If anyone needed more proof that the Houston Rockets aren’t headed in the right direction by benching Jeremy Lin & giving James Harden complete control over the team, the Houston Rockets losing to the Memphis Grizzlies was an excellent example of the awful work Kevin McHale is doing with this team, ruining special shooting night from Chandler Parsons.
The Rockets lost 87-88 to the Memphis Grizzlies despite a rare performance from Chandler Parsons – he finished with 34 points, 30 of them coming in the second half on 10 3-pointers. He is the first Rockets player to score more than 30 points in a 2nd half since Kevin Martin in 2014. Too bad it wasn’t enough to make it through the awful play from the Rockets during the first half.
James Harden scored 10 points, adding 13 assists. Sounds like a decent night for a point guard, right? He was 2-of-11 from the field, and kept insisting on taking bad shots even though it was quite clear that once again, putting a very good individual defender on him easily slows him down as he doesn’t really love giving up on the ball and making it easier for other teammates. Parsons being this hot and not minding getting the ball late in possessions worked, but only for him personally.
Parsons himself had something on his shoulder to go off like this; the snub from the USA basketball selections. They picked 28 players, but not him (17.2 points, 5.8 rebounds per game), which probably gave him an incentive to show off his shooting skills.
The Grizzlies are hot right now (6-2 since Courtney Lee arrived) but the Rockets shouldn’t be losing to them at home. Jeremy Lin came off the bench to score 9 points (4-of-6 from the field) and add 3 assists. For some reason, McHale forgot about him in the final 3:25 of the game, only remembering to throw him back in for the final possession. How did that one end? James Harden having the ball, and unable to make something happen aside from a pass to the terrible Patrick Beverley in the final eight seconds.
So Memphis are a good team, and the Rockets are coming off two big wins in which the Beverley return paid off, right? Except for a strong comeback performance, Beverley is back to being ineffective and even hurtful on offense. He scored 3 points on 1-of-11 from the field and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. When your backcourt combined to shoot 3-of-22 from the field, you know something is wrong. That didn’t stop McHale from giving Beverley 34 minutes. Dwight Howard not touching the ball (5-of-10 from the field, didn’t go to the line) has something to do with a team that didn’t have anyone to make it a more uptempo game that the Grizzlies can’t work with, or no one looking in his direction.
The world isn’t blind to the failures of McHale, but it won’t make the Rockets wiser about the situation, not now. They’ll keep going to Harden with Beverley as his backcourt sidekick, hoping that their simplistic system and names in the lineup work. Dwight Howard will have big games when they play awful defenses, but without an actual point guard playing the way he should (Lin on the bench wondering where have his minutes gone to), more disappointments like this one at home against the Grizzlies are going to come.