It was a good weekend of practice for Yao Ming as the Rockets started training camp. Yao looked good running the court…
Click here for more photos of Yao at Saturday’s practice.
This Chronicle article does a good job revealing how excited Yao was through the following quotes:
“Words cannot express how happy I am. I can’t say if I was the first guy here (for the 1 p.m. practice), but I was here at 9 o’clock.
“I still had some limits on the scrimmage. I finished most of it. I’m very tired. For today, it’s fine. No foot pains, just conditioning. I’m still working on it. Actually, not bad today, better than I thought.”
Coach Rick Adelman was also impressed:
“I was really pleased with Yao. He was able to do a lot of things today. Now we’ll see how he responds tomorrow — if he can walk.
“For the first day, he probably did a lot more today than he did in a week. We’ll have to be real careful watching tomorrow.
“He went through all our drills defensively. He went through everything we did, except they limited his time scrimmaging.”
“He’s just such a force around the basket. He can score. The biggest thing is getting his balance and his timing down. The ball comes off the boards, for instance. He might be a count late to get it. He’s not reacting like he used to. And there’s some things he’s not comfortable doing. But when he gets his footwork down and he gets that jump hook, it’s automatic.
“Right now, he can’t expect too much. I just like the way he went through it. You can see the presence he gives us on the court. His presence is huge”
Chuck Hayes also liked what he saw:
“I’m inspired, impressed. Just seeing him run and up and down the court, working hard, even when he’s tired, he is still getting after it, trying to compete.
“He’s the hardest-working guy I’ve ever played with or seen. He’s also the most stubborn. We need him.”
Then on Sunday, the Rockets held a light practice in front of Houston fans. There was one part where Luis Scola tried a 180-degree tomahawk jam that didn’t work out very well, and all of the players had a huge laugh.
Click here for more photos from Sunday’s practice.
Rick Adelman is so pleased with Yao’s progress, it looks like he may want Yao to play longer in scrimmages. To accomplish that, Adelman may hold him out of practice every other day to give his foot enough rest to not overdo things (click here for the Houston Chronicle story). Yao is cool with trying different things.
Here’s a video the Chronicle put together on Yao’s first practice: