James Harden called for 2-hour practice before win over Blazers
The Houston Rockets bounced back from a tough spell after losing three games in a row on the road, only to bounce back against the Portland Trail Blazers in hopes to right the ship. James Harden was perhaps the catalyst in a change of attitude, which could potentially turn out to be the turning point for this team moving forward.
According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, head coach Mike D’Antoni had lined up his team at center court and indicated that he wanted to shorten practice, given the length of time they had already spent in an extended film session and team meeting, but Harden interjected.
“Two hours!” Harden shouted, ready to put him and his teammates through the wringer.
The practice paid off, as the second unit had a refreshing contribution after ranking dead-last in the league, hovering right above 15 points per game.
The Rockets put up a combined 37, including three of their four bench cogs putting up double figures.
Houston is scratching for solutions, as their 12-14 record has them 14th in the rigorous Western Conference, despite being separated by a nine-game margin from the last-place Phoenix Suns.
The West boasts two teams with a .500 or better mark that are currently out of the playoffs (the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs), making this race for a playoff spot all the more difficult in what has already proven to be a test of the Rockets’ mettle through 26 games.
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