Found March 21, 2012 on Fox Sports Houston:
Fans Are a Part of the Action and Really HelpAfter the Rockets comeback win over the Lakers at Toyota Center Tuesday night the players were quick to point out the atmosphere and fan support really helped them in grabbing the win. We have heard that before, but Goran Dragic emphasized the help the fans gave the team when interviewed by Bart Enis on Fox Sports Houston after the game.There is nothing like fan support to get the adrenaline flowing when the legs are starting to get tired and minds weary as a team faces a team as good as the Lakers trailing by 17 points in the second half.Certainly it was the players and not anyone sitting in the stands that made the comeback turn into a 107-104 victory, but all that noise and support certainly helped.The Rockets, like many teams in the NBA, are not playing before full houses every night. Sometimes the atmosphere is hardly up beat. That is just life in professional sports. As in baseball there are a lot of games over a lot of nights. It wears down the fans just as it does the players.When the match up is right, however, it doesnt matter if it is a mid week game or not. The fans recognize something is special. On Tuesday night the players did to, thanks in large part to those fans.Everyone knows Koby Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol of the Lakers. They have been part of champions. Stars sell tickets. Most of the time stars win games. Sometimes they sell tickets but dont win. Tuesday was one of those.Few except Rocket loyalists know much about Courtney Lee or Goran Dragic. More know about them today. Attendance was up and no doubt so were TV ratings. Lee and Dragic starred in the Rocket win.Lee scored 23 points and Dragic added 16 including a big three pointer late in the contest that gave a Rockets a workable lead. He also passed for 13 assists. Pretty good for the two backups at their positions. Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin, the starters at the two guard spots, were out of the lineup with injury or illness.Rocket fans entered this season with a show me attitude. The club was bereft of established star players and while it might have been a contender to make the playoffs did not figure to be one of the best teams in the league. The team is still in the same place. While making the playoffs is still the goal it is to the teams credit they are in the hunt with all the injuries and mental anguish some players have had to deal with as a result of trade rumors or trades that did not go through. Now, with the trading deadline over the club will have stability down the stretch. Tuesdays win was a great way to start that stretch.Astros Need Some of the SameThe Astros are in that anguish stageat least the first of them as spring training winds down. Already last years starting catcher Humberto Quintero and one of last seasons best players, outfielder Jason Bourgeois, have been traded. A lefty pitcher and what is hoped will be a significant player to be named later are heading to Houston. But things are not done yet. More roster cuts and possibly more trades are in the future for the next two weeks.With a young club in which not much is expected nothing will be stable for many players. Todays starting (fill in the position) may be tomorrows trade bait. Until the Astros become a winning club and a contending club there will be a lot of change.The difference between the Rockets and Astros is that the Rockets by virtue of being in the NBA with far more playoff teams can make the post season by playing in the neighborhood of .500. The Astros, even with an extra wild card spot in play, will have to be considerably better than that. Odds are stacked against them. But they will still have big games at Minute Maid Park. When the World Champion Cardinals and Lance Berkman come to down the atmosphere will be different than when the Pirates are in.There will be chances for that adrenaline rush to return and pitchers to have that extra oomph on their fast balls, base runners to have that extra step and hitters have quicker hands and more strength behind their swing. That is when we will have special nights at Minute Maid Parkjust as Rocket fans experienced at Toyota Center on Tuesday.
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