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<  Yao on the court, and his most recent game  ~  Game #52: Sacramento Kings vs Houston Rockets

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:28 am
User avatarPosts: 4061Location: Let The Good Times Roll!Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:34 pm
Disregard "Click to Purchase." I am not promoting tickets sales, just the game itself.



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Records: Houston (31-20), Sacramento (23-26)
When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Toyota Center
TV/Radio/Spanish Radio: FSN Houston / SportsRadio 610 AM / 850 AM in Spanish

Injury Update: G Steve Francis (torn quadricep tendon in right knee) is out and G Luther Head (strained groin) is questionable for the Rockets; F Francisco Garcia (lower back strain) and F Shareef Abdur-Rahim (right knee surgery) are out for the Kings.

Kings Update: Mike Bibby's return hasn't been enough to make the Kings one of the Western Conference's playoff hopefuls. Since Bibby's return, Sacramento is 8-5 and still seven games off pace for a playoff spot. The Kings' up-and-down play has ignited trade rumors, most notably for Ron Artest and Bibby.



Projected Starting Lineup:


ROCKETS

Pos Player PPG RPG
G Rafer Alston 11.8 3.4
G Tracy McGrady 21.4 5.0
F Shane Battier 8.6 5.0
F Luis Scola 8.5 5.3
C Yao Ming 22.1 10.7



KINGS

Pos Player PPG RPG
G Mike Bibby 13.2 3.9
G Kevin Martin 23.3 4.7
F Ron Artest 18.7 5.8
F Mikki Moore 8.0 5.9
C Brad Miller 14.5 9.7





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Scola finding his niche starting alongside Yao
Sacramento at Houston, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.




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Damien Pierce
Rockets.com Staff Writer



HOUSTON -- During the NBA's All-Star weekend in New Orleans, Luis Scola is slated to participate in the Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam.

The Rockets rookie is obviously looking forward to the experience, but he's not exactly sure how his gritty game will fit into an exhibition that tends to resemble a Harlem Globetrotters performance.

"I'm not really good for that kind of a game," Scola admitted. "I don't have any dunks."

Fortunately for the Rockets, Scola isn't having trouble fitting his low-key game into Houston's starting lineup.

Nearly four months into his NBA career, the rookie with the shaggy hair has found his niche in the Rockets' starting five. He has become an ideal fit next to Yao Ming and the Rockets' offense has thrived with his added scoring punch.

Since inserting Scola into the lineup, the Rockets are 7-1 and riding a season-best seven-game winning streak. The lone setback came when Scola started in place of Yao because of an illness to the All-Star center.

The 6-foot-9 forward's numbers have flourished in the new role. He is sinking 56.8 percent of his shots and averaging 11.8 points -- roughly four points higher than his scoring average coming off the bench.

When the Rockets host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, Scola is expected to make his ninth straight start.

"Luis is such a heady player," Rockets forward Shane Battier said. "He's a guy that plays the pick and roll great. He finds gaps. He just makes things happen. He's done a great job of playing off Yao and Tracy (McGrady). He has really elevated our offense."

Scola's insertion into the starting five has certainly opened things up for Yao.

Unsurprisingly, the Rockets' All-Star center has spent much of the first half of the season surrounded by opposing defenses. But with Scola in the lineup, teams are having a harder time doubling Yao.

The rookie power forward has taken advantage of openings in the defense by draining 15-footers and finding openings in the lane with his crafty moves. On top of that, Scola's relentless energy makes him a threat on the offensive glass.

The rookie's hot shooting hand has forced defenses to pay more attention to him, loosening things up for Yao.

That, according to Scola, is his job.

"With me as a power forward, I need to try to help Yao as much as I can," Scola said. "I really have to watch how he plays and try to make him play better by freeing him up. I have to take some of the pressure off him. Everybody is collapsing on him. We need to take that away. I have to learn how to play for him."

Yao has noticed a difference with Scola as his sidekick.

During a recent win over Golden State, the Rockets center was once again expecting to be surrounded by the Warriors' swarming defense. Golden State had effectively doubled Yao in previous meetings by fronting him with Al Harrington and getting backside help from the power forward spot.

But that all changed with Scola in the lineup. The Rockets rookie drained a few jump shots early in the game and forced Golden State's defense to acknowledge his presence. With that, Yao suddenly got free.

The center ended up producing 36 points and 19 rebounds.

"They can not have their four man double team me that much," Yao said. "If they do, Luis will make them pay a lot."

The Rockets, of course, came into the season hoping that Scola would have that effect. But since Scola has spent his whole career playing playing overseas, it took the rookie some time to get adjusted to life in the NBA.

Initially, the forward struggled to stay out of foul trouble and locate his shooting touch. He was averaging a modest 3.9 points on 41.7 percent shooting through the first month of the season.

But four months into his rookie campaign, Scola is finding his comfort level with the NBA. He's knocking down shots and he hasn't been riddled with foul trouble like he was at the start of the season.

"He's at the point now where he's seen guys play and he's seen teams play," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "He's more comfortable defending than he was before. Early in the year, I don't know if he could play people in the post and stay out of foul trouble. But now, he's more experienced and understands what the league will allow him to do and not do."

That has allowed the Rockets to put Scola into the starting lineup. The rookie feels comfortable with his new role and likes how he is fitting in with his teammates.

"Now, I feel much more adapted to my teammates and to the coaches," Scola said. "I know them better. We're still learning from each other, but we're playing well. That's the most important thing."

Scola, though, isn't so sure how he'll fit in with his rookie teammates during the Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam.

Despite his improved play, Scola isn't known for throwing down mind-boggling dunks or making other flashy plays.

He's got his own style -- one that is boosting the Rockets.

"I'm just going to try to enjoy it," Scola said. "I'm going to play to win. That's the only way I know how to play."


Last edited by TheRoxRedGlare on Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:33 am
User avatarPosts: 66Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:31 am
First!!! Rockets win big by 18 pts.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:39 pm
Posts: 211Location: Davis, CAJoined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:12 pm
The race to western conference playoff is really white-hot. Every game is important. The Rocket can end with any positions from 1st to 10th. The schedule of March and April is tough for the Rocket.

Go Rockets!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:49 pm
User avatarPosts: 15536Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:31 pm
Go Rox, last game before the allstar game.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:10 pm
User avatarPosts: 15536Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:31 pm
nice, 35 points in firstQ


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:42 pm
Posts: 98Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:18 pm
seems like the crap officiating has returned like a bad dream


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 1057Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:23 pm
yeah dude, miller fricking flopped and Yao got called. Later, some tiny guy tried to get in yaos way and gets mowed over and they call it on Yao :x


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:15 pm
User avatarPosts: 7735Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:06 pm
Rafer has been taking some wild shots in the 3rd. Glad he hit the last one though.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:20 pm
User avatarPosts: 923Location: Asturias, Spain.Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:09 am
Rockets dominating!

BS CALL on Yao btw


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:40 pm
User avatarPosts: 7735Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:06 pm
Don't looked now. Rockets are having another 4th quarter meltdown. 12-1 Kings run. Yao with his 5th foul. Man!!!!


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