1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Yao: Extreme Makeover or Evolution??

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Rileydog, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    5,429
    While I doubt I'm clever enough to post observations that haven't already been thought or discussed, this is my current thinking on Yao. From what I read, people are conflicted about whether Yao should be re-made into a Shaq, or allowed to evolve into a combo of Shaq, Sabonis and Smits. I'm in the evolution camp and I think I'm starting to see some progress. I measure his progress based on qualities that "great" players have.

    1. Feel for the game and his game: Great players flow and feel the game. Oftentimes, Yao remains mechanical, executing pivot moves like a teenage boy nervously counting the steps to a dance he just learned. Yet in the last 10 games, Yao has flowed a little better and some of his natural ability has shown. His "up and under" move had disappeared for months, but re-surfaced recently. He has been more willing to turn, catch and shoot. There is an inherent conflict between his instinctive game and the Shaq power game he is being taught. In time, Yao will come to understand that his game is a combination of both. When Yao reaches the 38th chamber -- forgive my Shao-lin temple reference, I love those old Shaw brothers kung fu movies they used to show on KRIV on sundays -- he will quit counting his steps and just dance.

    2. Initiating contact: All the greats hit first. This is one of Yao's greatest challenges. Yao still does a poor job of this in all phases of the game.
    - In his post moves, he bumps, but rather than rocking his defender back, he rolls backward off the defender as if he hit a wall. That results in Yao "playing small" and his shots hitting the front of the rim. Where Yao does his up fake, he needs to lean in and dare the refs to not blow the whistle.
    - Same problem on the boards, he needs to look at Mutombo and take note. Yao can be a force, particularly on the offensive glass.
    Yet I see gradual improvement. Part of this is due to the fact that the refs are cutting him a little more slack lately (hard for the refs to do worse then they did before). It's hard for Yao to know what contact is a foul, but he's learning to ignore it and play through.

    3. Demanding the ball: I look to the last quarter of the season as the time where Yao will start demanding the ball more. Part of this is getting used to his teammates, particularly where Yao has never, ever played with anyone as good as TMac. A big part of this is confidence.
    - when Yao is denied the ball in the post, he must step out to the elbow and clap his hands, bark for the ball. This is the high post thread discussion. He can find cutting teammates or shoot the J. He cant just fade to the weak side and become irrelevant in the possession.


    -- I'm not ready to make a prediction on how good or great Yao will be. None of the precedents apply to him. You can't compare him to Hakeem, high school phenoms or anyone else. If there's a comparison to be drawn, I'd actually look to Novitski's development. But Dirk had it easier b/c he plays a perimeter game. The sum total of the adjustments that Yao is having to make is unprecedented. All I know is that I'd rather have him than Joe Smith or Kwame Brown.

    -- And, rest assured that the Rockets are going nowhere of significance unless Yao continues to improve. Tmac is not going to win a championship by himself any more than Kobe will.

    And kudos for Van Gundy's handling of Yao. JVG could be a negative troll, using Yao as his whipping boy. But Yao wouldn't respond to that (nevermind that it would be a marketing/PR nightmare).
     
  2. Willis25

    Willis25 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,385
    Likes Received:
    31
    FREE BOKI...

    I mean, Fire JVG...

    I mean - It's all Sura's fault ! ;)
     
  3. solid

    solid Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2001
    Messages:
    19,957
    Likes Received:
    7,047
    Excellent analysis, but we can only guess at how JVG is managing Ming, both psychologically and basketball-wise
     
  4. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    5,429
    My comment is based on Van Gundy's public comments re Yao - he is a good guy, a hard worker, we're lucky to have Yao. Maybe he rides Yao like a donkey behind closed doors, dunno.
     
  5. Tonaaayyyy

    Tonaaayyyy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Messages:
    4,537
    Likes Received:
    148
    he sure looked good last night
     
  6. krocket

    krocket Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,116
    Likes Received:
    5
    Maybe Ewing has left him alone recently because he is pre-occupied with the NY job opening.
     
  7. OddsOn

    OddsOn Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    2,555
    Likes Received:
    90
    I heard an interview last Saturday (think it was on NBA Inside Stuff) on Yao. The basic premise was he is improving. He has had to endure a lot coming over here from China. For those of you who have not traveled overseas the cultural shock alone can be daunting. I never realized the impact this has until I traveled to Asia several times over the past few years, and it DOES have an impact. Secondly, all the "so called experts" can just shut their pie holes up and let Yao be Yao. Everyone tries to draw comparisons to justify his skills in thier own mind and that is flat out unfair to any athlete. Yao will never be "The Dream", he will never be "Shaq"..but he can be a 7'-6" guy with tremendous skills and if you can name me another man of his size who is putting up the numbers he is and has the upside that he has I will stop typing right now..........anyone?

    Then we have the drastic change from the international game of basektball to the American NBA. Wow what a difference!!! Again I never realized how much until I was up late one night in a hotel room in the Philippines and watched some PBA (Philippine Basketball Assocation) games on TV. At first glance, they focus a lot more on fundamentals, do not have as much physical contact to deal with and appear to be team oriented. Big difference from most teams in the NBA.

    I also saw an interview before the Sunday game against the Heat with T-Mac and he spoke very highly of Yao. Said they were both very alike; humble, quiet guys, professional, hard workers and wanted to win.

    My opinion is that Yao will be fine and will continue to make improvements each year (especially as his conditioning improves). I just remember to ignore all the "critics"and "so called experts" since no one has ever erected a statue for anyone of either group. I always find the proof is in the pudding and don't feel to bad about our 7'-6" center putting up 20pts - 10rbs - 2blk per game. Shoot that makes him a top tier player in my book. Will he change the way the game is played? Maybe but the jury is still out on that one...just enjoy the ride!

    Just remember this.......High light real dunks look good on ESPN but mental smarts and good fundamentals will win you championships....if you don't believe me just ask Larry Bird.
     
    #7 OddsOn, Feb 1, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2005
  8. lal_da_munda

    lal_da_munda Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    i feel ya on that one. the more i listen to the national media and these "experts" comment on the rockets and particularly yao ming, the more i think that they are a bunch of morons...except for kenny smith, he usually is pretty acurate in his opinion about yao and the rockets.
     
  9. solid

    solid Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2001
    Messages:
    19,957
    Likes Received:
    7,047
    Excellent post OddsOn, but I couldn't find "aloke" in my dictionary. It's small, so it may just not be included. What does that word mean, or is it just a typo?
     
  10. jkg123

    jkg123 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    0
    um...ok.
     
  11. solid

    solid Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2001
    Messages:
    19,957
    Likes Received:
    7,047
    "very alike" ?
     
  12. OddsOn

    OddsOn Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    2,555
    Likes Received:
    90
    yes "alike"......sorry for the typo was trying to type something meaningful and eat lunch at the same time...:eek:
     
  13. rvpals

    rvpals Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    2,283
    Likes Received:
    1
    That's absolutely the truth. Just look at the young Michael Jordan with no championship and a human highlight reel. And look at the older Jordan when he made fundamental plays to win championships.
     
  14. cctt

    cctt New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now