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grbh
03-08-2006, 10:44 AM
Anyone else notice his play since the all star break. It seems he has finally gotten healthy after some foot problems in the first half. It also looks like he might be on the verge being a true star.

Since the all star break 8 games:

25.6 Points
14.2 Rebounds
2 Blocks

I'm thinking next year could be a monster one for him.

V2M
03-08-2006, 10:51 AM
He's certainly having a nice lil' run but I don't expect this to continue for too long (like a whole season or two!). This is a guard's league now and he doesn't have the speed or stamina to keep up.

dirno2000
03-08-2006, 10:54 AM
Another reason we need to make a big playoff run this year. The West will be deeper next season.

Seeing Yao start to rebound the ball is not very comforting.

Thespiralgoeson
03-08-2006, 06:22 PM
I think the progress Yao has steadily shown each year is quite amazing. I think if it weren't for Van Gundy's incompitence and the bone-headedness of Houston's guards, Yao might finally have been the "dominant" player everyone said he would be this season, and that Houston probably would be in the playoffs right now.

As far as I'm concerned, Yao is the best center in the NBA now.

orangedays
03-08-2006, 06:24 PM
Yao completes rite of passage (Linkage (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/3705668.html))

'Best regular-season center,' according to Van Gundy, joins 20-10 club
By JONATHAN FEIGEN
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

His point guard, Rafer Alston, described his play as "fabulous" and then dropped that Yao Ming is "carrying" the Rockets. David Wesley referred to him as "a superstar" and said it not as a proclamation but as a given.

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Opposing coaches have long offered more meaningful praise by sending defenses to stop Yao that they normally reserve for Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O'Neal.

Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy declared Yao to be the "best regular-season center" in the NBA, saying there is no argument it could be anyone else.

But most telling of all, somewhere in a rant worthy of Dennis Miller, Van Gundy shared what the Rockets believe it all means.

Yao had just burned the Trail Blazers for 32 points and 13 rebounds and joined the small list of players averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds. This led Van Gundy to a discourse on the validity of 20-10 as a measure of excellence.

"When he was 19.9, 9.9, he was a much worse player?" Van Gundy said about the 20-10 label. "I love that. Double-doubles I love too. So a guy that gets 31 and nine is not nearly as good as a guy that gets 11 and 10. That is the supreme idiocy to ever be brought into numbers: 20 and 10 as opposed to 19.9. Who cares?

"He was in elite company. Not many average 19.9 points and 9.9 rebounds, either. So we wait until this magic number because we have to see it rounded. I always hear this debate: 'Will he ever be a 20-and-10 guy?' I have a bigger question: Will he ever win a championship? And you can win a championship with Yao."

That, of course, is the point: Yao can be a champion.

The Rockets have had faith for years and demonstrated it last summer when they gave Yao a maximum contract to begin next season.

But to many, Yao has always been measured not against other centers in the NBA but against some combination of the best centers ever.

Then there are the many expectations he has had to live up to.


Looking for an even keel
Yao measures excellence by consistency. Averaging 23.1 points and 14.3 rebounds since the All-Star break, he has had a career-high seven consecutive games scoring at least 20 points.

He had at least 10 rebounds in each of those games except one — and he had nine in that one.

"It is a very special feeling right now," Yao said. "I can't figure out what it is. I'll try to keep it the next game, the next game and the next game until my career is done."

The Rockets insist Yao has found no sudden surge of confidence, aggressiveness or assertiveness, arguing he already had those qualities. But he has said he has a greater feel for attacking double-teams before they trap him.

Van Gundy has praised Yao's improved agility defensively. The better defensive play might explain the improvements in Yao's numbers.

In the seven games since the break, Yao has averaged just 1.9 fouls per game. Never needing to leave a game because of foul trouble, he has averaged 35.6 minutes per game.

Before the last seven games, he averaged 3.8 fouls and 33.5 minutes.

"My thing about numbers is that people who write about the game should never look at Yao Ming and reduce what he stands for to numbers," Van Gundy said. "Some other guys will maybe play better in the playoffs at times. But he is the best regular-season center in basketball. And the reason is he comes to play every night."

Shaquille O'Neal is still considered not only the league's best center but also a rare player able to turn on a greater level of play for the postseason.

Ben Wallace, the defensive and spiritual leader of the Pistons, does bring his best through the regular season, but Van Gundy gives the nod to Yao's more-well-rounded game.


Example for NBA
"I'm not surprised he plays well when he plays well," Van Gundy said. "He is prepared every day, he works every day, and more guys would have success if they were willing to put in the work that Yao does. And he's played well during this stretch, but again, his progress is slow and sure and incremental, so he's had many good stretches.

"I look at the whole thing. I look at his pick-and-roll coverage, his transition defense. I think he's gotten better from his first game in the NBA through now. And he's one of the few guys who does not need any outside motivation to be a motivated player.

"Those are the guys that have chances to be great because they care to put in the extraordinary work that Yao puts in. He's going to be successful. Every athlete would maximize their potential if they did what Yao did, but they don't. Thus some guys are underachievers in this league."

That would seem a tall order, to not only save the Rockets but every player who needs his example. For now, the Rockets ask only that he "dominate."


Advice from Wesley
"Every game I start the game by telling him to dominate, and he's done just that," Wesley said. "He had some great numbers stat-wise in the last seven or eight games. He's a powerful force down there. He's carrying us a lot of nights, so we need him to continue doing that.

"Yao is quietly becoming that dominant player we really need."

In the end, being what a team needs most might be the biggest statement of all.

rakesh.s
03-08-2006, 08:08 PM
eh he missed a ton of games and was "rested"...If he plays the whole season, he'll be worn out by the all star break.

Thespiralgoeson
03-08-2006, 08:18 PM
eh he missed a ton of games and was "rested"...If he plays the whole season, he'll be worn out by the all star break.

