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<  Yao on the court, and his most recent game  ~  Game #37: Minnesota Timberwolves vs Houston Rockets

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:09 am
User avatarPosts: 4061Location: Let The Good Times Roll!Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:34 pm
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Records: Houston (19-17), Minnesota (5-29)
When: Friday, 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 (bi-lateral quadricep tendinitis) is out and G Tracy McGrady (left knee injury) is questionable for the Rockets; G Randy Foye (knee) and C Theo Ratliff (knee) are out for the Wolves.

Timberwolves Update: The Wolves have missed Kevin Garnett. Minnesota expected some growing pains after trading away the face of the franchise. But life after K.G. has been brutal. The Wolves have the NBA's worst record and haven't won a game when they've scored fewer than 100 points.



Projected Starting Lineup:

ROCKETS

Pos Player PPG RPG
G Rafer Alston 11.2 3.2
G Luther Head 7.4 1.6
F Shane Battier 8.3 4.9
F Chuck Hayes 3.4 6.5
C Yao Ming 22.0 10.6



TIMBERWOLVES


Pos Player PPG RPG
G Sebastian Telfair 9.6 2.3
G Marko Jaric 9.3 2.6
F Rashad McCants 15.1 2.8
F Ryan Gomes 10.1 5.0
C Al Jefferson 20.5 12.2




Rockets hoping to get on a roll back at home
Minnesota at Houston, Friday, 7:30 p.m.


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Damien Pierce
Rockets.com Staff Writer



NEW YORK -- Before catching a flight back to Houston on Wednesday night, Rockets coach Rick Adelman was already looking forward to being home again.

He had spent more than enough time on the road.

"I'm glad I won't be traveling for a while," Adelman said.

The Rockets could certainly use an extended stay at home.

Nearly halfway through the season, the Rockets will finally get an opportunity to build some momentum at Toyota Center when they begin a five-game homestand Friday night against the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves.

Surprisingly, the Rockets (19-17) haven't played more than three home games in a row. Houston has instead spent much of the first two months of the season enduring a brutal early schedule filled with road games. After wrapping up a two-game trip to Washington, D.C. and New York on Wednesday, the Rockets had played 22 of their first 36 games outside of Houston city limits.

Now, the slate finally gets a little less demanding. The Rockets will close the month with seven of the next nine games in their own building.

"Looking at the schedule going forward, it's much easier," Rockets center Yao Ming said. "We have a lot of games at home. But we can lose at home too. It's still on you. Do you want to win and come to the game every night with heart and intensity or are you thinking, this is just a home game we should win?"

The Rockets so far haven't been invincible on their home floor.

With three losses in their past five home games, Houston is 8-6 at Toyota Center. They haven't won more than three games in a row at home.

But the Rockets are optimisitc that they can turn things around in their building because of their recent play. Houston is riding a season-best four-game winning streak and has played some of its best basketball of late. The Rockets are getting more ball movement and more balanced scoring in Adelman's high-motion scheme. Rafer Alston, Luther Head and others have been sinking timely shots when defenses are clamping down on Yao.

Adelman's bunch is hoping to build off that solid play at home.

"For us to be any good this year, we have to win at home," Rockets forward Shane Battier said. "Every playoff team wins at home. That's something that we haven't done consistently to this point. We got back to .500 on the road, which is decent for the amount of road games that we've played. But now is the time to establish winning at home. That has to be the mindset."

The Rockets should get a boost when Tracy McGrady returns.

After missing the past eight games with a left knee injury, McGrady is expected to return at some point during the homestand -- possibly against the Timberwolves. The Rockets were planning to evaluate the seven-time All-Star's status before Friday's game.

The key will be fitting McGrady back into an offense that has been clicking.

"I'm hoping when Tracy comes back, we're going to have the same movement," Adelman said. "It helps him. It takes some of the pressure off him. We have to get other people involved. We had two guys in double figures (when he was playing). That was it. Since then, we have four. We have more balance. You're hoping these guys will continue to contribute even when he comes back. Yao and Tracy are still pretty good answers. But over the course of the game, we need more balance."

The Rockets will be trying to get that done at home for a change.

Besides hosting the Timberwolves on Friday, Houston will face the New Orleans Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Seattle Supersonics during the homestand. The Hornets and Spurs figure to be the most formidable opponents among that group since both teams are among the six best teams in the Western Conference.

The Rockets, though, are confident that they can get on a roll during their first significant home stretch of the season.

"We've been pretty successful on the road," Alston said. "We've been doing our job on the road, but we haven't actually lived up to the billing at home. But we got a stretch here where we can make a push. To have five straight games at home, we're looking to go 5-0, maybe at the bear minimum 4-1 to get back in the race."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 211Location: Davis, CAJoined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:12 pm
Tmac will not come back at least the next two games. It is a chance for Rocket players to prove they can consistantly play well without Tmac, especial tomorrow they will play a better team. Hope after Tmac come back Rocket can compete with any teams in the league.

Go Rocket!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:47 pm
User avatarPosts: 59324Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am

Photos of the Rockets at today's team shootout practice in preparation for the game versus Timberwolves.

And Steve Francis was there too in the team shootout !!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:53 pm
User avatarPosts: 59324Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
And Tracy McGrady was there too !!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:25 pm
User avatarPosts: 3614Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:48 pm
Thanks Kedroc


Last edited by bayern on Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:30 pm
Posts: 61Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:14 pm
one more link please. thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:31 pm
Posts: 145Location: San Mateo, CAJoined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 12:11 pm
new link, please? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:31 pm
Posts: 30Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:48 pm
the first one expired, one more link please :P


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:34 pm
User avatarPosts: 15490Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:31 pm
Thanks for the link, working first try!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:38 pm
Posts: 145Location: San Mateo, CAJoined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 12:11 pm
Thanks!


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