Friday January 12, 2007 10:56 AM

Mail Time: Should Van Gundy stick with Alston?'s Damien Pierce opens his mailbag to answer fans' questions

Damien Pierce Staff Writer beat writer Damien Pierce opens up his mailbag each week to answer fans' questions.

So ask Pierce anything about the NBA or the Rockets. He’ll come up with an answer or an answer that sounds right. His answers, of course, are entirely his own opinion.

In this week's mailbag, fans want to know if the Rockets should stick with Rafer Alston through his shooting slump, if Tracy McGrady's scoring days will end when Yao Ming returns and what the hold up is with Kirk Snyder.

Pierce will be fielding questions again on Jan. 18, so send in your queries.

Rafer Alston has been struggling to consistently knock down open shots. Should Jeff Van Gundy consider taking him out of the starting lineup?
-- Josh Smith, Houston

레이퍼 앨스턴은 오픈샷에서 자꾸 놓쳐요. 제프 밴 건디는 앨스턴을 스타팅에서 빼주는 걸 고려하나요?
-- Josh Smith, Houston

Rafer Alston has indeed hit a cold spell, but I honestly don't think it's time to remove him from the starting lineup.

앨스턴이 부진하긴 하죠.그러나 나는 솔직히 앨스턴을 벤치로 보낼 때는 아니라고 생각해요.

The Rockets point guard is prone to having shooting streaks because he takes so many shots from beyond the arc. Besides leading the team in three-point attempts, Alston is taking about 48.7 percent of his shots from behind the three-point line. He's going to have runs where his shot isn't dropping and he was having one of those rough streaks before getting into a little bit of a rhythm against the Lakers on Wednesday.

앨스턴은 아크 바깥에서 많은 슛을 시도하기 때문에, 슈팅 기복이 심한 경향이 있죠. 게다가 팀내 어떤 선수들 보다 많은 3점을 던지고 있고, 자기 슛의 48.7%를 3점을 던지는 것으로 소비하는 중이죠.
레이커스 전에서 리듬을 찾기 전엔 아주 힘든 슬럼프를 겪고 있었습니다.

What would get Alston pulled from the lineup is if he allowed a shooting slump to effect his play in other areas.

만약 슈팅 슬럼프가 앨스턴의 다른 부문에서의 플레이에 영향을 미쳤다면 라인업에 설수 없었겠죠.

The Rockets are a better team when he is on the court. He does a good job of getting the team into its half-court game and he doesn't turn the ball over. As long as he doesn't allow his offense to affect other aspects of his game, Alston is needed to do all the other things required of a point guard.

로켓츠는 앨스턴이 코트에 있어야 됩니다. 하프 코트 게임에 능하고 볼을 다루는데 실수가 적습니다. 공격에서의 부진이 다른 면에 영향을 끼치는 만큼, 포인트가드로서 요구되는 모든 것들을 해야할 필요가 있습니다.

Alston's primary backup, John Lucas III, has been an efficient shooter and has played well in limited minutes, but he is still learning how to be a starting point guard. That makes Alston the Rockets' best option at point guard. He obviously needs to make more shots because he's going to continue to get to good, wide-open looks and Van Gundy isn't going to let him off the hook for missing drives in the lane. But the other things that he does shouldn't be discounted.

앨스턴의 주된 백업 선수인,존 루카스 III는 효과적인 슈터이고 제한된 시간안에서도 잘 플레이합니다.그러나 스타팅 포인트 가드가 되려면 여전히 배울것이 많습니다. 결국 앨스턴이 로켓츠 포인트 가드 자리에서 최고 옵션이 되는거죠.

Will Tracy McGrady keep racking up 30-point-plus games when Yao Ming returns to the lineup? Or will he change his game plan and feed the ball into Yao?
-- Philip Johnson

야오가 돌아온 후에도 티맥이 30+ 득점 페이스를 유지할까요? 아니면 게임 플랜을 바꿔서 야오에게 공을 집중시킬까요?
Philip Johnson

The Rockets have another month -- probably a little more than that -- before that becomes an issue. And, even then, there will be questions that have to be answered before determining that broad question.

로켓츠는 색다른 달을 보내고 있습니다. 그리고 의문이 생겼죠.

How will the Rockets be playing at that point? Will they be on a roll with Tracy McGrady leading the offense? And does Yao have the stamina to carry the offensive load right away after missing almost two months?

로켓츠는 득점력이 어떻게 유지 될것인가? 공격을 이끄는 티맥이 될까? 거의 2달을 손해본 야오가 체력을 유지하고 있을까?

