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Ty Lawson calls for players only meeting

A lack of energy and focus prompts the Rockets to hold a players-only meeting set up by one if its newest members.

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The Rockets got together for a players only pow-wow today in an effort to build communication and chemistry, as reported by Calvin Watkins at ESPN.

After their fourth consecutive lopsided defeat, it was newcomer Ty Lawson who pushed for and got the meeting, as he told Watkins:

"We brought everything up in the meeting. Everything turned out well. We got open feelings and communication. I feel like we're on the same page now."

The Rockets obviously have not all been on the same page, but it sounds like there may have been some behind-the-scenes things going on as well which may have been contributing to the obvious lack of on-court chemistry, though the comments are certainly open for interpretation.

Dwight Howard wasn't giving anything away either, telling Watkins:

"What happens in the room, stays in the room. 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 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 to 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 though it. All this stuff builds character."

But, as coach Kevin McHale mentioned earlier this week, "talking doesn't win basketball games." If the Rockets are to break out of a disappointing season-opening funk, they're going to need to start hitting the floor with more energy, enthusiasm, passion, and they'll need to step up their play on defense.

When your shot isn't falling- and the Rockets are shooting poorly (just 42.3 percent from the field as a team and just 29.4 percent from three)-- what a team does have control over is its collective effort, and by extension, its defense, which is largely itself an exercise in desire and effort.

Play defense with passion, and it's likely to lead to stops and/or turnovers, which in turn leads to more open shots and layups, which in turn leads to better shooting percentages, more points, and ultimately, more wins.

When a team believes in each other, they're more likely to play with that passion, and hopefully, this meeting without the head honchos around goes a long way to re-establishing the belief (it's not going to happen instantly).

James Harden seems to think so. He told Watkins:

"It was a good talk for us. 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."

Yes, the final component; getting it done on the floor. It does the Rockets no good to visualize, if they can't follow it up with a Boucher-esque attack. We know this team has talent. That's never been the issue. Putting it all together has, and that falls on the mental and the emotional.

The next chance to play with passion comes Wednesday night at home against the Portland Trail Blazers.