After waiting in a very long line, on a rainy morning in downtown Houston, the doors to the Toyota Center opened and a huge crowd of Houston Rockets fans with can goods in hand flooded into the building. The can goods were for two charities Casa Esperanza and Target Hunger. As everyone filled one complete side of the bottom bowl of Toyota Center, Rockets event staff passed out head cutouts of James Harden and Dwight Howard. A dance contest between four fans started on the Toyota Center court for a chance to sit behind the Rockets bench during practice. After about a hour the team began to file out onto the court.
Rockets head coach Kevin McHale walked out to center court with a microphone and addressed the amped up crowd. McHale explained to the fans that the Rockets season starts on Wednesday and that the team would be going through a real practice and needed the fans to keep the noise down they worked out. An interesting request for an open practice, but the fans complied and got to witness the Rockets run through drills that they work on behind closed doors. After practice was done, next was a quick team scrimmage. Dwight Howard, and James Harden were named team captains and they chose their lineups. Once the quick scrimmage ended, Dwight grabbed the microphone and introduced the fans to the Rockets roster, and their numerous nicknames.
After leaving the last pre-season game with a knee bruise James Harden was able to go through the full practice on Sunday and was feeling a lot better.
“It feels good,” Harden said. “I just iced it and got treatment and its good now.”
At the open practice, Terrence Jones went down after going up for a rebound. He got up and left the court near the end of practice. Last weekend, he hurt his shoulder after colliding with Dwight Howard.
Coach Kevin McHale said he was unsure if Jones had reinjured his shoulder.
“We will just have to see,” McHale said.