I don't buy it. The only reason he gets worn out in games is because they always have him come out and constantly (and I do mean constantly) set screens instead of giving him the ball when he's down low.

irontoad
03-08-2006, 10:55 PM
38, 10 with 5 blocks for the big feller tonight...

aexchange
03-08-2006, 11:25 PM
38, 10 with 5 blocks for the big feller tonight...

yeah, he's overrated. :rolleyes:

Thespiralgoeson
03-08-2006, 11:57 PM
I never did quite understand the notion that he's overrated either. I mean, yeah, people compared him to Shaq, and he started on the all-star team over Shaq. However, he didn't even win rookie of the year. And furthermore, all season I've been hearing people tell me that Camby is the best center in the west. I never thought I'd be calling him underrated, but it seems that most of the hype around him has dissappated, so I'll go ahead and say it. Yao Ming is underrated.

Dirkenstien
03-09-2006, 12:27 AM
He's learning the game and starting to realize that he's 7'6". Not to mention the fact that he has a pretty smooth free throw shot.

Man, what a luxury for the Rockets to have him locked up for the next 5-6 years.

orangedays
03-09-2006, 04:11 AM
Yao Ming is the f*cking Sh*t, with a capital "S".

Pardon my french.

AnMan21
03-09-2006, 02:40 PM
3 games back with 20 to play and Yao on an absolute tear. this is a scary team to face at the 7th or 8th spot if they can make that final push. the question now is, with Yao playing so well, can the rockets continue to win without TMac and allow him to get healthy?

Thespiralgoeson
03-09-2006, 06:20 PM
I think Yao has really benefitted from having to play without T-Mac. So far in his career, even though he's been the face of that franchise, he's never been the first option on that team. With T-Mac out, they're forced to rely on him, and to this point he hasn't disappointed. I think Yao just may be taking over that team for good. Even if T-Mac heals completely, I think his role may be reduced, maybe slightly or perhaps significantly. Then of course there's the possibility that his back will hamper him for the rest of his career, in which case Houston is officially Yao Ming's team. If T-Mac does get back to 100% though, we best watch out, or just hope that the management keeps those two surrounded by scrubs and boneheads.

rabbitproof
03-09-2006, 11:30 PM
A lot depends on the staying power of Yao Ming's new play and Tracy's health. However, if this is the beginning of the rest of Yao's career, and Tracy gets back healthy, watch out.

It would be another Shaq-Kobe.

As for HOW Yao's gotten here, he's improved every year but these last couple of weeks have been particularly impressive. Maybe Yao needed this (playing as the man - without a more senior Francis or a top 5 talent T-Mac) to get to the next level. Maybe he would've got there without it and this just served as a catalyst (more likely).

As for this being a guard's league and all, yes it is, but it is what it is because there are no longer monsters in the post. And so now, if you got the best one, and maybe the only unstoppable one, all the more power to ya.

Houston's gonna be scary if those two get it straigth.

Five-ofan
03-10-2006, 11:50 AM
This is a pfs league more than it is a guards league.

orangedays
03-10-2006, 08:21 PM
In March, Yao's averaging 28.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg (3.4 orpg), 3 bpg while shooting 53% from the field and 84% from the charity stripe in 37.2 mpg.

Smack my Yao up indeed.

Thespiralgoeson
03-11-2006, 01:08 AM
The Rockets got the Spurs on Sunday, and T-Mac's out again. Hopefully Yao can keep this up and give them a win.

aexchange
03-14-2006, 03:29 PM
yao is a beast. hes the best center in the league right now.

that includes shaq.

Dtownsfinest
03-14-2006, 03:33 PM
That's not really saying much since Shaq is either not playing up to his potential or is just getting old.

Dirkenstien
03-14-2006, 03:39 PM
Ming is defiitely impressing everyone with his improved play. He just looks so much quicker now that he has recovered from that much needed toe surgery. He is without a doubt the best center in the league and it looks as though it may stay that way for a while.

Carolina Blue
03-14-2006, 05:10 PM
That's not really saying much since Shaq is either not playing up to his potential or is just getting old.

I'm thinking it's a little bit of both...

grbh
03-15-2006, 09:02 PM
Mavs are up 13 right now, but Yao has been real impressive. This would be a 30 point game without Yao.

Thespiralgoeson
03-16-2006, 12:37 AM
Yao > Shaq... End of story.

Maybe it's age, maybe it's injury, maybe it's conditioning, maybe it's all of the above. Whatever the reason, Shaq just isn't the player he was 2-3 years ago.

I also thought it was cute how at the beginning of the season everyone was saying that Camby is the best center in the western conference. I wonder, if Denver called up Houston offering Camby for Yao, you think the Rox would be interested?

orangedays
03-16-2006, 12:41 AM
Yao > Shaq... End of story.

Maybe it's age, maybe it's injury, maybe it's conditioning, maybe it's all of the above. Whatever the reason, Shaq just isn't the player he was 2-3 years ago.

I also thought it was cute how at the beginning of the season everyone was saying that Camby is the best center in the western conference. I wonder, if Denver called up Houston offering Camby for Yao, you think the Rox would be interested?

If Pamela Anderson called me up and offered me hepatitis in exchange for some lovin' - my "HELL NO" would probably still not be as emphatic as Houston's at the thought of swapping Yao for Camby.

EricaLubarsky
03-16-2006, 01:17 AM
If all of Yao's toes were gangrenous, Yao would probably still play more games a season than Camby

Evilmav2
03-16-2006, 03:10 AM
If all of Yao's toes were gangrenous, Yao would probably still play more games a season than Camby

http://www.hoopsvibe.com/IMG/Yao%20Ming-arton21097.jpghttp://assets.families.com/Encyclopedias/gea2_02_img0221.jpghttp://www.hoopsvibe.com/IMG/Yao%20Ming-arton21097.jpg
Yao toes: yuck...

sixeightmkw
03-16-2006, 09:20 AM
I am minding my own business, looking over the forum and see a link on Yao Ming. So I click go to the last post and what do I get. 2Huge toes with gangegreen looking right at me. Thanks.

bernardos70
03-16-2006, 10:24 AM
Thanks for posting that, as I didn't see the two toes right away since your post is now the last one.

