Rockets need team-first approach
Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, the Rockets' talented tandem, can learn from Shaq's team-first approach with the Heat.
Guard Tracy McGrady and center Yao Ming, Houston's talented tandem, haven't consistently been playing together at either end of the court, and the Rockets (16-15) have struggled to stay near .500 as a result.
Van Gundy's challenge is to take these new pieces and put together a winning basketball puzzle -- a puzzle in which Van Gundy himself plays a key role. So far, some pieces appear to be out of place, but there's still time for them to fit.
This is the softest Van Gundy-coached team I've ever seen. These Rockets don't play with the intensity or the physical presence of, say, the teams Van Gundy had with the New York Knicks.
At 7-foot-6, Yao has a tendency to play with too much humility, so sometimes the 24-year-old doesn't embody an intense, competitive spirit. Meanwhile, McGrady is probably one of the three most skilled players in the NBA, along with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.
But the 25-year-old McGrady hasn't found the consistent ability to multiply the skills of his teammates. In fact, sometimes he negates them. Too often, he freezes the other Rockets, playing the game by himself rather than incorporating the team as his ally.