Interesting article from the Houston Chronicle that confirms the Rockets will limit Yao’s minutes to 24 minutes of playing time each game. That means if he only plays 20 minutes one game, like in the case of an early blowout, he won’t be allowed to play 28 minutes the next game.
They will also limit him from scrimmaging in practice the day after a game. He’ll practice, like shooting drills, but won’t be running up and down the court. He also won’t play much, if at all, in back-to-back games.
This philosophy could change as the Rockets and Yao’s surgeon evaluate his progress through the season, but I don’t anticipate much of a change until the playoffs, as they acknowledge in the article.
I like the approach the Rockets are taking, and Yao is on board with it. We’re entering somewhat unchartered waters with a 7’6″ center entering a season after having major foot surgery like what Yao had, so discretion is the better part of valor.
And the Rockets are so deep, they can afford to give Yao and several of their veterans more rest this season to reduce wear-and-tear. And I always liked the idea of saving your veterans for the playoff grind.