|Western Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 2 - OKC Leads 1-0|
|Last 5 Games||1-4||-6.2||1-4||2-3||99.4||51.2||42.2%||56.6||104.0||52.8||42.6%||58.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||105.8||53.2||38-83||45.9%||11-29||36.4%||19-25||75.3%||52||11||23||20||8||16||4|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.2||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.3%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||103.3||52.1||37-83||45.1%||11-30||35.7%||18-24||74.4%||51||11||22||22||8||16||4|
|Stats Against (All Games)||102.7||52.6||39-85||45.5%||8-22||36.8%||17-22||77.6%||50||11||23||20||8||14||6|
|vs opponents averaging||98.4||49.5||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.5%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||104.3||53.7||39-85||46.2%||8-22||35.4%||18-24||77.6%||51||11||24||20||9||14||6|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+1.4||3-2||1-4||107.0||56.0||48.3%||52.0||93.6||48.6||41.4%||54.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||105.9||53.9||38-79||48.1%||7-19||37.7%||22-27||82.8%||51||10||21||20||8||15||8|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.6||49.6||37-82||45.4%||7-20||36.0%||17-22||75.3%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||108.8||55.5||39-80||49.6%||8-19||41.1%||22-27||83.4%||51||10||23||20||8||14||8|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.4||47.6||36-85||42.5%||7-22||34.4%||17-22||77.3%||49||12||20||21||8||14||4|
|vs opponents averaging||98.4||49.5||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||95.4||47.0||35-85||41.8%||7-22||33.4%||17-22||77.2%||48||12||19||20||8||14||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: HOUSTON 96, OKLAHOMA CITY 95.5|
|4/17/2013||@ LA LAKERS||95-99||L||-1.5||L||206||U||35-84||41.7%||56||13||33-90||36.7%||68||12|
|4/21/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||91-120||L||10.5||L||213.5||U||33-91||36.3%||52||15||44-83||53.0%||58||13|
|4/24/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/11/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||116-97||W||-4||W||204.5||O||42-83||50.6%||50||17||37-84||44.0%||51||16|
|4/24/2013||HOUSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||@ HOUSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||@ HOUSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|HOUSTON: GUARDS: Houston has gutted its roster, and this is JEREMY LIN's team now. Coach Kevin McHale will use the same pick-and-roll offense he used with Goran Dragic, and Lin should do what he did in New York a year ago . . . KEVIN MARTIN is on the trade block. As long as he's in Houston, he'll be in and out of McHale's doghouse, especially seeing that he's not in the long-term plans . . . JEREMY LAMB should push Martin for minutes early. Lamb will have some defensive issues, but he's a cagey scorer who should mesh well with Lin . . . CARLOS DELFINO replaces Chase Budinger as the team's most reliable marksman from three-point range . . . TONEY DOUGLAS' defensive ability puts him in the running for a rotation spot . . . SHAUN LIVINGSTON can give them 12 to 15 minutes a night . . . Rookie SCOTT MACHADO, an outstanding passer, will back up Lin . . . GARY FORBES will have trouble finding minutes. FORWARDS: CHANDLER PARSONS was a nice surprise a year ago. He's a fifth option offensively but does the hustle/energy thing well . . . 2011 first-rounder DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS is a skilled 7-footer who fits with Lin. Expect him to grab a starting job by midseason, but he can also play center when required . . . This might be the year PATRICK PATTERSON makes an impact. His game is limited, but he can rebound and score around the basket . . . ROYCE WHITE is a 270-pounder with point guard skills. He needs the ball in his hands though, which is why he's not a great fit with Lin in the starting lineup . . . TERRENCE JONES has a tweener skill set. At this point, he's better suited for the second unit . . . Speaking of 'tweeners, MARCUS MORRIS looks to be nowhere near contributing. CENTERS: OMER ASIK earned his reputation as a defensive stud in Chicago, and he'll get a little more offensive freedom in Houston. He is quite foul-prone though, and he'll be tested on the free-throw line early and often . . . His backup, GREG SMITH, has more fouls (17) than points (14) in his 69-minute NBA career.|
|OKLAHOMA CITY: GUARDS: RUSSELL WESTBROOK can do whatever he wants inside the arc and will continue to be a shoot-first point guard . . . JAMES HARDEN will likely keep coming off the bench, but he'll also keep playing starter's minutes . . . THABO SEFOLOSHA is OKC's best perimeter defender. But his role won't become more prominent until the postseason . . . ERIC MAYNOR should be just about all the way back from his torn ACL. When healthy, he's one of the league's best backup point guards . . . DAEQUAN COOK will see limited minutes as a three-point specialist . . . REGGIE JACKSON's role will shrink to near nothing if Maynor is healthy. FORWARDS: KEVIN DURANT continues to do it all, and has done nothing but steadily improve each season . . . SERGE IBAKA is obviously an elite shot-blocker, but he continues to get lost in space. He's made some strides as a pick-and-roll defender, but that weakness is why he doesn't play 30 minutes per night . . . NICK COLLISON will continue to steal a lot of Ibaka's minutes because he defends the pick-and-roll better, and because he draws so many charges, he's almost as good in help situations . . . PERRY JONES III is an incredible athlete, but needs a year or two to learn the game . . . LAZAR HAYWARD is back as a 12th man. CENTERS: KENDRICK PERKINS will continue to start, but is a part-time player. The Thunder are often better with a small lineup. While Perkins is a bruiser he is too easy to exploit as a defender in space . . . COLE ALDRICH could be ready for a slightly bigger role off the bench . . . HASHEEM THABEET is a reclamation project. There's a sliver of long-term hope, but he won't help this year.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (HOUSTON-OKLAHOMA CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Adds details, comments. With AP Photos.)
