Linsanity and Lies are the main focus as the Houston Rockets hit town. Did you remember to go buy your Lin Jersey at Real Sports? No doubt there will be a lot of them in crowd as there was last season when the Knicks came to town. It was perhaps the height of the Linsanity that hit the NBA.
Lin nailed the final shot and got the Knicks a victory and the ACC went crazy. Even some Raptor fans got excited and cheered. Other Raptor fans were pretty ticked off by it. This time around Lin returns with the Raptors in a horrible mess despite finding a way to snap a 6 game losing streak.
Will get to them in a minute but first let’s talk a bit more about Jeremy Lin who showed some signs of his old magic lately. He had 38 points and 7 assists in a loss to the Spurs on December 10th. James Harden has been the one that has been getting things done for the Rockets on most nights though. Lin’s 11 points a game and 6.1 assists does not exactly meet the expectations of his huge contract the Rockets gave him to lure him away from New York.
His stats with Knicks were better in many key areas. He averaged 14.6 points, Shot 44.6% just 39.7% so far with the Rockets. The assists are about the same with 6.2 in New York and 6.1 with Houston. The major improvement for Lin has been turnovers, where he has cut his 3.6 per game average down to 2.68 with Houston.
The Raptors already lost to the Rockets on November 27th. Lin despite his struggles did have a decent outing vs. Toronto. He had 16 points and 10 assists going 7-9 from the field. James Harden on the other hand has improved his points per game by 8 with 16..8 to 24.8. He is more than earning his money in Houston. He had 24 points and 12 assists against the Raptors. Add the two together and they torched the Raptors for 40 points and 22 assists.
Despite their victory the focus of the Raptors has been on injured Andrea Bargnani. He was making news yesterday denying he said what was reported in an Italian news publication. The thing that Bargnani seems the most upset by is the comment that was quoted as him saying that Raptors were the worst team in the NBA.
He claims he was misquoted and that article is a pack of mistruths. Someone is lying that is for certain. The reporter that conducted the interview is standing by it. This also included some disturbing comments about this team lacking trust in each other. Trust did not seem an issue on the defensive end of the floor against Dallas without him.
Bargnani went as far as to say he would talk with Lawyers over the matter. Maybe will have an Andrea Bargnani lawsuit to cover soon in the future. Thrilling as that is will stick to basketball for now.
It has been an emotional season for the Rockets as they had a tragedy to deal with as their Coach Kevin McHale lost his daughter. It was an inspired emotional Rockets team that faced the Raptors right after this tragedy had occurred and went on to 117-101 win lead by Lin and Harden. McCale recently returned to the bench and his job with the Rockets.
Raptors home record against the Rockets is a strong one with an 11-5 record. It is hard to say what to expect after a blowout win over Dallas. After the game against the Rockets the Raptors schedule does get easier for the next 3 games. So this is an opportunity to start the fight back to respectability.
We will talk about all that is going on with the Raptors on This Week in Raptorland as we do each and every week. So if you have some questions or topics you would like to suggest feel free to leave them in the comments or contact us on Twitter with hash tag #TWIR5 and send it to us that way. The best ones will have a shot and being on the pod cast and more importantly win a free pound of Chicken Wings from at St Louis Wings.
So that about does it. Will see what the Raptors can do against Linsanity and maybe more importantly the guy with beard and we are not talking Santa Claus.