McHale is pleased with team camaraderie
For a team that really looked pretty sharp and very comfortable as they rolled to a 6-1 preseason record, including winning their final six games in a row, it doesn’t seem fitting that their starting lineup for Wednesday’s season opener, may not have been decided yet.
If that decision has been made, the media will be the last to know about it says Kevin McHale.
“Things are always apt to change,” McHale said. “I think I have to put my starting lineup in at about 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday night.”
When asked if the decision comes around 5:44 p.m. or so McHale retorted, “I surely won’t tell you guys before that.”
His comment received the appropriate laughter.
The funny thing is, he actually has more than just one or two guys to ponder starting on Wednesday. The only true certainties with regard to player and their position are James Harden at shooting guard and Chandler Parsons at small forward.
Dwight Howard will definitely start, but he could be the starting power forward with Omer Asik retaining the starting center position, the spot he held down for all 82 games in his first season with the Rockets.
That appears to be the direction the coaching staff is leaning considering that was the combination they used in each of the final three preseason games against the Mavericks, Spurs and Grizzlies.
The other decision comes down to Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley at the point. Both have been very good this preseason and as Beverley said they have no shortage of starting options.
“We have three proven starting point guards,” Beverley said. “(Aaron) (Brooks) started here, (Jeremy) Lin started here and I started in the playoffs.”
He was asked how important is it to him to be the starter on opening day. His answer was sharp and to the point.
“It’s not important at all,” Beverley said. “I definitely accept my role. We definitely have a great team. We have a great group of guys. We’re just ready to get things started.”
Beverley was the starter for the final two preseason games, but played only 9:18 more than Lin. It would seem to indicate that Lin may be earmarked to lead the second unit, but nothing has been revealed publicly.
“Coach (McHale) and I and Pat, we’ve all talked and we’re all on the same page,” Lin said.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to do what’s right for the team and try to get better. Egos aside and everything aside, we’re just going to go out there and just play.”