Yao has surpassed Shaq, and it was bound to happen. It looks like he finally learnt how to use his size to his advantage. BTW, he still got rejected by Mbenga :D

Dirkenstien
03-16-2006, 11:07 AM
On another note it was fun to see M'Benga go up against Mutumbo. I'm surprised the Mavs commentators didn't have a little fun with that one.

orangedays
03-16-2006, 11:08 AM
*clears throat*

WHO WANT TO SEX MUTOMBO???

That is all.

orangedays
03-16-2006, 11:11 AM
I think one of the ESPN SportsCenter commentators even screamed that on-air during a broadcast when Deke made a sick block. That was probably the funniest thing I've ever seen on TV.

jayC
03-16-2006, 08:45 PM
I never thought Ming would be dominate. He was unbelievable with 27 points in the first half. You forget the dude is 300 pounds.

PPod the Yao stopper? Pavel is seven five and weighs close to 300 pounds?

orangedays
03-19-2006, 10:02 PM
A 'disappointing' 20-10 outing last night against the Spurs. Still shot 50% from the field but looks like he was a bit hampered by foul trouble. Nazr had 4 fouls, Rasho had 5 fouls...I'm not gonna lie, Yao's impressing me.

twelli
03-19-2006, 10:07 PM
I always liked watching Yao play. He looks akward at times, but not as akward as Shaq at the FT line. Yao has a nice stroke, Shaq has a dunk...

orangedays
03-20-2006, 02:11 AM
http://home.austin.rr.com/jomo25/shaq_free_throw_1.jpg

Step over FT line before the ball hits the rim? Check.
Strike Statue of Liberty pose upon release? Check.
Air ball another free throw? Check.

Go get'em Shaq.

Thespiralgoeson
03-20-2006, 03:29 AM
Don't worry about Shaq, orange. I'm sure the ref called a lane violation against the Spurs to give him another chance. I'm sure he still missed it, but it probably at least hit the rim.

orangedays
03-21-2006, 12:19 AM
Rockets lose to the Clippers 99-91.

Yao goes for 25 pts (7-16 FGMA), 17 rebs (5 off), 2 asts, 1 bs, and 0 PFs.

Kaman is limited to 9 pts, 6 rebs with 5 PFs.

Thespiralgoeson
03-21-2006, 12:53 AM
Good lord, if McGrady is healthy, Houston is going to be monstrous next year (just like most people were predicting them to be this year)

Thespiralgoeson
03-21-2006, 08:27 AM
There's an insider article about him at ESPN.com "Why has Yao Ming been so dominant lately? The Mavs' Del Harris shares his insight with Chris Sheridan. " Could someone please post that article?

dirno2000
03-21-2006, 09:31 AM
There's an insider article about him at ESPN.com "Why has Yao Ming been so dominant lately? The Mavs' Del Harris shares his insight with Chris Sheridan. " Could someone please post that article?

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Del Harris considers Yao Ming his "friend for life," and the Dallas Mavericks' assistant coach has some unique insight into why the Houston Rockets' center has been so dominant over the past month.

It all goes back to the tale of the bloody sock.

Harris was coach of the Chinese National Team in 2004, and he remembered watching Yao take his sneaker off after the first national team practice he coached.

"It was all red down by his toes, and when he took the sock off and you saw the toes --well, let's just say it was one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen," Harris recalled Sunday. "If you were even the slightest bit squeamish, that thing would have made you vomit."

After letting his toe fester for years, Yao finally underwent surgery in December after an infection spread to the bone. Harris said he has seen a huge difference in the way Yao is now able to run the court pain-free, and he said Yao's hiring of a personal trainer has also helped the big man get into the best shape he's ever been in.

"He's down to 6 percent body fat, and you rarely see that in guys that size."

I asked Harris if he saw any kind of a newfound mean streak in Yao's game, and he said a mean streak is something Yao is not capable of. But he said Yao had learned to show his emotions, something common among Americans but frowned upon in China as too individualistic. Yao himself took quite a bit of heat from his countrymen when he demonstrably criticized some of his teammates during the Olympics, the Chinese media questioning whether he had been "Americanized" to a fault and the national federation chastising him for his behavior.

"Being an American, I can see where it's been a good thing for him to be able to release his emotions. To me, it's healthy. We're all humans, I don't care where you're from, and we do better when we're able to be really, honestly passionate about things. When you're emotional and passionate about whatever it is you're doing, that releases everything within you to get yourself through that. If your brain is telling you 'Hold back, hold back,' your body is going to listen to your brain," Harris said.

Harris is considered somewhat of a hero in China for leading the national team to its best finish ever in an international competition when they finished eighth in Athens, making the quarterfinals with a stunning upset of defending world champion Serbia-Montenegro. Harris declined an opportunity to coach China again, and those duties are now being handled by Lithuanian Jonas Kaslauskas, who was Harris' top assistant in 2004.

Harris said he is confident China will make it out of its preliminary round at this summer's World Championship, though he wouldn't go any further with his prediction. With 24 teams competing (twice as many as there were in Athens) as with Europe much more strongly represented, it'll be exceedingly difficult for China to medal -- even though they have the world's best center.

Part of the problem with the Chinese national program, Harris once told me, was the way teenagers are selected for the national program. In a nutshell, their mistake was steering too many tall players into the basketball program at a young age while sending shorter players into other sports. The long-term result has been a system overloaded with big men and short on talented guards. The Chinese also rely too heavily on calisthenics and long practices under a military-type setting without devoting enough attention to agility drills and weight training.

There will, however, be a Chinese guard in the NBA someday soon, and Harris believes it may be 17-year-old Sun Yue, who plays for Beijing Aoshen -- a California-based team in the minor league ABA. Sun, a 6-foot-8 point guard who needs to improve his outside shooting, will likely start for the Chinese national team this summer along with Yi Jianlian, who is expected to be draft eligible this summer despite questions about his true age (in the summer of 2004, there were some saying he was only 16.) Yi, a 7-footer whose parents played in China's national team handball program, will be known as the Chinese Andrei Kirilenko if he lives up to his potential.

