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<  Yao on the court, and his most recent game  ~  When the Old Giant Meets the New Giant

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 7:53 am
User avatarPosts: 59171Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
From Jonathan Feigen's blog........

Quote:

http://blogs.chron.com/nba/2007/05/the_ ... tud_1.html

May 22, 2007

The Dream's dream: Yao Ming studies with master

After Yao Ming and Hakeem Olajuwon shook hands and exchanged one of those cool guy hugs before heading off the court, Yao caught the eye of Rockets equipment manager Jay Namoc.

Yao did not say anything, but his look said everything. He tilted his head, furrowed one brow and exhaled briefly. The message was clear:

Wow.

Olajuwon was not showing off. He was teaching. He has done this for years. He never had any interest in coaching, but he always loved to work with young players. He would take them to the low blocks and demonstrate the Dream Shake, talk about footwork, preach the virtues of balance.

Over the years, he has honed the lessons to something more orderly, perhaps even more readily translated to the games. I used to see it all the time in the Westside days. Seeing it again on Tuesday (though on a 70-minute tape) was exhilerating. Yao was right.

Wow.

All these years, since Olajuwon was his most spectacular, five years since his last games, Olajuwon was as stunningly graceful as ever, still smooth and impossibly light on his feet.

That is some of the problem in his lessons. There were moves that Olajuwon demonstrated that Yao could not possibly do as artfully, some he likely should never try. There were moves that Olajuwon kept the ball far from a defender's grasp while Yao practically put it on a serving tray. There were moves in which Olajuwon floated across the lane, with perhaps an extra step mixed in, while Yao tap-danced as if stomping on bugs at a picnic.

On other moves closer to Yao's usual repertoire, Yao quickly followed Olajuwon's direction and provided reminders of why he has become the NBA's top-scoring center.

There are other sessions planned. And it is possible that Olajuwon could bequeath some of his classic technique to his successor. But there was something else he tried to give Yao that seemed more likely to stick and that Yao seemed determined to hold as his own.

He kept telling Yao to dominate. In one way or another, he kept coming back to that theme: dominate.

Olajuwon spoke of his belief that a center must control the game so often as a player that we came to use to it in our imitations of him.

"It's not me. It's the position. It's basketball."

Of course, not every center candominate and few ever did it like Olajuwon. It's not about being a brute or leaving bruises. It's about control of the game and being the one player around which everything revolves.

If Yao uses that baseline spin move, Olajuwon would be happy to see his work on the court. He would love to see a Dream Shake. But mostly, he wanted to change something more difficult to see. He wanted to give Yao his attitude. And that seemed to be what Yao took with him when he left the court.

"I learned most from him was the mentality," Yao said. "I don't know how many times I heard from him today, `Dominate. You need to change your game.'

"That's why he can be Dream."


It was wonderful to see that again.

More important, however, is that Olajuwon made it clear what he believed Yao could be.

Posted by Jonathan Feigen at May 22, 2007 06:23 PM


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 2:22 pm
User avatarPosts: 3614Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:48 pm
footdoc K wrote:
Hakeem doesn't need to teach Yao how to play basketball; yao already has the skills; what yao lacks is the mental toughness. That's why DReam was telling Yao over and over to dominate. In the 4th quarter, he is the big fella, he needs to demand the ball. the offense needs to run through yao, not mcgrady during this time in the game. I was so frustrated watching the utah series especially game 7 because Yao was not demanding the ball. Also, yao needs to attack the basket during the 4th quarter; stop settling for these 10 foot turn around jump shots! attack or get fouled; christ he shoots almost 90% from the foul line. it's win win.


Well, learning a few moves from the dream would be good for Yao regardless. But I agree with you that it's all mental. I think Yao needs to change his personality on the floor. He needs to have that confidence in him. He needs to realize he is da man. Be that "you can't f---king stop me" player on the floor.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 3:16 pm
Posts: 180Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 5:31 pm
"You can dominate," Olajuwon, 7-0, said, nodding toward the banner honoring him for his NBA-record 3,830 blocked shots. "You can get all new records. Do you believe that? You should.

