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Yao's Conditioning?

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  • wimpds
    Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn t play more minutes? Thanks!
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 2, 2004
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      Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn't play more minutes?

      Thanks!
    • bchaikin@aol.com
      Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn t play more minutes?  Thanks! excellent question... it s certainly not because he fouls too much.....and he s
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 2, 2004
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        Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn't play more minutes? 

        Thanks!

        excellent question...

        it's certainly not because he fouls too much.....and he's certainly the best player on the rockets right now...and its not like there's a good productive player backing him up (cato is starting at PF last i checked)... plus the backcourt on that team (francis/mibley) each averages 40 min/g...

        i've often wondered myself why players who are performing and producing well or extremely well don't play more minutes (yao versus lebron james say). limited minutes is typically either a coach's perogative (he's young let's not overdue it, or he has a set sub pattern he likes to use) or a mandate from management (aka zydrunas ilgauskas last season in cleveland)...


        bob chaikin
        bchaikin@...

      • John Hollinger
        I think in Yao s case it s more a question of matchups. Certain teams can get him in situations where he s chasing guys around the perimeter and can t keep up
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 2, 2004
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          I think in Yao's case it's more a question of matchups. Certain teams
          can get him in situations where he's chasing guys around the
          perimeter and can't keep up -- or at least that's Van Gundy's
          perspective. In the old days you wouldn't worry about it because he
          could just wreck them in the post at the other end, but with the new
          defense rules it's harder to do that.




          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
          > Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn't play more minutes? 
          >
          > Thanks!
          >
          > excellent question...
          >
          > it's certainly not because he fouls too much.....and he's certainly
          the best
          > player on the rockets right now...and its not like there's a good
          productive
          > player backing him up (cato is starting at PF last i checked)...
          plus the
          > backcourt on that team (francis/mibley) each averages 40 min/g...
          >
          > i've often wondered myself why players who are performing and
          producing well
          > or extremely well don't play more minutes (yao versus lebron james
          say).
          > limited minutes is typically either a coach's perogative (he's
          young let's not
          > overdue it, or he has a set sub pattern he likes to use) or a
          mandate from
          > management (aka zydrunas ilgauskas last season in cleveland)...
          >
          >
          > bob chaikin
          > bchaikin@b...
        • wimpds
          This might be a dumb question, but why wouldn t an opposing coach just create those matchups every chance they get? Then they could play the whole game
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 2, 2004
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            This might be a dumb question, but why wouldn't an opposing coach
            just create those matchups every chance they get? Then they could
            play the whole game without Yao Ming.




            --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "John Hollinger"
            <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
            > I think in Yao's case it's more a question of matchups. Certain
            teams
            > can get him in situations where he's chasing guys around the
            > perimeter and can't keep up -- or at least that's Van Gundy's
            > perspective. In the old days you wouldn't worry about it because
            he
            > could just wreck them in the post at the other end, but with the
            new
            > defense rules it's harder to do that.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
            > > Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn't play more minutes? 
            > >
            > > Thanks!
            > >
            > > excellent question...
            > >
            > > it's certainly not because he fouls too much.....and he's
            certainly
            > the best
            > > player on the rockets right now...and its not like there's a
            good
            > productive
            > > player backing him up (cato is starting at PF last i checked)...
            > plus the
            > > backcourt on that team (francis/mibley) each averages 40 min/g...
            > >
            > > i've often wondered myself why players who are performing and
            > producing well
            > > or extremely well don't play more minutes (yao versus lebron
            james
            > say).
            > > limited minutes is typically either a coach's perogative (he's
            > young let's not
            > > overdue it, or he has a set sub pattern he likes to use) or a
            > mandate from
            > > management (aka zydrunas ilgauskas last season in cleveland)...
            > >
            > >
            > > bob chaikin
            > > bchaikin@b...
          • Mike G
            I ve never seen Yao play; but it stands to reason that he s somewhat effective for a few minutes of chasing guys around , and less effective as his minutes
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 3, 2004
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              I've never seen Yao play; but it stands to reason that he's somewhat
              effective for a few minutes of "chasing guys around", and less
              effective as his minutes progress.

              Apparently, coach has noticed a downturn in his effectiveness after
              20-30 minutes.

              Meanwhile, Maurice Taylor is vying for 6th-Man of the year. Yao,
              Cato, and Taylor are effectively splitting 2 positions.


