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By Brian Barefield

HOUSTON — Coaches in any professional sport often wonder if their messages are getting across to players during a long season about how much hard work and dedication pays off.

Rockets head coach Stephen Silas doesn’t have to worry about that, as most of his young players are still in town and working on their games as they prepare for the 2022-23 NBA season.

“We have a bunch of guys in town, which is great,” Silas said after participating in Thursday’s team charity event at Moody Community Center. “They are all getting work in individually, in the weight room, and preparing for next season, and this season (playoffs) hasn’t ended yet.”

“For guys to be here in early May, as much as we would like to be playing right now, we are preparing to be one of these (playoff) teams,” Silas said. “So, it is super important for our guys to be here right now, and it speaks to their commitment and what type of guys they are.”

Houston finished with a 20-62 record this past season and is in a position to have one of the top-five picks in the 2022 NBA draft. With the No. 2 overall selection in 2021 draft, the Rockets took Jalen Green.

With Jae’Sean Tate and KJ Martin coming into town next week, Silas will have at least 11 players in Houston working to improve their games, and he says that is a testament to the character of his players.

“It means a lot to me, but it really speaks to who they are,” Silas said on Thursday afternoon. “I deliver the message and I try to do it in a way that makes sense. I try to highlight the things they need to work on and also highlight the things they did well on this season.”

“It is really on them. It’s their time, so, it really speaks to the guys we have in that locker room. Who they are and who they want to be. They are watching the games, too, and they see that they do have to improve.”

Players at Thursday’s community event included Green, Alperen Sengun, and Josh Christopher, who are entering their second NBA seasons.

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