HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets will open training camp in preparation for the 2022-23 NBA campaign on Tuesday. But coach Stephen Silas had received a premature jump on the upcoming season.
"We have a lot of our guys in the gym right now getting individual work in," Silas said during his appearance at the Houston Texans training camp in August. "I've been spending a lot of individual time with the players by going to lunches and watching game film — just making sure that we are all on the same page."
The Rockets have had nearly every player on their roster participating in offseason workouts since early May.
Silas has appreciated the offseason work and dedication of his players. Their offseason training has the Rockets entering the season with hopes of lifting the franchise out of basketball purgatory next year.
Houston finished the 2021-22 campaign with the league's worst record at 20-62.
The Rockets' training program has not been lite. Assistant coach John Lucas has been at the forefront of conducting practices — which have included conditioning, on-court drills and weight training.
Second-year prospect Josh Christopher spent a lot of time working alongside Lucas throughout the summer. He took the previous five months working on his defense and shooting.
Christopher said ahead of his performance at the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League tournament that his goal next season is to develop into a two-way player, which resulted in him beginning his training in the early mornings inside the Rockets' practice facility.
Inside the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Christopher averaged a team-best 19.7 points shooting 39.6 percent from the field, 3.0 assists and 1.7 blocks during his summer league performance.
"I think I became a smarter basketball player by learning where I can be effective," Christopher said in August. "I am still learning how to be in the right spots on defense. But I'm 20 years old and continuing to get better."
Excluding the trade that sent Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks and the $40.9 million decision to move on from John Wall, the Rockets are entering training camp with a roster similar to last season.
The team's most significant offseason acquisition took place during the 2022 NBA Draft when the Rockets landed Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason and TyTy Washington.
The familiarity and continuity the Rockets have built throughout the offseason has the team believing the franchise is ready to take a step forward in their rebuilding project.
Some noteworthy enhancements that have taken place over the offseason have been the on-court strength of Jalen Green and increasing expectations for Kevin Porter Jr.
The Rockets' promising backcourt averaged a combined 20.5 points following the All-Star break last season.
"We have been together for a couple of months now, and all I have been able to see is growth," Porter said. "The new guys have been learning fast. And I've been learning fast. It's been a great off-season."
The Rockets will hold their annual Media Day on Monday, Sept. 26. The team will begin training camp on Sept. 27 at the Legacy Center in Lake Charles.
You can follow Coty Davis on Twitter at @CotyDavis_24
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