              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "wimpds" <wimpds@y...> wrote:
              > This might be a dumb question, but why wouldn't an opposing coach
              > just create those matchups every chance they get? Then they could
              > play the whole game without Yao Ming.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "John Hollinger"
              > <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
              > > I think in Yao's case it's more a question of matchups. Certain
              > teams
              > > can get him in situations where he's chasing guys around the
              > > perimeter and can't keep up -- or at least that's Van Gundy's
              > > perspective. In the old days you wouldn't worry about it because
              > he
              > > could just wreck them in the post at the other end, but with the
              > new
              > > defense rules it's harder to do that.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
              > > > Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn't play more minutes? 
              > > >
              > > > Thanks!
              > > >
              > > > excellent question...
              > > >
              > > > it's certainly not because he fouls too much.....and he's
              > certainly
              > > the best
              > > > player on the rockets right now...and its not like there's a
              > good
              > > productive
              > > > player backing him up (cato is starting at PF last i
              checked)...
              > > plus the
              > > > backcourt on that team (francis/mibley) each averages 40
              min/g...
              > > >
              > > > i've often wondered myself why players who are performing and
              > > producing well
              > > > or extremely well don't play more minutes (yao versus lebron
              > james
              > > say).
              > > > limited minutes is typically either a coach's perogative (he's
              > > young let's not
              > > > overdue it, or he has a set sub pattern he likes to use) or a
              > > mandate from
              > > > management (aka zydrunas ilgauskas last season in cleveland)...
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > bob chaikin
              > > > bchaikin@b...
            • Gary Collard
              ... Not to mention get more touches... -- Gary Collard SABR-L Moderator gmcollard@yahoo.com I would ve gone for 2 -- Carolina coach John Fox when asked what
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 3, 2004
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                wimpds wrote:
                >
                > Can somebody explain why Yao Ming doesn't play more minutes?

                Not to mention get more touches...

                --
                Gary Collard
                SABR-L Moderator
                gmcollard@...

                "I would've gone for 2" -- Carolina coach John Fox when asked what he
                thought of Justin Timberlake exposing Janet Jackson's breast
              • wimpds
                ... That s what seems so confusing. His average value is so high, could his marginal value really be that low? I don t know if he s had many big minute
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 3, 2004
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                  >
                  > Apparently, coach has noticed a downturn in his effectiveness after
                  > 20-30 minutes.
                  >

                  That's what seems so confusing. His average value is so high, could
                  his marginal value really be that low? I don't know if he's had many
                  big minute games, but it would be interesting to see his value graphed
                  against his minutes. I don't know where one gets public game by game
                  data.
                • Mike G
                  Try this: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3599/gamelog You might look for not only effectiveness beyond 30 minutes, but after zero games rest, etc. Mo
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 3, 2004
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                    Try this:

                    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3599/gamelog


                    You might look for not only effectiveness beyond 30 minutes, but
                    after zero games rest, etc.

                    Mo Taylor really isn't that much of a dropoff, after Yao. It's
                    quite possible he's more effective than Yao when he's winded.


                    --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "wimpds" <wimpds@y...> wrote:
                    > .. His average value is so high, could
                    > his marginal value really be that low? I don't know if he's had
                    many
                    > big minute games, but it would be interesting to see his value
                    graphed
                    > against his minutes. I don't know where one gets public game by
                    game
                    > data.
                  • Kevin Pelton
                    ... Here you go: http://www.sonicscentral.com/yaominutes.jpg I just used the NBA s Efficiency/Manley Credits; that s enough accuracy for a single game and
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 3, 2004
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                      > I don't know if he's had many big minute games, but it would be
                      > interesting to see his value graphed against his minutes.

                      Here you go:
                      http://www.sonicscentral.com/yaominutes.jpg

                      I just used the NBA's Efficiency/Manley Credits; that's enough
                      accuracy for a single game and typing in JohnH's formula takes too
                      long.

                      The black line represents what that graph would look like if Yao
                      were perfectly consistent. We can see in his very highest minute
                      games he's much below the line ... but other than that not much of a
                      pattern.

                      Numerically ...

                      First I split Yao into above-average and below-average games in
                      terms of minutes:

                      MPG/PPG/RPG/FG%/FT%
                      37.1/18.3/10.9/.527/.725
                      27.7/13.9/7.3/.537/.835

                      on a per-minute basis:
                      P48/R48/EFF48
                      23.7/14.1/28.9
                      24.2/12.8/30.0

                      Then I took his highest-minute games, 37 minutes and above:

                      40.0 mpg
                      19.0 ppg/22.8 p48
                      12.3 rpg/14.7 rp48
                      .530 fg%
                      .701 free throws