I'd suggest to Chad Ford that he move him up from No. 99 in the next Top 100 draft prospects list. In my opinion, seconded Sunday by Harris and Nets president Rod Thorn, he'll be taken before the end of the first round.

orangedays
03-21-2006, 09:42 AM
I can second Harris' remarks about the criticism Yao received for being "too American". After he made his comments about his teammates, that's all the media carried for a long time. It's a huge cultural gap and though Yao Ming doesn't appear to have breached it, I'm glad to see that he's got some sort effective of work-around going.

rabbitproof
03-21-2006, 12:38 PM
Yi was touted as the next KG, as the Chinese basketball phenom and a potential franchise player, when it was believed he was only 16 (2004). Now people say he may be 20? Anyways, Yi will be interesting to watch because he is probably one of the most athletic Chinese basketballers. His athleticisim as a 7-footer is most intriguing. That said, he is still very raw as a player.

orangedays
03-22-2006, 05:02 PM
Yao Ming: 18-year-old Yi is 'better than me' (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-07/14/content_348210.htm)
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-14 06:47

China's up-and-coming centre Yi Jianlian is quickly becoming the nation's basketball sensation.

In fact, NBA superstar Yao Ming says Yi could soon outstrip him as the country's best player.

"I'm not talking nonsense, I think that Little Yi will one day be better than me," Yao told China Soccer News on Tuesday.

"Look at his build, his jumping ability, I don't have that at all. If he can continue to develop in the right way, he will be able to surpass my achievements," he said.

The NBA all-star centre from the Houston Rockets added: "Little Yi, he will rise, without a doubt."

Eighteen-year-old Yi, who has played sparingly for the China Basketball Association champion Guangdong Tigers over the past two years, has blossomed since joining the national side this May ahead of the Athens Olympics.

During the just-completed Four Nations tournament against Canada, Brazil and Croatia, Yi surprised fans with his play, averaging just under nine points and three blocks a game in limited minutes.

He scored 15 points against Canada on Friday in a game Yao missed because of injury.

He has emerged from under the tutelage of new China head coach Del Harris, an assistant for the NBA Dallas Mavericks, and assistant coach Jonas Kazlauskas from Lithuania, who have worked on his game during the past months.

"The support that Yao Ming needs most is first of all another explosive player who can play under the basket, secondly, someone else who can accurately shoot the mid-range jump shot and third, someone who can get back on defense when Yao can't," Kazlauskas told the paper.

"Yi Jianlian can do all three of these things; he has them all.

"The only problem is that he is still too young, he is thin and immature and his technical ability is rough. But all of these can be developed."

Kazlauskas has worked with legendary Lithuanian centre Arvydas Sabonis and current Lithuanian centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who plays for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Harris said Yi will play alongside Yao during the Olympics, sharing time with China's other NBA veteran Menk Bateer and power forwards Mo Ke and Du Feng.

"He will definitely be playing with Yao. He is definitely going to play. He is an outstanding player," Harris said.

Yao's agent, Eric Zhang, also praised Yi, saying he was a definite prospect for the NBA.

"My feeling is that if Yi Jianlian had entered into this year's (NBA) draft, which was a rather weak draft, he could have been picked among the first three," Zhang told the paper.

orangedays
03-22-2006, 05:03 PM
From NBADraft.net

Strenghts: Unlike other Chinese big men like Yao Ming or Wang Zhizhi, Yi is extremly athletic ... very good body type, long arms and big hands ... hasn't stopped growing yet, is projected to reach 7-2 ... great stamina ... nice ballhandler and passer, some say he's able to play all 5 positions ... he has great speed at running the floor, jumps really quick and can dunk 360s ... amazing rebounder, anticipates well ... great defender, excellent shot blocker ... left hander with decent range ... developes more and more lowpost skills, like a jump hook ... intelligent player, knows how to use his physics ... battled fellow Draft prospect Ha Seung-Jin to a standstill, although Ha has almost three years, three inches and 70 pounds on Yi ... at the age of 15 he literally dominates 18-19 years old players, as he did at the Junior World Championships in Greece ... if you think of how good he'll be by the time he enters the NBA Draft (likely 2006 or later), it's hard to image he'd be something other than the first pick overall

Weaknesses: Still raw, because he didn't play organised basketball till the age of 13 ... has to learn the fundamentals of the game ... unpolished yet, especially on the offensive end ... needs to refine his postmoves ... too thin to hold a place in the paint, needs to develope muscles ... questions about his real age, some say he was born in 1985

-Stefan Lorenz

Notes: He played at the U18 Tournament in Mannheim, Germany and averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks mostly against players who are 3 years older than him. Dominated again at the U19 World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece with 18.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
Made his first game in the CBA in December 2002, becoming the youngest player to ever player in Chinas highest league. Played only few minutes for Chinas top-team Guangdong, earned CBA Rookie of the Year honors, though.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His team Guangdong Hongyuan used to train him as a guard when he was not very tall, so he has very good ball handling skill and shooting touch for his size. Superb body coordination ... very good 1-on-1 player. Probably the best leaper in China, can throw down wind-mill dunks easily. His style is a lot like KG's. He has played both PF and Center potision in the CBA. A very good shot blocker, he swats the ball hard enough to make the fans crazy. When playing a bigger defender, he's able to dribble, spin, and outquick his defender. He can also back down weaker opponents, although he's usually one of the skinniest guys on the court. He also has the potential to play at SF position but might have problems staying with quick American perimeter players.

-Scouting Report from Xiang Long translated by Shawn

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
He is a good athlete with the right size, and shows soft touch and also silky moves playing on the outside. He just has to add weight. He is able to make several leaps in a few seconds and watching him practice, Yi shows the ability to hit a pull up mid range jumper as well as from the long distance. He is only fifteen years old, and there is a long way till the NBA, but he is guy to follow in the future.

-Romano Pettiti

Thespiralgoeson
03-22-2006, 06:00 PM
It sounds like the kid has some very real, and very unique talent. Still, you never know if one will be able to make the transition into the NBA.

rabbitproof
03-23-2006, 02:39 AM
http://www.files.bz/files/7057/yjl-kj.gif

orangedays
03-24-2006, 12:36 AM
Rockets beat the Hornets tonight.

