Summer League success a Rockets habit

Summer League success a Rockets habit
July 9, 2013, 5:30 pm
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The Rockets improved to 2-0 Tuesday in Summer League play. It continued a trend dating back to 2005.

Since that year, the Rockets have been 31-6 in Summer League contests. Players have come and gone. New coaches have entered the fray. But the winning has remained constant.

"I think guys in this program just get really focused and take a lot of things seriously, and I think Summer League games is one of them," Terrence Jones said. "I think it helps carry over with that mentality. It's good to win it."

For these Rockets, winning these Summer League games is a serious deal.

"It means a lot," Greg Smith said. "It's like getting back in shape, getting ready for training camp, getting ready for anything. In Summer League, it's very competitive. You've got guys here who are very hungry to play, very hungry to show scouts and show teams that they want to play, so you can't take these opponents softly. You've got to bring your A-game in. And I love playing in the Summer League because it's always a competition. It's always good going against bigger and better for big guys.

"We do our system. We don't go out there and play 1-on-1 ball, AAU," Smith continued. "We go out there, play as a team. We go out there, play pick-and-roll, pass the ball to the side, play smart, play defense, make guys take contested jumpers, we just play together. You don't go out there and do your own thing. You play as a team, is all."

And considering how much these guys have been spending time in the gym honing their skills for when the regular season does roll around, getting this game action is vital in the team's preparation.

"You train all summer, we've got new guys coming in, so it's good to have veterans like Patrick (Beverley) and myself, Terrence (Jones), and James (Anderson), we know the system," Smith said. "We know what the coaches want. So we show the younger guys and they pay attention. We go on the court and then we do it. It's so important."

"It's really important just because you want that mentality," Jones added. "You stay positive, stay winning and stay successful by working hard. And I think a lot of guys on this team have been working hard and it just carries over to the games."