Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Yao Line 12.12.07: A Gutcheck Win

43:49 min | 21 pts | 9-21 FGs | 3-6 FTs | 13 rebs | 3 asts | 1 stl | 4 blks | 1 TO | 2 PFs | recap

It wasn't pretty but any win against the Detroit Pistons is a win against the Detroit Pistons. The Rockets' FT shooting could have been a record low, but they kept getting to the line and salvaged it somewhat. What was more encouraging than that was the performance Yao and T-Mac down the stretch. They did what we've wanted them to do all season, take over in the final minutes with authority. And Rafer Alston even hit a key 3-pointer just when the Rockets needed it, putting them up 66-63 with 6:49 left in the game. It was all Yao and Mac after that.

Yao had 9 pts and T-Mac 5 pts to finish the game. T-Mac was feeling it from the perimeter all night and hit a couple of more key jumpers, though you'd prefer him to take it to the hoop late in the game. But Yao might not have had 9 more gutsier points this season. With Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups doing their best to steal this one, Yao demanded the ball and forcefully dropped huge buckets right over the top of Wallace, who's no slouch on D and pretty crafty at that. He had no answer for Yao. And you could see it in their eyes, Wallace and Yao. They both knew it. 'Sheed loves to taunt opposing post players who try to post him up, bringing a healthy disrespect for the league's big men. He said nothing to Yao in the 4th.

Feigen writes a beautiful little piece on what real toughness is--it's Yao Ming. Yao Ming Mania has your pics.

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