On an opening night full of insane coaching lineup decisions, the Rockets edged to the Pistons, 105-96, with James Harden beasting. Jeremy Lin had another awesome 4th quarter performance with dumb turnovers and an inability to sell the foul call. Omer Asik had a 12 and 8 of his own but could not cover his man and Morris' assignment at the same time. Carlos Delfino put in 15 points while only missing one shot and was completely clutch at the corner 3.
1) James Harden is very, very good
Almost no turnovers, great handler, double double, got superstar calls, and played fantastic. Manu Ginobili-style.
He looked absolutely fantastic on defense. Not shot blocking but steals. His steals did not come at the expense of defense, something jeremy Lin has yet to learn. But Jeremy's gambles did pay off more often than not. In the fourth quarter, harden's rebounding and steals really turned the tide.
2) This is a work in progress
When harden was on the bench, it was hard. When Lin was on the bench it was hard. The best takeaway is that our most powerful lineup is having both together.
Yes we have a bad bench. But we have a worse coach. Unless he was under orders to play Morris incredible minutes, McHale needs to retake basketball school.
Our half court sets are amazing. I dont understand the need to run. Our bench should drag the clock out so that the starters can come back without pressure.
3)Now for the myths.
Asik going down will not injure the team. Cole Aldrich can step up. We'll have to give up 3 pointers and jumpers. But it can be done. Lin, Harden, Parsons, Greg smith, Cole. This is not bad.
If Harden goes down, we are going to be screwed against the better teams. But if we skewer the lineups a bit, we can work it. Lin, Parsons, Delfino, Motiejunas, Asik. Agains, we have to give up on the perimeter threats.
The trick here is to use the Princeton offense to slow down time. Parsons task should be to full court press every minute. Cook will sub for him and be tasked to full court press too. The philosophy here is to use our best tools which is our passing and perimeter threats. That's right. Perimeter threats.
Our games don't reflect it, but aside from Parsons, many of the rockets have good shooters. Delfino, Motie and Lin are decent shots. Asik is an incredibly good passer.
@full strength, the Rockets are almost impossible to stop.
Lin, Harden, Parsons, Greg Smith/Cole, Asik. We bang them hard inside, everytime. Make them hurt. And we run Asik on the high post.
On the bench, we run Cole/Terrence Jones in the backcourt (frontcourt? i dunno. Big Guys). We put Morris in SF. And we use Cook and Delfino as our ball handlers. This is the same setup that Doc Rivers devised. When you don't have a good point guard, don't play a point guard. It's that simple.
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