What It’s Like to Guard Yao

by April 24, 2009

Not exactly a boatload of fun, according to Blazer bigs: “Tiring,” Portland’s 7-foot Greg Oden said on the eve of Game 3 of the Portland-Houston playoff series. “Ain’t nothing else you can say. He’s very strong, even for being that big. He’s just a mammoth man. You have to try to use your quickness and mix up the way you play him.” Asked if it is fun to face Yao, Blazer center Joel Przybilla laughed. “What do you think?” he asked. “My wife says, ‘Don’t hit him too much.’ But you can’t give him an inch, and you have to do it from the start. If you let him start beating on you, he’ll get the calls. You have to hit him first. That’s one thing I learned from Tuesday’s game. When you go against him, it requires total concentration through the whole game.”