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[Chron] For Hayes, its about pride and preparation

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by durvasa, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/7394515.html

    [rquoter]
    MINNEAPOLIS — The mission, as with Chuck Hayes' occupation in the NBA itself, would seem to be impossible; stop the NBA's unstoppable scorers.

    In Hayes' case, he adds the task of doing it while giving up as many as six inches and rarely jumping more than a fist's width from the hardwood, but those details don't really matter.

    The job is to stop the players that cannot be stopped, with Hayes hit with a list of All-Star and MVP candidates stacked like the lineup of '27 Yankees.

    Beginning last week with the Bucks' Andrew Bogut and Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, Hayes would face the NBA's who's who of dominant low-post scorers. He would go against the four 20-10 players - Zach Randolph, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin - in a row. He would move to more traditional powers Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol. He would complete his personal gauntlet with the players he called his toughest matchups, Al Jefferson and a second go-round with Randolph.

    He would, however, not have it any other way.

    "Ooh, I better bring my lunch pail," Hayes said, with a night against Love, the league's top rebounder, awaiting him tonight. "It's cool. I look at it before the game, like, 'Oh man, I know what they're going to try to do.' But once I'm on the move and the game is going, I have a lot of fun out there."

    He might feel as if he is trying to draw a charge on the bulls at Pamplona, or attempting to stop a cannonball with a catcher's mitt, but the job is to do what cannot be done. Hayes takes offense if the Rockets send him double-team help and is angry when the league's best frontcourt scorers score.

    Every time, it's personal


    "You have to move on to the next play, but I take it so personal when somebody scores," Hayes said. "I have 16,000 people watching me play defense. Plus, I know if I stop you and you're the primary scorer, we have a chance to win."

    For every time Hayes might swat the ball from Stoudemire just before he rises to an unblockable shot or force Duncan to a jumper that comes up short, there is the off-balance fadeaway Randolph banks in off the glass or low-post move Howard finishes with a chin-up on the rim.

    It's the inevitable nature of the job. Yet as well as he understands reality, he must deny logic, and always has. No one ever started more games for Kentucky, but he went undrafted anyway. His first NBA coach, Jeff Van Gundy, cut him. His second coach, Rick Adelman, initially had no plans to play him. Neither, however, has been able to get him out of their rotation.

    "He's got great footwork, … understands what his opponent is going to try to do and he's just damn strong," Adelman said. "You can't move him. He just doesn't get enough credit. Last year, I couldn't understand how he didn't get any votes for defensive team. He doesn't get the minutes some of these other guys do. He doesn't block shots. But he's every bit as good a defender as anybody in the league in the post."

    Video vault junkie

    Unlike teammate and fellow defensive specialist Shane Battier, who pours over data and scouting report, Hayes prefers video study. He does, however, also call out opposing teams' plays, as he did throughout the games against the Bucks and Knicks. He even tells officials where his opponent will turn to shoot and when he will reach to smack the ball like a blacksmith hitting an anvil.

    "It's more about, for me, watching film to see how other people guarded him, who did well and who didn't," Hayes said. "If I see … Kevin (Love) going middle and scoring, I'm going to send him baseline. The best shot for me is if I can make somebody take a fadeaway, a turnaround jumper. Nothing to the rim. I try my best to keep them out of the middle of the paint.

    "Day of the game, I usually just watch a snippet, but I'll watch extended film on Blake Griffin and Kevin Love because they're fairly new and still coming into their game. And I remember what worked that game, what shots I wanted him to take and the shots he made. If I can get him running back to the 3-point line I will. Kevin Love, I don't want to do that. I want to crowd him."

    Never-ending process

    The strategies, however, evolve with each one-on-one battle, with failure sometime keying success. Stoudemire last week went back to moves that worked in the first half, coming up empty on three-consecutive possessions as the Rockets pulled away.

    "There was a time in the first half I made him go left across the middle on a step-through move," Hayes said. "He stopped and hit it right across my face. He made it, but I knew he wanted to get there. In the second half, I timed it better and I stripped it.

    "It's instincts and anticipation. If you let somebody go one way for so long, eventually they got to come back to their strong hand."

    Sometimes, the strong hand is too strong. Hayes forced Howard to the baseline, knowing the move that would come, and reached for the same sort of strip. Howard powered through and slammed home a reverse.

    "He's tough," Howard said. "He's like a tree stump. You just have to shoot over him."

    The better conversations, however, happen during games. For the players that have to stop the unstoppable, that is as good as it gets.

    "Amar'e made a lucky shot off the glass," Hayes said, still seeming angry that it went in. "Lucky shot. Next time down, I told the ref, 'That was a travel.' This is how I know I've got respect. Amar'e says, 'You talking about me? Why you talking? You're playing a good game.'

    "Yeaaaaaaah."
    [/rquoter]
     
  2. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    One day, Chuck Hayes is going to be the head coach and GM of this team.

    Chuck Hayes is the true Daryl Morey.
     
  3. feihung316

    feihung316 Member

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    Should've locked him up long term a long time ago.
     
  4. AggieRocketsFan

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    Chuck is going to come back next season with a jump shot with either hand and be unstoppable.
     
  5. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    I just hope he doesn't regress. Its fun seeing him play well on both ends.
     
  6. Dreamin

    Dreamin Member

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    I cant express how truly madly deeply I love Chuck. As a basketball player that is.
     
  7. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

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    Too bad the entire team doesn't think like this.
     
  8. infinitidoug

    infinitidoug Member

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    Hey, speak for urself! JKJK :p
    Yes, he is an awesome player, the heart and spirit of our team, and the glue that keep us from committing multiple flagrant 2's.
     
  9. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    Hayes is the reincarnation of Mario Elie: a physically limited player who worked real hard at becoming a very good NBA player.

    Mad props to Chuck Hayes.
     
  10. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    I honestly think he will be on another team next year. I see a contender offering him more money than we think he's worth. Hayes is going to get paid.
     
  11. ashleyem

    ashleyem Team Green
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    I think he prefer to play with the Rockets
     
  12. startah

    startah Member

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    Here an Interesting Question

    Would Morey Part ways with Chuck Hayes when the right deal come along?

    ------

    Btw I really Admired chuck, work ethics hope we can keep him forever... :)
     
  13. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    Its not like Hayes has made a lot of money. He is not going to take less to play with the rockets. This will probably be his only chance to get a good money. I'm thinking he is going to close to MLE money for 3 years with a contender.
     
  14. Cstyle42

    Cstyle42 Member

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    It needs to be about winning and losing. We have had strong pride too long.
     
  15. Liberon

    Liberon Rookie

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    Chuck Hayes might be the best individual multiple position defender in the league. It's just that the rest of the team aside from Battier lack defense so much that the teams with average defenders all over the place rank better than the Rockets defensively overall. I know you guys hate the Mavericks, but imagine a Tyson Chandler guarding above the rim, Dirk, Battier and Chuck Hayes.... That 4 + any point pretty much can win against anybody and is definitely Championship material.
     
  16. flipmode

    flipmode Member

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    Look at this stat line:
    41 Min
    4/7 = 57.14%
    8 Reb
    7 Ast
    1 Stl
    1 Blk
    0 TO
    9 Pts

    Not a far cry from a triple-double! :grin:
     

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