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Yao Ming Not Playing Against Warriors Tonight

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Yao Ming is being eased back into the Rockets rotation, but is on a strict minute count that’ll limit his participation through most of the regular season (24 minutes, no more than that). Was it much of a coincidence that he played 23 minutes and fouled out only seconds before he'd have been pulled out on opening night against the Los Angeles Lakers?

Another limit on his return his unavailability for back-to-back games. Which means he will probably be in street clothes on Wednesday. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.

With the Rockets set to open the season with a back-to-back, coach Rick Adelman laid to rest any doubts about Yao Ming’s availability, saying he expects his center to play opening night against the Lakers. Yao, available for just one game in back-to-backs, would then sit out Wednesday’s game at Golden State.

He probably won’t be missed, since Golden State is still a very small team and Brad Miller, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes should give Andris Biedrins and David Lee plenty of trouble on both sides of the ball. It’s too bad because of the Bay Area’s huge Asian demographic, which will now have to turn their eyes longingly to the end of the Warrior bench and hope Keith Smart calls Jeremy Lin’s number. Hint: Don’t expect to see him.