News » Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2008-11-20

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2008-11-20

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2008-11-20
Tracy McGrady not only considered sitting out some games to let

his sore left leg rest, he announced it.

"Until further notice," he said, "I'm going to have to shut it down."

Yao Ming, on the other hand, said, "I'm fine, so fine."

Then the Rockets moved on to the next game, and neither was right.

McGrady played, but was cut back to 29 minutes in the latest plan

to bring him back from his May knee surgery. The idea now is to have

him play his way back to full strength, but not to play as much, with

McGrady convinced that he had his Los Angeles no-show after playing 45

minutes in the overtime loss in Portland and his Oklahoma City pain

after playing 42 minutes against the Hornets.

Yao, on the other hand, insisted he felt just fine and that the

tests confirmed his feeling. Doctors, however, wanted another day to

consult and consider the test results and his sore left foot, the foot

that ended his season last February and has been strengthened by a


The Rockets said holding Yao out was a "precautionary" move and

that he could be back as soon at Friday, but his absence and McGrady's

slowdown offered an unhappy reminder of the reality of the way this

team was built.

The current conditions limiting both Yao and McGrady do not seem

too serious this time, but they offered examples that everything is

dependent on their ability to avoid injuries. That is true for every

team, but a more obvious concern for a team built around players that

have been consistently injury-prone.

In the four previous seasons they have been together, the Rockets

have played 66 games without McGrady, going 20-46, and 88 without Yao,

going 47-41. If nothing else, they said, they are used to being


"When you've been there, done that, you know how to get through

it," McGrady said. "We've been there several times. We're a team that

knows how to overcome when one of our guys isn't there. We're thinking

it's part of the season, definitely not thinking 'uh, oh,' not in the

panic mode by any means. We'll look forward to him being in the lineup

on Friday."

ROCKETS 86, MAVERICKS 96: The Rockets knew they would be without

Yao Ming, but they could not have imagined how much else would also be

missing. They played little defense in the first half, less offense in

the second half, got 5-of-14 shooting nights from Ron Artest and Tracy

McGrady. As the Mavericks rode Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki to

12-point second-half leads, the Rockets were left with little but the

faint hope they could hit enough late 3s. They did sink a few to give

themselves chances, but Terry put in a three-pointer and a drive to

push the lead to six, McGrady missed a 3 and Nowitzki closed out the

10-point win from the line, as the Rockets looked to be missing more

than just their irreplaceable center.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 20, 2008


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