Assuming that Yao comes back in MVP-form or gets back to that level sometime in March, I would assume McGrady and the rest of the Rockets are going to be feeding the ball to him again in heavy doses. He commands so much attention inside that he gets open looks for everyone else, including McGrady, and he's unstoppable when he's on a roll. McGrady realizes that and he'll defer to Yao. He'll do whatever gives the Rockets the best chance to win -- and right now, I'd say that would still be going inside to the big fella.

야오가 MVP포스로 복귀한다면, 티맥과 다른 동료들이 다시 야오에게 볼을 집중시키고 짐을 지우게 될거라고 봅니다. 인사이드에서 상대의 주의를 끌어주고 티맥을 포함한 오픈된 동료들에게 잘 연결해 줄수 있습니다. 야오를 막을수는 없죠. 티맥은 자신이 야오에게 (팀의 중심을) 미룰 것이라는 걸 알고 있죠. 야오가 인사이드에서 중심을 잡아주는 것이 로켓츠로서는 최고의 찬스입니다.

McGrady's scoring, therefore, will probably take a slight dip. However, since McGrady's confidence has grown over the past month and he's been consistently knocking down shots, I would suspect the guard will have more 30-point nights with Yao in March than he did with the center in November and December.

그래서 티맥의 득점력은 약간의 하락이 있을 겁니다.그러나 최근 티맥의 자신감은 높아졌고 슈팅력은 안정을 찾았습니다. 3월에 야오와 함께 한다고 해도 30+ 득점력을 기대할 수 있을겁니다.

When will Kirk Snyder play? Why did Jeff Van Gundy activate him if he's unable to play?
-- Damien Wiley, Houston

언제 커크 스나이더가 뛸 수 있을까요? 만약 뛸 수 있다면 밴 건디가 기용하지 않는 이유는 먼가요?
-- Damien Wiley, Houston

Kirk Snyder is healthy enough to play after missing six weeks with his broken right hand, but the status of his hand isn't what is keeping him out of the rotation.

오른손 골절 부상으로 6주를 잃은 후 돌아온 커크는 충분히 건강하지만, 손의 상태는 아직 로테이션에 들 정도는 아닙니다.

Van Gundy said Wednesday that Snyder didn't pick up the Rockets' offensive and defensive schemes right away since he is in his first season with the team and -- after missing six weeks -- the coach essentially said the guard needs a refresher course. Van Gundy said he won't play the guard until he's sure that Sndyer is on the same page with everyone else. I imagine that Snyder will end up getting a chance to work his way back into the rotation over the next week or two, especially since the team will have more practice time.

밴 건디는 지난 수요일 스나이더가 팀에 온 첫시즌에 불과하기 때문에 - 거기다 6주를 부상으로 쉬었죠. - 로켓츠의 시스템에 녹아들지 않았다고 말했습니다.  그리고 필수적으로 재교육이 필요하다고 말했습니다.  또한 스나이더가 확신이 들때 까지 플레이 할수 없을 것이고 스나이더도 이에 대해 동의했다고 밴 건디는 얘기했습니다. 저는 스나이더가 좀 더 연습시간을 가진 후인,다음 주 혹은 그다음주가 지나서는 결국 로테이션에서 기회를 잡을 것이라고 생각합니다.

So why not just wait and activate him when he's completely ready? Well, what's the point of that? The Rockets have three other inactive players -- Yao Ming, Bonzi Wells and Bob Sura -- on their 15-man roster, so he's not taking anyone's spot.

왜 스나이더가 좀더 완벽해 질때 까지 기다리지 않냐구요? 자  이 문제의 초점은 로켓츠는 15인 로스터에 3명의 인액티브 선수들이 있습니다. - 야오,반지,수라 - 그래서 일단 스나이더는 로스터에 있어야 하겠죠.

I am really getting excited with the team and Tracy McGrady's play of late, but where is Bonzi Wells? What is holding him out of the lineup and when can we expect Bonzi, Tracy and Yao on the court together?
-- Jamie Harvey, Houston

저는 티맥과 우리 팀의 최근 플레이에 완전 흥분했어요, 하지만 반지는 어디갔나요? 왜 라인업에 빠졌는지, 언제 즈음 반지,티맥,야오가 다 함께 뛸 수 있을 까요?
Jamie Harvey, Houston

The Bonzi Watch continues in the mailbag. Wells has missed the past seven games with a sore lower back, but his return at least sounds imminent. After receiving an anti-inflammatory injection for his back last week, Wells passed on getting another shot for his back this week and instead tagged along with Tracy McGrady to Waco Tuesday to visit the back specialist who's been helping the Rockets star.

