Omer Asik has been one of the NBA's best defensive bigs though he struggles offensively still.

“In a lot of ways,” Tom Thibodeau said, “he is like Yao Ming.”

Yao was one of the most fluid offensive big men in history.

Thibodeau coached Asik during his first two seasons in the NBA and also was an assistant for part of Yao's career.

“Very, very bright,” Thibodeau said of Asik. “(Asik) has size, intelligence, great feet, drive and a willingness play for the team. He reacts quickly, anticipates, and he’s relentless. He’s a multiple effort guy. He’s a 7-footer, smart, driven. He will get better.”