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Doug Collins on Yi Jianlian - China vs. Germany

Doug Colllins is the NBC Sports analyst for Olympic Basketball. On Saturday, he called the China-Germany game with Mike Breen. Here is a selection of his comments on the play of Nets’ forward, Yi Jianlian.

(Yi forces Dirk Nowitzki into a bad shot)

Breen: I haven't said this often, but I'm impressed with Yi Jianlian's defense.

Collins: He has the capability, Mike. That's why I was critical early in the tournament because I didn't think he was playing up to his potential. This guy is top six pick in the NBA--tall, he can run, he can shoot the ball (but) he goes through stretches where you don't even know he's on the floor.

(Yi hits a shot)

Collins: Yi has a beautiful shot. If he will get in the gym and really work and get in great, great shape, he can be a very good player because he all the the tools. His shot is very sound.

Breen: If he gets the work ethic of Yao Ming, he'll be a great player.

Collins: He'll be a terrific player.

Breen: That's a big if, though.

Collins: Exactly.

(Yi forces Nowitzki into a block by Sun Yue)

Breen: Yi Jianlian, he's been solid, he's done a good job defensively and on the boards. Yi Jianlian has taken the task of guarding Dirk Nowitizki. Nowitzki 3-of-11 from the field.

Collins: Actually, Yi did a nice job. He forced Nowitzki to spin and when did, Sun Yue was there with the nice team defense.

(Yi gets fouled by Nowitzki, goes to the line)

Breen: We talk about Yi Jianlian and how he has to prove--We have to keep reminding ourselves he is only 20 years old. Remember, we saw him in Athens when he was 16. There's always been a dispute about whether that's his real age, but that's what they say.

Collins: I think that the big thing is not his age, but his commitment, how hard he wants to work. It doesn't matter how old you are, it's how hard you work.

(Yi loses ball on drive to the basket)

Collins: That quick first step...the young guy has a strong body. He's an excellent leaper.

Breen: Yi Jianlian. He's only 2-for-6 from the field. He's played a good solid game. He's rebounded well, he's had a couple of steals, a couple of blocks. You've seen a more aggressive performance from him here than in some of the others we've watched.

Collins: He could be an excellent defender. You've seen he's done a nice job on Dirk Nowitizki tonight. He's got out to the three point line and challenged his shot.

(Yi forces Nowitzki into a turnover on a fast break.)

Collins: How aggressive was that though. Jianlian was underneath the basket and Dirk Nowitzki leaked out on the break. He was a good three strides behind him and forced a turnover. So he didn't give up on the play.

(Yi makes the crucial shot with 28 seconds in the game)

Collins: Look at Yao Ming with Yi Jianlian!! This is what he wants to see from this young guy, from this kid with so much talent--steps up under pressure, knocks down a big shot.

Breen: A thunderous ovation from the crowd.