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USA Today/David Dupree praise Yao

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by SA Rocket, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. SA Rocket

    SA Rocket Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Sorry if this is already on the board, looked and didn't find it:


    Yao proving Rockets wise to take him first in draft
    By David DuPree, USA TODAY

    Being the first overall pick in the NBA draft doesn't necessarily guarantee individual stardom or even immediate team success. But this year's top pick, Houston's Yao Ming, is having the kind of impact in his first season that could earmark the Rockets as a team of the future. (Related item: No. 1 pick performance chart)

    Rockets center Yao Ming has revved up his game statistically in the last month, to the delight of the Houston brass.
    By James Nielsen, AFP

    It's showing up particularly in the win column, where the Rockets are on course to win 19 more games than last season. They didn't even make the playoffs in 2001-02, but if the postseason were to start today, they'd be the third seed in the Western Conference.

    "He's a natural," says San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "He's going to be a big-time force in this league."

    Looking at the 12 other No. 1 overall picks in the draft who are still playing, only Tim Duncan of San Antonio in the 1997-98 season, David Robinson of San Antonio in 1989-90 and Shaquille O'Neal of the Orlando Magic in 1992-93 had a greater impact in their first season than Yao is having. Duncan helped the Spurs improve 36 games from the previous season, Robinson helped them improve 35 games and O'Neal helped the Magic get better by 20 games.

    The last top overall pick to play on an NBA championship team in his rookie season was Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. Of the active top overall picks, only Robinson, Duncan and O'Neal have played on a subsequent NBA championship team — Duncan in his second year and Robinson in his 10th year when the Spurs won in 1999 and O'Neal in his eighth season when the Lakers won in 2000.

    The statistical impact of the top pick also has not been consistently profound. Of the active former top picks, Robinson had the highest rookie scoring average at 24.3, O'Neal was the best rebounder at 13.9 and Allen Iverson had the most assists at 7.5. Last year's top pick, the Washington Wizards' Kwame Brown, averaged 4.5 points in limited action, and the Los Angeles Clippers' Michael Olowokandi in the 1998-99 season averaged 8.5, making them the only ones on the list not to average in double figures their first season.

    Of the 12 active top picks other than Yao, seven of them (Duncan, O'Neal, Robinson, Iverson, Elton Brand, Chris Webber and Derrick Coleman) became rookie of the year. Yao is well on his way to achieving the feat. He leads the league in field goal percentage (61.5), and after a slow start in which he averaged only 3.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.3 blocked shots and shot 42.1% through the first six games, he has averaged 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots and made 64.7% of his shots.

    :D :D :cool:
  2. joe the joker

    joe the joker Member

    Dec 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Remember:Never post sooooooo old materials later:D
  3. meh

    meh Contributing Member

    Jun 16, 2002
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    Articles that point out stats for the sake of pointing out stats sucks.
  4. Yetti

    Yetti Contributing Member

    May 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Stats are a very significant part of the NBA Life!

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