The last couple of preseason games, Patrick Beverley started at the point for the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin came off the bench as the sixth man. We’d written before this could be coming. It was something the Rockets had toyed with all preseason.
Yet Kevin McHale was going all Bill Belichick when asked about his starting lineup for the team’s opener Wednesday night hosting Charlotte, saying he did know who would start but he wasn’t going to announce it.
“I don’t know why it’s a big surprise,” Parsons said. “It’s the same as how the preseason ended.”
Which means Beverley starts and Lin comes in off the bench. While you may be tempted to say “they are paying Lin all that money, shouldn’t he start?” there is some real logic to this move.
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Beverley is the better pure shooter — he and Lin took the same number of shots this preseason and Beverly hit 50 percent of his shots overall and 50 percent from three, better than Lin’s 47.7 percent overall and 38.5 percent from three. With James Harden and Dwight Howard on the court already you don’t need another shot creator, you need the shooting.
Also, Beverley is the better defender. What Lin can be is the sixth man spark plug — come in off the bench and run a lot of pick-and-rolls with Howard, with Omer Asik, and create shots and points for the reserves.
One other thing to note, if the starting five remain the same that means Asik and Howard are starting together as the new twin towers. At least for one game.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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