                      So Yao appears to be a better rebounder but a worse scorer when he
                      plays heavy minutes, for what it's worth.
                    • bchaikin@aol.com
                      In a message dated 2/3/2004 8:06:33 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... this graph appears to show that in about 1/3 of his games yao ming played 35 or more minutes.
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 3, 2004
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                        In a message dated 2/3/2004 8:06:33 PM Eastern Standard Time, kpelton08@... writes:

                        http://www.sonicscentral.com/yaominutes.jpg



                        this graph appears to show that in about 1/3 of his games yao ming played 35 or more minutes. he commits fouls at only about 10 per 100 minutes, not unusual for a big man, and about the same as these players who all average more min/g - brian grant, kenyon martin, amare stoudemire, kurt thomas, juwon howard, and i'm sure there are a few others. considering yao ming is as productive (if not more) on both ends of the floor than most if not all of these players, i'm guessing the true reason he does not play more minutes is van gundy simply limiting the floor time of a key but none-the-less 2nd year player....

                        it'd be nice to know if he plays most of every 4th qtr, that would be telling evidence that van gundy is indeed saving him for crunch time. maybe roland over at 82games.com keeps track of players' minutes by quarter...

                        bob chaikin
                        bchaikin@...
                      • John Hollinger
                        I know for a fact there have been games where he s gone with Taylor the entire fourth quarter. One interesting thing with a study like this is the chicken vs.
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 6, 2004
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                          I know for a fact there have been games where he's gone with Taylor
                          the entire fourth quarter.

                          One interesting thing with a study like this is the chicken vs. egg
                          question -- if we show he plays just as well with more minutes, does
                          that mean that it's a genuine fact, or does it mean that Van Gundy
                          doesn't play him a lot of minutes if he sees that Yao is playing like
                          crap?



                          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
                          > In a message dated 2/3/2004 8:06:33 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                          > kpelton08@h... writes:
                          >
                          > > http://www.sonicscentral.com/yaominutes.jpg
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          > this graph appears to show that in about 1/3 of his games yao ming
                          played 35
                          > or more minutes. he commits fouls at only about 10 per 100 minutes,
                          not
                          > unusual for a big man, and about the same as these players who all
                          average more
                          > min/g - brian grant, kenyon martin, amare stoudemire, kurt thomas,
                          juwon howard,
                          > and i'm sure there are a few others. considering yao ming is as
                          productive (if
                          > not more) on both ends of the floor than most if not all of these
                          players, i'm
                          > guessing the true reason he does not play more minutes is van gundy
                          simply
                          > limiting the floor time of a key but none-the-less 2nd year
                          player....
                          >
                          > it'd be nice to know if he plays most of every 4th qtr, that would
                          be telling
                          > evidence that van gundy is indeed saving him for crunch time. maybe
                          roland
                          > over at 82games.com keeps track of players' minutes by quarter...
                          >
                          > bob chaikin
                          > bchaikin@b...
                        • igor eduardo küpfer
                          ... From: John Hollinger To: Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 4:12 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Yao s
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 6, 2004
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "John Hollinger" <alleyoop2@...>
                            To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 4:12 PM
                            Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Yao's Conditioning?


                            > I know for a fact there have been games where he's gone with Taylor
                            > the entire fourth quarter.
                            >
                            > One interesting thing with a study like this is the chicken vs. egg
                            > question -- if we show he plays just as well with more minutes, does
                            > that mean that it's a genuine fact, or does it mean that Van Gundy
                            > doesn't play him a lot of minutes if he sees that Yao is playing like
                            > crap?
                            >

                            I believe Van Gundy has been quoted as saying that he was limiting Yao's
                            minutes for physical reasons. That is, he wants to limit Yao's exposure to
                            potential injury. I don't really think that Yao's conditioning is in
                            question, considering how many minutes he played last season between his NBA
                            games and his off-season commitment to the national team.

                            I began a study of this a couple of months ago, but didn't get far. Here's
                            what I have:

                            | YAO'S MINUTES | ROCKET's LEAD
                            GAME | 1 2 3 4 OT | 1 2 3 4 OT
                            -----|---------------------------------------------------
                            1 | 9 5 3 3 | 2 6 12 17
                            2 | 8 12 8 8 | -9 -1 5 -8
                            3 | 8 10 11 0 | -7 -20 -29 -32
                            4 | 9 10 9 8 | 1 -7 -5 11
                            5 | 10 7 12 5 | 3 6 6 10
                            6 | 12 3 7 10 | 0 7 9 20
                            7 | 12 5 9 5 | -2 -6 -10 -11
                            8 | 9 6 12 9 | 3 -6 -1 5
                            9 | 8 10 9 12 10 | -8 -3 2 0 -4
                            10 | 7 12 7 12 | 3 10 10 8
                            11 | 7 7 9 12 | 3 4 -1 2
                            12 | 8 10 9 10 | 11 -3 -7 -7
                            13 | 10 7 10 4 | 4 14 7 15

                            AVG 9.0 8.0 8.8 7.5 0.3 0.1 -0.2 2.3

                            The numbers in the Yao's Minutes columns represent the number of minutes he
                            played in each quarter. The Rockets Lead numbers are their lead at the end
                            of each quarter (a negative number would be a Rockets deficit).

