The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

P.J. Tucker: "The energy at practice has been unbelievable."

Posted: October 1, 2018

Houston Rockets forward / center P.J. Tucker won't play in Tuesday's preseason game versus the Memphis Grizzlies due to a sore back. The sore back is not serious. Tucker would play if the game were a regular season game (and definitely a playoff game -- Mr. No Big Deal to have three root canals before last season's Game 7 against the Warriors).

Even with the tweaked back, Tucker loves the chemistry of the 2018-2019 Rockets' team. He's been impressed with how quickly the new players have adopted the Rockets' winning culture.

"I love it. It's been unbelievable how fast the new people have come in and fit with our team. Once they understand how we play and understand the things we want to get done on both ends of the court, people have kind of just fallen in (line).

"It's been a fun first week."

Tucker is "super excited" with this team.

"We talk about it everyday how much better we're getting everyday as a team. How much we're building. Like I said, once guys really understand how we want to play they just kind of fall in place, it's amazing how these practices have been going.

"I love our communication -- how guys after every little thing we're talking; understanding each other and what each other wants to do -- especially with the new guys coming into our system.

"Just the energy, too. The energy at practice has been unbelievable. Coach has said it's some of the best practices that he's seen in his career. It's pretty nice to be a part of that."

"Carmelo (Anthony) has been great. James Ennis has been great. Michael Carter-Williams has been great. All the new guys have been really good and have had bright spots in all the practices."


James Harden enjoys the competitiveness of training camp.

"We've done a really good job competing at a high level. Pushing ourselves. Tomorrow (versus the Grizzlies) will be a good test for us knowing that we're all on the same unit. Hopefully, we can get this thing going the same way."

Harden says the team has meshed well.

"So far so good. We've got a long way to go; but, so far, it's been really good."

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