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Houston players conduct players-only meeting hoping to stop slide

James Harden

James Harden


As has been mentioned more than a couple of times at PBT recently, Houston is just terrible so far this young season. It’s not just the 4-7 record, or the terrible defense, or the unimpressive play of James Harden and Ty Lawson, watch their body language and it looks like there is something bigger going on with the Rockets.

Will a players-only meeting fix that?

The team had one on Tuesday, as reported by Calvin Watkins at ESPN and Jonathan Feigen at the Houston Chronicle.

While certain details of the meeting weren’t revealed, communication and getting everything off people’s chest were some of the talking points.

“What happens in the room, stays in the room,” center Dwight Howard said following practice. “It was good for us to sit down and talk but it’s a long season and you can’t get caught up in losing a couple of games and getting upset and so frustrated and feel like it’s the end of the world. It is embarrassing. We hate to lose but at the same time we have a long season and we can’t think negative when we lose. We have to try and find the positive in any situation. You keep thinking negative, then negative things will continue to happen to you. You got to stay positive and fight through it. All this stuff will build our character.”

“It was a good talk for us,” Harden said. “We hadn’t had an opportunity to communicate like that since the season had been going. It was good for us to communicate and each guy basically said what their role was and every single night they’re going to contribute to that role. After the talk we had a really good practice, guys communicated we worked hard and now it’s about carrying it over. It’s about doing it on the floor.”

We will see if this helps, players-only meetings rarely yield any long-term results of note.

Still, the Rockets players and coaches need to do something — Kevin McHale talked after Monday’s loss about potentially tweaking the Rockets’ starting lineup, specifically breaking up the Harden/Lawson starting backcourt. The Rockets are -7.7 per 48 minutes when those two are on the court together, with the problems mostly coming on the defensive end. However, until Patrick Beverley is ready to return from his sprained ankle McHale may not have many options.

The Rockets next face the Trail Blazers on Wednesday.