Houston Rockets fans everywhere should be sending "thank you" cards to China's head coach Kazlauskas for knowing who his players are and when to use them. I can think of plenty of crappy coaches that might force a big name on to the court during a blowout, just to make his team look a little better. Yao is not someone you just throw out on the court. Minutes on the floor are a huge deal to Yao's body.
“If we had been able to catch them at the beginning (of the game) and stayed close then, for sure, Yao Ming should play a long time,” said China’s head coach Jonas Kazlauskas. “But this was not a game, not a time, to have him on the court."
“For sure, Yao is a fighter. He wants to play. But he is player. I am coach. I am the guy who makes decisions.”
“For four games in this tournament, we played good, Kazlauskas said. “Maybe it was the first time in Chinese basketball history that we play four games in a row so good."
“Maybe we were tired today. But this is professional basketball and we were not ready for this.”