                            There's not much to look at there, but you can see that in games where the
                            score difference is 5 or less points, Yao plays about 10 minutes in the 4th.
                            When the lead is more than 5, he plays 6 minutes in the 4th.

                            ed
                          • igor eduardo küpfer
                            ... NBA ... he ... 4th. ... Er, here I am referring to the score difference at the end of 3 quarters, which I took to be indicative of the closeness of the
                            Message 13 of 15 , Feb 6, 2004
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                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: "John Hollinger" <alleyoop2@...>
                              > To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 4:12 PM
                              > Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Yao's Conditioning?
                              >
                              >
                              > > I know for a fact there have been games where he's gone with Taylor
                              > > the entire fourth quarter.
                              > >
                              > > One interesting thing with a study like this is the chicken vs. egg
                              > > question -- if we show he plays just as well with more minutes, does
                              > > that mean that it's a genuine fact, or does it mean that Van Gundy
                              > > doesn't play him a lot of minutes if he sees that Yao is playing like
                              > > crap?
                              > >
                              >
                              > I believe Van Gundy has been quoted as saying that he was limiting Yao's
                              > minutes for physical reasons. That is, he wants to limit Yao's exposure to
                              > potential injury. I don't really think that Yao's conditioning is in
                              > question, considering how many minutes he played last season between his
                              NBA
                              > games and his off-season commitment to the national team.
                              >
                              > I began a study of this a couple of months ago, but didn't get far. Here's
                              > what I have:
                              >
                              > | YAO'S MINUTES | ROCKET's LEAD
                              > GAME | 1 2 3 4 OT | 1 2 3 4 OT
                              > -----|---------------------------------------------------
                              > 1 | 9 5 3 3 | 2 6 12 17
                              > 2 | 8 12 8 8 | -9 -1 5 -8
                              > 3 | 8 10 11 0 | -7 -20 -29 -32
                              > 4 | 9 10 9 8 | 1 -7 -5 11
                              > 5 | 10 7 12 5 | 3 6 6 10
                              > 6 | 12 3 7 10 | 0 7 9 20
                              > 7 | 12 5 9 5 | -2 -6 -10 -11
                              > 8 | 9 6 12 9 | 3 -6 -1 5
                              > 9 | 8 10 9 12 10 | -8 -3 2 0 -4
                              > 10 | 7 12 7 12 | 3 10 10 8
                              > 11 | 7 7 9 12 | 3 4 -1 2
                              > 12 | 8 10 9 10 | 11 -3 -7 -7
                              > 13 | 10 7 10 4 | 4 14 7 15
                              >
                              > AVG 9.0 8.0 8.8 7.5 0.3 0.1 -0.2 2.3
                              >
                              > The numbers in the Yao's Minutes columns represent the number of minutes
                              he
                              > played in each quarter. The Rockets Lead numbers are their lead at the end
                              > of each quarter (a negative number would be a Rockets deficit).
                              >
                              > There's not much to look at there, but you can see that in games where the
                              > score difference is 5 or less points, Yao plays about 10 minutes in the
                              4th.
                              > When the lead is more than 5, he plays 6 minutes in the 4th.
                              >

                              Er, here I am referring to the score difference at the end of 3 quarters,
                              which I took to be indicative of the closeness of the game.

                              ed
                            • McKibbin, Stuart
                              ... From: edkupfer@rogers.com Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 1:35 PM To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com; edkupfer@rogers.com Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] Re:
                              Message 14 of 15 , Feb 6, 2004
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                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: edkupfer@...
                                Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 1:35 PM
                                To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com; edkupfer@...
                                Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: Yao's Conditioning?
                                I believe Van Gundy has been quoted as saying that he was limiting Yao's
                                minutes for physical reasons. That is, he wants to limit Yao's exposure to
                                potential injury. I don't really think that Yao's conditioning is in
                                question, considering how many minutes he played last season between his NBA
                                games and his off-season commitment to the national team.