Yao had (something of) an off-night: 22 pts, 8 rebs, 2 blks.

The Hornets only shot 36% from the field for the game, 24% from beyond the arc. 10 pts in the 3rd quarter...what the hell is it about the Hornets that allows their offense to stagnate for entire quarters? Geez...

orangedays
03-26-2006, 10:03 PM
Another...er...'off-night' for Yao:

27 pts (9-21 FGM-A; 9-10 FTM-A), 7 rebs (1 off.), 4 blks...but 5 TO and 5 PFs (I assume he was in foul trouble for large chunks of the game).

LeBron with another monster game - 36 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts and Ilgauskas with 21 pts and 8 rebs.

Cavaliers extend their 5-game winning-streak and beat the Rockets 104-102 in OT.

Thespiralgoeson
03-27-2006, 05:36 AM
I'd wager that next year is going to be a very good one indeed for Yao.

orangedays
04-01-2006, 12:08 PM
Rocket squeeze by Washington 105-103

Yao hit his season-high in scoring:

38 pts (15-25 FG, 8-8 FT), 11 rebs, 3 asts, 2 blks, 7 TO

Finally got some help, the backcourt of Head and Alston provided a combined 39 pts (14-21 FG, 5-8 3pt, 6-10 FT), 10 rebs, 9 asts.

The Rockets are now only 4 games behind Sacramento for the final playoff spot. I doubt they'll catch up but they are at least making things interesting.

orangedays
04-02-2006, 03:01 PM
Can't watch the Mavs game because of ABC...b*tches.

Yao's providing a show though, through the first quarter:

14 pts (7-11), 3 reb, 1 ast

He's torching Kwame Brown.

orangedays
04-02-2006, 09:12 PM
Yao ends up slowing down a bit and gets no help from the scrubs:

33 pts (16-25 FG, 1-3 FT), 16 rebs (5 off.), 3 ast, 2 stl

Monster game from Bryant - 43 pts (19-32 FG), 3 rebs, 6 asts. It's his 23rd 40-pt. game of the season.

orangedays
04-11-2006, 12:34 PM
How Yao finally became a dominant NBA player (Linkage (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=bucher_ric&id=2404746&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1))
By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine
Archive

There's a worried look on Yao Ming's face as he climbs into the SUV and it's not because, despite this being one of the bigger cars made, he still has to drop his chin to his chest to get through the door.

"I need a goal for the rest of the season," he says in perfect English after sliding the seat and tilting the back as far as they will go. For me to see him, I'd have to turn and look into the back seat, so I just listen and drive. "I've never been in this position before, with nothing to play for as a team."

Yao has shown he's one of the toughest players in the league.

That's no longer an issue after he broke his left foot against the Utah Jazz Monday night, effectively ending his season and possibly delaying his return to Shanghai. Yao being Yao, he'd probably joke that at least he doesn't have to worry about finding a way to motivate himself through the final week of the season.

That he played for another couple of minutes against the Jazz and actually scored five points before hobbling to the bench and then to the locker room and straight into the offseason is not that astonishing, either.

One, because he has been playing for the last month knowing the Rockets would have no chance of winning with anything short of a great game from him, and there's no more team-oriented player in the league than Yao.

And, two, because since he's been in the NBA, playing with pain in his left foot is more familiar than playing without it.

Thanks to the primitive level of sports medicine in the People's Republic of China, and Yao's selflessness in trying to answer every demand placed upon him by the Shanghai Sharks, the Chinese national team and the Rockets, Yao played nearly four years with a big toe whose nail resembled Freddy Krueger's grill, which made it really hard to tell when it became infected.

He couldn't give in to the pain when he first hurt it during his last season for the Sharks, because he had a championship to win to assure team officials would allow him to come to the NBA. Then he had to carry Team China on his shoulders at the 2002 World Championships, what with fellow star Wang Zhi Zhi persona non grata after opting to play summer league rather than train with the national team.

Then, of course, he had his No. 1 selection by the Rockets to make good on. Followed by more national-team play, followed by answering the bell for hard-driving coach Jeff Van Gundy. Basketball feet are never a pretty sight, but Yao's big toe was particularly unsightly after Danny Fortson stepped on it, at which point the infection was discovered. The subsequent surgery was so invasive that Yao's left foot is now a size 17, a full size smaller than his right.

As of last week, though, the absence of that constant pain had him as relaxed as I've ever seen him, the first time being the night after his last regular-season game with the Sharks.

"You wouldn't believe the difference," he said of having two good big toes. "Imagine playing with a rock in your shoe and not on the bottom, but on the top. Every game, every day. I got used to it, and sometimes it was worse than other times. But it feels so good now I thought about having something taken off my right foot."

When healthy, Yao Ming is hard to handle down on the block.

It has showed. Since the surgery he's averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. The most telling statistics, though, were his turnovers dropping to 1.6 a game in February and climbing just above 2 in March despite teams swarming him with the absence of Tracy McGrady. That, and his free-throw attempts climbing to a career high 9.3 in March, 3 above his career average.

During his convalescence from surgery, the Rockets provided Yao with specially prepared DVDs of his turnovers and how they occurred. Clip after clip showed him getting stuck in a double team and having a desperation pass picked off, or a second defender ripping the ball from him or a defender poking it away from behind. For some players, such lowlights would have been depressing. Yao, as he has done his entire life, saw them as the key to improving and seared them into his brain. He thought about how and where he should protect the ball, but mostly he saw how being more aggressive, attacking double teams and going at primary defenders before the second defender could get there would solve a lot of his problems.

"I always felt it was my job to get everybody else shots and then get mine," he said. "Now I know it should be the reverse. Sometimes I have to try to score even when the double team is there."

I'll be honest -- having seen where Yao came from, the selfless philosophy of life drummed into every Chinese citizen every day of his existence and his belief in those principles, I wondered how long it would take him to be as dominating as his critics wanted him to be. I certainly didn't expect it this season.

