Players-only minicamp gave Rockets head start

Tuesday may have been the first day of Rockets training camp, but the players have been readying for their new season before this day came.

James Harden helped organize a players-only mini-camp of sorts last month in Los Angeles. The Rockets have their core group back, but do add some key newcomers including Ty Lawson and Sam Dekker. As always, training camp is a time to build chemistry. For the Rockets, because of their prior work, training camp is to further that chemistry.

"It's just during practice, locker-room time, just sitting around and talking to everybody," Lawson said. "We had the little mini-camp out in LA, so I already met everybody and sat and talked and built camaraderie and things like that. So I think our chemistry is good right now.

"I mean, I mostly knew everybody, except for the young fellas," he continued. "L.A. gave me a chance to see where everyone likes to get shots at, what they like to do when they play five-on-five. It was good for me."

"It was cool because we got an opportunity for Ty to be there with his new teammates before we got to training camp," Harden said. "So he's familiar with us already. So when we got here to training camp, we could just smile, be happy, and do what he does."