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Rockets win both games in China against Nets

Saturday, October 16th, 2010
by John

In case you’re wondering why there haven’t been any posts on this site for the past few days while Yao and the Rockets have played two games in China (they won their second game just a few minutes ago), I have been in The Phillipines on a business trip. I’ve been so busy working, I haven’t had much time to write about the Rockets’ two games in China. But I have been able to watch most of them at a Chili’s on this country’s “Basketball TV” before crashing at the hotel after long days working.

I’m flying back to the U.S. in a few hours (just like the Rockets), so I gotta get out of this Chili’s and get some sleep before my flight…and I probably won’t be back online for another day or two.

In the meantime, you can check out in the forum Raymond’s coverage of the last two games right here.

Before going dark for a couple of days, I can tell you even though I have missed analyzing in depth the Rockets’ games in China, Filipinos know their NBA, just like in the States. I’ve been impressed, and it has helped fill my basketball fix while away.

Rockets and Yao back in China after 17-hour flight

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
by John

Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets arrived in Beijing early Tuesday morning (5:00am, which is around 3pm Houston time) after a 17-hour flight. Here’s Yao sitting with wife Ye Li on the plane:

October 12th, 2010 - Yao Ming and wife Ye Li recline on the long flight from Houston to Beijing for the China Games

The boot on Yao’s foot is the an Ankle Wrap from Game Ready, which conveniently and simultaneously delivers intermittent compression and adjustable cold therapy to Big Yao’s left foot.

And here are Yao Ming and Ye Li after arriving at the airport…

October 12th, 2010 - Yao Ming arrives at Beijing with wife Ye Li for the 2010 NBA China Games

Click here to see many more photos of Yao and the Rockets on the plane and exiting the airport. There will be plenty more coverage in this forum of the Rockets’ activities in China for this week’s preseason games against the New Jersey Nets, thanks to Raymond as always.

Yao has best preseason showing yet: 10 points in 12 minutes

Saturday, October 9th, 2010
by John

Yao looked alot like his old self in only his third preseason game since his comeback started on the court. Playing Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers, Yao in his 12 minutes scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks, his best outing thus far this preseason.

October 9th, 2010 - Yao Ming shoots over Indiana Pacer Roy Hibbert.  Yao scored 10 points in 12 minutes of action

You can see video highlights here on NBA.com. A dunk from Yao as well as a nice jump hook start around the 1:20 mark, and the Chase Budinger one-handed alley-oop throwdown at the end of the clip is absolutely SICK! Chuck Hayes finished a sweet alley-oop of his own after starting a break with a steal. I could go on-and-on. Watching all of these highlights makes you think the Rockets are going to be something special this year. I know it’s only the preseason, but Indiana’s defense was pretty good last season.

One of Yao’s dunks came after an offensive rebound and he took it strong to the rim. Yao had this to say post-game:

“That really gave me that feeling back, not just the physical but mentally. Mentally is built by your physical. If you are confident with your body, you’re not afraid to hit people, not afraid to take hard foul or to fight. Then you can build the next step, which is mentally.”

Kevin Martin had this to say about the Great Wall:

“Yao was very impressive. You can tell he’s starting to get into the flow. His confidence is there and he is finishing around the basket, getting rebounds and altering shots.”

Since my time is limited here at my hotel here in The Philippines (my Internet is about to run out and I have to checkout of the hotel now), I’ll refer you to the Chronicle’s story about the game, which is excellent.

Yao plays 13 minutes, scores 5 in Toyota Center season debut

Friday, October 8th, 2010
by John

I’ve been out of the country this whole week, so I have missed the first two Rockets preseason games. Well, actually, I tried to watch Thursday’s game against the Spurs using my Slingbox, but the video was so choppy being on the other side of the world, I had to give it up.

However, I’ve scoured the Net and read that Yao did okay. In a 90-87 Rockets win, he played 12 minutes and 48 seconds, going 2-for-8 from the field for 5 points, both on layups and pick-and-rolls with Aaron Brooks. He also grabbed 7 boards and blocked 3 shots. He also had two turnovers, which is to be expected after the long layoff from game action.

October 7th, 2010 - Yao Ming elevates to try to block Tim Duncan's shot in a pre-season match-up

Click here for more photos from the game, including photos that Raymond posted of Yao going up against Rockets rookie Patrick Patterson in pre-game.

Tim Duncan had the following to say about how Yao looked:

“I thought he looked pretty good. He’s still working himself into shape, but he still has his touch. The basketball stuff will come with time.”

