Yao Ming’s Return and Nine Other Reasons Houston Rockets Will Make the Playoffs

September 21st, 2010 by Robert Kleeman Leave a reply »
The post-Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets have made their acquaintance with the lottery. The team's resume includes five appearances since the 2000-2001 campaign, when management shipped Dream to Toronto via a sign-and-trade. A year without a playoff berth is an alien experience for head coach Rick Adelman.

The sideline chief's squadrons have failed to qualify for the postseason just three times since 1989. A number of developments prompted Houstonians to talk playoffs again. Here are 10 reasons the Rockets will dance again in late April after a one-year layoff.


Yao Ming's Hardwood Revival

Even 24 minutes of the 7'6" center will make the difference. The Rockets finished eight victories shy of a playoff appearance sans Yao. His lane occupation figures to account for that gap.

Yao must re-adjust to the 82-game grind after a forced one-year absence from basketball. He has not competed in a meaningful contest since May 2009. The rust will show early and often. Opposing defenses, however, will also need to re-adjust to Yao and his rare skill set. A few things will translate from t ...

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