Thursday, September 16th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  33 responses

Rockets Limiting Yao Ming to 24 Minutes Per Game

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Due to injuries, Yao Ming has played in an average of just 59 regular season games over the past four seasons. This, obviously, isn’t ideal for his employer, the Houston Rockets. So, they’re going to do something (somewhat drastic) about it.

Next season, no matter what, the Rockets say Yao will not be allowed to play a nanosecond more than his allotted 24 minutes per night.

The Houston Chronicle
reports that the only possible exception when it comes to the big fella’s playing time, would be during the Playoffs:

Yao’s playing time will not average 24 minutes; it will end there. If he plays 22 minutes in one game, he will not play 26 the next. For that matter, if he plays two minutes one game, he will not play 26 the next. When Yao reaches his 24 minutes, he will be through for that game. When Yao plays one night, he will skip much of the practice the next day, with the Rockets so determined to limit the demands on Yao that Jones and associate athletic trainer Jason Biles have already outlined Yao’s workout schedule from the start of camp Sept. 25 through the last game of the regular season.

“Twenty-four is his number all year,” Jones said. “Playoffs come, things could change. We’re trying to get him through April. We’re trying to give him the best chance to play the whole season by limiting stress. Even practices, if we play on Monday and play again on Wednesday, can he practice on Tuesday? No. He’ll practice, but he won’t scrimmage.”

Yao also is likely to be held out of the second half of back-to-backs, though that might not be the policy for the entire season … Jones is certain, however, that Yao’s expected lobbying efforts will not change the plan. “Yao is his own worst enemy,” Jones said. “He feels good and wants to go. We will be fighting him every day. I know we will. He’s going to feel good. He??s going to want to do more. He’s going to question us. He’s going to question the doctor. That’s Yao. He’s a competitor. We’re just trying to reduce the stress.”

This will certainly be a fascinating experiment to observe in Houston throughout the season, with the team trying so desperately to limit how much its best player can contribute night in and night out (while simultaneously fighting for a high Playoff seed).

The Rockets say they may also try to reduce other veterans’ minutes — Shane Battier and Luis Scola, for instance — during the regular season.

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  • dsleepy

    they must really believe they’ve got a shot at the title this year if they’re willing to rest yao like this. that’s a pretty big cut in minutes for your star player. this might affect team chemistry too if yao doesnt get time on the floor to gel with k.mart and the suddenly-impressive aaron brooks

  • oinestep

    And he will still get injured………Yao Ming aka Glass Joe

  • Ali

    no matter what…??? We’ll see how long that lasts or how long Yao holds up before he’s hurt again. Either your 100% and ready to run the full game if nessessary or not. Good luck Yao

  • Morgan

    Do you think the All Star team’s coach will limit him to 24 minutes also? If its someone from an opposing team coaching it they should play him 40 mins+ (and yes he will make the All Star team as a starter, no question)

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Smart. Seems like something they can try. Good point Morgan.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    ^^and put him on the floor with the fastest smallest running team available

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    they´re being smart bout it imo

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    Yao at 100% is unstoppable and definitely a second round play-off team in a much weaker west. Long gone were the days where the Western conference finals were of higher standards than the NBA finals. Sigh.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    The West doesn’t appear as loaded only because the East has become incredibly stacked too. Still a tough conference to be in.

  • http://thosefishtacosarethetits.blogspot.com Boston_Blogg3r

    Reminds me of what Phoenix did with Shaq a couple of years ago when he averaged 18 per.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    $20 says that Yao still finds a way to get hurt.

  • JoeMaMa

    If they do this to Yao, Luis Scola, he of the dominating performances this summer, MUST play big minutes. How can you sit your two best post players and think you’ll sniff the playoffs? No no…Scola will play alot.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    because the west is weaker. yeah, they’ll need those guys, but they have enough bigs that they can rotate minutes.

  • http://www.dontevenreply.com total scrotal implosion

    They should have been limiting his practices all along, it was known china was running him into the ground every summer. This could work. Brad miller

  • ab40

    Well they did that minute thing with T-Mac and we all saw how happy he got.

  • bashmo

    rather than have him play 24 for the whole season, they should steadily increase his MPG over the course of the reg.season. A player like him getting 24 a game is terrible, he really is the best centre in the league when healthy.

  • http://kamandatungi.blogspot.com Conan O’Rhymin

    ^^Yao isn’t T-Mac.

  • JTaylor21

    @Teddy, the West has been overrated for some years now and the East just got way better this season. Also good luck to yao and hopes that he stays healthy thought the season and playoffs. It’s a good thing for the NBA if he stays healthy because all those 300 million Chinese will watch ball even more.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    The portland centers will all be out for the season before Yao is.

  • flipnoyce

    They should only play him only at the second half regardless of what the status of the game is in the first half. If they could find a way to make this work then both camp should be a happy campers!!! Good luck Yao and stay healthy!

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    -yawn- (eatthehead)

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Who cares, Rockets aren’t going any were, except a first round defeat. Maybe.

  • http://slam Kid Canada

    eww without yao playing big minutes it could mean they don’t get to the playoffs

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    We’ll see about that, Seed.

  • http://zoran_dakovic@hotmail.com RickyRude

    I always enjoyed watching Rockets play. They’re a gritty, hard-working team which plays with a lot of heart and passion. Their team has proven talent, stars on the rising, and if this proves successful experiment with Yao Ming, I think they could be a serious threat to any team in the NBA. I wouldn’t write them off like some of you cats before even seeing how everything pans out.

  • RV

    JoeMama, scola has been playing big minutes for a while now….why on Earth would they even consider not playing him like that this year, especially after a fat contract?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign RickyRude.

  • M5

    Better hurry up and dunk on Yoa, cause his time is limited.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNemKXW6YcM&feature=related

  • jonas_brothers

    good luck to yao~

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