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Taking Yao for granted is commonplace, and wrong

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Setuablaz3, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Setuablaz3

    Setuablaz3 Rookie

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    Although some of us understand this; I see ridiculous threads spring up from time to time. Maybe there is no point in trying to tell those to open up to it, maybe they will keep going at it at any cost, this article is much needed to freshen things up and get ready for the tough stretch.

    Commentary: Taking Yao for granted is commonplace, and wrong
    By RICHARD JUSTICE Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
    March 29, 2009, 12:00AM

    Sometimes it seems we pay attention to Yao Ming only on those nights when he reminds us he’s not perfect.

    We remember when he doesn’t take care of the ball. Never mind that good teams smother him with defenders.

    They come in all sizes and from all directions. They get there before he can react, and he gets fouled about four times for each time a whistle blows.

    We remember those nights when he doesn’t impose his will on the opposing center, when he allows himself to be pushed too far from the basket and forced into a careless shot or two.

    Rockets general manager Daryl Morey laughs when he’s asked about this part of the Yao equation.

    “Did you see the movie Airplane?” he asked.

    He means that scene when a kid recognizes co-pilot Roger Murdock is really Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    “My dad says you don’t work hard on defense,” the kid tells him, “and you don’t try except during the playoffs.”

    Abdul-Jabbar grabs the kid and snaps, “Tell your old man to drag (Bill) Walton and (Bob) Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.”

    “That’s how I feel about Yao,” Morey said. “He gets pounded on every second he’s out there. If he didn’t get tired, he wouldn’t be human. The bottom line is he’s playing the best basketball of his career.”

    Anyway, on nights when Yao isn’t perfect, we remind ourselves he still hasn’t delivered a championship and that he may never be as good as The Dream.

    No early version to see
    Jeff Van Gundy once said the worst thing about being Yao is so few Americans had seen him play before he played his first NBA game.

    “If he’d played at Kansas or UCLA, we’d all know he was another player, a potentially great player, but we wouldn’t automatically assume he was the greatest player ever,” Van Gundy said.

    Because we hadn’t seen him, we assumed he’d be a combination of Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem and all the other great big men. We set a standard for him he could never, ever achieve.

    So we spend so much time focusing on the things he can’t do, that we overlook the things he can.

    Best center around
    We overlook the fact he’s the NBA’s best center, that he’s a dominant force around the basket, that he’s a great or very good or very, very good player.

    He’s also smart and unselfish, a team-first guy in every sense of the word. He’s what we’d like every other professional athlete to be.

    We might not appreciate him until he’s gone. Let’s hope that’s not the case, but it has happened before.

    He’s 20 points and 10 rebounds each and every night. Here’s a quiz: Name the three other NBA players averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.

    If you guessed Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh, you’d be right. There’s no one else.

    No matter what he is or isn’t, he’s still the guy every opponent must build its defensive strategy around.

    The Los Angeles Clippers had no answer for him Saturday night as the Rockets ran up 22-point first-half lead and coasted to a 110-93 victory at Toyota Center.

    When you look at the box score and you’ll notice Aaron Brooks had a huge night with 21 points and six Rockets were in double figures.

    Somewhere after you noticed Shane Battier had a terrific night and Luis Scola was typically efficient, you notice Yao: 21 points and 15 boards in just 31 points.

    Praise from Dunleavy
    The Rockets ran the Clippers out of the game early as Brooks set the tempo and Yao controlled the paint.

    “We wanted to play through Yao,” Brooks said.

    Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy praised the Rockets effusively, saying their defense makes them a dangerous team.

    “They’re probably better suited for the playoffs than the regular season,” he said. “Play tends to slow down in the playoffs, and that’s good for Yao.”

    The Rockets have passed every test these last few weeks, going 17-5 since Tracy McGrady departed and 15-5 since trading for Kyle Lowry and inserting Brooks in the starting rotation.

    Still improving
    These season feels different from those other seasons. It feels like the Rockets are still growing and getting better, that they’re capable of finally winning in the playoffs.

    It’s not about one guy. It will never be that way. They’ve had so many players step up these last few weeks that it would be foolish to put it on one guy.

    But everything they do begins with one guy and their single biggest advantage is that one guy.

    richard.justice@chron.com

    Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/6348246.html
     
    2 people like this.
  2. BlameTracy

    BlameTracy Member

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    Fixed.

