Houston GM Daryl Morey buzzkilled on Monday saying that despite Yao Ming’s current healthy feet, the plan this season will be to limit his minutes and perhaps have him rest his dogs in the second half of back-to-back games. Buzz? Killed. Told ya. It’s early yet, so perhaps this isn’t a fete de complete. Maybe it’s just an idea, like Jay-Z’s retirement. The good news here is that even if Yao’s season is limited to 70 games (the Rockets play back-to-backs 19 times this season, but they won’t sit him for every one of those sets), that’s still more games than he’s played in all but one of his last five seasons. … I can see by that knife hovering over your wrists that you’re still not happy. How ’bout this: Shaquille O’Neal was an all-star for Phoenix two seasons ago when they sat him during back-to-backs and limited him to 30 minutes a game. He averaged 18/8 on that team and he was woefully out of place. On the flip side, the Rockets still view Yao as an integral part of their offense.
Now hand me the knife and lookit what else is going on around the league.
Jonny Flynn – It’s only appropriate that Flynn is off crutches and will be hobbled like a 70 year old man until late preseason because every time I hear his name I imagine a guy with a huge sideburns and a leather jacket that girls from the ’50s described as “dreamboat” and “swell.” To be fair, Flynn’s repaired hip actually is referred to as “swelled.”
Ronny Turiaf – Continuing our “onny” theme, all signs point to Turiaf starting at center for the Knicks this season. Turiaf has never averaged more than 22 mpg before, but if he sees a lot of floor time, he’ll be a tremendous source for blocks. New York’s big lineup also means …
Anthony Randolph/Danilo Gallinari – … The 6-foot-9 Randolph will slide over to small forward, while the 6’11″ Gallinari won’t even have to jump to get an open look as a shooting guard. If only Ray Felton was 6’8, the NBA would have it’s own real life MonStars. On more Knick note. Join me below, won’t you?
Wilson Chandler – … A-hoy, hoy. Looks like Chandler’s coming off the bench. Of the 65 games he played last season, all but one of them were as the starting small forward. When it’s time to change (into a winning team) you’ve got to re-arrange (the starting lineup).
Mo Williams – Byron Scott wants Mo Williams to resemble the player he once was on the Bucks. To which Williams replied, “Byron Scott never played for the Bucks!” Then everyone around Mo avoided eye contact. Assuming, Williams gets it before the season begins, expect fewer threes, but more points, assists and better percentages.
Delonte West – The Celtics decided to take a flyer on the guard, despite his reliability troubles and the fact that he’s going to miss the first 10 games of the season due to a suspension born from the aforementioned unreliability. Crikey, besides Rondo, is there a player on this team that doesn’t have a big ol’ question mark hovering above his head like a Sim wondering what to do next? As far as West goes, he might be on deep league radars, but nothing shallower.