The post-game interview responses that Yao provided were the same as what we’ve been hearing from him the past couple of weeks since training camp began: “One step a day.” But he did make a comparison to his first game on Tuesday against Orlando:

“I just tried to be a little more active than the first game. I tested myself in the first game, and I tried to do a little bit more.”

Encouraging was the progress of Yao’s backup Jordan Hill, (at least while Brad Miller is out with a sprained ankle). Here’s what Rick Adelman had to say after Tuesday’s game in which he scored 16 points, a career high with the Rockets, on 6-of-9 shooting, 3 rebounds, but 5 turnovers.

“He’s the most athletic big guy we have. We need him to be that. By the same token, he needs to be consistent. He can’t be up and down. It’s got to be a consistent effort.”

“He was OK. He’s got to be more consistent. We talked about that. He made some fouls he didn’t have to make. He’s got to be more consistent in his concentration. He gave the effort and he was effective. You’ve just got to see growth in him.”

The Rockets play a back-to-back this weekend. Yao will play the first game, sit out the next game, then immediately after the game they will leave for China to play two games against New Jersey. I can only imagine how tired they will be after getting off a 14-hour flight (maybe longer) right after playing a pre-season game. It’s all part of the glamor of playing on one of China’s favorite NBA teams.

Yao and Shaq have a lot in common these days

Friday, March 6th, 2009
by John

Raymond sent me a link to this story on Rockets.com quoting Yao and Shaq about how unfair officiating has been against them simply because they are big guys. They also talk about how much they respect each other’s game leading into tonight’s matchup between the Rockets and Suns. Also, here’s a video of Shaq being interviewed about the same topic(s).

Rockets win final preseason game

Friday, October 24th, 2008
by John

Yao Ming scored 17 points, grabbed 7 boards and had 2 blocks in Sacramento Thursday night as the Rockets easily beat the Kings 110-97.

Yao slightly pulled his groin in the first quarter and went to the locker room for treatment, but managed to play 32 minutes total and rested during the entire fourth quarter. Hopefully he’s okay — he must be if coach Rick Adelman played him that long.

Click here for more photos from the game.

Ron Artest was the Rockets’ high scorer with 19 points in his first game back at ARCO Arena since being traded in the off-season. He also had 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

You can probably tell I don’t get that fired up about preseason games, so I’m glad it’s finally over. The Rockets now have several days off before next Wednesday night’s season opener against Memphis.

McGrady back on the court with Yao

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
by John

Raymond has posted photos of Steve Francis and Tracy McGrady back at practice. Tuesday was McGrady’s third day in a row back at practice without any pain, and Francis’ first.

Click here for more photos from the practice that Raymond has posted in the forum.

Yao back in action; Rockets win another preseason game

Saturday, October 18th, 2008
by John

After sitting out Wednesday’s game against Memphis, Yao Ming was back in the lineup Friday night against Sacramento.

Yao scored 15 points in 26 minutes, hitting 7-of-11 from the floor. But shockingly, he only made 1-of-5 free throws. He left the game in the fourth quarter after tweaking his ankle, but he’ll be fine.

Meanwhile, Ron Artest played well against his former team, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He also had 3 steals and two assists.

Aaron Brooks had a fantastic game, scoring 23 points since he got more minutes (42) than normal because Tracy McGrady sat out to rest his sore right knee. Brooks made 7-of-16 field goals, including 4-of-8 from 3-point land.

Click here for more photos from the Rockets’ pre-game shootaround as well as the game. Click here for game coverage from the Houston Chronicle.

Yao sits out preseason win against Memphis

Thursday, October 16th, 2008
by John

Yao was held out of a meaningless game against the Grizzlies Wednesday night in Memphis.

The Rockets seem to be sticking to their guns about managing Yao’s time wisely to avoid unnecessary wear-and-tear. After all, this was the Rockets third preseason road game in a row within a 5-day period.

Turns out they didn’t need him after beating the Grizzlies 101-97. Click here for the Chronicle story on the game, including some commentary on the Rockets’ decision to try to make up for not having the height of Dikembe Mutombo in the lineup using the quickness of their power forwards.

Click here for Raymond’s photos from Yao’s pre-game shootaround.

Yao gets double-double in second preseason loss

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
by John

The Rockets lost their second preseason game in a row, this time in Oklahoma City where they lost to the Seattle Sonics….er, I mean the Thunder (that’s going to take me a few weeks to get used to that), by blowing another 4th quarter lead to fall 110-104.

In 24 minutes, Yao Ming scored 15 points and grabbed 16 boards in the loss. He also had 3 blocks and 2 assists. Check out the video below of Yao throwing one down…

Click here for the Houston Chronicle’s game story.