Rockets adjusting to injury

The Houston Chronicle (Jonathan Feigen) reports: Tracy McGrady practiced. Yao Ming did not. Yao, battling a cold, will play. McGrady might. Brent Barry, who also practiced for the first time in weeks, probably will not play. Shane Battier will play, but it’s not clear how much. Ron Artest did not practice and will not play. Other than that, things are falling right into place… If McGrady returns and starts tonight against Golden State in Oakland, Calif., the Rockets likely will have their seventh starting lineup in 23 games. This season, Shane Battier has missed 15 games, McGrady seven and Yao one. Artest has played hurt, missed one game and will be out the next two. Barry has missed eight games. As much as the Rockets have missed the players who have been hurt, they have lost chances to build continuity. They had seemed increasingly in sync, with far better balance and ball movement, when they played the Warriors last Friday, scoring 131 points, their most since 1995. But that was with Artest going from dribbling too much and looking to carry the offense against Indiana and Denver, to leading the improved offensive flow. Then he went out and things bogged down again. That has been the pattern of the season with a continuing series of changes, adjustments and improvements, only leading to more changes.

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