Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Yao Line 01.06.08: Yao Makes it Rain

38:35 min | 30 pts | 12-21 FGs | 6-7 FTs | 8 rebs | 6 asts | 4 blks | recap

Rockets win their second straight set of back-to-backs and go 4-2 now without T-Mac. They were pretty dominant in this one, but you see just how terrible the Knicks are. Stephon Marbury has completely given up.

Yao was again dominant, finding the open man in the first half and scoring virtually at will in the second until he began to tire late in the 3rd. Actually, it looked like Yao was well on his way to 40 points until then. He still has get a little tougher when he's out of breath and protect the ball better on the dribble--particularly when he's tired. David Lee look like a defensive genius in the last few minutes of the quarter, quicker, stronger and faster to the ball, and that's after Yao had just dropped 8 straight points on him. Lee was able to force two turnovers that led to a Knicks run that got them back to single digits, but it's the Knicks, so they still blew it. Yao didn't log a rebound during this stretch or in the 4th, that's a little troublesome, but again second game of a back-to-back and up against Dwight Howard and Eddy Curry, I'll cut him slack. Yao made it rain for three quarters and that was enough.

Aaron Brooks was killing it, though not quite as much as his former high school rival, Nate Robinson (25 pts, 5 3FGs). Brooks did hit the bigger shots and sealed the W, but I can't wait to see these guys match up again. Skip didn't shoot well, but controlled the game and made solid contributions, including some big shots in the 2nd half. Luther better get his game back together or they might not need him when McGrady comes back. Head looks better off the bench, he's one of those guys, he looks uncomfortable as a starter, like it's gone to his head, so to speak. Hopefully, he can get his groove back. The Rockets will need him down the stretch to keep hitting big shots.

With T-Mac Pro: if he's on, Rox could've won by 30+ points.
With T-Mac Con: if he's off, Rox still win... but by single digits.

Pic courtesy of YMM.

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