Bucks' Yi Jianlian flops in debut, says he's got to break bad habits Print
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Wednesday, 10 October 2007 05:05
NBA Headline News

 LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -Rookie Yi Jianlian will have to adjust to the pace and physicality of the NBA.
The 6-foot-11 power forward from China struggled in his debut with Milwaukee, fouling out after 16 minutes and scoring three points in the Bucks' 93-88 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
The sixth overall pick in the draft couldn't handle the energetic Joakim Noah, who scored six points with four rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes
``The rules of FIBA and the rules of NBA are different, it takes time for me to deal with this through more training,'' Yi said.
There's been a circus atmosphere around Yi since he arrived to a throng of fans in Chicago last week. General manager Larry Harris said he's been astonished by the reaction so far.
``One of the things we talked about going into camp before Yi coming here was that the magnitude of this excitement and the intrigue of the player, you can't really understand it until you go through it,'' Harris said. ``Our players are adjusting to it well and they've been very supportive. I think even Yi's amazed.''
Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said Yi will adjust, and he's about on par with every other rookie coming into the league. But Krystkowiak said Yi does have one advantage over his draft class because he played a number of important games with Team China.
``(In) college, sometimes you get yourself in trouble because you play one or two games a week. That's not been the case with him, so he's well-seasoned,'' Krystkowiak said. ``I don't see him being the typical rookie, personally. Do I want to set the bar so high for him that he fails? No, but I think he's played an awful lot of basketball. He's mature.''
Noah shunned the Bucks by declining offers to work out for the team before the draft, and was selected by the Bulls at No. 9.
Noah, who led Florida to back-to-back titles in college, was just as intense as he had been in his final game with the Gators when he entered late in the first quarter. He opened with a slam and blocked Andrew Bogut's shot on the ensuing possession.
``As a rookie, you've just got to learn from your experiences and get better,'' Noah said. ``I think that he's a good guy, and he's got a lot of learning to do. I know I've got a lot of learning to do. I don't think he's satisfied with his performance or the way he played, but I think that should go for every rookie.''
Yi, who came in with 59 seconds to play in the first quarter to a raucous ovation and chants of ``EE!'' from the 6,118 fans at the sold out former CBA venue, got called for three quick fouls in four minutes.
Yi also had a problem with foul trouble in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and recognized the amount of work left before Milwaukee's season opener Oct. 31 at Orlando.
``As a rookie player in my first season, there aren't just one or two points I need to work on. There are quite a lot,'' Yi said. ``Lots of my old habits I need to change.''
Krystkowiak, who played nine seasons for six teams as a power forward in the NBA, said it will take time for Yi to learn, especially on defense, but said he's encouraged by how quickly Yi picks things up.
``He's probably with everybody else,'' Krystkowiak said. ``Not very good at this point, we've got a lot of work to do.''
 

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