTube Channel. Will look into it.

      • Ok, I got it. I just checked the box to receive e-mail for new uploads. I’m listening/watching to your new video right now.

      • Okay. I just figured out the video response thing. I have to approve them. So I just approved it. Great angle on that block! That’s awesome! Great video response. I gave that one a thumbs up, also.

      • Hello Philosopher, about your Underrated Defender 1 Youtube video, I would like to suggest taking a look at this video at about 1:34 when Lin was defending big man Kleiza:

        Big men underestimate Lin’s defensive skill.

      • Yeah, that’s a pretty good defensive effort by Lin, MrPingPong, but not quite Linsane in my book. Also, I would kind of prefer to stick with Rockets clips, unless I missed something from when he was with the Knicks that was really Linsane. Maybe you should edit this and do a video response. Just a thought.

    • OK, here is the garbage time video for the Suns game.
      Nothing much there, except for the roar of the crowd when Aaron Brooks made his first basket (a trey) as a New Age Rocket!

      Enjoy! 🙂

      • I do not know why the Youtube links for the first quarter, the third quarter and the fourth quarter garbage time do not show up as embedded videos on this page like the other links. Anyway, you click on them they should work. Let me know if you have any problem.

  6. It’s great that the Rockets made a comeback. But it’s a bit worrisome that for three games, they’ve trailed behind in the first two or three quarters. When they were losing, I totally agreed to what the announcer said at the end of the first half: the Timberwolves looked more like a playoff contender. If it weren’t for Harden and the Wolves’ poor shooting in the second half, they would have lost (Harden played poorly in the first quarter though). I probably should just treat it as a display of inconsistency of a young team and hope they can figure out their winning formula and cling on to it, never to let it slip away so easily. I remembered a few games earlier on where they were able to take the lead and assured us how good a team they were. Hopefully they can do that again.

    In Mchale’s recent interviews, we’ve heard his praise on Jeremy’s defense and Jeremy has regained his 4th quarter playing time. So I guess McHale has really come around, having seen enough of Beverley’s energy, and we fans would no longer need to worry about this coach’s trust issue that has stood in the way of his career development. We’ll just see how Jeremy will improve, elevating his play game after game.

    • Yeah, their inconsistency is a concern, but I think after that Wolves game, they will have learned their lesson for the short-term, at least up until they face the Spurs. So I think they will be focused for the next few games and play more dominantly. We’ll probably see another blow out of the Jazz. Tonight’s game against the Warriors is so critical. Lets see if Rockets can stay focused for the entire game. If they were playing at Golden State, I would predict a loss, since it’s hard to beat the same team four times in a row. But since Rockets are playing at home, I think Rockets will pull off another critical Win. Last time, Lee had his way with our PFs up until T-Rob took out his knee. So Lee’s going to be one to watch tonight.

      Yeah, I think McHale is starting to come around some on Jeremy Lin. We’ll see if it continues along the same trajectory. I made a video about it on my YouTube Channel in case you didn’t see it.

      • OK, I admit that I am Lin-biased here. Lin seemed to have flipped some kinda switch on internally in the last couple of games. May be because of what McHale said or whatever, Lin is playing in Linsane mode right now. No matter what the Warriors throw at Lin tonight, he will make them pay. Lin is smelling the playoff for the first time in his NBA career and he is not gonna let anybody nor any team get in his way.
        🙂
        Sixth seed that is!
        Have fun watching Lin and the Rockets beat the Warriors tonight wherever you are on this WEB!

  7. I got to watch the first quarter knowing they lost by six, and I thought this game wasn’t looking good. I simply figured: They could come back once or twice, but it’s impossible to do that all the time. When I saw D-Mo missed his shots for three (?) times in the 1st quarter, I really missed 2Pat or Morris, who I think had proven they were stable good shooters. As for our beloved Jeremy, I think he played pretty well, but still was the first that got subbed out. Well, I’ll treat like the coach wanted him to rest well for the later com-back game. And indeed, he did it again, which I could tell from the points he scored. The team had a terrible loss, but I’m just happy for Lin. LIke Mr. PingPong said, I think he’s in Linsanity mode. I tend to be pessimistic, but I expect this high-level performance from him for the remaining games this season. He’s just getting better and better!

