The NBA season starts tonight… and Chuck is going to be replacing the 7’6″ Yao Ming as starting center for the Houston Rockets.
Despite his height disadvantage, Hayes is key to the Rockets defense. Hence, Jason Friedman dubbing him the Stealth MVP of the Rockets this season
Thus, we return to the tale of Hayes, a player who cannot be properly defined by the numbers which inhabit a traditional box score. His career averages of 3.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game don’t exactly leap off the page. Dig deeper, however, and you begin to see why the Rockets hold him in such high regard. A small snapshot such as Hayes’ team-leading plus/minus during Houston’s second-round series against the Lakers offers a glimpse into his value. But the big picture view is just as impressive: last year Hayes saved the Rockets approximately 6 points per game with his defense relative to that of an average player at his position. For reference, that number was good enough to place him in the top-10 of all players, regardless of position, in the NBA.
But toss aside those numbers for a moment and simply watch the 6-6, 238 pound Hayes play. See how he’s so rarely caught out of position. Watch the deft quickness of his feet and the way he uses his strength and low center of gravity to turn the tables on bigger opponents so that suddenly, against all odds, their advantage has somehow become his. Marvel at his uncanny ability to defend the pick-and-roll to near perfection. This, then, is no player who’s simply benefitting and being propped up by a bunch of statistical tricks. Hayes is a player providing your eyes with ample proof of his legitimacy nearly every second he spends on the floor; especially at the defensive end.
Check out the rest of the article on Rockets.com
The big guy in the red or the little girl in the bed?
Great little tear jerker from Jerome Solomon on Chron.com
Makayla Henson was excited at the prospect of seeing a Houston Rocket.
Not just any Rocket. Her favorite — Chuck Hayes.
On Friday, she waited for him around the lobby on the 12th floor of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital as long as she could before tiring. Plus, it was time to get her bandages changed.
A week and a half after being burned in a frightful accident, Makayla isn’t yet back to full strength, but she wanted to be up to see someone she had seen only on TV.
Forced to return to her room, she was deflated. The tough kid has been having some tough days of late.
But her tears quickly dried up a little later when the hulking Rocket dipped his head and walked into her room along with team CEO Tad Brown.
It was a special visit. Read the rest of this entry →
… despite his height!
Check out this video of one – really long – possession against Boston.
He’s just like a wall of granite in there… pure stubborness keeping KG out of the lane.
Boston owned a 31-22 advantage heading to the second quarter.But the Rockets turned the tables over the course of the next twelve minutes. Sparked in part by Chuck Hayes’ incredible defensive effort against Garnett, Houston’s D finally came to life and, as an added bonus, its offense went into peak efficiency mode, too.
Hayes, despite giving up at least five inches to KG, went toe-to-toe with the Celtics’ superstar, harassing him to such an extent that the previously scorching Garnett missed three consecutive shots with Hayes guarding him.
“You’ve got to give it to Chuck Hayes,” said Adelman. “I mean he came in that second quarter and he just battled Garnett when he really had it going, and I can’t give Chuck enough credit. He hasn’t been playing and he just took on the challenge and he kind of set the tone in that first half for us.”
November 8, 2008 in Injuries
Chuck played some incredible man to man defense in the second half of the Portland game on Aldridge (his help defense was pretty good too) The shoulder injury wasn’t enough to keep him out though.
On his shoulder
Rockets forward Chuck Hayes returned to the Rockets rotation on Friday, a day after his left shoulder briefly popped out of the socket as he picked up his sixth foul defending LaMarcus Aldridge.
Hayes has had problems with that shoulder since playing high school football and suffered the same injury during a training camp practice when reaching in to defend Joey Dorsey.
“When I retire and get old, I’m pretty sure there is going to be a lot of pain,” Hayes said. “I’ve had this since I was 16. It’s not really an injury. It’s just wear and tear, I guess.
“It doesn’t hurt so much when it pops out. When it pops back in, it really hurts. I drop my shoulder, and it goes back in. It will sting for a few hours, but then I do the exercises and get the treatment and it will be fine.”
October 20, 2008 in Quotes
Jason at Rockets.com talked to the creator of the ESPN Trade Machine and now Rockets employee Sachin Gupta who in the course of the interview talked about players who are undervalued.
Chuck was one of them.
“Though my work is mostly objective and doesn’t involve me giving my own personal opinion, Daryl and [Vice President of basketball operations] Sam Hinkie are both very open to hearing what I think. I think they like the fact that I bring a different perspective to the group, even though I may not be right. Daryl and Sam are both very open-minded and they want to make the best decisions possible regardless of who comes up with the ideas. Especially since I got to know the trade and salary cap rules pretty well while building the trade machine, they listen to my ideas about trades and free agency, and respect my opinion about players who I think may be undervalued.”
And precisely what type of player is undervalued?
“Chuck Hayes has always been one of those guys,” says Gupta. “A lot of things just can’t be measured in the box score stats. So one thing that we like to do is measure a player’s impact by seeing how the team performs when he’s on the floor versus when he’s off the floor. And Chuck is always a guy who, when he’s on the floor, the team just wins. He may not have a direct impact by putting up big points, but when he’s on the floor our defense is better and he makes the hustle plays that help us win games.”
“In general, defense is what’s not captured in the box score, so defensive players are probably the ones who are most underrated in the league.”
September 19, 2008 in Injuries
Chuck Hayes has been back at the Toyota Center practice facility taking part in non-contact drills since last week. Today, the Rockets’ power forward was fitted for a facemask to protect the broken nose he suffered on August 28th. He’ll have to wear the Rip Hamilton Shnozeroo for an indefinite period of time once he returns to full-contact situations.
Thanks to Jason for the update!