    Kind of stating the obvious, but nice article nonetheless. I, for one, am more than happy to accept Yao's shortcomings. People who complain about turnovers and the like are just looking a gifthorse in the mouth. I can think of 29 teams who would love to take him off our hands.
     
  3. arthur2010

    arthur2010 Member

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    wow, very, very nice reading. :p
     
  4. lyyon

    lyyon Member

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    indeed, we took Yao''s 20+10 for granted....
     
  5. NotInMyHouse

    NotInMyHouse Contributing Member

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    Nice read, though I fully expect Richard Justice to forget all of this and pile on Yao as soon as it's journalistically covenient for him.
     
  6. Marcus Bryant

    Marcus Bryant Member

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    the only brilliant point of this article is the compliment from the coach of the terrible team, what's even more pathetic is the writter even bragged about the win over the clippers which are nearly the worst team this season.

    But he still delivered one opinion that deserves applause... Yao is actually is not as good as some of us expect him to be. Yao is a good player and probably the best center in today's NBA, but it's still too critical to compare him with dream. the problem is there are always some fans trolling praise for yao even when he plays bad, especially those fans coming from yao's country. It's not good to treat yao too strictly, but it may be even worse to spoil him that much.
     
  7. Arvid

    Arvid Member

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    Yao is spoiled? People from Yao's country spoil Yao? Yao is loved, hands down, but he has never been pardoned from criticism in this entire career so far.
     
  8. gogorocketsgogo

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    As a person from Yao's home country, I would have to say the only people who spoil him are probably his parents......

     
  9. ColomboLQ

    ColomboLQ Member

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    Yao Ming is a good player, and our best player, no doubt about that. But he is not the consistent 20-10 guy Justice makes him out to be. He still has games where he struggles against guys 8 inches shorter than him. And he misses way too much around the rim for a player his size. In fact, he has only had 7 games in the last 2 months and only 1 of those was against a playoff team (the Mavericks). For that reason, I would disagree with Morey in that he is playing the best ball of his career. I would, however, say he is playing the best of his career on the defensive end. He has become much more of a force in the paint and is intimidating more with his blocked shots than ever before in my opinion.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. landryfans

    landryfans Member

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    lol, 2 year ago, people here take about trade Yao for oden,
     
  11. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    I agree with your points.
     
  12. Old Man Rock

    Old Man Rock Contributing Member

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    My first instinct is to say you are an idiot...



    ...I'll go with that.
     
  13. nait

    nait Member

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    Dude, you are exactly the ones this article is aiming at.
     
  14. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    I think its interesting how Morey insists Yao is playing the best basketball of his career, even though his individual numbers are seemingly down.

    What do you guys think he's seeing in Yao right now that wasn't there before?
     
  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tastemaker
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    Its probably some statistical rating or just jargon. No way Yao is better now than when he was the year of the first foot injury.
     
  16. startover

    startover Member

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    I have the same feeling. Later this season (after Deke came back?) his defese has been very solid. He kept his body and hands straight up in the paint and timed his block very well. His defense against post-up was very solid most time. He commited less fouls yet protected the paint better. His defensive rebound could be better but considering the tough schedule later it was not too bad. He will rebound better with fresh legs. I also noticed he barely jumped when the paint was crowded and it has kept himself away from injuries so far. I will take Yao with less rebounds any day as long as he is healthy. Overall he protected the paint very well.
     
  17. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    His scoring efficiency is very high, currently a career-best .62 TS%. He's shooting 55% from the floor and 87% on the line. But he also appears to be turning it over a little more frequently, per touch, than usual. And his touches per minute looks to have gone down as well (lowest since 04/05 season, based on this approximation). His rebounding-rate is close to a career best.

    It's hard for me to look just the boxscore numbers and conclude Yao is playing at a career best. His adjusted +/- (based on 2-years worth of info) is at a +6 according to basketballvalue. Last year, the same people calculated it based on 5-years worth of info, and determined that he was a +5. So, perhaps that means this season Yao has been particularly good based on an adjusted +/- type measure, and the Rockets are able to determine that using their in-house methods.
     
  18. rocketmsm

    rocketmsm Member

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    Thanks. very nice reading.
     
  19. declan32001

    declan32001 Member

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    I've been commenting about that since Morey first said it (about a month ago?) and Morey keeps saying it so matter-of-factly that it's almost unnerving. He knows it.

    I saw your last post. Thanks for the numbers.







    (I did see your l
     
  20. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    My first instinct is to say you're right.



    ...and I'll go with that.
     
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