McHale has yet to even officially announce Lin is now a bench player much less say anything to the effect that Lin will lead the second team or he’s the 6th man. Only thing he did say is he has two starting pgs and the back court situation is “fluid”. Morey, however, has said that starting Bev over Lin is all on McHale and the Houston Rockets PR machine has manufactured a bunch of reasons to support the decision to make Lin a bench player.
Going to list a bunch of reasons that the Rockets organization are sending out their surrogates to condition Lin fans to accept the fact that Pev should start over Lin so to debunk them.
Better “fit” / Experimenting with different line up: “Fit” is just a talking point that the Rockets have all their surrogates spread throughout the media. It’s a fabricated issue to give Harden, the WORST on ball guard in the NBA, the opportunity to outshine Jeremy the best on ball point guard in the NBA. Caveat, Harden is only the worst on ball guard in the NBA not because he lacks the ability but because he’s selfish, and the coach doesn’t bother to reign him in. Doesnt stop the coach from blaming EVERYONE for being ball sticky, but he never calls out the main culprit and put a stop to it.
During game 1′s post game interview, McHale compared watching his team’s offense to a trip to a dentist. And, every players’ post game interview was like twilight zone where all the players look at everyone but themselves when saying the ball got sticky.
Lead the second team / 6th man (like Ginobili): Yes the 6th man thing was a fantasy to begin with. There’s no way Lin could lead the second team with Harden playing 40 minutes a game. Failure to launch at the very outset.
Jeremy Lin fans are hyping him up: Hard to argue unless opponents give proof of how Lin fans are hyping him up.
Pev is better defender: Lin should start because Lin is the second best defensive player on the Rockets last season. He’s the one of two Houston players to be on the all defense team according to Stats for the NBA and is #19 out of 20 ahead of Tony Parker.
Overlapping skill set: Both are ball dominant guards, and they can’t coexist? The word “ball dominant” is thrown around quite a bit to excuse the benching. Jeremy is a ball dominant point guard because a point guard HAS to be ball dominant to do his thing. Harden is ball dominant because he’s a ball hogger. These are two distinct roles of ball dominance. Harden and Lin’s roles/skills DO NOT over lap. When it does it’s merely word play on the phrase “ball dominant”.
I don’t know why people keep saying harden and Lin has same skill sets. Harden only plays well off ball. The team totally sucks when he plays on ball. It does NO one any favors by allowing him to play on ball. Today is the perfect example. The game would have been lost if Garcia didn’t go off with threes and Pev and Harden didn’t get injured to let Lin get major back up role minutes.
Harden is a big investment that Morey has to make sure that he will get his returns on. And, Morey will make sure he gets his returns at ALL costs. Semantically, Jeremy’s Les Alexander’s investment not Morey’s investment. Also, $25m vs $80m. Morey is willing to lose $25m if it means peers will perceive the $80m to be a bargain. And paying Harden $80m was a big risk for a 6th man with limited starter sample size. Morey has to protect his investment at all cost. It’s his reputation and career at stake.
No doubt Harden’s a good to very good player. But, he’s not used optimally. He plays much better off ball than on ball. Houston crushes opponents when Harden is 30% on ball instead of 90% on ball. There’s no way Morey et al doesn’t know this. But, they keep forcing their way to play iso ball at risk of losing games in streaks last year. Not logical.
What any logical person will do is prop Lin up then trade him if they don’t value him. But that’s not happening in real life here in Houston. Think Morey wants to make sure his investment is protected and not overshadowed by another Linsanity as that would prove Les to be in the right leading Morey to another tongue lashing from his boss. Come to think of it, this is really not too different compared to when Lin was in NY when CAA feared another linsanity because that will drop their clients’s value and earning power.
In the media:
But in his new role as sixth man, his ability to score, and score efficiently, will be significantly more important than the amount of dimes he dishes out.
“the Rockets were notably better as a team when Harden took the court without Lin. Per 100 possessions, Houston’s net rating improved from plus-2.1 with Lin on the floor to plus-4.6 without him, per NBA.com.”
McHale never though of Lin as a key piece in his plans, even though he now does give him the chance to become one of the best backup players in the league, and an automatic candidate for the sixth man of the year award.
Also, if Jeremy blows up playing off the bench, wouldn’t it be funny/crazy if he was voted as a starter on the All-Star team?
With Patrick Beverley’s emergence last season, why not try and use Lin as the 6th man this season?
Beverley is probably the better “3 and D” guy between the two so he would be a better fit with Harden and Howard commanding all those double teams.
Lastly, how often have you read that Jeremy Lin has no trade value? This will be further explored.
Work in progress but do support with data if you can.