I don’t have time to write much, but I was so pissed by McHale’s mismanagement of players minutes tonight to not say anything. You can call me a delusional Lin fan, I don’t care. Lin did play terribly in the first few minutes of the game and deserved to be taken out. And I was also okay with McHale benching Lin in the second quarter, but when Lin came back from half-time and did very well, helping the Rockets come to within 4 points, I thought it was a big mistake by McHale to sit Lin so early (with 4 minutes left to go in the third quarter) in the third and not bring back Lin until under 5 minutes to go in the game. McHale also benched Asik and D-Mo, just mentioning it so people don’t think I’m just fixated on Lin. Greg Smith was playing phenomenally, so I don’t blame him for benching Asik and T-Rob also provided a lot of energy. But Beverly wasn’t playing incredibly. But, again, I was fine with the second quarter benching of Lin, my problem is that when Lin came back and played really well McHale should have gone with Lin for the majority of the second half. You can call me a delusional Lin fan, but I think if McHale hadn’t benched Lin in the second half, Rockets would have won the game. They had a lot of momentum and when Lin was out, the Rockets offense looked so sluggish. It was entirely dependent on Harden and Harden wasn’t hitting anything.
Aside from McHale’s benching of Lin, he played Harden for the entire second half. That’s a huge mistake–especially on a night in which Harden struggled massively. What I would have done is Let Lin play until like the 3 or 2 minute mark of the third quarter and sit Lin then bring Lin back with 10 minutes left to go in the game. Or if I was going to sit Lin early, then I would have brought Lin back to play the entire fourth quarter and give Harden like a 4 minute rest or something in between the third and fourth quarter. I don’t know what McHale was thinking. I kept staring at the sidelines to see if Lin was getting ready to check back in in the fourth quarter and nothing. What McHale doesn’t realize is that managing Lin’s minutes that way hurts Lin’s confidence, as well. I can see Lin totally deflated on the bench and during time outs. Lin did well in the third quarter and deserved to get his minutes back. Beverly barely did anything in the second half. Ideally, I think McHale should have substituted Lin back in in the second quarter with 4 minutes left to go or something, because the bench had played the entire quarter. I think they ran out of gas. McHale doesn’t seem to understand the concept of using the bench to give you a run and letting your starters finish. I can see benching D-Mo, because he’s still not a legitimate starter, but McHale treats Lin just like a D-Mo. This is what I mean by McHale not showing Lin the respect that Lin deserves. I think a player of Lin’s caliber deserves the opportunity to play through mistakes. Lin should be treated like Parsons, at the very least, but McHale treats Lin like a scrub. As you can tell, I’m pissed at McHale at the moment. I really think Rockets would have won the game if McHale didn’t bench Lin in the fourth quarter. The offense was running smoothly when Lin was on the court and then completely disappeared when Lin wasn’t on the court and by the time McHale brought Lin back, Lin’s confidence was completely gone and all the momentum that he built up in the third quarter completely drained out of him. McHale waited ridiculously long to bring Lin back and the thing is Beverly wasn’t doing anything out there. McHale messed up tonight big time and cost the Rockets what would have been a great come from behind win. Rockets were well on their way to a come from behind win. Had Lin played in the fourth quarter, they would have won. So much more to say, but I’ll stop here. So I guess McHale is still a Lin Doubter through and through. He fixates on Lin’s mistakes so much. I don’t know why Lin’s inspired play in the third quarter wasn’t enough for McHale to trust Lin to finish the game. Lin had fresh legs in the second half, because he hardly played in the first half. If McHale wanted Beverly out there so much, then he could have brought Harden out for Lin and then sub Beverly out for Harden. That’s what I would have done. Instead, McHale decided to run Harden to the ground on a night in which Harden shot poorly from the floor. Man, so pissed at McHale right now.