Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no question this was a big game for both teams. The Houston Rockets are looking to move up to the 6ht spot in the Western Conference while the Dallas Mavericks are fighting for their playoff lives. The Mavericks came out determined to not be embarrassed twice in the row by the Rockets and they succeeded, beating the Rockets 112-108.
The biggest shocker of this game was the 4th quarter benching of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. These questionable calls had fans irate with head coach Kevin McHale.
Asik finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds in just 23 minutes. People tend to forget this is Asik’s first year as a starter, so maybe McHale was looking to get him some rest, or maybe he thought Thomas Robinson was a better fit to play against the Mavericks small lineup in the 4th quarter.
To Robinson’s credit he did play very well tonight on both sides of the floor. His production goes much farther than what his stats show. But was it right to play him over Asik? It depends on what the situation was. I do believe Asik needs some rest from time to time, especially to get ready for the playoffs. But it’s hard to imagine the Rockets winning with Asik on the bench.
I don’t think there is a fan base more sensitive than Lin fans. I myself am a Lin fan, but I’m realistic about it. He is overrated and at times he does deserve to be benched. Some fans are saying that Lin was playing better than Patrick Beverley which is definitely false. Lin went -3 while Beverley finished at +7. Yes Lin scored 12 points, but he also had just 3 assists and 3 turnovers. Look up the assist to turnover ratio and that’s a terrible stat to have. Beverley had 0 points, but he had 7 assists to just 2 turnovers and he played better defense and was just all around running the point guard position much smoother tonight.
McHale has always and will always play the players who are on a hot streak. Yes Asik started off great and Lin was playing ok, but McHale doesn’t like to sub out a player who is playing well. Robinson and Beverley were playing great. End of story.
James Harden didn’t shoot very well from the field but he still had a good game, finishing with 28 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He shot just 5-17 from the field and 2-7 from three. Most of his points came from the line where he went an incredible 16-16.
The difference in this game was the Mavericks core players played much better than in the last meeting. Dirk Nowitzki almost tripled the amount of points he scored on Sunday while O.J. Mayo finished with a double-double with 13 points and 12 assists to go along with 6 rebounds.
As the season gets closer to the end each games begins to mean more and more. That will be no different this Friday when they take on the 6th seed Golden State Warriors.