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Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

Posted on: May 9, 2009 9:46 pm
HOUSTON -- In simpler times -- oh, about six hours ago, before Rick Adelman knew about Yao Ming's season-ending fracture in his left foot -- the Rockets' coach spoke frankly about what it would mean to prepare for Game 4 against the Lakers if Yao didn't play.

"We’re set either way," Adelman said. "We’ve already played one game where he’s in foul trouble the whole time. We had to play without him there. So it’s not going to be anything different. The difference is, if he doesn't play, we’re in trouble."

Yes, the Rockets are in trouble. Tests on the foot Yao injured in Game 3 Friday night came back Saturday afternoon with the worst possible results: Yao has a hairline fracture on the top of his left foot and will miss the rest of the postseason. With the Rockets already down 2-1 in the series, and with Yao being the focal point of everything they do when they're playing well, this is a devastating blow.

"He’s such a main cog for us," Adelman said. "I thought that (Friday) night he did a much better job of getting the ball and moving and putting some pressure on them. Without him now, we’ve got to play a totally different game. We’re just a different team, but we can be an effective team if we play together."

Now the Rockets are without Tracy McGrady (no big deal there, they're better without him anyway), Yao, and Yao's backup, Dikembe Mutombo, whose career-ending ruptured knee tendon becomes monumental now.

Do they have a chance to beat the Lakers without Yao? How do you say "no" in Chinese? 

Adelman is right that they'll be a different team -- more high screen-rolls, even more reliance on Ron Artest to provide offense, nobody to adequately defend Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. Cavs and Lakers in the NBA Finals just got one giant, Yao-sized step closer to reality.

It's impossible to overstate how deflating this is for the Rockets, but it's even more so because of how the diagnosis came down. When the coaches and players gathered on the Toyota Center practice court Friday afternoon, Yao had already undergone a CT scan that left doctors confident that the injury was merely a sprained ankle. Upon further review, doctors found the hairline fracture, which doesn't require surgery. But the foot needs to be immobilized in a walking boot for 8-12 weeks.

While the Rockets are crushed by the news -- they believed they had a legitimate chance to knock off the Lakers, as they showed by stealing Game 1 in L.A. -- there is more to worry about than a playoff series. This is the same foot, though not exactly in the same spot, where Yao suffered a season-ending stress fracture two seasons ago. It is hard to build a championship team about a 7-6 franchise player who can't stay on the court.

"I have a lot of faith in our doctors and our medical staff," Adelman said. "We’re going to look at that and make the decision not based on one game. It’s going to be based on his career."
Category: NBA
Tags: Rockets, Yao Ming

Since: May 10, 2009
Posted on: May 10, 2009 5:56 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

The Fakers are pathetic.  They can't even win against the YAO-less, TMAC-less, and MUTOMBO-less Rockets.  They got their arse kicked by the underdog team without their 3 best players.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: May 10, 2009 3:37 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

Yao Ming has been a dud in the playoffs (if he ever limped into them) since being drafted by the Rockets. This guy and Tracy McGrady provide the Houston fans with a great tease to start a season and shattered dreams to finish them.

Waste of money.....waste of time. They should trade his tall goofy ass and build around Artest.....a tough nosed, smart basketball player. Get McGrady and Yao the Dynamic Dud's out of the fans of Houston some grief.

Since: May 10, 2009
Posted on: May 10, 2009 3:01 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

Is that so? The Rockets won Game 1 in LA, without their best player Tracy McGrady and Dekembe Mutombo.  What excused did the LA Faker come up with when they lost Game 1 to the Rockets, while playing with all their superstars?

let see if LA can win any game without Kobe the Crying baby.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: May 10, 2009 1:40 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

I really feel for Yao Ming right now.  The guy was doing everything he could to win.  The only bad thing for us Lakers fans now is the fact that Rockets fans will use this as an excuse when really it is not a valid excuse.

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: May 10, 2009 1:30 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

Snowballs chance in......

Since: Jan 27, 2008
Posted on: May 10, 2009 1:23 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

I wouldn't be too quick to annoint the Lakers as the NBA chapion.  I do think they will win it, but have you seen the Cavs?  Lebron is amazing and I think his supporting cast is a little better then the Lakers cast.  It will be a 7 game series.  It's a shame that Yao gets hurt too much.  Maybe he should stop playing for China every summer and give his lower half a rest.  I think he could end up being one of the best big men ever, but unfortunately he probably will not get the chance to prove it.

Since: Jan 27, 2008
Posted on: May 10, 2009 1:19 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

The biggest change in how Yao should be used is he should take the summer's off.  The reason he can't hold up isn't necessairly the long minutes the Rockets have him playing, it's that fact that he plays for China every summer and doensn't take any time off.  That kind of playing will take it's toll on anyone, espically someone who is 7'6".  It's a shame because I think Yao could be one of the best big men ever, but I don't think he will get the opportunity to prove that.

Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: May 10, 2009 12:58 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

ur a bonehead...

Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: May 10, 2009 12:51 pm


I will admit was deflated after the game Friday, but was still very optimistic about beating LA. There is no  true "home court advantage" since both teams won on the other teams home court.
But now I am just rooting for the Cavs to beat up that Whinny baby named Kobe and prove to all you Lakers fans and Kobe that he CAN'T win without Shaq.
I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE LAKERS LOSE!!!!!And here's to "Colorado Kobe" not winning the championship again

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: May 10, 2009 12:05 pm

Adelman: Rockets "in trouble" without Yao

Too bad this didn't happen last series.  We would have seen the Blazers VS Lakers, a throwback to another era and a busting rivalry for years go come.

Its a shame for Houston though, to see this loss, especially after losing Mutombo.  Next year will I expect to see big changes in how Yao is used.  It seems the long season and long minutes are too much for his feet.  Maybe see him go on a diet too to slim up even more so there is less stress on them feet?  Fractures are hard to fix over time, because you know they are produced by normal wear and tear.  This doesn't look good for Yao's future. 

The Rockets had a good run although the Lakers will simply over power them now.

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