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Notes: Hayes becomes a proud father before game


McGrady willing to accept defensive challenge, Yao draws Boozer in Game 1

 


Damien Pierce
Rockets.com Staff Writer

HOUSTON --
Chuck Hayes couldn't put the experience into his words.

No, he wasn't struggling to describe the first playoff victory of his career.

Hayes was actually still overwhelmed with become a father hours before the Rockets' series-opening win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.

The Rockets forward was excused from the team's pregame shootaround so that he could be present for the birth of his son, Dorian Titus Hayes.

"It's a wonderful experience," Hayes said. "I can't wait to see my baby boy after the game."

Hayes was at Memorial Hermann with his girlfriend Nicole Anderson when she gave birth to the baby boy. He weighed six pounds, seven ounces.

Hayes said there was some concern heading into the birth because Dorian arrived a month earlier than expected.

"He's doing good," Hayes said.

Hayes returned from his trip to the hospital in time to start in Game 1 of the Rockets' first round series. He had four points and nine rebounds.

Willing to do it all: During his last trip to the NBA playoffs in 2005, Tracy McGrady accepted the challenge of trying to stop Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki.

McGrady is once again willing to accept any defensive assignment heading into his latest playoff series.

"Whatever it takes," McGrady said. "That's when you got to sacrifice. Even if it's guarding guys that are a lot stronger or quicker than you are. You just got to do whatever it takes to win a ball game. And thats what I'm willing to do. I guarded Nowitzki in the playoffs two years ago and that was a tough challenge."

Which Jazz player could he end up guarding if needed? McGrady offered one possibility: Deron Williams.

McGrady covered Utah's point guard in some situations on Saturday night.

"I'll lay it all out on the line and do my best," McGrady said. "There might be a possibility that I’m guarding a guy like Deron Williams. So we’ll see.
"

Defensive Adjustment: Yao Ming should be seeing plenty of Carlos Boozer in the Rockets' first round series against the Jazz.

The Rockets big man opened Saturday's game defending Utah's leading scorer with Chuck Hayes drawing Jazz center Mehmet Okur.

Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy expects to stick with those defensive assignments over the course of the series.

"That's what we've got to do," Van Gundy said. "We don't want Yao out there at the three-point line with Okur."