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Yao getting used to Adelman's offense
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Houston Rockets center Yao Ming believes the basketball style his new coach Rick Adelman brings to the team will not be a problem for him in the upcoming season.


"I do not think it's hard to get used to the new style," said the five-time All-Star center, who arrived at the University of Texas last Friday for Rockets' training camp. Today is the Rockets' first preseason game.


"I have been learning his offense throughout the off-season," Yao said. "I know I need some time to get fully involved. But it will not be a problem."


Some have expressed concern about whether the 7-foot-6, 310-pound center will have the energy and speed to keep pace with Adelman's up-tempo offense.


Yao mostly played as a low-block pivot in former coach Jeff Van Gundy's system. Adleman's system will require Yao to play more out near the elbow and act as a distributor, setting teammates up with passes.


But having spent the summer in China studying Adelman's offense, Yao said he was feeling more and more comfortable playing with some of his new teammates and getting back to work.


"Our general manager did a lot of work in the summer," said Yao, referring to new Rockets GM Daryl Morey. "The team is much stronger. There are a lot of new guys. I think this team is the one that I want.


"I understand more about the system," Yao said. "We're developing chemistry with the teammates, because in the new system, everybody can shoot and the open-shot timing will be different."


Yao's teammates are also glad to see that he is capable of running the court.


"He already seemed pretty comfortable," Rockets star Tracy McGrady said. "He didn't ask any questions when we were going through it so I guess he's been studying. He's getting up and down the court and he's in great shape."


Adelman also tried to ease some of the pressure on Yao, saying there has been a misconception about how he plans to use the center.


The coach does want to utilize Yao's passing ability and pull him away from the basket at times, but he still wants Yao to post up down low.


"We can't give that up," Adelman said. "What I don't want him to do is play 36 minutes where he just gets pounded the whole time coming down the court.


"He goes down to that low post and gets hit and hit. The guy is just an unbelievable shooter so why not try to get a little variety with what he's doing."


Asked about his prospective on the club's new season, Yao said he hopes the team's hard work over the summer pays off.


"You reap the harvest you sow," Yao said. "I think it is time for us to get something out of the new season."


Yao has led the Rockets into the playoffs three times in his five-year NBA career but has never made it past the first round.


(China Daily October 9, 2007)

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