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Think positive, people. They can still win this

May 14th, 2009
by John

I’m finding some doom-and-gloom articles from Houston sportswriters, like this one where Jerome Solomon says:

The Rockets’ 2008-09 season died Saturday when, on the eve of Game 4 of their second-round series with the Lakers, doctors told Yao Ming he needs two months off to heal a broken foot.
That is why most of you expect to witness the Rockets’ burial tonight against the Lakers. Go ahead and admit it.

I’m all about ‘keeping it real,’ but this is no time for giving up on the Rockets now. That’s for losers!

Instead, what I like are articles that talk about how positive and loose the Rockets are. Just last week (May 6th), this article after the Rockets WON Game 1 gives you plenty of reason they can win tonight. Check out these quotes and think about how they fit so well for the Rockets after getting beaten by 40 points on Tuesday and as they get ready to play Game 6 tonight against the Lakers:

The mood of the team is the same way every day,” Ron Artest said. “It doesn’t change. It’s weird, because every other team I ever played for in the playoffs, guys, players or coaches, would change their whole attitude. They would become more focused or more edgy. This team, we play hard during the regular season. We play the same way in the playoffs.”

Where previous Rockets teams might have felt the pressure of the first-round struggles, the influence of Aaron Brooks, Kyle Lowry, Carl Landry, Wafer and White has brought an exuberance that does not change based on wins and losses.

“I think the guys we have, whether they win or lose, they come back the next day like it’s a new day,” Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. “That’s all we keep talking about. We’re going to try to learn from it, but other than that, forget about it. This team really does that. A lot comes from our leadership from guys like Shane who are always there talking to them. There is just a really even keel about this team.”

As much as has been made about the influence of the veterans, from Dikembe Mutombo when he returned to the team on New Year’s Eve to the determination of Battier and Yao Ming, the young half of the roster has kept things light at times, too.

“We’re just the same every day because that’s the mentality we have,” Lowry said. “We can’t change. You can’t get too up or too down and I think we do bring an enthusiasm. But we have great veteran guys who are calm and have been through the fire.”

In a season that was marked with turmoil, that enthusiasm might have gotten the Rockets through, and could be as useful through the issues that come in the postseason.

“We are a mature team in a lot of ways and at the same time, a very young team,” Battier said. “We have an enthusiasm in a lot of ways, guys who are happy to be in the NBA and appreciative. It’s refreshing. It’s been a fun year to be around guys who are happy people.

“We’re the same group today that we were the first day of training camp, the same group after wining the first round for the first time in 12 years. We have a pretty loose group. We’re happy to be out here, happy to be part of the playoffs, happy to win Game 1. But you wouldn’t know this was a second-round playoff team right now; we’re pretty loose.
“We’re a bunch of guys that once the lights come on, the popcorns popping, we give it our best. We haven’t gotten too high, too low all year long. That’s who we are.

Let’s defy the odds tonight, and then do it again on Sunday!

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