Yao poses a big challenge for Thunder

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: November 1, 2008 at 6:09 pm •  Published: November 1, 2008
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Th
e Rockets possess similar threats in Ron Artest and Tracy McGrady whenever Yao passes out.

"We’ve got to get him off the block early,” Chris Wilcox said. "We can’t let him get in good position, and we have to put him in as many pick and rolls as possible, because that’s where we get an advantage.”

The Thunder’s interior defense will be the biggest key to coming away with a win tonight, Sunday against Al Jefferson and Minnesota and Wednesday against Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and the Boston Celtics.

"We just got to be physical,” Wilcox said. "We got to come out and play with emotion and match the energy of other guys. I think once you match the energy and you play physical it’ll take a lot of guys out of their game.”

Wilcox said the Thunder also needs to avoid a slow start. Milwaukee led 20-9 in the first quarter before ending the period with a 10-point lead.

"We can only move forward from here,” Wilcox said. "(Wednesday) night we kind of dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter and we couldn’t get out of it. But we know what we have to do from now on. We’ve got to come out with a better start in order for us to win games.”


Related Articles

Thunder at Rockets

→When: 7:30 p.m.

→Where: Toyota Center, Houston

→TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37)

→Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, 640-AM

Probable starters

Thunder (0-1)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Earl Watson 6-1 8.0 2.0 4.0
G Kevin Durant 6-9 12.0 3.0 2.0
F Jeff Green 6-9 7.0 3.0 2.0
F Nick Collison 6-10 7.0 6.0 1.0
Cr Johan Petro 7-0 2.0 3.0 0.0
Rockets (2-0)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Rafer Alston 6-2 5.0 4.0 3.5
G Tracy McGrady 6-8 16.0 3.5 6.0
F Ron Artest 6-7 22.5 5.0 1.0
F Luis Scola 6-9 9.5 8.5 0.0
C Yao Ming 7-6 22.5 11.5 1.5

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