Monday , Jun , 29 , 2009 Oly Sandor

3 ways Houston Rockets contend without Yao Ming

Sure, five-men who average 20 points and 10 rebounds are rare, but so are blue-collar teams with heart and chemistry. And that’s exactly what the Houston Rockets showed pushing the world champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in the Western Conference Semi-Finals without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady …

3 ways Houston Rockets contend without Yao MingBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

 Their News: The Houston Rockets already said that Yao Ming‘s recovery from a broken foot was behind schedule, but that setback might now cost him all of next season or worse.

"At this point, the injury has the potential for him missing this next season and could be career threatening," team physician Tom Clanton said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "One of the things we are trying to get is a consensus opinion on that, to make certain there is no option we are overlooking that would provide an earlier return or would be an option for treatment that he would prefer rather than doing additional surgery."  ESPN.com news services

Our Quick Analysis: Houston, we have a problem, not a catastrophe.

Sure, five-men who average 20 points and 10 rebounds are rare, but so are blue-collar teams with heart and chemistry. And that’s exactly what the Houston Rockets showed pushing the world champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in the Western Conference Semi-Finals without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady.

The Rockets can stay competitive without Yao by following these steps:

First, re-sign Ron Artest’s even though his price went up. No Ming means Houston must pull out almost all the stops to ink their unrestricted free agent. ‘Ron-Ron’ can be given top dollar, but, to keep him focused, avoid a term beyond three years.   

Second, GM Daryl Morey must work his money-ball magic and bring-in a big and a wing besides Artest. Ideally, the post will be able to defend, rebound and score, while the new perimeter player has to be able to create his own shot –something that was missing in game seven versus the Lakers.

Third, stay nasty. The playoffs showed that the Rockets were a load to play against. So the organization should stick with their blue-collar approach and become the Western’s Conference bad boys. After all, Portland and L.A. hated playing best of seven match-ups against this crew of tough guys    

Yao’s injury is a set back. But Houston can, and will, stay in the thick of the Western Conference next year.

What impact will Yao’s injury have on Houston? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Smith post.