No shootaround again for Lin
OKLAHOMA CITY -- It's not just Jeremy Lin. James Harden is also a health issue for the Rockets leading up to Wednesday's Game 5 against the Thunder.
Harden was not at game-day shootaround, as he was feeling ill. However, Kevin McHale sounded reasonably optimistic that his leading scorer would be OK to play.
"James will be fine tonight," McHale said. "8:30, I'm sure he'll be ready to go and, like everybody else, excited to play."
Harden is averaging 25.3 points in the postseason, good for third in the league.
As for Lin, he still hasn't shot at all with his right hand since trying to play in Game 3 with his bruised right chest muscle suffered in the first half of Game 2. In other words, it's been roughly four days since he shot a basketball. He wasn't able to take part in Wednesday's shootaround.
"With that thing, I anticipate it getting better when it gets better," McHale said. "It seems to be just lingering in there. He hasn't been able to do anything, really, for 3-4 days. And so, we'll see where that is tonight.
"It's a huge game. So if he is ready to play, it'll be more spot stuff, trying to bring him off the bench in spots, give guys rest. We'll see how he does."
"Once we get out there, it's just basketball," Lin said. "I've got to just trust it. It's kind of like your first game. Anytime you're going to come back from injury, you're going to have that 'new' feeling.
"At the end of the day, a lot of it is up to the trainers. If it was me, I would've played Game 4 and Game 5, but we want to make sure it doesn't get worse. (The trainers) are the judge of when I'm fully functional without having to suffer any setbacks."
Lin had said Tuesday that his Game 5 status would hinge on how he felt relative to the Game 3 when he played, but was extremely limited. He said Tuesday that if he felt like he did for Game 3, he would not be playing in Game 5. On Wednesday, Lin said he would need to go through pregame workouts, run around, and shoot in order to get a better gauge of how he feels relative to that game. In other words, how he would do going through game-speed range of motion. He did offer comparison to how he felt waking up Wednesday morning compared to the morning of Game 4, where he knew shortly after waking up that he probably wouldn't be able to play.
"It was better than Game Four," Lin said. "It was better than that. I had extra two days rest, but I can't say one way or the other."