                                ed

                                Well, I question his conditioning because I've seen games where the guy can
                                barely make it up the floor. Especially faster paced games. He's slow to
                                begin with and being tired makes him run about as fast as the Great Wall.
                                Obviously, if Yao doesn't get back quickly the defense is weaker, so Van
                                Gundy is forced to play him fewer minutes. Anyway, that's what I've seen
                                with my own two eyeballs, but Ed's and Kevin's tracking of his minutes and
                                production directly contradict me.
                                Stuart
                              • Michael Tamada
                                There s strong support for a conventional story in those stats: close game at end of 3rd quarter == big 4th quarter minutes for Yao blowout game at end of
                                Message 15 of 15 , Feb 6, 2004
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                                  There's strong support for a conventional story in those stats:

                                  close game at end of 3rd quarter ==> big 4th quarter minutes for Yao
                                  blowout game at end of 3rd quarter ==> small 4th quarter minutes for Yao

                                  I took the absolute value of the 3rd quarter lead/deficit, and regressed Yao's 4th quarter minutes against that. Even with only 13 observations, the regression statistics support the conventional hypothesis (indeed, as Ed points out, simply eyeballing the numbers, this jumps out at you).

                                  The regression equation is

                                  4th qtr mins = 10.55 - .38*abs(lead)

                                  i.e. for every point by which Houston's lead or deficit grows, Yao's minutes diminish by .38 minutes. With a 28 point lead or deficit, we'd expect Yao to play 0 minutes (and lo and behold, in Game 3 Houston had a 29 point deficit and Yao sat).

                                  The t-statistic on the estimated coefficient of -.38 is -3.31, with a significance level of p = 0.7%, i.e. significant at better than the 1% level. Pretty good for a sample size of 13. The adjusted r-squared from the regression is .45.


                                  This regression benefits from what might be aguably a statistical outlier, that 29-point Game 3 blowout. If we leave that out of the regression, the coefficient estimate stays at around the same value, -.43, but the adjusted r-squared falls to .16 and the t-statistic is -1.77, significant at only the p = 10.7% level.

                                  So Game 3 probably makes these results look overly conclusive. On the other hand, it is almost certainly too drastic to literally throw out Game 3, a baby-with-the-bathwater move. Game 3 does provide support for the notion that big leads cause small minutes for Yao, so to totally ignore Game 3 is not a wise course.

                                  The regression might be further strengthened by correcting for censoring; it's physically impossible for Yao to play more than 12 minutes in the 4th quarter, and the data around the regression line thus hit a ceiling and flatten out at 12 minutes, making the estimated regression line probably flatter than it should be. And thus our estimates will be a little too low and seemingly lacking in significance.


                                  Of course, none of this explains the original question, about why Yao's total minutes are so low. Many other superstars probably get similar 4th quarter treatment (sit during a blowout, play during a close game); why do their minutes per game exceed Yao's by so much?


                                  --MKT


                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: igor eduardo küpfer [mailto:edkupfer@...]
                                  Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 1:35 PM

                                  I began a study of this a couple of months ago, but didn't get far. Here's
                                  what I have:

                                  | YAO'S MINUTES | ROCKET's LEAD
                                  GAME | 1 2 3 4 OT | 1 2 3 4 OT
                                  -----|---------------------------------------------------
                                  1 | 9 5 3 3 | 2 6 12 17
                                  2 | 8 12 8 8 | -9 -1 5 -8
                                  3 | 8 10 11 0 | -7 -20 -29 -32
                                  4 | 9 10 9 8 | 1 -7 -5 11
                                  5 | 10 7 12 5 | 3 6 6 10
                                  6 | 12 3 7 10 | 0 7 9 20
                                  7 | 12 5 9 5 | -2 -6 -10 -11
                                  8 | 9 6 12 9 | 3 -6 -1 5
                                  9 | 8 10 9 12 10 | -8 -3 2 0 -4
                                  10 | 7 12 7 12 | 3 10 10 8
                                  11 | 7 7 9 12 | 3 4 -1 2
                                  12 | 8 10 9 10 | 11 -3 -7 -7
                                  13 | 10 7 10 4 | 4 14 7 15

                                  AVG 9.0 8.0 8.8 7.5 0.3 0.1 -0.2 2.3

                                  The numbers in the Yao's Minutes columns represent the number of minutes he
                                  played in each quarter. The Rockets Lead numbers are their lead at the end
                                  of each quarter (a negative number would be a Rockets deficit).

                                  There's not much to look at there, but you can see that in games where the
                                  score difference is 5 or less points, Yao plays about 10 minutes in the 4th.
                                  When the lead is more than 5, he plays 6 minutes in the 4th.

                                  ed




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