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Yao scores 9 in season debut, but Rockets lose late to Lakers

October 27th, 2010
by John

I know it’s only the first game of the season, but the Rockets should have beaten the Lakers at Staples Center Tuesday night.

The Rockets looked awesome in the first half, scoring 62 points and leading by 12 points at halftime, and they even held a 15-point lead in the second half. I thought they were on their way to dominating with guys like K-Mart, Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee, and Chase Budinger scoring in bunches.

But then the young guns went cold in the second half, and Laker reserve Shannon Brown killed them with four 3-pointers in the 4th quarter to save the Lakers from losing on the same night they got their championship rings. It also didn’t help that Brooks left Steve Blake wide open with a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 2-point lead with 18.8 remaining.

Houston should have won this game, but they couldn’t seal the deal. Even the usually eliable Luis Scola was missing shots he would normally make, making only 4-of-14 shots and keeping the Rockets in a hole before redeeming himself by making 3 of his last 4 shots to give them a chance to tie or win it.

But then with 2.4 seconds remaining and down by two points, the Rockets ran a pretty dumb play when Shane Battier inbounded the ball to Brooks who had no chance of getting a shot off with Blake and Lamar Odom there to collapse on him. Maybe A.B. should have put up a shot earlier by banking a runner off the glass, but he opted to go underneath the rim, and there was no chance — it was blocked. Game over.

Oct. 26th, 2010 - Yao Ming shoots a jump hook over the LA Lakers' Lamar Odom

Yao looked good at times in his first regular season game back since May 2009, but he missed a few shots he normally would make. That will improve over time. He finished with 9 points on 4-of-11 shooting, 11 boards, 2 blocks, and 4 turnovers in 23 minutes and 21 seconds before fouling out, just 39 seconds before reaching his 24-minute limit.

But like what you’d expect from a young team, they collapsed down the stretch and let the Lakers steal one in their own gym they had no business winning the way the Rockets were dominating offensively through most of 3 quarters.

Battier was awful offensively, making only 1-of-5 shots as a STARTER. And he didn’t do that great of a job on Kobe Bryant, who scored 27 points on 8-of-20 shooting. Meanwhile, Chase finished with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting in just 21:41. Does Shane deserve to remain a starter if he keeps repeating disappearing acts like years’ past?

Here’s some notes I took of Yao’s actions during the game. It’s not comprehensive, but enough to give you an idea of how he did:

1Q

9:55 – Yao looks good shooting over Gasol from the baseline

8:53 – Yao misses a short chip shot. He got the rebound, but couldn’t convert then, either.

7:30 – Yao was called for a foul inside on the offensive boards.

6:50 – Yao intimidates Artest in the lane to alter Ron-Ron’s shot and make it come up short.

4:56 – Yao loses control of a rebound to Artest underneath he basket, but he holds his position well and Artest does his normal thing by trying to force up a shot with Yao hovering over him. The ball goes out of bounds off Yao. Yao checks out of the game for Brad Miller.

2Q

7:25 – Yao grabs an offensive board and lays it in.

5:39 – Odom grabs an offensive board over Yao and scores over him.

3Q

11:14 – Good D by Yao on Gasol

10:39 – Yao misses badly on a fadeaway jumper

10:15 – Yao scores on a nice jump hook in the lane

6:56 – Yao grabs an offensive rebound and tries to throw it down over Gasol, but Gasol fouls him.

6:23 – Yao is called for a foul on Gasol

4Q

9:35 – Yao makes a nice move to the basket but misses a layup. I’m surprised he would try a move like that so early in the season being so rusty.

The Rockets’ guards throw up two consecutive jumpers when Yao’s minutes were running out. Why not use him while they can?

7:54 – Yao is stripped on a post move

7:33 – Yao throws one down over Gasol

6:30 – Yao fouls out right close to his 24-minute threshold

9 Responses to “Yao scores 9 in season debut, but Rockets lose late to Lakers”

  1. AllforRockets Says:

    AB screwed up in the last minute. He is a good, but not a very good pg. He failed to guard and failed to score.

    Why Battier was so hyped up with so lackluster stats?

    Kyle Lowery didn't show up in the game. I wonder if it's because Rockets backcourt is overloaded. Is he seeking trades?

  2. YaoMingMania Says:

    Lowry was hurt. Back spasms still.

  3. bklynbpw Says:

    Hey John did you notice that Yao seemed to be jumping with a lil more authority yesterday? Could it be that years prior he was afraid of his foot going but now he is finally feeling well after the surgery??

  4. YaoMingMania Says:

    I think he was jumping about the same. I asked Yao that question during

    training camp a few weeks ago — if he would feel comfortable jumping like

    he did before, and he jokingly asked when did I remember him ever jumping?

  5. AllforRockets Says:

    Could be a pretext. Courtney Lee took over his job.

  6. AllforRockets Says:

    By all accounts, Morey seemed to have done a great job by salvaging something from grumpy and back
    spasm crippled T-Mac before he became worthless, built a pretty decent team.

    Rockets didn't win the first two games, but I was wondering why Brad Miller only played a few minutes in the game against Warriors?

    Do you think Jeremy Lin of Warriors will get a chance to play a decent amount of time? He has a lot of potential as PG. Probably better than AB?

  7. YaoMingMania Says:

    I agree about Morey. Even the Knicks said later they regret doing that

    trade.

    Adelman's substitution patterns were really scrutinized last year, and it

    looks like it's going to continue this season. I don't understand why

    Miller didn't get amore playing time, nor Jordan Hill get any minutes.

    With Monta and Curry in that backcourt, and the way they scored, I don't see

    much of a chance for Jeremy to prove himself. I saw he was in street

    clothes during the Rockets game. Not good, especially when your starting

    backcourt is so awesome. It will take an injury to one of them for Jeremy

    to prove himself. No way he's better than AB, though. Lin will probably

    end up like the Rockets' Matt Maloney (late 90's PG), another Ivy Leaguer

    who played a couple of seasons, then disappeared.

  8. Mikehas Says:

    where are the updates?

  9. YaoMingMania Says:

    Nothing new to report. Yao didn't play against Golden State because it was

    a back-to-back. He doesn't play back-to-backs. He plays tonight, though.

    So stay tuned.

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