I knew from the start that anyone who questioned his heart or his desire or his guts had never faced the challenges he has and were talking out of the sides of their necks. But I also had to concede that maybe he'd never demonstrate how wrong his critics were in the quantifiable way they wanted.

He's done that now, because he hasn't simply put up big numbers. He's led the Rockets in McGrady's absence by attacking opponents and punishing them. I'll never forget Zydrunas Ilgauskas scoring on him a few weeks ago and Yao going to the other end, posting Z up, knocking him back and burying a short step-back jumper. The expression on his face: "Yeah, and there's more where that came from."

My howl from the couch alarmed the entire family. I'm not sure my explanation to them hit home, and I don't know that I can offer a better one here. There are moments when an athlete or a person does something that reflects an attribute you suspected was there but didn't really have certifiable proof of. It's not the act itself, but the person's attitude about what he's just done. An attitude that indicates that what he did doesn't strike him as all that extraordinary and it won't be the last time you see it.

For all the points and impressive performances Yao has had, I'd never seen that haughtiness before. That sense of I'm-the-big-dog-here and I'm about to make that painfully apparent to you.

Concerns that the broken bone is the third major injury Yao has sustained to his left foot -- his all-essential primary pivot as a right-hander -- are sure to arise. Hey, I have concerns.

But, considering the incomparable mental toughness required not only to win the approval of his country to leave but also to persevere in a game and a culture wholly different than the ones he grew up with, there's no reason to worry about how he'll come back from this latest setback.

The answer, if his track record is any indication: Better than ever.

sixeightmkw
04-11-2006, 12:48 PM
that is odd that he only wears an 18 being soo tall. I wear a 15 at 6'8" and I thought I had a small foot

Dirkenstien
11-12-2006, 10:38 PM
*BUMP

Yao Ming's recent play has been outstanding and I believe on a super-star caliber. I'm not a Rockets fan (although they are my second favorite NBA team in Texas ;) , but I get Rockets games from local broadcast and use that as an opportunity to scout other teams including the Rockets. From what I've seen, Ming is an absolute monster, on both ends of the court. I really don't see how anyone can stop him considering he is outstanding at the line and possesses a great shooting touch from the field. He has very quick feet for his size and controls his body with more control than any other 7'2 + I've ever seen.

With that said, I think the Rockets are a definite lock into the playoffs and serious title contenders this year. I'm not sure if that sounds a bit extreme, but Van Gundy has done wonders with building that team.

Thespiralgoeson
11-13-2006, 07:21 AM
Yao Ming has arrived. I would not be at all surprised to see him be this year's MVP.

Five-ofan
11-13-2006, 07:24 AM
Did anyone actually watch the game last night? I dont know if I posted it on this board but I know somewhere I said that the only way I was scared of Houston was if they decided to make Yao the primary scorer and got Tmac to buy in to being the pg. So far theyve done just that and it makes them scary. There isnt a single guy in the nba who can defend yao and he destroyed shaq and zo just like he did damp and diop.

MavsX
11-13-2006, 07:34 AM
damnit

Thespiralgoeson
11-13-2006, 07:35 AM
Did anyone actually watch the game last night? I dont know if I posted it on this board but I know somewhere I said that the only way I was scared of Houston was if they decided to make Yao the primary scorer and got Tmac to buy in to being the pg. So far theyve done just that and it makes them scary. There isnt a single guy in the nba who can defend yao and he destroyed shaq and zo just like he did damp and diop.

I was flipping between that game and the Mavs, but I saw enough. Yao's game is that of the prototypical dominant center. He has the size and strength to overpower anyone in the league, and the soft touch to score easy basket after easy basket over his defender. And I agree with you completely about the Rocket's offense. It looks like Jeff Van Gundy has finally taken his head out of his ass and made Yao the focal point.

Going into this season, I wasn't nervous at all about the Rockets. I was almost positive Yao would have a career year. That doesn't surprise me. But now they've finally made him the first option, and the pieces around him look pretty cohesive as well. I'm officially concerned.

Dirkenstien
11-13-2006, 08:18 AM
Did anyone actually watch the game last night? I dont know if I posted it on this board but I know somewhere I said that the only way I was scared of Houston was if they decided to make Yao the primary scorer and got Tmac to buy in to being the pg. So far theyve done just that and it makes them scary. There isnt a single guy in the nba who can defend yao and he destroyed shaq and zo just like he did damp and diop.


Yeah, like I stated in a previous post, I watch a lot of Rockets games and he destroys every team he plays against. Also, like you said, he is now the focal point of this offense with McGrady doing a lot of the point guard work to draw attention before dishing it out. Yao Ming is extremely capable of being this focal point, I have been watching him a lot and I am amazed at how soft his hands are and how good of a passer he is. I have seen multiple occasions where Alston or McGrady will launch a pass as hard as they can down low to Ming, and he will catch it perfectly as if it were no big deal.

Houston is officially scary.

RoxFan
11-13-2006, 10:43 AM
Yao Ming has arrived. I would not be at all surprised to see him be this year's MVP.

It is a bit early for that kind of talk with less than 10% of the season completed, but if he plays 75 more games like the ones Friday night (against the Knicks, 35p-17r-7b) and last night (Miama, 34p, 15r, 2b), he would certainly have to be under consideration for the first MVP to go to a center since Shaq in '99-2000 (unless you count Duncan as a center).

sike
11-13-2006, 10:45 AM
I have this to say: Yao is very tall.

Dirkenstien
11-13-2006, 11:29 AM
My question is this. Is it possible that if Ming continues to play and improve at this rate, could he possibly become the most dominate international player to ever play the game?

Discuss.

dude1394
11-13-2006, 11:53 AM
My question is this. Is it possible that if Ming continues to play and improve at this rate, could he possibly become the most dominate international player to ever play the game?

Discuss.

what's this "discuss" deal? What's your take on it, you'll get some discussion if you stick it out there.

It will depend on playoff performance and rings. IMO he probably will as he's just such a freak of nature and plays a position that is so fundamental to inside-out ball. Dirkster is a super player but there are more power forward types than dominante centers.

He's susceptible to injury however, so time will be the only thing that will tell.

TheDiggler
11-13-2006, 03:23 PM
He's susceptible to injury however, so time will be the only thing that will tell.

Yao is very durable. Before last years crazy season.....he missed 3 games in his first three season. Every now and then, a player will have a injury plague season, but Yao is durable for the most part.

Dirkenstien
11-13-2006, 03:38 PM
* Point taken, Dude1394.


I think it is very possible that he will come to be known as the most dominant international player to ever come to the NBA. His size coupled with his agility, speed, shooting, and passing skills make him nearly un-stoppable. And like Diggler stated, he is very durable and will most likely remain that way aslong as his big toe doesn't start acting up again.


What has really impressed me about Ming this season though is how much his stamina has improved. I really didn't start seeing any substantial improvement in his game until after T-Mac went down last season.

Five-ofan
11-13-2006, 03:45 PM
Makes me wonder how dominant dirk could be if we ran all of our offense through him....(Not that him and Yao are similar or anything.)

Stranger
11-13-2006, 04:03 PM
Yao is about the only player in the league that is keeping the game from being completely perimeter-oriented. I'm happy to see him succeed for that reason, and because he's a really likable player and person. I just wish he played in another division, or better yet, in this division but for the Mavs.

fluid.forty.one
11-13-2006, 04:14 PM
I have this to say: Yao is very tall.

I agree!

Five-ofan
11-13-2006, 04:18 PM
Yao is also the only player in the league that I think Cleveland could come to the team, offer lebron james straight up for and get turned down.

fluid.forty.one
11-13-2006, 04:24 PM
I would do that trade in a heartbeat if I was Houston. You'd have to get rid of McGrady of course, but you could get someone good for him too.

Five-ofan
11-13-2006, 04:26 PM
Marketing my friend, marketing. Thats why lebron could get anyone, Yao however is possibly the only guy in the league more marketable than Bron. Plus hes a big.

rabbitproof
11-14-2006, 12:41 AM
Yao's going to pwn the league if he stays healthy. The guy's got it all in the basketball skills department: size, touch, moves, passing, free throw shooting and defense. He's also got the intangibles: leadership, humility and a work ethic. To think they use to run him around as a giant screen setter. Utter fools.

The future is YAO... I mean, NOW.

Thespiralgoeson
11-14-2006, 01:22 AM
It is a bit early for that kind of talk with less than 10% of the season completed, but if he plays 75 more games like the ones Friday night (against the Knicks, 35p-17r-7b) and last night (Miama, 34p, 15r, 2b), he would certainly have to be under consideration for the first MVP to go to a center since Shaq in '99-2000 (unless you count Duncan as a center).

It's not a bit early for shit. I never said he was going to be MVP. I said I wouldn't be surprised if he was.

RoxFan
11-14-2006, 09:10 AM
It's not a bit early for shit. I never said he was going to be MVP. I said I wouldn't be surprised if he was.

Wow, Mavs fans are touchy these days. ;)

CheezeyBoy22
11-14-2006, 11:12 AM
I would like to say thanks to all the Mavs fans here. It's great to see many of you guys speaking about our team. In Houston, we feel as if we have always been underrated. We are very excited about our team, but the Mavs and Spurs are still the team to beat. We talk about this everyday on the radio. We might of won some really good games but it's very early to get too excited.

Even though i'm a big hometown fan of my Rockets. I do believe once y'all get Howard back and get a better center, y'all are one of the strongest team out there.

We need for bonzi to come back at the right time. If Bonzi pans out and T-Mac starts to at least score more, I think we have a damn good chance this year.

fluid.forty.one
11-14-2006, 12:29 PM
Even though i'm a big hometown fan of my Rockets. I do believe once y'all get Howard back and get a better center, y'all are one of the strongest team out there.


The Center position is a problem for us? Just because we over paid Dampier doesn't mean he's terrible, and once Benga is back we will have one of the deepest 5 spot in the league. It's easy to say we need stuff since we lost (zomg!) 4 games at the beginning of the season with a finals hangover and a new cast, but there's really no problem. Our team is continuing to jell and they are all proven winners of playoff series. Don't get too overconfident.

Yao is a class act though and I wish you the best of luck.

CheezeyBoy22
11-14-2006, 01:29 PM
Dampier isn't great either though, but like i said the Mavs are good team. Once they start to jell, Mavs will be a hard team to beat.

fluid.forty.one
11-14-2006, 01:32 PM
Find me a deeper center squad

Dampier/Diop/Mbenga

Of course they're no Yao but they are all good defenders which is all we want from the 5 spot.

RoxFan
11-14-2006, 03:15 PM
Find me a deeper center squad

Dampier/Diop/Mbenga

Of course they're no Yao but they are all good defenders which is all we want from the 5 spot.

Shaq, Zo

Yao, Mutombo

Most teams don't need three centers.

fluid.forty.one
11-14-2006, 07:21 PM
Obviously no one is as good as the two best centers.

That's like saying some team who has a 4 spot needs to work on it cause they don't have a Dirk.

Having Diop/Damp is a lot more than most teams can say.. and not something we need to work on.

Dirkenstien
11-14-2006, 08:32 PM
Obviously no one is as good as the two best centers.

That's like saying some team who has a 4 spot needs to work on it cause they don't have a Dirk.

Having Diop/Damp is a lot more than most teams can say.. and not something we need to work on.

I would definitely agree here. Ofcourse they're not All-Star centers but they bring toughness, energy, and defense to the table which is all we really need there. Sure there is room for improvement but I wouldn't consider our center rotation as being a team weakness at all.

birdsanctuary
11-14-2006, 08:34 PM
Get Yao in foul trouble and he's no trouble at all...

I'll take our 3 centers vs Yao and ..... nobody?

Five-ofan
11-14-2006, 08:38 PM
Im in the houston area so i get rockets games and im watching them play the spurs, i would take mutumbo over diop at this point, he had a block on duncan that i guarantee you will be on sportscenter. He controlled the game for about 8 minutes. Yao is a BEAST. He hurt his knee on the collision with gino though...

