A China Daily poll indicated that 53% of Chinese hoops fans approved of new Rockets coach Rick Adelman, and just over a third regretted the ouster of defensive guru Jeff Van Gundy. Thanks to all-star center Yao Ming, the Rockets have the close scrutiny of perhaps the world's largest basketball fan base—over 300 million Chinese play.
Adelman, who has been to the playoffs 14 times in 16 seasons, contends his tactics and philosophy will make scoring easier for Yao and star swingman Tracy McGrady. Said a Beijing fan, "Yao Ming's agility got worse under the old coach. But Adelman will improve this and help his decision making."