Large crowd cheers on Rockets at open practice

Large crowd cheers on Rockets at open practice
October 27, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Rockets feel good about team chemistry

It’s no secret. Rockets fans are excited about the upcoming season.

And that was on display at the team’s open practice on Sunday. Doors opened at noon, but the line to get into Toyota Center wrapped around the arena much earlier than that.

After fans dropped off their non-perishable food goods upon entering – the first 500 fans to bring four or more items received an autograph voucher for the post-practice autograph session – they enthusiastically filled the seats on one side of the lower bowl.

While the crowd of over 5,000 fans waited for their beloved Rockets to come out, they were entertained by the Rockets Power Dancers and fan contests.

Normally for their annual open practice, the Rockets will practice in their side gym before coming out for a much shorter version on the main arena floor, but this year head coach Kevin McHale saw the large crowd and decided to hold the full practice in front of the fans because he didn’t want to keep them waiting.

Click here for a photo gallery of Rockets open practice.

After practice and a short scrimmage, James Harden briefly addressed the crowd before Dwight Howard took over the mic. He also addressed the crowd before introducing each of his teammates in his typical comical demeanor. Then the team split up into four groups to sign autographs.

"The love and support from the city of Houston is unbelievable," Harden said.