Dirkenstien
11-14-2006, 08:49 PM
Yao is a BEAST. He hurt his knee on the collision with gino though...

You sure it wasn't Bowen sliding in a discrete ninja kick?

Dirkenstien
11-14-2006, 08:50 PM
Get Yao in foul trouble and he's no trouble at all...

I'll take our 3 centers vs Yao and ..... nobody?


I like our guys, but I'm not that crazy.

Five-ofan
11-14-2006, 08:56 PM
You sure it wasn't Bowen sliding in a discrete ninja kick?
hes back and hes fine, btw their centers have blocked duncan about 5 times tonight.

Thespiralgoeson
11-15-2006, 02:14 AM
Get Yao in foul trouble and he's no trouble at all...

I'll take our 3 centers vs Yao and ..... nobody?

You're nuts. That's like saying you'd take PJ Brown, Nick Collison, and Nikoloz Tskitishvili over Dirk.

V2M
11-21-2006, 11:25 AM
The time is Yao
By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports
November 21, 2006

Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo! Sports

NEW YORK – Outside his locker, Yao Ming closed his eyes, squinted hard and declared himself unimpressed late Monday night. Do you see the scar, his uneasy disposition was trying to tell everyone. Do you see it? All shapes, all sizes, all relentlessly probing and poking and prodding him. As Yao was questioned, the gentlest soul in the sport declared himself unaware that it had been Knicks pest Nate Robinson who was responsible for blocking his layup attempt.

Most of all, the Houston Rockets center wanted everyone to understand that ridiculous rejection came with a flailing hand poking his pupil, momentarily blinding him. It left a bulbous bump on his eyelid, a souvenir to bring back from his annual trip to Madison Square Garden. It left Yao unwilling to find the cuteness in a moment that isn't so cute when they just swing wildly for you and treat you like a tree to be torn down.

"Is that who did it?" Yao coyly said, insisting it was impossible to tell that a 5-foot-9 Robinson had blocked him. Well, Yao would say, "I've been blocked by a 5-foot-3 guy before, so that's not a record."

There was just a hint of something seldom seen with Yao – a stubborn edge – that had not been part of his disposition. He is running roughshod through the NBA now, pounding people into submission, performing at 7-6 in a way that never seemed possible.

Everyone still is holding onto Shaquille O'Neal, refusing to believe the reality of his changing body. Everyone is scared of dismissing Shaq these days, choosing to respect the mythology that surrounds what is no longer a legitimate force.

"I think Yao is the best center in the NBA," a truth-teller named Tracy McGrady declared Monday night at the Garden. This wasn't audacity out of McGrady, nor embellishment. He's watching every night, and he knows what he sees. Let everyone else saddle themselves with a grudging respect for Yao Ming, but McGrady sees him on the cusp of taking these Rockets a long, long way.

Yes, Yao Ming is the best center in the game. If not, what is everyone watching this season? This was an inevitable truth and it has arrived. No one had to see Shaq go down with knee surgery last week to declare him diminished, because if you watched the Heat on the way to the NBA championship, you understood that it was the greatness of Dwyane Wade that was the difference. Shaq was dangerous, but he no longer was dominant.

For some reason when it comes to Yao, people refuse to believe their eyes. Night after night, he has transformed into everything people feared upon his ceremonious arrival four years ago, delivering 30 points and 15 rebounds on nights now as easily as a man walks down his driveway for the morning paper. He dropped 34 and 14 on Shaq last week. He's averaging 26.4 points and 10.4 rebounds a night – much better than his career averages – and he's using his 310 pounds near the basket to move bodies and that reach to block everything within his wingspan.

Every moment now, he's a presence. "At his height, his ability, he's almost unstoppable," Houston's Rafer Alston said.

Everything is up, way up for him, especially his turnovers, which tells Yao that "there is more physical contact." Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy tried to defend him a few days ago, and it cost him $25,000 to the league office. Yes, Van Gundy always has been overprotective of Yao. He always has been that way with his stars, but he isn't exaggerating the level to which people reveled in Yao's sluggish moments, almost reveling in his failures – real or perceived.

"I've never understood the Yao-hate," Van Gundy said. "I'm trying to figure out why people have a problem with him. They always kind of say what's he not. … He doesn't refer to himself in the third person. He hasn't given himself a nickname. And he doesn't try to offset his negative nights with excuses."

Part of the discomfort with Yao was the unknown that surrounded him – the threat, the idea that some within the American basketball culture feared the tapping of Asia could start another stream of dominant players to the NBA. They could live with the Europeans on some level, but beginning on draft night in 2002 there has been a transcendent level of nastiness and unfair standards of success for him. He was as accommodating and as respectful as any star to enter the league in years, yet there was an element who treated him as an intruder, like an experiment that needed to fail.

Along the way, Shaq mocked Yao's heritage with a verbal slur, and too many people laughed it off. Outwardly, Yao laughed also, letting Shaq off the hook. Not anymore, though. If you watched his recent meeting with O'Neal, you noticed the deference was gone. Respect yes, but no longer deference. After he hung 35 and 17 on the Knicks' Eddy Curry on Nov. 10, he quickly disappeared into the Rockets' weight room, pumping iron and preparing himself for a meeting with Shaq in the next 48 hours. That's when Yao hit him for the 34 and 14.

Now, Yao Ming is 26 and has taken every shot this league has for him. He keeps coming back, stronger and stronger, tougher and tougher. And, as McGrady sees it, "He's playing at an MVP-caliber level."

They've come at him for five seasons – with words and slurs, slaps and scratches, doubts and dismissals – and the solemn, sure relentlessness of Yao Ming kept churning and churning, until the NBA was left with a talent suddenly impossible to stop, a phenomenon suddenly transcending the game.

Yao Ming, best center in basketball.

He has the scars to prove it, too.

Adrian Wojnarowski is the national NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports.

MavsX
11-21-2006, 11:39 AM
get the hell out of here with that crap ^^^^^^