"You should be scoring at will. You should be scoring easy. Easy. They are in trouble on defense. They are in trouble on offense. They have no answer. No answer."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/spo ... 28213.html


Yao does need some more offensive moves. During the playoff with Utah Okur said it was easy to predict what he was going to do and he and Kirilenko tormented him all series long. Watch that video with Dream. Some of those moves Yao should probably never, ever try. But that long left step outside the box and a jumper? Bee-a-yoo-ti-ful.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 5:26 pm
User avatarPosts: 1725Location: West BankJoined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 9:11 am
pryuen wrote:
A 3 minute plus of the one-on-one drill between the 2 giants

http://sports.163.com/07/0523/07/3F5NBDSA00051CA1.html
Where exactly is the video in that?


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 5:29 pm
User avatarPosts: 3614Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:48 pm
voyd wrote:
pryuen wrote:
A 3 minute plus of the one-on-one drill between the 2 giants

http://sports.163.com/07/0523/07/3F5NBDSA00051CA1.html
Where exactly is the video in that?


http://blogs.chron.com/nba/2007/05/the_ ... _stud.html


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:25 am
Posts: 38Location: txJoined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 2:10 pm
hmmm wouldnt this be more useful during preseason or training camp instead of right after you just got knocked off from the playoff...
i wonder come next season yao'll remember any of hakeem's moves or word of wisdom. I know okafur sure didnt, since he got some personal session from hakeem also.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:15 pm
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AsianBalla23 wrote:
hmmm wouldnt this be more useful during preseason or training camp instead of right after you just got knocked off from the playoff...
i wonder come next season yao'll remember any of hakeem's moves or word of wisdom. I know okafur sure didnt, since he got some personal session from hakeem also.


Hakeem lives in Jordan and only makes the occassional trip to the US. Hence the timing of this meeting. Yao will probably have to travel to Jordan if he really wants to spend more time working out with Hakeem. I disagree about Yao forgetting the moves Hakeem taught him because his got good work ethic and will probably be practising hard to make sure each move becomes second natured to him. By the way Yao already knew most of the Dream's moves but it's the execution that was the difference. As an example when the Hakeem spun into the lane for a hook shot, he took only ONE big step and went straight up. Yao took a couple of baby steps. On another move he bought the ball down low, which Hakeem told him was incorrect because he was making himself 'small'. He needed to keep the ball high and make use of all his height. These are the little subtle errors that Yao will need to iron out of his game.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:48 am
Posts: 247Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:05 am
Well, learning a few moves from the dream would be good for Yao regardless. But I agree with you that it's all mental. I think Yao needs to change his personality on the floor. He needs to have that confidence in him. He needs to realize he is da man. Be that "you can't f---king stop me" player on the floor.[/quote]


Thank you Bayern; you know what I'm talking about!


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 10:58 am
Posts: 757Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:09 pm
Tang Man wrote:
yao2boki4_3 wrote:
Who's gonna teach Yao how to rebound? That aside from his defense on the P'N'R is probably the weakest part of his game!


I think one of the reasons why Yao isn't as a good rebound as he could be is down to attitude. Yao does a good job of boxing his man out but is then satisfied with letting his teammates get the rebound. That's why the rockets overall are a good rebounding team even without Yao dominating on the boards. However this has got to change especially if the rockets are to win in the play-offs. Yao has got to get it into his head that he must get every rebound himself.

Hakeem has got amazing footwork. It's good to see him teach Yao how to use some counter moves when defenses react to his initial move.


Bullocks, Yao is not a good rebounder period, not because he's spending his efforts boxing out. His reaction time is slow, no jumping ability, horrible at reading rebounds, weak grip and horrible balance. He can basically jump up and down not sideways, I think someone called him a phone booth rebounder, which is a perfect discription. He can improve on some of these aspects, but I don't recall ever reading him working on his rebounding.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 4:43 pm
User avatarPosts: 12405Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:27 pm
Tang Man wrote:
By the way Yao already knew most of the Dream's moves but it's the execution that was the difference. As an example when the Hakeem spun into the lane for a hook shot, he took only ONE big step and went straight up.
there is a difference.

when Yao is making that move, he appears to have it memorized, like someone is trying to remember the correct dance steps.
    a good defender (over time) will detect Yao's memorized steps.
Dream does it more instinctual, much more fluid.

Tang Man wrote:
On another move he bought the ball down low, which Hakeem told him was incorrect because he was making himself 'small'. He needed to keep the ball high and make use of all his height. These are the little subtle errors that Yao will need to iron out of his game.
Ever since he joined the NBA. he has been taught by all his coaches to make himself BIG, Yao has never take that lesson to heart. hopefully, this time--- coming from the Dream's mouth---Yao would be committed to apply that lesson.


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