Yaouch: Yao likely out for the season

  • Hayes will see way more minutes than the 12:05 he averaged per game last season, so his production will benefit from Yao’s absence.  He’s a tough player who will get rebounds, but his small size will work against him on many nights.  Don’t lean on him too heavily.
  • Landry will see more minutes than the 21:18 he saw per game last year, so expect his numbers to increase slightly.  He’s an active player who isn’t afraid to mix it up inside and has shown that he can produce in limited playing time, but he’ll also be challenged by playing against bigger players more often.
  • Scola will see more minutes than the 30:18 per game he averaged last season and he’ll likely benefit by seeing many more touches in the post.  He also becomes the most skilled of the big men on the Rockets, which means that defenses will hone in on him a lot harder.  His value may be stagnant.  His points will likely increase, but so will his turnovers.  Also expect his field goal percentage to take a hit.
  • Andersen remains a mystery.  Give him about three to four weeks before you judge his value.  His value may rise as the season progresses.
  • Brian Cook may see more playing time as a result of Yao’s absence, but his value remains minimal at best.  He’s a shooter who won’t replace Yao’s post presence.  Still, keep an eye on his minutes and production.
  • Joey Dorsey, the second-year power forward, will see more minutes.  He averaged 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds in 2:06 per game last season.  However, during five games in this year’s Summer League, Dorsey has averaged 9.8 points on 56.5 percent shooting and 14.8 rebounds per game.  Those numbers can’t be ignored, especially with Yao now out for an extended period of time.  Feel free to place Dorsey’s name on your list of sleepers this year.
  • Trevor Ariza‘s value now becomes a lot more of a mystery.  Yes, he’ll see plenty more minutes and shots now, but without a post player to demand attention and open up lanes and looks, Ariza appears to be a prime target for defenses to focus on.  His shooting percentages will likely be weighed down by Yao’s absence.
  • Shane Battier, who is at his offensive best when he spots up for open three-pointers, will see fewer of these opportunities with Yao gone.  Expect his offensive value, already negligible, to take a hit.
  • Rookie Chase Budinger, 6-foot-7, could see more playing time than expected this season, but should not be counted on for anything meaningful.

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