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Should Lin play the final 5 minutes?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by wendzall, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. wendzall

    wendzall Member

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    So due to an abundance of free time I decided to try my hand at some number crunching in order to see if we can make an informed decision about whether Jeremy Lin should play the final 5 minutes of close games.

    Here are some quick points in summary:

    1) In games with a final score difference of 7 points or less the Rockets have a record of 8 wins and 12 losses.

    2) Of the 8 wins Lin played in the final 5 minutes of 6 of those games.

    3) Of the 12 losses Lin played in the final 5 minutes of 8 of those games.

    4) So the idea that Lin should be in close games has some merit as he has been involved in 75% of the wins and 66% of the losses.

    5) What are also considerable are the +/-, Assists, and Points in the final 5 minutes of games.
    a) In the wins Lin averaged: +3.5 +/-, 0.5 Assists, 4.2 Points
    -----------other PGs averaged: +2.7 +/-, 0 Assists, 4.7 Points
    b) In the losses Lin averaged: 0 +/-, 0.2 Assists, 2.3 Points
    -----------other PGs averaged: -3.7 +/-, 0.3 Assists, 0.7 Points

    So what can we conclude about the data presented?

    1) Well... the Rockets don't win close games very well as we've all noticed and which is worrying if we are to believe these folks... http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9023997

    2) The Rockets use Lin about 70% of the time in the final 5 minutes of close games. So 3 out of 10 close games we've seen Lin on the bench. Not sure what this means as it depends on your estimation of Lin's importance.

    3) But notably the +/- shows a clear distinction in the contribution of Lin in the final 5 minutes when compared to Douglas or Beverly.
    ----In close games won, Lin provided a +3.5 compared to +2.7 of the other point guards, which translates to being better at keeping the lead or coming back from behind.
    ----In close games lost by the Rockets Lin provided a 0 +/-, while the other guards gave up a dissatisfying -3.7. I don't think I need to interpret this stat. It's clear that in the close losses the other points guards have been less effective.

    4) It is considered common knowledge that Douglas and Beverly are better spot up shooters and thus more complementary to Harden but what is also clear from the data of these close games is that Lin has for the most part contributed more in both the wins and losses during the final 5 minutes. He might not be hitting as many three pointers, but Lin is getting more assists, higher +/- differentials, and as much if not more points compared to the other point guards.

    5) The interpretation of plus/minus like any stats has it's weaknesses and complications. The data shown aren't definitive proof for anything but it does make it compelling to give Lin more opportunities to close out the last five minutes.

    So what do you think?

    ****Please share your comments about the data analysis as I suspect my interpretation will have flaws. Also please add your own interpretation of the data*****
     
  2. visible

    visible Member

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    Better question is:

    Does any other starter have solid evdience with over 75% winning games for them to stay in last 5 minutes?
     
  3. Ultimate6thMan

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    I just asked for an analysis like this in another thread, thanks for doing it although I know you didn't do it to me.

    Although these statistics can provide statistical reasons as to why many Rockets fans want JLin to play and close out the games, I also think just being the starter is enough as well, giving how much faith the front office put in him with the contract he signed.

    Another important factor to consider in this type of analysis is also how many times did we go "small ball" and sit our bigs, with or without JLin, and how that affected the games in the same way.

    Overall, I have a feeling that sitting our bigs plus Lin equals more close games lost due to bad coaching decisions.
     
  4. wendzall

    wendzall Member

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    As an additional note: regarding assists even though Lin has slightly higher assists than the other PGs what is more notable is how low the assists are for all PGs... Interpret that as you will...
     
  5. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

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    MAYBE. MAYBE NOT. I WILL SLEEP ON IT AND GET BACK TO YOU.
     
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  6. BayAreaBaller

    BayAreaBaller Member

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    The last 5 minutes is usually just James Harden hero ball time. Regardless, Lin should be inserted back into the game at 7 or 8 minute mark. That's usually what happened in NY and it was a reason why they usually closed out games well and why he had the 2nd highest 4th Quarter PER in the League (Chris Paul was No. 1) last season.
     
  7. nepopop

    nepopop Member

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    yes he should. he is still a young player signed in a big contract and needs those games to improve. There is no reason for him to be benched so often.
     
  8. Ultimate6thMan

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    Probably an indication of the coach relying too much on ISO ball instead of trusting his whole team to run their passing offense schemes.

    I don't have a problem with Harden taking the ball on an ISO with 12 or 10 seconds left on the shot clock and you couldn't get anything else going. But I strongly believe that for the first 12 seconds of the shot clock, we should always run our offense, no plays as it is, and try to get a wide open shot or easy bucket at the basket as we most often do.

    But McHale always waits to the end of games, has Harden bring the ball all the way up the court, and just dribbles the ball down to under ten seconds to make an ISO move. That is misusing and abusing Harden's talent.
     
  9. visible

    visible Member

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    My eye tests tell me we play ISO in last 5 mins for most of close games which lead 2/3 losts.
     
  10. Ultimate6thMan

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    Can't agree more sir!
     
  11. Da_Spark

    Da_Spark Member

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    I don't have a problem giving the ball to Harden during crunch time. What i don't get is how Lin is on such a short leash often. It doesn't matter if Jeremy's playing solid through the first 3 quarters because whenever his backups perform well, he would almost automatically get benched during endgames it seems.
     
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  12. shortfuse3

    shortfuse3 Member

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    I don't think there was any case for Jeremy to play the final minutes against the mavs. Beverly was outstanding defensively and gave us a lot of second chance opportunities. I also trust Beverley with the ball more than I do with Jeremy. Beverly has better handles and decision making and also shooting.
     
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  13. Karolik

    Karolik Member

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    I think in McHale's eyes, Jeremy Lin is still a rookie. So he is being treated like one.
     
  14. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    When Lin is in the game, he's the primary ball handler and distributor because he can't add consistent value as a complimentary piece. Harden can play on or off the ball.

    When Lin is out, Harden is the primary ball handler and distributor.

    It's simple......McHale trusts Harden more than Lin, and I don't blame him.
     
  15. Jenopogi

    Jenopogi Contributing Member

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    and still we loose...
     
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  16. SuperStar

    SuperStar Member

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    Don't panic yet. We are still 2-1 with Bev playing the entire 4th qtr.
     
  17. asianballa23

    asianballa23 Member

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    i can understand sitting lin and play beverley at the end of the 4th, but last night PB didnt even scored..... so i wouldnt say he was hot or anything, so I'm assuming he was in the game cause of his defense?
     
  18. BayAreaBaller

    BayAreaBaller Member

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    Jeremy Lin is one of your better players and the starting PG. That's the case for him to play every 4th Quarter no matter what the back-up is doing.
     
  19. andersongo

    andersongo Member

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    Or it's simply that Lin is the PG and is hence much better handling the ball while Harden is the SG and is expected to play off the ball? I know, it's a crazy idea, but still!
     
  20. Ultimate6thMan

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    It's obvious that our coach feels the exact same way as you do. I disagree with you both.

    But last night's game was also about small ball again just as much. No Asik.
     
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