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Beverley had reported to camp roughly eight pounds lighter, but looking and feeling considerably more fit than just from dropping weight. He went through Saturday’s first workout, devoted largely to drill work and training, and added a long shooting session after. But more than the work he did on the opening day of Rockets training camp, he had already felt the benefits of off-season work in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s initial team practices. “It’s about being as healthy as I possibly be,” Beverley said. “It’s a couple practice, it’s no big deal. I lost a lot of weight this summer, got a lot leaner. I feel lighter when I run.”
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Dekker played just three NBA games last season, which he said makes him feel in many ways like a rookie on the court. But he said being around and studying video has made him “much more up to speed.” “I’m a guy that can come in an add energy, add a spark,” Dekker said. “There is a lot I can bring to the table. I’ve been able to show that this summer. I’m looking to keep improving that. I feel much better than I did last year in terms of mentally. The game has slowed down and I know the nuances of the NBA style of basketball. I’m looking to make a splash.”
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“Last year was frustrating, numbers individually was pretty solid, but just the love and excitement wasn’t there,” he said. “So I had to look in the mirror this summer and realize that I got to change and I got to get back to how I was.” To that end, he refocused this offseason and put an emphasis on becoming a better leader. He organized players-only training and outings in both Miami and Las Vegas in an attempt to create cohesiveness within the group before camp. “Just getting to know somebody and hanging out … it was really good,” he said. “That’s going to carry over onto the court.”
When Sam Dekker began his career with the Rockets a year ago, he was already trying to make up for lost time and battling back problems. He had sat out most of the summer and never could get over the back issues that put him out until opting for the surgery that cost him most of his rookie season. After just one practice of the Rockets training camp on Saturday, Dekker felt as he never did last season. “It feels really good,” Dekker said. “I’ve had a great summer. This is the best I’ve ever felt in my life. Really good energy with the team. We have a lot to be optimistic about.”