*Rockets-Thunder Preview* =========================
By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer
Houston At Oklahoma City, Game Two, 7:00 p.m. EDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Jeremy Lin's introduction to the playoffs couldn't be a much tougher one.
After sparking the Linsanity craze last season while going from sleeping on a teammate's couch to becoming a sudden star, Lin is making his playoff debut with a head-to-head match-up against All-Star Russell Westbrook.
Not much went right for Lin in his first postseason game.
He made just one of his seven shots, committed four turnovers to go with his four assists and ended up with four points, almost 10 less than his season average. He didn't fare much better on defense, with Westbrook falling just two rebounds shy of a triple-double despite sitting out the fourth quarter of a 120-91 blowout by Oklahoma City.
The Rockets will need more from Lin if they hope to make it a series against the top-seeded Thunder. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.
"Jeremy will be fine. He's a tough kid. He bounces back," coach Kevin McHale said. "You've got to go out there. A little bit of it is just relax and go play. I think he was a little bit hyped up, a little bit amped up, and he needs to just relax and go play."
Lin's story is already remarkable. He had been cut three times and didn't know if he was going to be able to stick around in the NBA, so he was sleeping on teammate Landry Fields' couch before his big breakout game with the New York Knicks last season.
He'd go on to average 24.6 points and 9.2 assists over a 10-game span, but his sensational run came to an end when he injured his knee. The Rockets pursued him as a restricted free agent in the offseason, and when New York was unwilling to match Houston's back-loaded three-year, $25 million offer, they had their new point guard.
Starting in the backcourt alongside All-Star James Harden - a preseason acquisition in a trade with the Thunder - Lin helped Houston reach the playoffs for the first time in four years. It's his first postseason, after being sidelined for the Knicks' first-round loss to Miami last season.
After Game 1, he spoke about his subpar performance and how he didn't think he was that far off.
"I literally thought every single one of my shots were in. I actually believed that," Lin said. "I'm being completely honest with you -- I thought every single one was in. They were all kind of back rim. I don't know if I was a little too excited or whatever it might be but it's not going to happen every game."
McHale is counting on that.
"It was his first playoff game. I think he just had to go through that and experience it," McHale said. "Jeremy has bounced back all year long. He's a young kid. This is the first time he's ever started on a team in the NBA from start to finish, the first season he ever went through training camp as the starter.
"Jeremy's had a lot of very, very good bounce-back games where he might have had a bad game or bad couple of games and then he bounced back because he's a tough kid. I'm really not worried about Jeremy."
Anyone would have a hard time slowing down Westbrook. Oklahoma City's lightning-fast point guard ranked in the top 10 in scoring (23.2 points per game), assists (7.4 apg) and steals (1.77 spg) in the NBA this season, and went right at the Rockets' defense in the opener.
"I think Russell at his position is similar to LeBron in terms of size, speed, power, athleticism, and so it's tough to compare," veteran guard Derek Fisher said. "You don't see it anywhere else, and that's what makes him special."
McHale said Lin's teammates also have to help him out by stepping in front of Westbrook's straight-line drives to the basket from outside the 3-point line.
"His maturation into becoming an All-Star and an elite guard has really been something," McHale said. "He plays downhill, he plays fast, he's aggressive and he's coming at you."
Moving forward, one of Lin's top priorities will be to avoid the critical turnover. He had a passed picked off on Houston's very first possession in Game 1, sparking a Thunder fast break, then had two more giveaways during the 14-1 burst that put Oklahoma City in control to stay just before halftime.
The Thunder are counting on a stiffer test in Game 2, remembering what happened in the second round against the Los Angeles Lakers last season. In that series, Oklahoma City also opened with a 29-point blowout, but needed to score the final nine points in Game 2 to rally for a 77-75 victory.
"We had a nice win and they came back and they made it a tough, tough game on us," Kevin Durant said. "Every game is different. We know this team is going to come out with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor and we've got to match it."
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 9:29:36 AM EST|