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Mike D’Antoni praises Chris Paul for leadership

Chris Paul

With James Harden out for the Houston Rockets it’s been Chris Paul who has been the leader on the court. Head coach Mike D’Antoni thinks he has really stepped up the plate. The Rockets only won their second game of the year on Friday night and it might not have happened without Paul giving the team a pep talk during a players-only time out.

“That’s who Chris Paul is,” Mike D’Antoni said via ESPN. “When times are tough — and he knew times were tough — he had to find even more within himself, and he did. That’s why he’s one of the best. He just has an unbelievable spirit that won’t let you lose.”

The Rockets really struggled in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets and it looked like the team might suffer another disappointing loss. During the timeout, Chris Paul called the team together and said the team needed to figure out the issues as a team.

“We was talking. We was yelling, cursing,” he said. “It was something that we had to figure out, and we did that.”

“[Coaches] can tell us all the schemes they want to. It’s up to us to figure out how we’re going to get a stop.”

Part of the problem has been Harden missing games because of injuries, but even when he has played they just haven’t looked like a team. The Rockets should get a boost on Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls with James Harden expected to return to the Rockets lineup.