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Spurs End Rockets Preseason Momentum

A quick-turn around recap of today's afternoon game: Spurs 116, Rockets 107.

Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The facts:

San Antonio is a well oiled machine in any kind of configuration. Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the NBA. He takes the veteran cuts that no other team wants to hold onto and forges a dominant bench. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili each played less than 18 minutes and had a minimal effect on the game after the first half. Danny Green and Wesley Witherspoon both had great games for the Spurs. Even Eddy Curry was able to get his in the post.

The Houston Rockets are very young and the few veterans we do have were quarantined to the bench this afternoon. There were lots of fundamental mistakes on defense. We didn't box out nearly enough. Our help defense was shaky. The interior defense was mediocre.

Jeremy Lin sat out of the fourth quarter with a large ice pack wrapped around his knee.

The Good:

Omer Asik. What a great investment. Aside from losing his composure offensively half way through the second quarter, Asik was a beast. And the passing! I had no idea Asik could pass the ball as well as he has during the preseason. Asik had 5 assists, 11 rebounds, a block and 13 points.

For some reason Jeremy Lamb only got 21 minutes; in his 21 minutes he was a major scoring threat. Donatas Motiejunas really found his place in the offense. The ball came to him at the right times and he made the right decisions.

Scott Machado played like a bat out of hell. I saw that killer instinct that Abel alluded to earlier this week. Machado dropped 11 dimes in 23 minutes and forced his own offensive game with poise. What a fantastic performance from the undrafted point guard.

Greg Smith is making a better argument for back up 5 than Donatas Motiejunas is. Smith was really grinding tonight and I was loving the effort.

Gary Forbes continues to fight his way onto the final roster. At 27, there's not much of an upside but the last thing the Rockets need right now is another inexperienced prospect to mold.

I think going up against a deep, well coached team is good for this Rockets squad. We got a sneak peak at a playoff contender. Losing builds character - maybe the Rockets built some character tonight.

The Bad:

For a quick team, the Rockets weren't very quick tonight. Lin, Asik, Parsons and most of the team ran out of gas early on. There was a second wind in the third quarter, but it quickly dropped off again. The pace wasn't there and that is to be expected with a young team early on in training camp.

Chandler Parsons was not a scoring threat, he was not our best defender, and he was not making plays.

The starting five had no chemistry. The Lin/Lamb/Parsons/Jones/Asik line up had a lot of promise, but there wasn't a tempo with that group together on the floor. If there was any offensive action it was initiated in isolation. Players were forced to create for themselves and the defense was equally disappointing.

The Ugly:

Jeremy Lin. I know there is going to be an outrage in response to this portion of the recap but there wasn't a single thing I can commend Jeremy Lin on this afternoon. Believe me, there is no anti-Lin conspiracy going on at The Dream Shake. I'm a huge Jeremy Lin fan and I'm proud to have him on our team. Jeremy Lin had a terrible game: he was 1-10, had 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 turnovers in 25 minutes. Lin was able to get inside the paint but unable to make anything happen once he got there. Lin will be fine once he generates a relationship with his teammates but until he can create an agenda for himself in the flow of the offense he's going to continue to struggle. The mechanics of Lin's jump shot have always been a little slow, but tonight he was completely off the mark. If Lin can't convince his man to stay with him at the arc he's going to have to rely on more than a quick first step to take the ball inside. I really didn't like seeing him with that ice pack on his knee in the fourth either.