The Houston Rockets Have the Heart That the Los Angeles Lakers are Missing

Ari HoringSenior Analyst IMay 11, 2009

HOUSTON - MAY 10:  Guard Aaron Brooks #0 of the Houston Rockets celebrates after making a three-point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 10, 2009 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

If you didn’t enjoy the Houston Rockets - Los Angeles Lakers game on Sunday, than you’re clearly not a fan of good basketball. The Rockets, a team already without Tracy McGrady that had just lost their best player in Yao Ming for the playoffs, dominated a heavy favorite Lakers’ team in game four.

The Rockets not only showed no fear against the Lakers, they simply embarrassed them.

The Rockets are filled with underdogs and overachievers who showed more heart that I have seen from a team in a long time.

Their center filling in for Yao Ming, Chuck Hayes is only 6’6”, yet he didn’t let Paul Gasol get any easy baskets. The starting point guard Aaron Brooks, although only 6’, was unstoppable in the paint, and scored 34 total points.

Besides Ron Artest and Shane Battier, the Rockets are filled with overachievers who, due to hard work, have become the players they are today. Chuck Hayes is an un-drafted player, who was supposed to be too undersized to play in the NBA.

Aaron Brooks, a 26th overall pick in the 2007 draft, was supposed to be too small to be a point guard in the NBA. Kyle Lowry, another 6’ guard, was the 24th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.

Forward Carl Landry was the 31st overall pick in 2007. Von Wafer was the 39th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Luis Scola, who played nine years in Europe before coming to the Rockets, was the 55th overall pick in 2002.

In reality, the Rockets will likely still lose this series.

However, regardless if they lose or not, they have shown that they have the key ingredient that the Lakers are missing that is required to win a title: heart.

The Rockets, who have lost McGrady, Yao Ming, and Dikembe Mutumbo for the season, have shown that heart and toughness are the true keys to being a champion. There are some players who frankly a scouting report does not give justice to.

The Rockets are filled with players that get on the court and simply know how to play basketball. There are certain things you can teach and certain things you can’t.

The Lakers, as talented as they are, are just simply missing heart and toughness.

No matter what happens the rest of the series, nobody will ever be able to take away the heart the Rockets showed on Sunday.


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