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Yao: History and Expectations

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by littlefish_220, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. littlefish_220

    Dec 11, 2002
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    How good can Yao be? When can we make the judgment of his ultimate future in NBA? Rockets fans are always thinking and arguing about this issue. It is a key to the success of this team. I think it is good to learn some lessons from the history.

    Let's take a brief look at history of how we expect Yao and how he responds with actions.

    Before the draft
    Expectation: A project with potential; May need 1-2 year to develop and adapt to NBA; May contribute with shooting skill and size advantage
    Bottom line: Don't be a completely bust.
    After Year 1: Well qualified as a starter; Adapt to NBA quickly; Show the talent and skill; Better performed than most expected; 2nd option of the team

    Bottom line: Check
    Expectation: Check

    Before Year 2
    Expectation: Develop into the first option in the team; a 20/10 player; More aggressiveness and stronger; Better stamina and conditioning
    Bottom line: Show considerable improvements
    After Year 2: Led team on score, rebound, and block; Made tremendous contributions to team's playoff berth fighting; Arguably the first option of the team; More aggressive and stronger comparing to rookie season; Play 5 more minutes per game in average; Didn't reach 20/10 mark; Still not a leader; Didn't see much improvement on conditioning;

    Bottom line: check
    Expectation: 50% check

    Before 3rd season
    Expectation: Being a leader; More dominant in the low post; a 20/10 player; Better conditioning and stamina
    Bottom line: Show considerable improvements

    Results: ???

    What I want to say is I would keep being optimistic until Yao stops improving. As much as I dislike Phil Jackson, I agree with his comments on Yao, he basically said Yao would keep improving steadily, but wouldn't be much better in a short time.

    Honestly, I don't expect Yao to be a Jordan or Hakeem in their primes. A realistic goal, IMO, is becoming a top 5 player in his prime. Of course, I will be ecstatic if he exceeds my ultimate expectation.

    Any comments?
  2. beyao

    beyao Contributing Member

    Dec 2, 2002
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    Rating Yao among the league's best will always be a difficult thing to do, IMO. Where does he rank now? Top 10...top 20...top 50? It's hard to say because we know that his numbers don't tell the full story of his contribution to the team.

    E.g., would you have rather had Yao and his 18/9 last season or Zach Randolph and his 20/10...we all know Yao is more valuable because of the attention he receives and the fact that he makes his teammates better.

    I don't think Yao will ever be a 30/15 guy...but if he wins championships, he can average 20/10/4 assists/2 blck and still be widely regarded as the best player in the league. The bottom line is winning, and I think that that is the best way to assess Yao's value.
  3. imaham259

    imaham259 Member

    Nov 18, 2002
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    littlefish_220 i like the way you break things down, that pretty much sums up what I've been thinking about Yao's performance.

    I think Yao is very capable to dominate much like Hakeem and Jordan if he shows the assertiveness and attitude to do it. Some games I'd like to bring up were his 40 point trip ot against atlanta, 30+ points against orlando, and a streak of games where he had like 25+ points. The things holding him back I think are his conditioning, reaction to double teams (turnovers), and attitude. which he can get alot of help from the coaching staff.

    I think the reason he plays vollyball instead of go for the rebounds is becasue i read somewhere he hurt his ankle when he was younger so that is why he can't jump that high or fast. He has the height advantage but other players can easily make that diff up by jumping to get the rebound he has to resort to playing vollyball to keep it out of there hands.

    Anyways I think he is very capable to dominate the game but from what I've seen in the postseason I'm leaning towards what Phil Jackson said about him just improving little by little every year. I've got no problem with that since him and TMac are both young.
  4. dback816

    dback816 Member

    Oct 21, 2003
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    Gun to his head Yao will drop 40 on any team.

    But that doesn't happen, and of course hopefully won't happen.

    What Yao needs is a revelation. I dont mean like a huge fight with someone...but someone he listens to, he has TREMENDOUS respect for, tells him through his own experience what Yao must do to be good.

    I think Yao needs to read some romance books o_O
  5. daoshi

    daoshi Contributing Member

    Jul 6, 2002
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    There is no way Yao could ever dominate the league the way Wilt, Shaq, or Dream did. He is way too slow to put up that kind of stats in scoring, rebounding, or blocking.

    He does have the potential to dominate the way Bill Walton did prior to his injury, but that's just potential. We have to wait a couple more years to see if he can reach that.

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