반지 이야기는 끊임없이 나오네요. 웰스는  등 문제로 7게임을 결장했지만, 웰스의 컴백은 곧 일어날 걸로 봅니다. 지난주 등 부상에 대해 항-염증 주사를 맞은 후, 티맥과 함께 티맥의 등을 치료하는데 도왔던 등 전문가를 만났습니다.

The trip was apparently worth it.

그 만남은 잘된 것 같아요.

Wells reported to the media Wednesday that his back felt significantly better after making the trip. He didn't practice with the team, but he did work up a sweat working out even though he kidded that he had only dumped a bucket of water on himself.

웰스는 수요일날 미디어에 만남 이후에 등이 괜찮아 진 것 같다고 말했습니다. 아직 팀과 연습하진 않았고 물을 뒤집어 쓴거 같다며 농담하긴 했지만, 기분 좋은 연습이었다고 말했습니다.

The Rockets guard claimed he might be available this weekend. But we'll see how quickly he actually gets back in the rotation since Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy probably won't rush him back on the floor.

주말에 뛸 수 있을 것이라고 말하긴 했지만, 로테이션에 다시 돌아오기엔 아직 이른듯 보입니다.

Could you use the term "clutch" for Luther Head? It always seems like he makes the shots down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
-- Aaron M., Houston

루서 헤드에게 "클러치"라는 말을 쓸 수 있었나요?  헤드는 항상 4쿼터에 슛을 성공시키는 것 같아요.
Aaron M., Houston

Luther Head is certainly gaining that reputation. Heck, even Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said earlier this season that Head has become "without question our most clutch shooter." And that, Aaron, was before the Rockets were dealing with injuries to Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.

헤드는 확실히 그러한 평판을 얻어가는 중이에요. 밴 건디 조차도 헤드가 "팀내 최고 클러치 슈터라는데 의문의 여지가 없는 선수"가 되었다고 말했습니다.

Head is gaining such praise, as you've mentioned, because he is knocking down big shots in crunch time. He is shooting a remarkable 50 percent from the field in the fourth quarter and is hitting 47.9 percent of shots in that same period from beyond the arc. Not bad.

헤드는 크런치 타임에 빅샷을 성공시켰기에 여러분의 말과 같은,그런 칭찬을 받아왔습니다. 헤드는 4쿼터에 필드골성공률이 50%나 되고, 3점성공률은 47.9%나 됩니다.

The guard's laid-back demeanor is a big reason why he's been so successful in those situations. Head said that he doesn't put any more importance on a fourth-quarter attempt than he would on a shot that he takes in the first quarter. Therefore, he doesn't put any extra pressure on himself to make shots when the game is on the line. That really is a trait that makes clutch shooters.

헤드의 느긋한 태도는 그러한 상황에서도 슛을 성공시키는 주요한 이유가 되었습니다. 헤드는 4쿼터에서의 슛시도가 1쿼터에서의 슛 보다 중요하지 않다고 말했습니다. 그래서, 어떤 압력도 헤드를 압박할 수 없는 거겠죠. 정말 클러치 슈터로 있게하는 특징이죠.

With that said, let's not forget why Head is getting these shots. NBA teams are well aware that he is seventh in the league in three-point field goal percentage and has a knack for hitting open shots in the closing minutes. But -- when the game is on the line -- Houston's opponents are forced to double McGrady when he's driving to the basket. That has more often than not left Head with a wide-open look on the perimeter. To his credit, Head is knocking them down -- and becoming known for doing it.

자 헤드가 강심장인 이유를 잊지마세요. NBA팀들은 헤드가 리그에서 7번째로 정확한 3점슈터이자 클로징 타임에 오픈 샷을 만들수 있는 선수라는 걸 깨닫고 있습니다. 그러나 휴스턴의 상대팀들은
티맥을 더블팀으로 압박하죠. 그러면 헤드에겐 오픈 찬스가 더많이 생기게 되고 헤드는 상대팀들을 녹다운시킵니다.

Head might not maintain that shooting pace over time, but he clearly doesn't mind taking big shots.

헤드가 더이상 슈팅 페이스를 유지할 수 없을지도 모르지만, 헤드는 빅샷을 던지는 데 전혀 주저하지 않아요.

Posted by Third Eye