Houston Rockets Stat Monkey Brief: Rockets/Celtics (12/14/12)

With such a young starting lineup, the Rockets may just be better off playing their bench for 48 minutes.

Celtics at Rockets (12/14/12)

It’ll be youth versus experience in this Friday’s primetime matchup as Houston’s young core of Harden, Lin, and Parsons meet the Celtics' veteran trio of Pierce, Garnett and Terry (…and Rondo). Boston makes its first and only trip this season to the Toyota Center, and they have been beatable on the road this season (3-5). The Rockets hope to make it two in a row as they need a win to return to .500.

Starting Lineup Needs to Step Up

With an average age of just 24 years old, the Rockets starting lineup certainly wasn’t expected to gel right away, and the group definitely has more work to do. When the starters have been on the floor together, they are less efficient on both sides of the ball compared to the overall team. Alarmingly, the starters’ defensive rating of 110 is worse than that of the lowly Raptors (109.5).

UnitOffensive RatingDefensive RatingeFG%+/-
Starting Lineup10111044.5%-50
Rockets Total10610749.4%-12

Can Beardsanity and Linsanity Co-Exist?

When James Harden sat out against the Spurs, Jeremy Lin exploded for a season high 38 point performance in an overtime loss to San Antonio. The performance raised the questions: Was Lin better off without Harden? Are the Rockets better when the two are not on the court at the same time?

The early statistics show that the two have yet to mesh on the court. According to 82Games, the Rockets have been outscored by 24 points when Lin and Harden have been on the floor at the same time (in 478 minutes). As John Hollinger explains on TrueHoop TV, the two “get in each other’s way on the court,” and the Rockets have shown signs that they may stagger substitution patterns so that both players are not on the floor together as much. If not, the two still have the rest of the long season to figure it out.

Final Stat

Last time Lin and Rondo squared off, Rajon put up a ridiculous 18 point, 20 assist, 17 rebound stat line.