The D.A.Y. of Yao’s return

by March 06, 2007

By Sam Rubenstein

Last night’s episode of Heroes was so incredible, so mind-blowing, so… I can’t do it justice here. If you watched it, you understand. I can’t wait to talk to my Heroes clique at work about this. Going in to the episode, I knew that it would end with a cliffhanger as the show headed towards another hiatus. The “To be continued” moment at the end was as good and maddening as “The Empire Strikes Back.” The villains are winning and I love it. Sylar is the truth. I guess I’ll move on to NBA stuff, but I’m really looking forward to today’s Heroes analysis at work.

Yao made his long-awaited return to action, and he was predictably rusty. He also fell down and made a funny face, which was scary on about 8 different levels. Yao’s return came with 16 and 11 and 5 turnovers on 5 of 15 shooting. He also blessed us with today’s Yaoism “In the second quarter, third quarter, I was almost like a high school player. Sometimes, Cleveland would just steal the ball from my hand.” T-Mac had to overcompensate by jacking up 32 shots, hitting only 10 of them. The Rockets fell behind, came back with Yao playing a key role in the fourth, but they didn’t have enough. LeBron James is a different player in the second half. He’s scoring 30+ every night and he did it again versus Houston. 32, 12, and 8 featuring a posterization of his teammate Anderson Varaejo, whom he also screamed on for trying to take one of his rebounds. Larry Hughes added 22 for the Cavs.

The Pistons rose to the top of the East with Chris Webber on board, and once they lost a few games I started thinking that maybe that was just a hot streak. I do not believe in the Pistons. The Golden State Warriors blew them away on their home floor, especially over the second and third quarters. A healthy J-Rich led the Warriors with 29, while the Pistons were led by Lindsey Hunter’s 20, which is never a good omen for your team.

Nine game winning streaks used to be impressive, before Dallas and Phoenix were running them off every other week. The Spurs are in the never lose club now, and they did it with defense in this one. The Clips had 49 points after three quarters, which is, in a word embarassing. Ginobili led the Spurs with 16. San Antonio is back to being its robotically efficient self.

Shaq was called for a flagrant when he took Marvin Williams’ life into his hands. Very scary moment for Marvin. These UNC guys need to stay out of the paint. It’s dangerous in there. The Hawks are being the Hawks, and that means they can lose to a team whose leading scorer was Eddie Jones. Shaq continues to play with some bounce in his step, and the Heat are finally above the .500 level.

Mutoni wrote Game Notes for this game that are much more thorough than anything I could say it about it right now. Memo hit on 13 of 15 FG attempts on his way to a 32 and 9 night. That means he is either a front runner for Player of the D.A.Y. or Charlotte opponents are the new ineligible competitors.

How did Michael Redd follow up his 52 point eruption, you ask? With a 3 of 16 night, going 0 for 3 from three. The Bucks scored 10 points in the first quarter. Turkoglu led the Magic with 25 and 9 on 10 of 14 shooting.