I've been reading a lot of comments by people who are mad about Yao just standing in the key on defense. It bothers me too, but unfortunately he's playing by the rules. Here's the relevant section of the rulebook:
Section VIII-Defensive Three-Second Rule:
a. The count starts when the offensive team is in control of the ball in the front-court.
b. Any defensive player, who is positioned in the 16-foot lane or the area extending 4 feet past the lane endline, must be actively guarding an opponent within three seconds. Actively guarding means being within arms length of an offensive player and in a guarding position.
c. Any defensive player may play any offensive player. The defenders may double-team any player.
d. The defensive three-second count is suspended when: (1) there is a field goal attempt, (2) there is a loss of team control, (3) the defender is actively guarding an opponent or (4) the defender completely clears the 16-foot lane.
e. If the defender is guarding the player with the ball, he may be located in the 16-foot lane. This defender is not required to be in an actively guarding/arms dis-tance position. If another defender actively guards the player with the ball, the original defender must actively guard an opponent or exit the 16-foot lane. Once the offensive player passes the ball, the defender must actively guard an opponent or exit the 16-foot lane.
PENALTY: A technical foul shall be assessed. The offensive team retains pos-session at the free throw line extended. The shot clock shall remain the same as when play was interrupted or reset to 14 seconds, whichever is greater.
Yao can stay in the lane so long because he constantly reaches out to touch Portland players, thus putting him "within arm’s length of an offensive player." Watch him next game and you’ll see.
That’s why Pryzbilla said this before game 1:
"On defense he’s so big. With him, he’s always in the paint because he’s so big, he can always touch someone to keep from getting a defensive 3-seconds call. He’s always there. You try to take him out of the paint by doing a lot of screen and rolls, getting him moving, wear him down, things like that. Try and wear him down, run him up and down the court."
Anyway, just thought I'd post this, since I see a bunch of people getting mad about it. I do think the rule is somewhat lame, but it is what it is. We just have to play the game and beat them anyway.