1) Within the first 30 seconds of the first quarter, James Harden launched his very first iso Harden of the 2013-14 season with a 5 crossover dribble then step back jumper three that clanked. Harden followed that up with a 2 for 11 shooting through the third quarter and ended the night by going 5 for 5 at the end of the game after the outcome has already been decided to become the game’s scoring leader with 21 points. At least he didn’t cost the team the win tonight although the opponent IS only the Bobcats.
2) Peverley did get his start but only played 10 minutes because he injured his rib. Otherwise, he was a non-factor which is too bad as this is his first ever NBA start and would have liked him to play better. I much rather seeing Jeremy coming into the game replacing Harden rather than for Peverley. However, he did start the game off with a 3pter but turned the ball over twice during his short time on the court.
3) The big men Asik and Howards grabbed a ton of boards. However, they do not posses a capable inside out game. Asik was nonexistant on the offensive end and his butter fingers became contagious as Howard couldn’t catch any of Lin’s passes either.
4) Lin scored very efficiently by going 2 for 2 three pointers and 5 for 7 overall for 16 points. He did NOT get much assists because Lin mainly played the shooting guard position and teammates mostly didn’t pass the ball to Lin, so he didn’t have much opportunity to dish dimes to teammates. However, he did give his teammates some wide open looks with deft passes, but his teammates bricked almost every single one of those shots.
5) Garcia is probably the MVP with his three point bombs to help keep the team in the game early on by going 5 for 9 from arc. OTOH, Casspi made Parsons very happy by only scoring 4 points in 20 minutes which is his worst outing all year if you include the preseason games. If you read my previous blogs, you’d find that Parsons had plenty to worry about as Casspi was statistically the most effective and most well rounded player during preseason.
So, to answer the question above, what should we expect to see for the rest of the season? Parsons and Harden goes off with high volume field goal attempts with Asik and Howard cleaning up their bricks. Don’t expect to see Harden getting a ton of free throws this year because the twin towers are clogging lanes and refs are not giving Harden his rain dance calls this year it seems. Expect the second team shooters to help keep the team close with a ton of three pointers. And, occasionally, maybe the team will allow Lin to lead the second team and break down opponents’ defense which will open up Houston’s running game.
On another note, there seem to be only one sports writer in Houston that isn’t directly or indirectly employed by the Rocket’s organization. Chris Baldwin published his game assessment on Culture Map only hours after the game. Maybe he’s a biased Jeremy Lin fanboi like the rest of us? Who cares. His article is well argued and points out many nuances that made the game interesting in a Melrose Place sort of way.
His indirect jab at Harden is precious:
He doesn’t pour in a bunch of points after the game’s essentially over to pad his stats. He doesn’t fire up a no-need 3-pointer in the closing seconds that has the Bobcats exchanging a few curious looks. He doesn’t get a courtside high five from former Rocket Tracy McGrady, who’s sitting in the front row next to team owner Leslie Alexander.