The Houston Rockets are still one of the NBA’s youngest teams, and the roster hasn’t changed dramatically from the group that finished last season with the league’s worst record — besides trading Christian Wood and adding three first-round rookies in the 2022 draft.
But as head coach Stephen Silas sees it, there could be a possibility for internal, organic growth at Toyota Center.
In particular, the veteran coach is pleased by what he’s seen during offseason workouts, and he says it’s not par for the course across the league. In a new interview with Matt Thomas of flagship radio station SportsTalk 790 in Houston, Silas said on Wednesday:
I’m beyond excited about this season, and what we could be. Because what I’ve seen so far… it’s just the mindset of all these guys — whether it’s the guys who have been here, like Eric [Gordon] and JT [Jae’Sean Tate], who have been in the gym every day — or the new guys, or the middle guys. Everybody is on it, as far as being here, doing what they need to do. It’s a different kind of vibe, which I’m really excited about.
It’s not like this everywhere, to where you have your whole group, and your vets, in during the summer. And your young guys. [Assistant coach] John Lucas does such a great job with our guys, so they know they’re going to get better when they’re here. Our strength and conditioning people, as well. They know they’re well taken care of when they’re here.
“A lot of [NBA] guys will go and play pickup [basketball] in LA [Los Angeles], or go to [Las] Vegas and play pickup there, and work with some guy that they’re paying,” Silas told Thomas.
“But they can come here, get the best of the best, and we do it to where we can help them play well during the season,” Silas said. “We work with them in a way that will help them play well for me, and get on the floor. That’s the most important thing.”
Those offseason workouts aren’t mandatory, per the terms of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. But the players in Houston do seem to be taking advantage of the opportunity.
“It’s all voluntary, and they’re volunteering,” Silas concluded.