    • I watched the first half of the Warriors game and the last few minutes of garbage time in the 4th quarter. I missed all that fun part when Lin went into Linsanity mode trying to bring the team back. From what I’ve read, Lin was the only Rockets who shot well and the rest of the team was shooting really badly. Dunno why that happened, but it is not unreasonable to surmise that what actually unfolds in a game is direct consequence of the team practice behind close door. Let’s be optimistic and hope that McHale and his coaching staff are capable of making proper adjustments.

      In the mean time, yeah Ashley, Lin has switched to Linsanity mode and will play the way he knows how to play all the way to the playoff. The rest of the team has to buy in though, because Lin cannot carry the team on his back alone.

      • I noticed one thing that’s not so Linsanity-like about Lin, though. I think Lin passed the ball a bit too much (besides deferring to Harden) whereas the real Linsanity last year would involve more shooting and scoring. Actually, Harden isn’t as ball-hogging as earlier of the season. And I’ve seen Lin and the team passing the ball around quite often–it’s like playing eeny, meeny, miny, mo, whoever catches the last has to shoot. I think Lin has been intentionally shooting less due to his lack of confidence earlier this season as well as his awareness of the fact that there are a lot of good shooters on the team, which might no longer be true. Therefore, I think unless he gets more aggressive in shooting, he isn’t 100% in Linsanity mode yet. By the way, I like D-mo and know he has good shooting skills as a big man. It’s just that he’s not as good a corner 3 shooter as 2Pat. It is said that the coaches misused him; they should put him in the paint.

      • Good observations, Ashley. Yeah, Lin deferred earlier in the season, because he didn’t have confidence in his shot and was still getting used to his new role. Lately, Lin looks to be more in Linsanity mode, because he has more confidence in his ability to score the ball and he sees that he’s more needed to score the ball. Yeah, I love watching this team, because they’re all unselfish players. Harden gets into Hero-Ball mode sometimes, but I think that’s because he feels like that’s his role or something. But he’s generally very willing to share the ball. That’s what I like about McHale’s offense. It really emphasizes ball movement.

        I heard D-Mo is money on the corner threes in practice, but somehow can’t make it consistently in the games. Yeah, D-Mo is an elite post-up player. They really should run plays for him, but Rockets offense doesn’t really have any plays. It’s more about spacing, which is the reason why D-Mo is camped out in the corner rather than in the paint. Rockets like to keep the paint open for dribble penetration by Lin and Harden. This is why they haven’t been able to figure out how to incorporate a guy like T-Rob, since T-Rob is not someone you can spread the floor with. Anyway, lots more to say on this…but, yeah, you’re right, D-Mo does belong in the paint more than at the corner. But credit to D-Mo, he does go in the paint and post up every chance he gets. I would see him sneak in there and if he doesn’t get the ball, then he’ll go back out in the corners to space the floor. He’s very good about moving around on the court and getting open in general.

    • Yes CH, this article has made its way to TheDreamShake, ClutchFans and perhaps all Lin and/or Rockets fan sites. I’ve been to many Rockets home games this season, and I must say the support for Lin in Houston is nowhere near the support he had in New York. But Lin is winning fans over. Linsanity is contagious! 🙂

      On a separate note, I’ve lived in Texas for many years. And in my opinion, Texas is still a “football country”. Late last year and earlier this year, during the football season, the Rockets fans and the beer sellers I talked to at Toyota Center beamed about their Texans team instead: Jeremy Lin? Bid deal! 🙂

    • Thanks for the link, CH! I rarely go to any of the forums these days, so I wouldn’t have known about this article if you didn’t post it here. So thanks! It’s great to see the press writing about stuff that us fans have been talking about since the beginning of the season. I don’t know much about the writer, but I hope he has some clout. I’m sure Morey and Les are well aware of all the issues that this article brought up regarding Lin, unless they’re completely blind.

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